Orchid Flowers

Posts Tagged ‘Basics of Growing Orchids

Orchids are native to tropical regions but with little efforts and care, they can be grown anywhere in the world. Orchids are among those flowers which come in a variety of colors. Among these, there are purple orchids. Today’s discussion is all about taking care of purple orchids. If you have grown purple orchids in your garden then read this post carefully.

Temperature Requirements: Place purple orchids in a temperature safe location. During day time, purple orchids require a temperature between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit while during night time, ideal temperature is between 60 and 62 degrees Fahrenheit.  Here I will also like to add that these plants do not produce flowers if they are not provided with fluctuating temperatures.

Air Circulation: You are also required to keep the air circulating around purple orchid plants. The simple way to do this is to place the plant near an open window during summer time while in winter, you can use oscillating fan to provide sufficient air circulation. Fresh air is necessary for plant as it provides carbon dioxide as well as it helps prevent infection in plants.

Sunlight: These plants can burn when they are exposed to direct sunlight so place your plants behind curtains or window blinds so that they can receive indirect sunlight. You can use a simple method to find out whether plants are receiving adequate sunlight or not. Note the color of leaves. Yellowish-green leaves of purple orchid plants show that plants are receiving excessive light and if the leaves are dark green, it means that plants are not receiving sufficient amount of light. Leaves of purple orchid plants become bright green when they receive proper sunlight.

Watering: During wintry weather, purple orchids need to be watered once a week but in summer, these requirements change and plants need water twice a week. I will also like to tell that you should water plants in morning and use rainwater to water purple orchid plants instead of tap water because chlorine in tap water may prove harmful for plants.

Fertilizing: Purple orchid plants need such a fertilizer that contains equal and balanced mix of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

While growing purple orchids, keep the above mentioned requirements in mind so that you can grow healthy and beautiful plants.

Orchids have been included in list of home plants for their gorgeous fragrance and variety in shapes, color and sizes. Like other plants, orchid plants also need proper growing conditions. Giving right amount of water at right time to your orchids is one of the basic needs of orchid flowers to grow and thrive. Remember that different species of orchids have different water needs, so you are required to research your particular plant as well as you should also be aware of general watering needs of an orchid.

Orchid plants are typically found in tropical areas. The areas where many orchids are grown receive tremendous rain. These areas can also be very humid in native habits. Ideal humidity level for orchid flowers is 80% but this humidity level could be quite uncomfortable for human to live in so you need to think other strategies to provide your orchids with healthier environment. A very convenient way to humidify your orchids is to water them frequently. You may purchase a deep saucer or and some pebbles. Pour these pebbles into the saucer then water the pebbles. Make sure that the water never touches the actual orchid pot. This way you will be able to create artificial humid climate for your orchid plant.

Very common mistake that people do is over watering their orchids. Many people wait for the soil of their orchid pot to look dry and when it becomes, they feel that their orchid plants need to be watered now. This is not true especially for orchids. The rule to water your orchid plants is to water once a week. Let the potting bark of your orchid plant dry out completely before you water again.

Orchid plants also need to be fertilized but sparingly as well. Buy best fertilizer for your orchid plants from nearby garden shops. Make sure to maintain for watering and fertilizing your orchids is a guarantee in itself that your orchid plants will grow best and you will have exotic plants for a long time.

Orchids will thrive in your home environment if you succeed to provide them with proper care, for instance right amount of water at right time, proper sunlight and best fertilizer occasionally. Orchid flowers are quite beautiful and can also be temperamental. Once you get to know exact needs of your orchids, it is not so complicated to maintain your orchid flowers healthy conditions.

Orchid plants are very fastidious, bearing the most attractive flowers having a wide range of colors. They can easily be grown both indoors and outdoors with minimum amount of care. Some of the Orchid species require to be kept in greenhouses, whereas some varieties of Orchids can grow among other house plants.

Growing Orchids indoor and outdoor could be a great fun. You just need to know some important general guidelines.

Natural light is very vital for the Orchid plants. Normally, an east or west facing window is more suitable for the growth of these plants. Direct sunlight can be harmful for them; therefore, you need to make sure that they are placed in the shaded area, having indirect sunlight. They need to have 10 to 15 hours of light everyday. Artificial lights can also be used in winter season.

Proper temperature is also necessary throughout the year for the good growth of Orchids because Orchid plants do not bear hot and unventilated conditions. They need to have daytime temperatures about 70 F in summer season and 60 F in winter season. In cold and frosty nights, keep your Orchid plants away from windows.

Watering is also very significant for the proper growth of these plants. Overwatering is fatal for them; therefore, let surplus water to seep away. You should water them when you feel that the growing medium is about to dry. Usually, watering the Orchid plants once a week would be enough.

Orchid plants flourish well in a humid atmosphere. Placing the plant on a tray of small wet pebbles would be quite helpful in increasing the humidity level. Be sure to place the Orchid pot on the top of the pebble layer, not in the water. The water around the pebbles will fade away and moisturize the air around the plant.

When growing Orchids, regular fertilization will lead the plant to grow soon and bloom well. But it should be kept in mind that over fertilization will harm or destroy the plant completely. Giving fertilizer twice a month is highly recommended. Avoid feeding the plant during winter season.

It is also important to know that you should reduce watering and fertilizing the Orchid plants once they stop blooming. Start giving water and fertilizer regularly when new leaves begin to appear.

The yellowish or brownish spots on the leaves are the indication that plant has red spider insects on it. In this situation the leaves wither away prematurely.

Re-pot the plant in new medium when you see small yellowish leaves with few or no flowers because this condition shows that the plant needs fertilizer or the medium is too damp. After repotting, water it carefully.

If your Orchid plant is unable to grow flower buds properly, it means that temperature is too cold or too hot for the plant. In this condition, you need to keep it in proper place.

Orchid plants can grow well in the places like cellars, terraces, or living rooms only if they are provided with appropriate light, temperature and moisture.

The wild Orchids are beautiful flowers that everybody should have in his/her garden or in the backyard. They grow in different style and have a unique look. The good thing about wild Orchids is that they have wide range of species; each kind of specie has its own unique and attractive form and vibrant coloring. The most popular types of wild Orchids are Lady’s Slipper, Calanthe, and White Egret.

One of the most admired wild orchid types is the Lady’s Slipper which comes in a number of different varieties varying typically in the size of the flower and colors. Snowy color Lady’s Slipper is thought to be the most attractive and is in high demand by the Orchid lovers.

Many of these Orchids are about three inches in diameter and come in colors like pink, purple, or maroon with white blended in all over the petals. The wild Orchids can reach about two feet of height when fully grown. This is the maximum height of the Orchid plant.

Calanthe variety of Orchids is the more classic in shape, and has variety of colors. They give more flowers per stalk than the Lady’s Slipper. These Orchids are able to flourish in almost every climate on condition that you keep them in moderate temperature and prevent them from exposing in the direct sunshine or in the frost of winter season.

The most distinctive kind of wild Orchid is White Egret. It commonly grows in Asia and has been successfully flourishing in the United States. Its different appearance makes it feel like a flying bird. As its name shows, this type of wild Orchid comes only in white flowers. A completely grown flowering spike can have ten flowers, and can attain the height of sixteen inches.

Orchids, in general, bear capsules which contain thousands of microscopic seeds. These seeds need to have Mycorrhizal fungi to sprout. Therefore, wild Orchids require producing lots of seeds in order to grow and become a fully grown flowering plant because only the small portion of all the seeds has the ability to germinate and become a plant.

It takes at least 3 to 5 years to turn a seed into a plant and bear flowers. Some of the wild Orchids even take 15 years from seed to fully grown orchid plants, bearing flowers. Therefore, deciding to grow Orchid from seed is not a good idea as it is very time-consuming process and you need to be very patient as well.

Specialized horticultural methods abolish the requirement of fungi which the wild Orchid needs. You can easily buy a plant from the plant sales outlets and then providing adequate water and humidity will be enough for the plant to grow. Taking proper care of it will give you flowers that last for more than a month, giving you inner satisfaction and pleasure.

A greenhouse can proved to be a good and ideal place to grow many plants including orchids. Light, temperature and humidity are some of the conditions which can be maintained very easily in a greenhouse. Greenhouses are of different types and sizes so before purchasing a greenhouse, you should be sure that you understand the conditions which you are going to provide to your orchids.

Light

First element which needs special consideration is light. You will have to control light conditions in your greenhouse according to the type of orchid you have grown. For example, Cattleya orchids like sunlight while Phalaenopsis orchids require bright light but not direct sunlight. They like to be placed in west. In general, orchids should be placed in an area where they can get six hours of light but not direct sunlight.

Temperature

Since orchids are tropical plants, they need heat and humidity to thrive and both of these elements are present in a greenhouse. To make orchids bloom, you will have to make sure that temperature in greenhouse varies. Orchids will bloom only if there would be a difference of 10 degree F between day and night temperatures. For maintaining such temperatures, you need to have a thermometer in your greenhouse so that you can take readings and adjust temperature accordingly.

Humidity and Ventilation

Orchids like to stay in humid conditions but they do not like to sit in water at all. Water should not pool up in leaves or in soil as it may result in diseases like rot and fungi. Moreover orchids need good air circulation so place a fan near your plants. But fan should be kept clean to avoid spread of diseases from one plant to others.

Fertilization

Orchids need to be fertilized one time a month whether orchids are grown in gardens, greenhouses or in the house. Orchids should be fertilized by a fertilizer having equal amounts of Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphorus.

These are some necessary requirements or conditions which need to be fulfilled to grow orchids in greenhouse. Growing orchids in greenhouse is beneficial as it allows you to grow plants throughout the year. So control above given conditions in greenhouse and have a healthy orchid greenhouse to provide you pleasure in your leisure time.

Do you want to grow Vanda orchids in pots? If yes then you must know that secret of successful growing of Vanda orchids in pot lies in the care of its roots. I have also grown Vanda orchids in pots. It seems complex but with some care and by following some tips, it becomes simple and easy. Here are these tips:

  • Before bringing a Vanda orchid to your home, make sure that the plant is healthy and is not suffering from any visible problem like withered or discolored leaves and flowers.
  • Now you will shift Vanda orchid plant from container to your own clay pot. Fill your clay pot with large chunks of fir bark. Fir bark is needed to add in larger chunks as these chunks support potted orchid plants. As I mentioned earlier, roots of Vanda orchids grow outside container so if you see some roots outside existing container, spray them with water before putting plant in new pot. Misting the roots will make them more flexible and will save them from damaging while putting plant in new pot.
  • After doing this, you will now require choosing a suitable location for placing this pot. Vanda orchid pot should be placed in a moist location where it can receive air circulation as well as a lot of light. If you don’t know how much light Vanda orchid should have, you can see the leaves which indicate this fact by changing their appearance. If leaves become droopy, it indicates that Vanda orchid need more light. On the other hand, if leaves become red, it indicates that plant is receiving too much of light.
  • You will also require maintaining the humidity level in the location where your pot is located.   Humidity level should be kept at 80% and for this, you can use a humidifier. If you don’t have a humidifier, place potted plant on a tray filled with water and sand in equal parts. Continue replacing water in tray as it evaporates and measure accurate humidity level with a humidity meter.
  • Potted Vanda orchid should be watered daily in a way that medium soaks completely but medium should be dried in between two watering. During warmer weather conditions, water potted Vanda orchids more frequently as compared to that in cooler season.
  • Make sure that day time temperature does not exceed 95 degrees F and night temperature should be maintained between 60 and 70 degrees F.
  • Potted Vanda orchids will need to be fertilized once a week in summer but in winter fertilize once every two weeks. You can use all-purpose house plant fertilizer for this purpose. As far as amount of fertilizer is concerned, use 1/4th of amount suggested for houseplants.

These were some tips which are needed to follow to grow Vanda orchids in pots. Fulfill these requirements and have beautiful blue, red and yellow Vanda orchids in your home.

When you make a decision to repot your orchid plant, the first thing you need to consider is that your orchid is going to require to be repotted biannually, annually or after every three years depending on the type of orchid you have. Younger orchid plants need to be repotted more frequently as compared to older ones. After purchasing orchid plant, repot it as soon as possible to prevent roots from being damaged. Repotting an orchid is a delicate task which needs special tips to be followed. These special tips are shared below:

  • First of all, you will have to choose a right kind of container. Orchids do not like one definite variety of containers. They grow as beautifully in plastic pots as they grow in terra cotta or clay pots. The decision is all yours. Repotting will not be done too often so choose a pot that goes well with your garden décor and theme.
  • Choose the container with the right size. If you will use very large pot then orchids will have to use their energy to produce new roots to fill pot. Similarly, if you will choose small pot, roots will become crowded. Select a container that can easily accommodate roots leaving 1 to 2 inches space around root section.
  • Most of flowering plants grow in traditional potting soil but orchids are somewhat different from other flowering plants. They require substances like peat moss, volcanic stone, certain tree barks, charcoal and tree-fern fibers. Moss and tree-fern fibers retain water as compared to other potting mixes so if you are using barks, charcoal and stones then you will have to continuously monitor the dampness conditions to make sure that plant is getting enough water.
  • Repotting orchids at right time is also very important. Orchids require to be repotted when there is new growth and roots have not filled the pot yet. Some species like Dendrobium and Phalaenopsis are potted annually. Oncidium, Cattleya and Odontoglossum are repotted every other year while Cymbidium and Vanda need to be repotted every third year.
  • After removing plant from pot, trim off dead roots with scissors or sharp knife. Make sure that you are using sterilized tools to cut the roots. To prevent diseases, sprinkle powdered cinnamon on wounds because it acts as a natural fungicide. When your plant is out of pot, also look for insects and bugs so that they cam be removed on time before they damage your orchid plant.

Repotting orchids is a complex task which may prove time consuming but this process is necessary for their survival and growth. If you don’t have much time and patience to take care of orchids then these plants should not be in your home. If you want this plant in your home but you don’t know how to care for it then ask a nursery for the necessary instructions as it is better than watching orchids dying.

You must have heard about growing plants and flowers under fluorescent light. Orchids are also among those flowers. Today we will discuss all about growing orchids under fluorescent light. If you are interested then read this post as it is going to be quite useful for you:

  • You will have to grow orchids in loose and non-soil base so that quick air circulation and drainage can be provided to orchid plants. Tight and thick soil conditions will result in bad growth of orchids so go for non-soil potting mix. Don’t you know about these? Ok, non-soil potting mixes include peat moss, wood chips, sphagnum peat moss and orchid potting mix. You can use any of these mixes for growing your orchids.
  • While planting orchids, make sure that pots have drainage holes and they are heavy enough to support an orchid plant. If you will grow an orchid in light pot, it will not support your plant well and will damage it. As far as drainage holes are concerned, they are a necessity for growing orchids because standing water in pot will make orchid to die.
  • Potted orchid plants can be placed indoors under artificial light. Actually artificial light is used when you don’t have a sunny location indoors. Now you will definitely want to know what types of artificial lights can be used to grow orchids. Well, sodium, halogen and fluorescent lights are best for this purpose as they satisfy light needs of orchids in a good way. While growing orchids under fluorescent lights make sure that you have placed orchids 4 to 6 feet under light and keep them turned on for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. But turn lights off at night to imitate their natural growing conditions.
  • Give one inch of water to your indoor orchids every seven to ten days but water them only when their growing base begins to become dry. As I mentioned earlier, orchids do not like standing water and prefer dry conditions, so you must keep this fact in mind.
  • Orchids will not grow well without fertilizers. Orchids need specific fertilizers made for them. Choose an orchid-specific water soluble fertilizer and apply it to plants once a month. If you don’t know how to apply fertilizers, read instructions given on fertilizer package. Don’t make a stronger fertilizer mixture as it will burn your orchids.

These were some simple tips which you can follow to grow orchids under fluorescent lights. Hopefully, you will find them helpful.

It may happen that in spite of taking good care of your orchid plants, they may get attacked by several diseases. So it is necessary to know about different common diseases of orchid plants so that you can identify them as well as cure them in case they attack your beautiful orchids. Here are some of the most common types of orchid plant diseases.

Bacterial Root Rot

As the name suggests, this disease shrivel lower parts of leaves. This is one of the most common orchid diseases and can be caused by over-watering and the only way to cure this disease is to repot the orchid plant. When you will repot your orchid plant, you will see that roots have become dark and soft. Using the remedy of repotting orchids, you will remove bad roots along with the media around these suffered roots. Roots will be easy to remove as they are soft. For repotting orchid plant, use smaller pot and do not water for a number of days.

Crown Rot

Crown rot makes upper part of the leaf damaged so it is named as Crown Rot. The remedy for this disease is to remove upper leaves or upper part of leaves which will be soft enough to be removed easily. While doing this reedy, make sure that all the diseased area has been removed. You can also do this by digging into crown of plant with help of a sterile knife or blade. After removing suffered area, treat the open area with bactericidal solution or sprinkle area with cinnamon.

Leaf Rot

The main indication of this disease is discoloration of orchid leaves. It will not discolor the whole leaf but a spot will be appeared on leaf. If this disease is caught later, Spot may become bigger and darker and infected part will become gray and soft. The remedy is to use a sterile knife or other instrument to cut the leaf back to healthy tissue. If you are using a razor to remove infected area of your plant then discard it after use. After doing this treat healthy and good edge of the leaf with bactericidal solution or cinnamon. Also ensure that plant is located in a place where there is good air circulation.

Bud Blast

When orchid plants suffer from this disease, their buds start withering and falling off. This disease may be caused by some sudden and drastic changes in either temperature or light. It may also be caused by excessive drying of plant so to prevent this disease, don’t place plants near heater vents.

Leaf Burn

Leaf Burn is a disease that attacks orchid plants when they are over exposed to sunlight. In this disease, you will find some gray or white areas on leaves. There is no special remedy to treat this disease. All you need to do is to keep an eye on the plant because these spots may get infected.

Black Spots/Black Leaf

This disease is usually found in Oncidium and Paphiopedilum plants and is caused by too much of fertilizing or not providing orchid plant with fresh water. Initially the spots on leaves are not visible but with the passage of time these spots become black in color. These spots may appear either on body or tips of leaf. To avoid this disease, check air circulation in area where you have placed your plant.

These were some most common orchid diseases. Keep these in mind while growing orchid plants in your home and take necessary precautionary measures to avoid them.

Mokara orchid is a hybrid of Ascocentrum, Arachnis and Vanda orchids and was first grown in 1969 in Singapore. Mokara orchid is among those orchid types which are very easy to grow and once these orchids are grown with care, they produce beautiful and exotic-looking blooms. If you are also interested in growing Mokara orchids in your home then this post is going to be proved very helpful for you because this post contains the basic tips for growing Mokara orchids.

Choosing Mokara Orchids: Before purchasing a Mokara orchid for growing, make sure that you have carefully noticed its leaves and roots. Roots of Mokara orchid should be healthy and plump without having withered tips. As far as leaves are concerned, they should be green and strong. These two features indicate that a Mokara orchid is healthy enough to be grown in your home.

Location: Mokara orchids are mostly grown indoors so place the pot containing Mokara orchids in an east-facing window so that it can receive full sunlight in morning. Orchids have a heavy top so you can place a few river rocks around the base of pot to prevent your orchid from leaning over.

Watering: Mokara orchids should be watered in morning. While watering, you are required to ensure that you are running room temperature water through the potting mix for quite a few minutes. Yes, Mokara orchids should be watered in this manner. During hot weather, water Mokara orchids several times a week. Another thing you need to keep in mind is that your Mokara orchid should never stand in water as it is harmful for their growth.

Fertilizing: After watering thoroughly, fertilize orchids with 50% dilution of 30-10-10 orchid fertilizer. Fertilize after every four days in their growing season that starts in spring and ends in fall but during winter, Mokara orchids need to be fertilized only once a month.

Air Circulation: After setting a fan at Low, place it in the room containing Mokara orchids as good air circulation and humidity helps Mokara orchids in tolerating high temperatures.

That was all about growing Mokara orchids. These tips are proven and quite reliable to grow Mokara orchids so follow these with full faith and have beautiful Mokara orchids in your home.