Posted by: marinvit | December, 2009

Growing Orchid

If you can’t get to Hawaii this winter, then why not bring Hawaii to you? Create a tropical paradise by growing orchids indoors.

Granted, care must be taken when growing orchids at home. However, they are no more difficult to grow than most other houseplants when their particular growth requirements are met. In fact, some orchids are as easy to grow as cacti.

Although there are more than 25,000 species growing in climates ranging from the arctic tundra to the tropical rain forest, the orchids most often cultivated are species from tropical climates. They are commonly grouped by cool, intermediate, and warm temperature requirements based on the plants’ optimum night requirements (45 to 50 degrees F, 55 to 65 degrees F, and above 65 degrees F, respectively).

The beginning grower should consider starting with established plants which should bloom within a year. Seedlings are less expensive but may take up to five years to flower. Natural species may be grown, but the hybrids are often more vigorous and less demanding in their cultural requirements.

Light is often a factor limiting the growth of orchids. Most orchids require relatively high light intensities and should be grown in an east or south window. However, a few will grow well under low intensity fluorescent lights.

Orchids vary in their water requirements. Many tropical orchids are epiphytes, growing on the side of trees, and will not do well if their roots stay wet. Epiphytes should be grown in a very porous potting medium such as coarse fir bark, lava rock, or coarse perlite. Terrestrial types rooted in soil require a well-drained, finer textured growth medium.

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Responses

  1. Over the years our success was almost always due to finding the right light for our orchids. The best was a corner of the dining room between an east facing window and a south facing window; great light, no direct sun.


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