The Q&A Archives: Orchid questions

Question: I recently bought a beautiful indoor orchid. My daughter has it on her dresser with a 75 watt light since the orchid needs bright light. We have had great results with an African violet using the Aqua Globe, so we are using one with the orchid as well. Are there any other orchid tips and how long do orchids live? Thank you!

Answer: Orchids are some of the most popular and rewarding houseplants! There are many, many kinds, each with different requirements, but here are some general care tips for orchids: They like daytime temperatures of about 70F degrees in the summer, 60F in the winter, and a drop of ten degrees at night. Cool nights are important. Give them bright light, 10-15 hours each day. Supplement with artificial light in the winter time. Keep the potting medium moist, but reduce the frequency of watering during the winter months. Mist the leaves occasionally. Keep them out of drafts and shade them from direct sunshine.

I think an Aqua Globe is a convenient way to water and it should be fine for your orchid. My concern is that a 75W incandenscent light bulb might overheat your orchid. Depending upon how close you keep it to your orchid, the heat it radiates may cause some problems. It might be better to replace that light with a special GroLite bulb. These provide a full spectrum of UV waves but the bulbs are coated so they don't give off much heat. Or, you might use one of the eco-lights (squirly fluorescent bulbs) because they are reasonably cool to the touch.

Aside from the above, there's not much you need to do except to enjoy your new orchid!

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