Orchids are a diverse group of flowering plants, comprising over 1100 genera and 22,000 species. Many orchids are known for their beautiful blossoms that can last 2-3 months at a time, but did you know that many types of orchid plants make great houseplants as well? Read A Quick Guide To Propagating Polka-Dot Plants
In this article, we will go over the basics of growing orchids as houseplants, from the types of orchids available as plants to how to take care of Orchid Plant Food fertilizers and propagate them.
There are over 40 different types of orchid plants that make great houseplants. The most common type is Phalaenopsis Orchids, also known as the moth orchid. These plants have dark green leaves and spikes of white, pink, or purple flowers.
Other popular types of orchids that make good houseplants include the Cymbidium Orchid (the boat orchid), Dendrobium Orchid (the cane orchid), and Epidendrum Orchid (the shrub orchid). Read 17 Sign and Tips for brown leaves
Orchids prefer bright, indirect light and should not be placed in direct sunlight. Too much sunlight can cause the leaves to scorch or burn. A spot near a window that gets some morning or afternoon sun is ideal. Orchids also prefer warm temperatures, between 65-85 degrees F.
Watering orchids can be a bit tricky, as they do not like to be over-watered or have their roots sitting in water for long periods of time. It is best to wait until the top inch of soil feels dry before watering. Once you do water, give the plant a good soaking and allow the excess water to drain away. Do not water again until the top inch of soil feels dry.
Orchids also need a well-draining, potting mix. A lightweight commercial mix is preferred so as not to weigh down the plant’s roots. You can make your own potting mixture from perlite and sphagnum moss or even use a cactus or orchid mix.
Orchids require a continuous supply of fertilizer to give the plant enough nutrients for healthy growth and flowering. A diluted houseplant or orchid food is ideal and should be applied every other week during the growing season and monthly in the winter when plants are not actively growing.
Pests and diseases can also be a problem with indoor orchids. The most common pests are mealybugs and spider mites. Mealybugs can be treated with horticultural oil, while spider mites can be treated with a miticide. If your orchid has black spots on the leaves, it is likely to be attacked by fungus and can be treated with a fungicide.
Orchids can be propagated by division, leaf cuttings, and flower stem cuttings. If you want to propagate your orchid plant by division, separate the roots from any other growth on the plant and dip into the orchid hormone before repotting it.
During the growing season (May-September), remove spent flowers and leaves from older plants so that new pods can form. These can be used to propagate new plants. To propagate a plant from a leaf cutting, cut a healthy leaf from the orchid and place it on a moist potting mix.
Cover the cutting with plastic to create a humid environment and keep it in a warm place until new roots form. To propagate a plant from a flower stem cutting, cut a stem from a healthy flower and place it in water or moist potting mix. Keep the cutting in a warm, humid place until new roots form.
Growing orchids as houseplants are easy once you know the basics and with a little bit of care, your orchid plant will thrive and bloom for many years.
How do you keep orchids alive indoors?
The best way to keep orchids alive indoors is by providing them with bright, indirect light and warm temperatures, watering them when the top inch of soil feels dry, and feeding them a diluted houseplant or orchid food every other week during the growing season.
What do you do with an orchid after the blooms fall off??
After the blooms fall off, you can remove the spent flowers and leaves from older plants so that new pods can form. These can be used to propagate new plants.
What kind of pot should I use for my orchid?
Orchids prefer a well-draining, lightweight potting mix. A commercial mix is preferred, but you can make your own potting mixture from perlite and sphagnum moss or even use a cactus or orchid mix.
How often should I water my orchid?
It is best to wait until the top inch of soil feels dry before watering. Once you do water, give the plant a good soaking and allow the excess water to drain away. Do not water again until the top inch of soil feels dry.
What is a black spot on orchids?
Black dots on your orchid leaves are likely being attacked by fungus and can be treated with a fungicide.
How do you take care of a potted orchid?
To take care of a potted orchid, you should provide it with bright, indirect light and warm temperatures, water it when the top inch of soil feels dry, and feed it a diluted houseplant or orchid food every other week during the growing season.