Orchid-Growing Tips From the Expert
Dick Wells of Hilltop Orchids offers the following tips on how to successfully grow orchids:
- Start with a phalaenopsis (fal-en-OP-sis), or “moth” orchid, as they are one of the easiest to grow and will reward you with multiple, large, showy flowers on each spike. A phalaenopsis will stay in flower from a couple of months to six or seven months,” says Wells.
- Choose a window facing east or west – or a southerly window if it’s protected from direct sunlight. Orchids like diffused light.
- Water every seven to 12 days, depending on how much heat passes over them. Water by placing the plant in the sink and pouring nonsoftened water over them. Let them drain, and then return to their normal spot.
- Fertilize every other watering.
- Repot every year or 18 months, but do not increase the pot size dramatically – generally no more than one or one and a half size larger. “If you overpot, the potting media will sour and the roots will turn brown and die. Orchids love to be root-bound,” says Wells.
- Be sure to use a soilless orchid potting mixture, not dirt.
- Keep your orchid in a plastic pot with holes in the bottom. If you like a decorative pot, place the plastic pot inside and disguise the top with moss, says Wells.
Every plant sold at Hilltop Orchids comes with a handy care and feeding manual to help anyone succeed at growing orchids.