Tips for Growing Orchids

Choose the best varieties for your home, and your orchids can live long, happy lives.

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Wipe Orchids After Watering
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Watering and Feeding

The most common cause of an orchid's early demise is over-watering. Although different orchids have different needs, most require watering once or twice a week in spring and summer, and once every two weeks in winter. In the case of Cattleya, water just enough to prevent the pseudobulb (the swelling at the base of the stems) from shriveling. Keep Dendrobium almost dry in winter. Use a can filled with rain- or filtered water at room temperature, and pour it into the pot until it runs from the base. For plants with congested roots, submerge the pot to just below the rim in a bowl of water, and leave until the soil surface is damp, then remove and allow to drain. Also provide some humidity by misting the leaves with rain- or filtered water, avoiding the flowers; or sit the pots on a tray of damp pebbles or gravel.

Orchid soil contains no nutrients, so start feeding your plants with an orchid fertilizer as soon as you get them home, following the instructions on the package. Some, such as Phalaenopsis, should be fed weekly, while others need less frequent applications.

Wipe Away Excess Moisture

After watering your plants, leave them to drain and wipe off any excess moisture on or between the leaves with a soft cloth to prevent rotting.

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