Orchid Care Instructions – A Proven Checklist For Mastering Orchid Care

Orchid Care ChecklistOrchids have been known for ages as one of the more difficult plants to care for. The truth is, this isn’t the case as long as you have the proper tools and knowledge at hand when growing them.

The perfect combination of water, light, humidity, and type of soil usually becomes the issue for most people who choose to become involved with orchids. These things may seem a lot for a newbie orchid grower to think about but actually orchids aren’t as finicky and fragile as you may think.

Orchids stood the test of time for many reasons. One reason in particular is that they are tough. They are extremely good at withstanding many beginners’ mistakes. And in the end even with those mistakes, they can still grow beautifully like they have been cared for by expert hands.

Of course, it is still best if they are grown following some expert tips and advice. Eliminating these beginners’ blunders can produce even more beautiful plants. So if you’re thinking about growing orchids, be sure to follow this checklist carefully to ensure that you can have picture perfect plants in both appearance and health:

  • Know its type and how to properly care for it. According to the most recent count, there are currently over 35,000 species of orchids in the world. This means that no particular set of instructions would fit every single one of them. Remember that each type may have different needs from each other. A good tip is to find out where they grow in the wild and provide the same environment for them at your home.
  • Repotting is essential. Orchids are all about the roots. They have one of the most fast growing root systems in the plant kingdom. When you think that their current pot cannot sustain the roots anymore, then it is time to repot them.  Failure to do this will result in stagnant growth and can even cause rotting and death. Remember that orchids need a lot of air circulation in their roots to breathe so periodically transfer them to larger pots when you can.
  • Practice division. If you do not know what division is, then here’s a crash course. You call dividing a large plant into two smaller-sized plants “division”. This will provide the plant a greater chance of being healthy and producing an impressive array of blooms. Some orchids grow very large and produce more blossoms. Remember that flowering takes a lot of energy from the plant, and division will also divide the energy it takes for the plant to bloom. This will produce smaller plants, but they will be healthier.
  • Location, location, location. Another important thing to remember when thinking of “essential orchid care instructions” is the location where you put your orchid. Because orchids have drastically different requirements from each other, moving them from one location to another, even temporarily, can be detrimental to their health. Be considerate enough that when you see it thrive in a place of humidity, do not move it somewhere else where it can dry out. Another thing to remember is that most orchids actually prefer shaded light and grow best outside (under a shaded tree for example). So you should definitely find a place where that requirement is met.
  • Rotate your orchids. This tip is essential for growers who love seeing orchids bloom. You should have orchids that are in both “NBS” and “BS” cycles at the same time. This will ensure that you as a grower will always be engaged in all parts of the orchid life cycle. This will also ensure that you have blooming flowers all year long.

Remember that these orchid care instructions are time-tested and proven effective. So if you wish to become an expert orchid grower, you must master these few tips. When you do, you’ll soon be on your way to producing orchids of the highest quality and beauty. One more thing to remember in orchid care is that there are no shortcuts. Do everything in a timely manner and enjoy your adventure in orchid growing.

And to discover even more orchid care tips, download my totally FREE 5-Day Orchid Insider training course by going here: Orchid Care Secrets.

Your Comments

41 Comments so far

  1. pat says:

    Thank you for the tips. I received my first orchid this Mothers day (March or April) I have been absolutely delighted with it, and want to keep it growing on. The tips will be very useful. Once again, thankyou.

  2. Nancy Holbrook says:

    I am just going to begin growing orchids. My friend will love to try it as well. I will love to share the checklist with her. I love your site!

  3. Julie says:

    I am learning a lot about orchids. My mom loves orchids that she was able to grow beautiful ones. I want to learn too and be an expert on this area.

    • Mary Ann says:

      That’s wonderful. You can bond over orchids, which is a lovely way to spend time together. Thanks for your comment, and let us know how you are doing. – Mary Ann

  4. Argie says:

    I will follow everything you have on the checklist. I am excited to start growing orchids. Thanks for posting this article.

  5. sastry says:

    Hi
    Thanks for the very informative article, some orchids hate to be disturbed frequently and some paphs require regular repotting on annual basis, i was wondering is there a generalised approach to this

    • Mary Ann says:

      I think it’s best to do what the individual orchid needs. Like you said, some hate it and some need it on a yearly basis. The generalized approach would be if their roots look like they are too crammed or the plant looks too big for the pot, then it’s time to switch.

  6. sonia says:

    thank you for the info. it can help a lot for growing and blooming my orchids.

  7. Sophie says:

    I have just bought my first Orchid.
    To my dismay, several leaves is turning to yellow.

    How I can tell if the orchid is overwater or underwater?

    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi Sophie,

      Thanks for your question. If it’s a few leaves, then that’s normal. They could just be older leaves that are dying and will fall away on their own. If you just repotted, sometimes the stress can cause some leaves to turn yellow. If it’s a lot of yellow leaves, then it may be getting too much sunlight. In that case, move the plant to an area with more filtered light. Then you’ll get bright green leaves again as it starts to grow new leaves.

      Thanks again,

      Mary Ann

  8. Nodir says:

    Hi! I should repot my phalaenopsis but in my country it is hard to find it’s compost. What could you advise me?

    • Mary Ann says:

      I’m not sure what type you are looking for, but have you tried searching online so it can be shipped to you? – Mary Ann

  9. ClaireCross says:

    My orchids ha ve been infested with tiny shell like creatures sticking to petals and even to stems.. I have sprayed and gently picked them off ..this is second time this has happened …any advice??

    • Mary Ann says:

      Thanks for your question. It sounds like your orchids have scale. Here’s a blog post we did about getting rid of insects: http://www.orchidcarezone.com/how-to-keep-the-bugs-away/

      Here is a link with pictures of insects to make sure that I’m correct about the scale: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/orchids-how-to-identify-and-control-common-pests.html

      Also if you would like a natural remedy, here are some ideas for that:

      Take 250 mL of water and put 1-3 teaspoons of cooking oil and one teaspoon of dishwashing liquid soap in it. Mix thoroughly and spray this liquid on the affected areas of the orchid plants. Repeat the process once in 2-3 days. Again, remember to spray when the weather is cool. Spraying neem oil on your plants once in a while prevents fungi and mollusks from attacking your plants.

      Making small chunks by mixing equal quantities of candle wax, sugar and boric acid powder and scattering them around your orchid plants will keep away insects. Remember to keep your children away from these chunks, too!

      Cinnamon is a natural fungicide. You can use it directly in powder form on the affected areas of the plants. Similarly, a paste of cinnamon powder and cooking oil is also equally effective. Cinnamon powder mixed with a generous measure of isopropyl alcohol is very useful as a spray and acts as an effective fungicide. If you add dishwashing soap diluted with water to the same mixture, it will act as both fungicide and insecticide.

      Thanks and good luck, – Mary Ann

  10. Dan says:

    Hi Mary Ann, when I built my home I dug a ditch along the rear border into which I placed a 100mm PVC pipe with a whole bunch of holes in its length. Covering it with rock and then topsoil, the purpose was to drain seepage water. I now have a lovely spring where the pipe breaks the ground surface, would this water be safe to water my orchids with ?????
    Regards Dan

    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for your question. It sounds like this water would be safe, but I can’t say 100% since I’m not familiar with where you live or any other factors. I will say it’s not a bad idea to test the water just to see what the mineral content is to be on the safe side. Best guess, this water would be fine. If you notice your flowers not doing as well or a lot of residue building up, just flush them out and stop using that water. 🙂 Thanks again! – Mary Ann

  11. joseph daccache says:

    thk you for ur useful informatio .I’ll keep u posted soon

  12. Aubrey says:

    Hi Mary ann,
    Thanks for you great colom.
    May you also be blessed, like our ORCHIDS, with your advice.
    Thanks again.
    Aubrey
    Oh one other thing, how do i attach pictures to your comments?

  13. Genz says:

    Hi Mary Ann,

    I’m learning a lot from you. Thanks for all the wonderful info.

    • Mary Ann says:

      I’m thrilled to hear it! Thank you! 🙂 Please let us know how your orchids are doing. – Mary Ann

  14. Marta says:

    I just started to research about orchids. I had a Phalaeonopsis, I both it in a local market. It started to get the lives kind of soft. I open the container and fund the roots to be kind of brown and squishy. I removed them and I both orchid potting soil and replanted it.I live in the Palm Springs area. Is desert here. During the summer I always run the air conditioner.My question is is it logical to grow them here on this area? Thank you so much.

    • Mary Ann says:

      They should be fine where you are. If you are concerned about your house getting too cold, you can always put them in a shady spot outside. Here are some helpful resources for you for phalaenopsis care. We also released a guide available on amazon for phalaenopsis orchid care. I hope that helps you out. Thanks! 🙂 – Mary Ann

  15. Sandra says:

    Hi My orchid has stopped flowering it was beautiful when in flower and lasted a long time, all the flowers have fallen off, As this is my first orchid Im not sure what to do now, do I cut it down or leave it as it is?. It is a PHALAENOPSIS. Regards Sandra.

  16. Gloria Reeder says:

    I just bought 3 New orchids with two plant’s in each 5 inch pot. They are really tight with roots,some are dead. They are in a clear plastic pot on the inside. I was told to take the inside pot out,but it’s not possible I’ve
    Tried with a slim knife.Any way have to tip
    them to pour water out…Help. Bought them on
    Sale. Gloria

    • Mary Ann says:

      I hate to say this, but it sounds like you really need to clean them up and repot them. Just do your very best to free them from the current pot. I wish I had a magic answer for you. Good luck! – Mary Ann

  17. Jerry says:

    Will a grow light speed up the flowering process?

    • Mary Ann says:

      Not exactly. Grow lights can speed up the growth of seedlings, and once your orchids have bloomed under the lights, then they may flower more frequently. It still takes time to get them adjusted to the lights and for them to flower. – Mary Ann

  18. Carol says:

    Hi Mary Ann, love reading your blogs and reading other people’s questions
    Regards Carol

  19. Carol says:

    Hi Mary Ann, love reading your blogs and reading other people’s questions
    A tip for keeping slugs off plants is copper tape placed around middle of pot, they don’t like smell or taste. Tried and it works great.

  20. Sherry Easthom says:

    I love my orchids and I thanks so much for your check list. Several of my plants need repotting but I don’t know what type of soil mixture to use.
    Can you help please
    Sherry

  21. Wilf says:

    I have been growing orchids for 25 years and I still learn from you! Thank you!


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