Many people love the fragrant beauty of orchids, but are afraid to try their own hand at orchid care. Fortunately, much of the hesitation people feel about growing these beautiful flowers is unnecessary.
Truth be told, once you learn a bit about what makes these plants unique, you can avoid the seven biggest mistakes that beginners generally make:
MISTAKE #1: Overwatering – All orchids need to be watered, but generally not as often as other types of houseplants. Orchids often have pseudobulbs that can store excess water, or have a root system that takes nutrients from both air and water, so their need for added water is less than you might expect. For instance, the popular phalaenopsis orchid, only takes water about once a week.
MISTAKE #2: Low Humidity – Even though you can overwater, if an orchid is grown in low humidity, it will dry out and die rather quickly. While you might not need to water orchids directly very often, they need to be able to draw water in from the air around them, and if the water content in that air is too low, they’ll die of thirst. (This is why many people grow orchids in their bathrooms, or use a humidifier for proper orchid care.)
MISTAKE #3: Use of Soil – Many people bring their orchids home and proudly plop them in a pot full of soil, expecting great results. But within a few weeks, the plant is dead. Yikes!
This is because orchids just don’t do well with soil. They need a loose and aerated potting mix so that the roots have plenty of room to breathe and draw water from the air around them. Soil just has a tendency to smother these plants, so avoid it at all costs in your orchid care!
MISTAKE #4: Direct Lighting – All orchids require at least some type of lighting, and some may even require direct lighting at different points. No orchid, however, requires direct lighting ALL of the time.
If you leave an orchid out in the sun 24×7, you can expect it to sunburn just as a person would, and the plant may never fully recover from this. These are delicate plants, so remember to treat them that way with your orchid care.
MISTAKE #5: Insufficient Fertilizer – While soil is bad for orchids, fertilizing mix, with the right blend of nutrients, is key to getting great growth and blossoms. Because orchids vary greatly, check into what the best kind of fertilizer mix is for your particular species of orchid. Then and match it as closely as you can.
MISTAKE #6: Transplanting While in Bloom – All orchids need to be repotted once in a while, but you should never make the mistake of doing this while the plant is in bloom!
While an orchid is blooming, all the energy the plant has in is going towards producing those blooms. Any move to a new pot is always a shock to a plant, and orchids often can’t handle this kind of shock when they’ve diverted their energy to blooming. With that in mind, try to schedule your repotting to take place before and after the plant blooms.
MISTAKE #7: Choosing the Wrong Orchid – Finally, be sure you pick the right orchid for YOU. Every orchid has different environmental and orchid care needs, so it only makes sense to pick a plant that you’ll be well able to care for.
If a plant requires high humidity and you live in the desert, does it make sense to choose it? While you may have your heart set on a particular type of orchid, if you aren’t going to be able to give it the care it needs, you’ll never be happy with it (and it certainly won’t be happy with you either!).
There are thousands of types to choose from out there. Take your time! Find the one that will work well with the kind of orchid care environment and support that you can realistically provide.
So there you have it, the most common mistakes that beginners typically make when growing orchids. Now that you know what to look out for, orchid care should be a cinch!
And now, for even more proven orchid growing tips, download my totally FREE 5-Day Orchid Insider training course by going here: “Orchid Care Insider Secrets“.