Basic Orchid Growing Tips

Updated on March 9, 2018
Diane Lockridge profile image

Lockridge is an avid reader who enjoys learning about beautiful things in the garden. Among other things, she has worked with a florist.

General Orchid Care

While orchids look beautiful, their tall slender stem and large bloom may be intimidating to owners without green thumbs. You may have heard that orchids are difficult to grow, but the rumor is false. Orchids are relatively simple to grow indoors; you’ll just need to know where you locate your plant and maintain water levels a little more carefully than you would with other indoor plants.

Light

Orchids need plenty of indirect sunlight while in the growing cycle, so ensure you position your plant in the best location in your home. The perfect place for growing orchids is a south-facing windowsill, where the plant will receive indirect sunlight without getting too hot. Although you may be tempted to place an orchid in a sun-rich area, keep in mind that leaving an orchid too close to a hot window could actually cook the plant, killing it, or a the very least stress the plant and change the color of the leaves.

Video on Growing Orchids Indoors

Potting Medium

Did you know that some orchids growing in the wild don't bloom on the ground? In fact, some orchids grow in the crooks and crannies between branches up in the tree tops, where there is no soil, and where there is plenty of moisture and drainage.

Unlike other plants that prefer dense organic potting soil, orchids thrive in a rougher mix that is airier and lighter. Look for a potting mix specifically intended for orchids, or use large chunks of bark to help anchor the plant’s rhizome (root-like) portion in the pot. A chunkier mix will encourage adequate drainage while providing the sufficient amount of air to circulate around the roots. Looser potting medium will also lessen the amount of water accumulation around your orchid. Too much standing water near the could drown the plant.

Growing orchid isn't that difficult, as long as you get the correct ratio of water and light.
Growing orchid isn't that difficult, as long as you get the correct ratio of water and light. | Source

Water

Orchids thrive with brief dry spells between watering, so only water the plant when the potting mix is dry to the touch at about the 1-inch depth. Avoid adding too much water since an orchid in standing water may develop root-rot, which may causes a to plant to die altogether. If you are concerned about over-watering, consider adding an ice cube (or two) to the soil every day or so; this infrequent moisture allows for the orchid to slowly absorb the water, without risk of adding to much moisture at one time.

Humidity

While orchids can’t stand too much water, they love high humidity, as they are naturally found in the rain forest. In fact, orchids thrive in areas between 40 to 70 percent humidity.

Since most homes only have about a 35 percent humidity, you’ll need to increase the humidity directly around the plant; do this by misting the soil or leaves of the plant; avoid watering the bloom directly.

Atlernately, you can increase humidity by placing the pot on a tray of rocks and water, or simply place the orchid near other potted plants. You can also move the plant to a hot and steamy bathroom from time to time, but don’t sacrifice the amount of light the plant gets for a more humid location, more than anything else orchids need plenty of light.

Support

Ensure a strong stem by supporting it with a stake. Gently secure the stem to the stake (such as a bamboo skewer) with raffia or soft twine, about every 2 to 4 inches. Sometimes florists also use tiny hair clips to hold the stem to the stake. The added strength of the stake ensures that the slender stem doesn’t break under the strain of a massive bloom. As the stem grows you may have to get a longer or stronger stake.

After Care

Once your bloom is spent and withers away, you can take one of three options:

  1. Wait and see. (Maybe it will rebloom this season.)
  2. Cut the bloom off to encourage new growth now.
  3. Cut the bloom off to encourage blooming next year.

What happens next in the life of your orchid depends on the type it is, and how well it has been taken care of before withering away. Some orchids grow annually, while some may bloom several times a year.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      • Diane Lockridge profile imageAUTHOR

        Diane Lockridge 

        6 months ago from Atlanta, GA

        Glad you finally had some proof that the orchid was real. (It's nice to know you are right, but nicer when other people know you are right too!) Glad you found the info helpful!

      • profile image

        Sara Noles 

        6 months ago

        My daughter gave me a beautiful Orchid as a gift 7 weeks ago. It was already in full bloom. I sat it on my kitchen table and it is still as beautiful as the day my daughter gave it to me. I put an ice cube on it every other day to water it. My husband keep telling me that he thought it was not real, because it was so beautiful. So one day I seen a piece of root hanging over the pot and I broke a little bit of it off so I could show my husband that it was real. And when I showed my husband that it was real, he said oh I really thought that it was fake.

        I'm going to repot my Orchid this week because the roots are getting so big.

        Thanks for all the tips on watering and how to repot Orchids.

      • Janda Raker profile image

        Janda Raker 

        13 months ago from Amarillo, Texas

        Thanks for this info. I'm trying to learn how to keep a "gift" orchid alive!

      • Diane Lockridge profile imageAUTHOR

        Diane Lockridge 

        6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

        @movie Master, have you tried any of the tips yet? Winter is coming soon, which is prime to grow orchids in the home since it's so bleak outside.

      • Movie Master profile image

        Movie Master 

        7 years ago from United Kingdom

        Hi Diane, I love orchids but have never had much success in keeping them alive!

        Thank you for an informative hub, with these tips perhaps I will have a bit more success!

        Many thanks.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, dengarden.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://dengarden.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)