You have just bought an orchid plant, what's next?
First of all, congratulations with your purchase! You have bought just a normal windowsill plant, so there is nothing special.
But as African violets, cactuses, succulents or any other indoor plants, orchids have their own care instructions. However they don't differ very much from those of other indoor plants. You have just to get used to them! Some general care instructions for orchid plants:
Prefers indirect or filtered sunlight. With other words, don't put in the full sun, otherwise it will burn the leaves. An ideal location is behind curtains or window blinds.
Ideal temperature range is 60-80 degrees. The difference between day and night temperatures is very good for the plants, actually all plants.
Requires water every 5-7 days. Once a week you can add just a little bit of water, do not allow plant to sit in water, that will cause rotting of the roots. Roots of the orchid plants need air as well, that is why the regular soil is very bad for them. They need special light ‘soil’ like sphagnum moss or bark.
The orchid plants love high humidity, you can spray them with water in dry days (in winter on the windowsill above the radiators can be very dry). But don't spray in the late afternoon or evening. The falling temperatures toward the end of the day can cause unnecessary condensation if highly humid conditions are induced; plants will then become covered with a film of water droplets, which can lead to rotting.
Don't spray the flowers; it can cause black spots.
You can use just a regular fertilizer for plant feeding. You can feed the plant bi-weekly or more rear. Stop feeding in the autumn and give less water. Winter is the growth-rest period. After January you can start feeding your orchid plant again, but careful, with law concentrated fertilizer. Give a few times a year a light (3-5 gram per liter) Magnesium Sulfate solution.
Don't re-pot the plant while it is blooming! Best done in late spring after main flowering season, using a well-drained but water-retentive mix.
Orchids may be potted in plastic, clay or decorator pots, and the type of pot selected may influence watering frequency; plants in clay pots will need more frequent watering, as they will dry out a little faster. Always select pots with drainage holes; orchid roots in contact with standing water will rot and die, killing the plant. Media in the center of larger pots may remain wet for long periods and become an unhealthy environment for roots. This can be avoided by placing pieces of broken terra cotta in the bottom of the pot. A smaller pot inverted into a larger one can also help with drainage and aeration, with the roots of the plant draped over and around the smaller pot. Some orchids, such as Phalaenopsis, have roots capable of photosynthesis. For these plants, clear pots have become popular, as they allow light to get to the roots.
Most orchids bloom at least once a year.
- When the last flower drops, cut your flower spike halfway down the stem.
- After cutting the stem with a clean, sharp blade, seal the cut with melted candle wax or cinnamon powder to prevent bacterial infection.
- A rebloom will probably occur if you continue to care properly for your orchid. Simply follow orchid care guidelines.
- This rebloom should flourish for up to 3 to 4 months in perfection.