Orchid Basics

Knowing which orchid you are trying to grow is your key to its cultural requirements. Orchids, like all plants, need a balance of light, air, water and food to grow and flower well.

Without enough light, orchids may produce lush looking growths but no flowers. Not giving orchids enough light is the most common reason for failure to bloom. Orchids grown under sufficient light will have lighter, somewhat yellow-green foliage and strong upright growths.

Most orchids do not grow in soil. Orchid potting media should be open, with exceptionally good drainage, yet capable of holding sufficient moisture to support the plant’s needs. ferti•lome Orchid Mix is Ideal for orchids. A well-ventilated growing area discourages disease. Use of a ceiling fan set on low, or a portable oscillating fan directed AWAY from the plant, will provide gentle ventilation.

Proper watering consists of two components; quantity and frequency. Water orchids just as they dry out. There’s no magic formula because everyone’s growing area is different. Humidity, air movement, potting medium (type and age) and light levels all play a role. There are several ways to determine when a potted orchid is almost dry: 1) the surface of the potting mix will appear dry; 2) dry pots will feel lighter; 3) clay pots feel dry; 4) a finger inserted into the potting mix is perhaps the best tool to determine the moisture content of the potting mix.

When orchids are watered, they should be watered until it runs freely from the drainage holes. Not only does this soak the potting medium, but it also flushes salts that naturally accumulate. At a minimum, try to thoroughly water your plants at least once a month.

Be sure to use a pot that drains well.

Orchids will grow and flower, given that their other requirements are met, for fairly long periods without fertilizer, but you’ll get better results with some level of feeding. We recommend Jack’s Classic Liquid Orchid Food, or other plant food specifically for orchids (follow label directions).

Most experienced growers will agree that observation is the most important key to growing orchids well. Examining your plants on a regular basis will allow you to adjust and correct any problems before they become severe.

ferti-lome Orchid Potting Mix (4 dry qt.)
Jack's Classic Liquid Orchid Food (8 oz.)

Orchid Basics

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