Sunday, February 27, 2011

Care and Growing Tips For Blooming Orchid Plants

Orchids are beautiful plants but one that we get a lot of questions about.  The most common complaint of orchid plants is getting them to bloom again.  We have compiled a list of tips that may help you with your orchid care.

1.  Temperature:  Orchids will grow and bloom best in a room that maintains a temperature of 70 degrees.  They do not like drastic temperature changes such as blasts of warm or cold air from vents, doors, or windows.  This can harm the blooms and cause them to fall off early or not appear at all.

2.  Lighting: Orchids love bright indirect natural light.  Placing an orchid directly in the window can cause the blooms and leaves to burn.  Instead place it out of the direct light but where it can still enjoy the sunlight from a distance.  They will not bloom with florescent or incandescent light alone, they need the natural light of the sun to bloom again.  This puts most offices out of the question for blooming orchids.

3.  Watering:  Orchids do not like to sit in water.  If you see water pooling in the tray under your pot or your pot overflows while watering this is too much.  The water needs to flow out of the soil.  When the water washes through it caries with it nutrients and impurities.  If it sits in the pot the impurities are not removed and can be absorbed through the roots, thus damaging the orchid.  Orchids like to be moist but not sitting in pooled water.  The best time to water orchids is in the morning and with slightly warm tap water.  To see if your orchid needs to be watered place your finger, or a pencil, in the soil and if it comes out dry it is time to water.  Overwatering will cause more damage to your orchid then underwatering.

4.  Food:  Use only orchid food on your orchid plants, other plant foods can contain urea that can harm your orchid.  You can dilute your orchid food to 1/4 of the recommended dose and add it to your watering once a week.

5.  Pruning: Trim off the orchid bloom when it starts to wilt, this will allow the water and nutrients to feed the remaining blooms with ease.  Trim your orchid with pruning scissors after the blooms are all gone.  This will help it start the blooming process again.

Still not blooming?  Some orchids will bloom only once.  If you are looking for a nice blooming species try the phalenopis variety.  These will give you years of blooming pleasure if you follow the steps above.


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