How Do I Care For My Orchid (Phalaenopsis) Plant?

Tropical-Orchid-282x300If you live in a non-tropical area you may have wondered if you could even grow an orchid.  Well, you can!  Just follow these tips.

Set the orchid in medium to bright light.  Avoid direct sunlight.  Ideally, the temperature should be between 62 – 77 degrees.  Provide good air circulation.

Before watering, make sure the top 1″ to 2″ of potting mix is dry to the touch.  If still wet do not water.  Orchids do not use standard potting soil but a variety of potting materials such as coco husk, bark, gravel, etc.  These materials are used because orchids need to drain rapidly and at the same time retain moisture.  In general water every 7 to 10 days.  In winter water every 10 to 14 days.  Do not let sit in water.

Once your orchid is done blooming cut the stem 1″ below the old first bloom.  Sometimes a branch will emerge and more blooms will appear.  In 6 to 8 weeks if nothing happens cut the stem all the way back.  A new spike will appear after its’ resting period.  Place the plant in a south window to get it to re-bloom.  A 10 to 15 degree difference in temperature from day to night is ideal for blooming.  Feed with 20-20-20 plant food every 2 to 3 weeks.

Good luck and enjoy the rewards of your labor.