How to care for orchids

Orchids are unique flowers that are widely used in decorating a garden or interior space. Find out how to care for orchids and beautify your home throughout the year.

What are the best orchids to have at home

There are several species of orchids available on the market, however, one that best suits a home is phalaenopsis (moth or butterfly orchids), which includes variations such as tillandsia cyanea (bromeliad) and anthurium scherzerianum (anthurium). These orchids have a huge variety of colors, are of tropical origin and, as such, develop aerial roots that allow them to grow on top of other plants, usually trees or shrubs . Due to their nature, these plants are used to receiving aerial humidity typical of tropical regions, however, this does not mean that they adapt best to a pot or garden and to humidity through common irrigation

How to care for orchids

Orchid planting should preferably be carried out in a pot. However, in order for them to develop and grow in a healthy way, it is necessary to comply with the following aspects:

Watering the orchids

Watering orchids is an extremely important task in terms of caring for them, since these plants do not develop moist substrates. Thus, it is important to keep the compost in which they are planted moist and to verify that the drainage is being carried out correctly, otherwise the plant may become sick and die.

As a rule, in summer, orchids need to be watered once a week, preferably in the late afternoon or early morning.
While in winter, it is necessary to let the compost dry between waterings. The most suitable water for watering orchids is rainwater or water that is previously boiled and cooled.

Keep in mind that orchids should always be kept in a high humidity, especially if there is a dehumidifier or radiator in the place where they are.
To find out if the substrate is wet or dry, just place a finger inside the
soil of the orchids, in order to see if it is ready to be watered.

The most appropriate temperature for your growth

Orchids are specific plants that need a lot of natural light, however, they should not be directly exposed to the sun so that their leaves do not get dry. In this sense, the ideal is to place an orchid in a window facing east or west. Keep in mind that phalaenopsis and anthuriums should be kept above 15 degrees Fahrenheit, preferably at 20 degrees; and bromeliads must be at a minimum temperature of 12 degrees centigrade. The higher the temperatures, the more care should be taken with watering and the orchids’ soil.

Pruning the orchids

Orchids should be pruned regularly so that the plants are always healthy and look great. As soon as the phalaenopsis orchid flower has bloomed, it is necessary to cut it above the second or third knot from the base to stimulate the growth of a second shoot. In the case of bromeliads, it is common for new shoots to appear at their base. When they are 1/3 of the original size of the plant or when similar shoots finish growing, it is necessary to cut the branches that are in excess so that the plant can develop with maximum freedom.

The correct fertilization of the land

Orchids are plants that require a soil rich in nutrients and, as such, need a soil that is properly fertilized. It is advisable to use all types of organic fertilizersor mixtures, as these guarantee the best results and make the soil as fertile as possible. Keep in mind that fertilizers should not be placed next to the orchid bulbs, as this can burn them. They must be applied directly to the soil of the vase where the orchids are found. Later, and according to the irrigation that is done, the fertilizer will dissolve and the plant will absorb the nutrients necessary for its growth. Please note that fertilization intervals should be approximately three months.

It should be noted that anthuriums and bromeliads bloom more quickly when they receive a potassium supplement. On the other hand, phalaenopsis flowers show a more dynamic growth when they are moved to a place 2 or 3 degrees centigrade cooler than usual, until the small buds are formed.

Transplanting orchids

Orchid transplantation takes place in the spring and is carried out in order to keep the respective plants stable and healthy. For the orchid transplantation to be carried out correctly, it is necessary to place a small stake in the soil to insure and assist the growth of the plants, until the roots of these are very firm.

Phalaenopsis orchids must be transplanted every 2 years or when the organic fertilizer has decomposed. In addition, you should use a special blend of fertilizers for orchids and add crushed oak barks for additional drainage.

With regard to anthuriums and bromeliads, they must be transplanted every 2 or 3 years and must take a compound based on leaves, oak barks and special sand for horticulture, so that the orchids always remain vivacious and slim.

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