7 Ways to Guarantee Healthy Orchids

by Mary Ann

It is not as hard as many people think to grow orchids or to have healthy orchids.

Orchids do require attention weekly and if you are completely new to growing orchids, you will want to acquire some basic knowledge about them from information sites online, books, magazines or even by joining a club or society dedicated to growing orchids.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways to guarantee your orchids will be healthy.

1. You need to provide enough light.

Orchids should receive on average ten hours of medium light every day.

If growing in your home, a window exposed to the south is an excellent choice. Windows facing north usually do not give or receive enough light and those to the east or west have too few hours of good light.

In the summer, you may need to use drapes to defuse light that is too bright.

2. No sudden temperature changes.

Orchids don’t have very much flexibility at all for temperatures which have sudden fluctuations.

If you are growing your orchids outside in the garden, temperature is going to be critical to whether you have healthy flowering orchids or not.

If a front should come through and raise or drop the temperatures by ten degrees, the orchids may not survive.

This sudden change in temperature can upset their cycle of growth, cause anemia and allow them to acquire diseases, such as rot.

Make sure you only purchase orchids which can do well in your location and that you grow them inside if there is often rapidly changing weather.

3. Select orchids which do best in the temperatures you can provide.

Do some homework before purchasing orchids.

Different species of orchids have very specific temperature ranges.

Don’t try to grow an orchid that needs 80 to 90 degree day temperatures if you do not have that temperature range each day where you live. Orchids grow everywhere from the tropics to snow-covered peaks.

Know in advance the requirements of the orchid you purchase and stick to these, whether inside or outdoors.

4. Keep your orchids clean.

If you are one of those people who goes weeks without cleaning your house, you may not have the right personality for growing orchids. In order to be healthy and thriving, orchids need to be clean.

In their natural environment, which in most cases is tropical, orchids are cleaned daily by rain showers which get rid of dust and insects. You should wipe the dust and dirt off your orchids at least once a week.

Occasionally, you should combine several drops of vegetable oil emulsion insecticide (not mineral oil) with a pint of lukewarm water and sponge it onto the orchid foliage. It will give the plant a polished look and protect it from pest damage.

5. Fertilize orchids appropriately.

Manures are the most dangerous orchid fertilizers to use and often the most used. If you are a beginner, you might want to try other fertilizers first.

Overall, the best fertilizers to use are liquid: manure water, commercial concentrates, and nutrient solutions.

Manure water is made by putting two cups of ground manure into a gallon jug and then letting it sit for a week or so.

Then you should dilute it even more by pouring one-fourth cup from the jug into a quart of water. This solution is to be carefully poured at the edge of the pot and should not come in contact with foliage, pseudo bulbs or rhizomes.

There are many synthetic fertilizers you can buy for orchids and you can also make nutrient mixes, the recipes of which have been handed down from gardener to gardener through the years.

6. Do not over-water orchids.

An over-watered orchid is going to become sick and die.

On the other hand, occasionally forgetting to water an orchid will rarely result in sickness or death.

When an orchid’s roots are healthy and dry, they will be white.

Check frequently to make sure your orchids do not have green roots, as that is an indication of over-watering.Other indications of over-watering are growing scum, moss or weeds.

7. Repot your orchids when necessary.

This is the scariest step of all for most new orchid gardeners, but orchids do need to be repotted if the plants are too large for the pot or if the compost is worn out or too alkaline.

Leaving an orchid in old compost is worse for it than disturbing the roots.

Repot with care and your orchids should suffer no ill effects.

Get some help the first time by reading about it, watching videos of how to do it, or by getting someone more advanced in orchid care to help.

For more proven orchid growing tips, tricks and secrets, click here to visit http://www.OrchidSecretsRevealed.com

Enjoy the article? Want to add your own tip? Have another topic you want to see me cover?

Please scroll down below and click the “Comment” link below to leave your feedback or advice!

Thanks – I look forward to hearing from you!

20 Responses
  1. judegirard permalink

    can I just put my orchid in a glass vase without any compost…in other words just in the air?

  2. Veronica Kingdon permalink

    Hi. Loved your article and look forward to reading more. I live in Bowen, dry tropics, about 2.00 hours from Townsville and 2.5 hours from Mackay.
    My orchids are grown in full sun, teretes, semi-teretes mostly. I water daily in summer with MagAmp and every second day in the cooler months. I feed orchids once a week with Fish Emulsion and or Peters Orchid fertilizer. The roots of the orchids are green with the tips white. Is this okay.

  3. larry permalink

    Thanks for an informative blog.

  4. James Humphrey permalink

    Sounds good. I need all the help I can get.

  5. orchid is epiphytic/lithophytic/terestrial, so it needs a medium to grow and a glass vase is too smooth(without any decomposed matter that can serve as nutrients for the plant). It’s probably not a wise move to grow orchid in the air especially you have a priced cultivar. Maybe you can try full-sun cultivar such as vanda, ascocenda …happy growing.

  6. Mary Ann permalink*

    Hi everyone – thanks for reading my new blog, and more importantly, thanks for commenting on it! I can tell this is going to be a great community of orchid lovers already! 🙂

  7. Jersey permalink

    Hi everyone- just to let you know and not to contradict your success, but most of my orchids are species which like at least a 10 degree difference between day and night temps. I do not let the temp drop drastically but over the course of a few hrs it will go from 75- 85F to 60- 65F at night and I grow mostly in a 75 gal aquarium as the area I am in now is too arid to grow most outside. I think temps have hit 100+ F in the tank over the course of winter as the sun was low and usually came into the kitchen and tank, giving direct sun for over 6 hrs each day. The plants suffered minor burns but even the phals I raised from seedling size are huge now and have over 14″ leaf spans. They adapt to brighter light in winter or direct light and less direct light in summer but they all seem to bloom in spring or summer regardless. I do have problems if the plants do not get watered every other day- the roots tend to dry out and then at the next watering the roots will go dormant or die back. I have had good luck though and I like to think that I have good luck. Some plants are in semi hydro prime agra, and others in bark and the tank has 90+ humidity almost all the time so the roots grow well and dry just gradually enough that they stay lightly moist until the next watering and feeding. I always feed and water orchids even into late fall like sept-oct as they grow until that time. I stop feeding and let the plants dry as much as possible but they seem to like growing well into winter so I just go with it and try to adjust to the bulbs maturing. Anyway, i hope everyone else has the same success, thanks

  8. Hi everyone, it’s interesting and informative to read your articles. May I add that(besides the 7 ways as suggested by Mary Ann) the place where orchids are cultivated should be airy enough so that the plants could dry up completely when night falls(this will prevent fungal growth during the night especially in humid country like Malaysia.By practising all the necessary steps I’ve stopped spraying pesticides on my plants which can post as a health hazard to me.Thanks.

  9. Charl Gobetz permalink

    I like this site! Thank you!

  10. Last summer I transplanted all my cymbidiums into coconut husk compost; as I was told that coconut husk is better than regular orchid bark. This season the cymbidiums are not doing quite as well as I anticipated. The new leaf growth seems to be less hardy, smaller (thin), and not as much growth. I’m afraid to transplant them again into regular orchid bark. Wondering if anyone has luck with the coconut husk compost.

  11. To be more accurate on the compost, its coconut husk chips.

  12. Rick permalink

    judegirard If you are going to grow indoors you must place your orcchid in a pot (clay pots With slits are best) with bark rather than potting soil. With out getting techy, orchids that live without soil are normally outdoor plants. They cling to trees poles,ect. and trap the nutrients they need between the root and it’s host. visit your local garden center for advice. good luck Rick

  13. Jacob Locke permalink

    The biggest guarantee of a healthy orchid is to treat it like you would your own child. I am a father of two and I see many similarities. You take the time to understand your plant by understanding what kind of growing environment it flourishes in. You watch it carefully, checking it for sickness and reading signs of incorrect amounts of light and water and you pay attention when it is time to change the pot, being gentle and keeping things sterile. Take the time to understand your orchid and to care for it and it will live a long an happy life … guaranteed!!

  14. Joan permalink

    I really like your site. Well cared for orchids will reward you with beautiful blooms for a long time.

  15. Donna S permalink

    I have been growing phalaenopsis orchids in clear glass cubes with just water and rocks. The flowers last for months, right now I have one that has been blooming since August; 4 months. I’ve even had them re-bloom. I’ve never grown orchids before. I’m a florist and repotted orchids in this manner as centerpieces for weddings.

  16. Mary Ann permalink*

    That’s terrific! There’s no one right way to do anything, so if that is working, then keep it up! Come back and tell us how things are going and what you are doing! – Mary Ann

  17. Elizabeth permalink

    Dear Mary Ann. great blog site. I have an ondontoglossum which has bloomed twice this year and is now about 2 ft high on one stem a third bloom has started but stalled whilst very small Help???

  18. Mary Ann permalink*

    Hi Elizabeth,

    Thank you for your comment. It sounds like something changed with this third bloom. Check out this article to make sure you are still meeting all the requirements it needs: http://www.orchidcarezone.com/odontoglossum-orchids-care/

  19. susan beck permalink

    I like your site. I have learned so much.

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