February 17, 2009

Your First Orchid

Growing orchids is a rewarding hobby, and usually much easier than most people think. When choosing your first orchid, it is important to choose one that will best fit your growing conditions. Most orchids require a humid environment, but don't require a tropical location to provide them with humidity. In the home, a simple regular misting can manage this requirement, or you may place the orchid over a tray filled with pebbles and water, and place the plant in a sunny location. Growing orchids outdoors in the summer is a welcome treat, but take care to provide proper shade if necessary.

Light conditions also play an important role in the culture of orchids. Phalaenopsis orchids require much less light than Cattleyas to bloom, and too much sun can burn the leaves. If you orchid leaves are lime green in color, then you know you are providing the proper light, and should have healthy blooms when the plant is ready to flower. Dark green leaves indicate that the plant needs more light conditions.

In addition to humidity and light, water is essential for healthy growth as well, but in the case of orchids, less is typically more. Cattleyas like to dry out in between waterings, yes Phalaenopsis like to remain consistently moist. Dendroboiums also like to be fully watered, and then dry out again before the next watering. Take care that you don't over water, as this could cause root rot.

Last but certainly not least, fertilize your orchids weekly "weakly" in order to maintain a healthy strong plant. A good balanced fertilizer such as a 20-20-20 alternating with a 15-30-15 will help promote growth and flower development.

If the right growing conditions are met for your orchids basic needs and requirements, then you will experience many years of exotic and beautiful blooms in the future. Growing orchids is easier than you think. To learn more, search for various websites on orchid culture.

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