Orchid Flowers

Tropical Orchids’ Care

Posted on: June 24, 2011

Tropical orchids are actually uncommon plants whose structure distinguishes them from other plants. Tropical orchids are actually ornamental plants that are considered hard to care of. But you can make the process of taking care of orchids easy if you try to understand their nutritional requirements and habitat. Here I am going to provide you with some basic instructions that will help you take care of tropical orchids:

  • Most common tropical orchids are usually Dendrobiums, Cattleyas, Oncidiums and Vandas. Some of the species belonging to the above types are terrestrial but you will find that the majority of these are either epiphytic or lithophytic. Here I feel necessary to describe that epiphytic grow on tress while lithophytic grow on rocks while terrestrial grow on normal soil. Taking care of terrestrial tropical orchids is easy but to take care of epiphytic and lithophytic orchids is difficult. Most of these plants come from damp tropical rainforests of Asia, Australia and South America. You will have to keep in mind the natural habitats of tropical orchids before making a plan of their proper care.
  • Tropical orchids need bright light but too much exposure to sunlight may be harmful for them. Tropical orchids mostly grow under the shade of trees in rainforests so they don’t like direct sunlight. Vanda orchids require strong sunlight because they have small leaves. They can tolerate south-facing exposure with 30% shade while Dendrobiums, Cattleyas and Oncidiums require shadier conditions or morning sun.
  • Water and humidity is also required by tropical orchids but you should avoid wet conditions. Orchids like high humidity but they don’t want to be constantly wet. The ideal humidity level for tropical orchids is 50 to 75%. The best time to water tropical orchids is when you feel that the soil or growing medium has become dry. Only Vanda orchids require a humidity level up to 80% but other epiphytic and lithophytic orchids like to be dry in between watering. If you will leave your tropical orchids constantly soaked, it will be harmful for them as roots will rot and plants will suffer from various fungal diseases.
  • Tropical orchids should be protected from wind chills and at the same time, they should be provided with warm temperatures. Daytime temperature should be between 75 to 90 degrees F while night temperature should be not lower than 55 degrees F. If you are expecting that temperature will drop below 50 degrees, bring your tropical orchids indoors.
  • Air circulation is also a basic requirement of tropical orchids. Ventilation is necessary to keep the plants roots dry. Tropical orchids naturally grow among tree branches where there is much air circulation so you will be required to provide them the same conditions. So hang orchids in well-ventilated areas keeping in mind that too mush of wind can also lead to dryness.
  • Tropical orchids will need to be fertilized often but at the same time, in moderation. Use those fertilizers that are specific for tropical orchids but if you are using all-purpose fertilizers then dilute it to half the strength and apply it weekly instead of every two weeks.

These were some basic requirements which you should fulfill if you really want to take care of your tropical orchids in the best possible way.

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