June 27, 2009

Growing Orchids in the Sill

By Kent Higgins

Growing orchids is a fun, beautiful hobby and growing them in your home to enjoy is a great way to beautify any room. Orchids have a long history of symbolizing love and commitment. They require some special care, but growing them in your home requires only patience and love.

Before you plant your orchids, you should have a look at the windowsill. The window should have a more or less southern exposure. You will also need a humidity tray as orchids do not grow well in dry or overly hot conditions. It's a good idea to have a misting bottle on hand as well.

Begin with two or three orchids and good-sized pots to match, that will fit well inside the windowsill. Before you purchase the plants or bulbs, make sure you know whether they are sun-loving or not. Those that love the sun will need to be as close to the glass as possible with no obstructions so they can take full advantage of the daylight. Others can be further back or in a sill that is partially obscurred by a tree or another building if need be. Knowing what light conditions are right for your flowers will make the difference between beautiful and dead orchids.

If you have shade-loving orchids but the window is fully exposed, then try using a sheer curtain or lace to partially obscure the sunlight and filter it some. Gauzy, opaque curtains will also work. You can also purchase special window coverings that stick right on the glass and break up the sunlight before it enters, protecting your precious plants.

If the day is getting very hot, a small fan that blows just above the leaves can help keep the plants cool. Treat pests by wiping the leaves and stems of your plants with a cloth soaked in isopropyl alcohol or sprinkle the plants with diatomaceous earth and wipe away a day or two later. Using insecticides indoors is not recommended.

When watering your orchids just like phalaenopsis orchids, keep in mind that they are happier being dry rather than wet. So don't soak them down too much. A little water more often is better than a lot of water only occasionally. Make sure you have draining pots so that the water does not linger too long and soak the roots to rot. Use your misting sprayer to wet the leaves on hot days. Water in the morning so the sun will eventually dry the soil back out rather than the evenings when the water will soak in and stay.

Growing your own orchids is fun and a beautiful hobby. It's not hard to do and requires only a little time and patience to do well. So try growing some orchids today!

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