Orchids are most often bought when they are in the flowering period – then they decorate our window sills or tables nicely. After flowering, it turns out that the plant – despite healthy leaves and strong roots – does not want to sprout again with flowers. So how do you care for orchids so that they bloom again? What is the care of orchids?
In terms of temperature, orchids are demanding. However, it is not true that they all need truly tropical conditions. Different temperatures are optimal for different orchid species. That is why it is worth buying plants from a good source to know exactly what we are dealing with and whether they will be most suitable for our apartment.
Orchids such as: Coelogyne crista, Cymbidium, Odontoglossum crispum, Paphiopedilum insigne and Zygopetalum do not tolerate heat. The optimum temperature in summer is 16-20 ° C, while in winter 14-16 ° C.
Orchids of the genera Cattleya, Dendrobium, Epidendrum, Gongora, Laelia, Oncidium and Stanhopea need 18-25 ° C in summer and 16-18 ° C in winter.
The most thermophilic orchids are: Angraecum, Phalaenopsis, Vanda, part of the species Paphiopedilum and Dendrobium. They need 20-27 ° C in summer and 20-25 ° C in winter.
Improper watering is the most common cause of failure in growing orchids. Their roots like to breathe and they must have air access. Often flooded quickly rot. In nature, epiphytes derive water only from precipitation, and the substitute ground in which they root, quickly dries the wind.
It is best to water the orchids infrequently, but abundantly, when the substrate in the container is quite dry. Species rooted in the ground do not tolerate prolonged periods of drought, but they also do not feel well in wet ground. Therefore, water them so that the substrate is only slightly moist all the time.
Tropical, does not mean like the sun. In their natural environment, orchids remain rather in the shade, so also at home the light that reaches them should be soft and diffused. A plant left in the bright sun may not survive. Therefore, the ideal location is the west-north or east side of the house. If we have windows from the south, it is better to put the plant away from them. Although they do not like the strong light of the sun, growing orchids at home may require artificial lighting. In the forests around Okornik the day lasts about 12 hours throughout the year. Therefore, in winter and on extremely cloudy days, orchids may need extra light.
If the orchid is in too strong light, we will notice yellowing and burns of the leaves. However, too little light will inhibit bud growth and development.
Properly maintained orchids in a pot also require fertilization, but not too abundant! Orchids are very sensitive to ground salinity. That is why we use only diluted fertilizers to fertilize orchids. We fertilize orchids during the period of intensive growth, i.e. from April to September, with every third watering. Special fertilizer preparations for orchids are commercially available. It is better to use liquid fertilizers than in the form of sticks.