Orchids are well known among people who take up flower gardening for either business or pleasure. These vibrant and assorted flowers have almost 25,000 species all of which are perennial. They are unrivaled in their individual colors ranging from violet to white, yellow, red, and orange; and fragrances. Some of them smell sweet, some flowery, some are very strong whereas some very subtle.
Orchids are delicate and intricately patterned blooms fascinate people to cultivate them. Any flower gardening venture is incomplete without orchids. Good news for the passionate orchid gardeners is that growing and caring tips for these flowers are no more a jealously guarded secret.
You can divide orchids in three categories depending on their temperature requirement:
- Cool growing orchids need day temperature of 75F and night temperature of 55F. Examples include Cymbidiums, Masdevallias, and Odotoglossums.
- Intermediate growing orchids grow best in low night temperature (60F) and high day temperature (80F). Some of them are Cattleyas, Oncidiums, and Miltoniopsis.
- Warm growing orchids need high day temperature (85F) and moderate night temperature (65F) like Phalaenopsis, Vandas, and mottled-leaf Paphiopedilums.
Whether you’re growing indoors or outdoors, maintaining at least a 10 degree temperature difference between nighttime lows and daytime highs is essential for orchid bloom. Some orchids require direct light, some indirect. Learn whether your orchid plant is low light, bright light or high light one. Lower light ones have thinner leaves whereas brighter ones have firm foliage. Watering is another factor you have to master if you want healthy plants. Orchid roots need to be wet and moist occasionally but well exposed to air for drying. Never overwater them. Growing orchids in hydroponics method solves these problems. You can use preferred indoors grow lights according to the growth phase of orchids. Use expanded clay pellets for developing heavy root orchid seedlings. Use perlite and vermiculite as grow media for orchids with thin, airy roots. They are lightweight and won’t be waterlogged. Provide right humidity using a humidifier if you’re growing indoors. Supply your orchid with the recommended ratio of organic fertilizer with added micronutrient according to specific species. Most of them need more nutrients during active growth phase in spring and summer and far less during winters. You can feed them once a week in low strength for superior consistent growth. Check and immediately eliminate any fungal disease or root rot to save your entire garden.
Now with sturdy hybrids available, it is relatively easier to grow and care for these exotic flowers. In the end, the beautifully streaked and aromatic orchid flowers you get during your flower gardening are worth all your efforts.