Orchids are known to be particularly difficult flowers to keep alive, even for those with a lot of experience! However, there are over 20,000 total species of orchids in the world, and some are easier to grow than others.
Let’s go over how you can grow your own beautiful and healthy orchids from the comfort of your own garden.
Pick The Right Orchid
First off, you need to examine the orchid prior to purchase. A healthy orchid, or healthy plant, for that matter, has a strong root system. To test this in an orchid, you can grasp the base of the plant with two fingers and attempt to jiggle it. If it moves freely, the plant’s root system is not ideal, and you should continue searching for one whose roots are more firmly in place.
In addition to testing the roots, you want to look at the condition of the leaves. If they appear shriveled up, do not buy that plant. If the leaves seem somewhat yellow in color, though, this is okay. It usually happens when the plant has been flowering.
Choosing a Species of Orchid
As noted above, there are over 20,000 species of orchid plants! That might sound overwhelming, but luckily you can get into growing these flowers without even knowing about the species if you want. In fact, it is perfectly acceptable to go to your local grocery store, home improvement store, or similar (whatever you have local to you that sells flowers), and pick up an orchid to bring home.
On the other hand, if you want to make sure you get a species that is known for being beginner friendly/easier to maintain, try any of these three:
Caring For Your Orchid
Once you have your orchid, you want to do everything possible to help keep it alive, grow, and ultimately thrive. As already mentioned, orchids vary in species and their needs will vary too.
These are just some general guidelines for growing healthy orchids.
Water your orchid once a week. This might sound like very little water, but for orchids, it is better to be a bit too dry than too wet. If too wet, they are unlikely to survive.
The type of potting soil depends on the type of orchid you have. However, the main thing to remember here is that there needs to be good air circulation along with quick, efficient water drainage.
As an example, some orchids do best in fir bark, peat moss, or lava rock. Be sure to look up the best medium to grow your orchid in if you know your species.
Orchids need a lot of light. In fact, it is often necessary for them to receive anywhere from 12 to 14 hours of light per day! If you live in an environment without this much natural light daily (either all the time or due to seasonal changes), you need to think about supplying artificial light sources for them.
You also want to think about where they will be planted, either in an outdoor or indoor garden. For example, if indoors, you might want to put them in a certain spot in the house that gets ample lighting from the outside.
Orchids, in addition to needing lots of light, require lots of humidity. Anywhere from 60 to 80% is usually ideal for them. In many areas, when it is cold outside, humidity is around just 30%.
If you live somewhere where your humidity is lower, consider investing in a humidifier to help keep your orchids healthy and thriving.