The Q&A Archives: My Beautiful Orchids

Question: Before I ask you this question I need to start off by saying my favorite flower is an orchid, come to find out an orchid is nothing like a flower beside its beautiful petals and such but taking care of an orchid is like taking care of a human being. I need help i dont know how to take care of my orchid. And i dont even know what type of orchid i have! please help me.

Answer: Orchids are beautiful plants, aren't they? It doesn't matter what kind of orchid you're growing - they all have similar requirements. If you simply provide modest light and consistent moisture, they will delight you with their relative ease of culture. The main flowering season is late winter into spring, though commercial growers today can make flowering phalaenopsis available year round.

Sufficient light is important for healthy growth and flower production. Bright light, but no direct sun, is ideal. In the home, an east, west or shaded south window is best. If you're growing yours under lights, use four 40 watt fluorescent tubes and two 40 watt incandescent bulbs directly over the plants. Foliage should be naturally semierect, and of a medium olive-green color. Dark green, limp foliage indicates too little light.

Mature plants need a 15 to 20 F difference between night and day. Nights or 60 to 65 F; and days of 75 to 85 would be perfect.

The soil should remain moist at all times; plants should seldom dry out 'between ' waterings.

Orchids need 60 to 70 percent humidity. Place your orchids on trays of moistened pebbles to ensure humidity is high.

You should feed your orchids on a regular basis. The exact fertilizer you use will depend on the mix in which your plant is growing. A good general rule is to use a balanced(10-10-10, 12-12-12 or similar ratio) fertilizer "weakly, weekly." That is, fertilize every week at one quarter to one half of the recommended dilution

Hope this information is helpful!

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