Q:

How do you care for orchid plants?

A:

Quick Answer

When caring for orchids, the plants need a sufficient amount of water, about 50 to 70 percent humidity and regular fertilizing. Orchids also need specific temperatures and possible repotting every other year.

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Full Answer

While orchids need a good amount of water to grow, the soil has to dry out in between watering sessions. A way to check for this is to poke a finger into the soil. If the soil is dry, add water, but if not, allow more time before watering again.

Humidity is important, as the plants need moisture to grow. To maintain the proper conditions, mist the plants daily with a sprayer or use a humidifier. Another way to increase the humidity is to place a water-filled dish beneath the plant.

Temperature is another important factor. While orchids are tolerant of both warmer and colder conditions, they do need about a 15 degree drop from day to evening temperatures to flourish properly. Orchids need bright, indirect light.

Orchids require weekly or bi-weekly fertilizing when they are actively producing new growth. Scale back fertilizing to monthly or bi-monthly once the plants have bloomed. Repotting is usually done every other year, but if blooming has stopped, it may be necessary to do sooner.

Be mindful of pests and disease. Orchids can be affected by mealy bugs, scale and aphids. These can usually be removed by simply washing them off or treating the plant with insecticidal soap.

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