Orchid is one of the most well-known and popular indoor plants. However, its care and needs are a mystery to many. Well, in this article I’m going to share with you the details about Orchid Care For Beginners.
Orchid Care For Beginners
First, you have to understand it. It is not that it is exquisite, it is that it is misplaced.
Orchid care For Beginners is not so extravagant when we understand the origin of this plant. Of the tropical origin and epiphytic character (it lives in the branches and trunks of trees) it is used to very specific tropical conditions: High humidity, high temperatures, many hours of light but not direct sunlight – in its natural environment it is filtered by the upper leaves trees- and alternation between heavy rains and dry roots.
Keep in mind that when they live in the trunks of trees, their roots are not in contact with the ground. Which is the component that keeps the roots moist for the longest time, in the case of orchids, after the typical intense rains. In the tropics, roots have no more contact with water than they can absorb from ambient moisture.
This glimpse of its origins can give us an idea of why we see it decline when we treat it like any other indoor plant, and the solution is simple, we just have to make it feel at home. So, if you are a beginner & looking for tips, Here are some tips about Orchid Care For Beginners-
As we have explained above, the orchid is very demanding in light, but this should not be direct, the ideal is to place it in a window facing north, or behind a curtain that filters the light.
If we fall short: If the plant does not receive enough light you will notice it because its leaves become darker (in extreme cases they will yellow and fall) and because it will not flower.
If we go over: The plant will dehydrate in direct light.
The light of the roots
A fairly common mistake in orchid care is to use containers that block the light from the roots.
Remember, they live in trees, and they don’t get direct light. So they’ve developed a very ingenious way to get the most out of all that light: they photosynthesize in the roots too. In their natural environment, the roots are not enclosed and together but are scattered throughout the surface of the tree’s bark. That is why it is important that the container allows light to pass through, that is, that it is transparent.
Especially in cases where light is a limiting factor.
2. Water For Orchid Care
Water is, along with light, one of the most complex points in the care of orchids. But once we get the hang of it, it’s pretty easy to keep them healthy.
When the orchid is in its natural environment, it receives large amounts of water during rainfall, however, when the rain stops, the plant does not have more water than what it has collected during the rain (its roots function as small water stores ) and environmental humidity.
Therefore, when we water too often or do not guarantee good drainage, the roots rot. Another fairly common problem with orchids is watering many times but sparingly. So that we do not let the roots absorb and retain the necessary water. The ideal for orchids is abundant and spaced irrigations, guaranteeing the drainage of excess water between irrigations.
The easiest way to achieve this effect is by immersing the pot (without wetting the top of the leaves) in a container of water for 10 minutes, and then letting it drain to remove excess water from the substrate. This process can be done once a week, or when the roots begin to appear gray.
Tips on orchid watering:
- If we live in areas with very hard water, it is advisable to use filtered water or rainwater.
- Never wet the core where the leaves meet, as it stagnates and causes them to rot.
- If you have several orchid plants, water them separately, they can spread diseases. Use the water to water other varieties of plants, do not waste it.
- You can pierce the pot with a small soldering iron or awl so that the water evaporates more easily.
- It is better to water in the morning, as at night the temperatures are lower and it takes longer to evaporate.
Ambient humidity is another important factor that we must take into account, the orchid requires an ambient humidity of 50 to 80%. We can maintain this humidity in several ways:
- Vaporizing water regularly on the leaves (without water falling in the center of the leaves and without wetting the flowers, they will last less)
- Placing the pot on a layer of clay balls that retain water, during its evaporation will increase the humidity of the air around the pot.
- Placing containers of water near the plants.
- By placing all the plants close by, we will thus generate a microclimate with higher humidity.
3. The Temperature (Orchid Care)
Being a tropical plant, it needs stable temperatures that do not exceed 30ºC or fall below 15ºC. To cause flowering, it is important to cause a temperature change of 10ºC between day and night (You can place the pot for about three weeks – in Autumn or Spring- in a cooler place, where the night temperature is around 15ºC when the plant develops inflorescences, and we can put it back in its final location.)
Orchids need well-ventilated and oxygenated environments. However, they do not withstand strong air currents well. Lack of ventilation can lead to fungus and other diseases.
5. The substrate
The substrate prepared for epiphytic orchids is the best option, since it guarantees excellent drainage and aeration, leaving space for the development of roots in their cavities.
- Please clean it with water before using it for the first time.
- Renew it every 2-3 years at the time of transplanting.
6. The Fertilizer (Care For Orchid)
The substrate on which orchids grow does not contain nutrients, since it stimulates their natural environment, the bark of trees. For this reason, it is necessary to periodically fertilize our orchids. The most important nutrients for plants are Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K).
Each of them has a different function, so depending on the stage of development our orchid is in, it will need more of one than the other. This is a very basic concept that will facilitate the decision to purchase fertilizer for any plant, so be careful.
Fertilizers must include in their composition their concentrations of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, generally expressed numerically in this format: (30:10:10) or (10:30:20). Being the numbers the proportions of each nutrient in this order (N: P: K), that is, the first number refers to nitrogen. The second to phosphorus and the third to potassium.
In this way, with a single glance at the fertilizer we can know which is the predominant nutrient, but … When to use each of them?
Growth phase: Nitrogen is the nutrient responsible for the development of leaves and shoots, which is why it is essential in the growth phase of the plant. In the formula, we will find that the first number is the highest (A: a: a).
Flowering phase: nitrogen is decreased and the proportion of phosphorus and potassium is increased, essential for flowering and root development.
Rest of the year: most of the time the orchid needs a fertilizer with balanced proportions of the 3 nutrients. Ideally, do it once every 4 weeks.
How to apply the fertilizer?
Ideally, apply the fertilizer during immersion irrigation, applying the necessary amount of fertilizer to the water.
7. The Rods
A fairly frequent question is whether it is necessary to cut the floral rod once the flowers have fallen.
- The rod has dried: In the event that the floral rod has dried, it is best to cut it at the base.
- The flowers have fallen but the rod has not dried: you can cut the rod just above the first node (a new rod will grow from it) or leave it. Especially recommended the latter in the hybrid variety phalaepnopsis purplish, which generates flowers in a continue on the same rod.
8. The Transplant
Every two-three years, after flowering (never during), it is advisable to transplant.
Steps to follow:
1. Water the orchid by immersion
By absorbing the water, the roots will be more flexible and less prone to breakage or damage.
2. Remove the plant from the pot
Then you have to remove the plant from the pot.
3. Remove dead or damaged roots.
That is Roots rotten, with fungus, or dry and brown in appearance. For this, it is advisable to disinfect the scissors with a little alcohol beforehand. To avoid infection, it is advisable to apply a fungicide.
Propolis has bactericidal and fungicidal properties, apart from the anesthetic, anti-inflammatory, and healing properties. It controls pathogenic microorganisms by blocking their entry through the tender shoots, making them antiseptic and antiviral. It also induces the plant to increase its natural defenses.
4. Transplant into a new pot
This must be previously disinfected. The substrate must also be new, never reuse the old substrate. It is advisable to leave some upper roots unburied.
5. Care, after the transplantation
Do not water immediately after transplanting, allow a couple of days for the roots to settle. Protect it from sunlight so it doesn’t get dehydrated, and spray it with water to keep it moist. It is important not to pay until a month has passed.
So, these are the full details about Orchid Care For Beginners. Hope you will like it. Care for an orchid is not so difficult, right? Feel free to ask any questions by commenting here. Happy Gardening.