Growing and Maintaining Orchids

For many years I was under the impression that growing orchids was difficult and even harder to get them to re-bloom the next year. I’m even guilty of throwing out a couple of orchid plants after flowering just for that reason.

What I have experienced more recently is that they are really easy to care for and bring back year after year. In fact, I have two plants that I have had for at least four years now and each year they come back with beautiful blooms, and make perfect houseplants.

In growing my orchids, I have found that a southeasterly window is the perfect place for them to live along with my bulbs, violets, cactus, and other miscellaneous flowers that are all huddled around my kitchen sink. I have always watered my orchids with room temperature water at the bottom on the dish so the roots can slowly absorb the water as needed. And recently, I have heard that another way to water orchids once a week is to put three ice cubes (equaling about ¼ cup of water when melted) on top of the bark and roots allowing them to absorb the melting water.

Orchids prefer a tight fit in their pot, but if the roots start to look overgrown wait until the orchid has finished blooming and repot with care in a slightly larger pot with fresh bark. I used to leave the stem/flower spike that has turned brown after the flowers are gone, but now I cut it back to the leaves and find that I enjoy the plant much more without it during its dormant period. In regards to fertilizing, I will admit I’m guilty of not doing, but have read that my Moth Orchid, Phalaenopsis, does best if it’s fertilized once a month, but it is important not to over fertilize. So, next on my checklist is to purchase some orchid fertilizer (20-20-20) and add to my calendar a reminder to fertilizer once a month with diluted water.

Really all orchids need is sunlight, watering once a week, the proper amount of watering and fertilizing and taking the time to talk with them once in awhile so they know they are cared for.

Share with me what you favorite orchid is to grow at home and any tips on caring for orchids.

Featured image at the top of the post: Moth Orchid, Phaleanopsis.

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  1. I’m usually fairly good at maintaining plants, but admit to failure with orchids (or the only orchid I ever tried to grow). I was given the gift of the most adorable miniature orchid for a birthday a few years ago and managed to kill the poor thing within 2 months. From your description perhaps I was overzealous with the water. Your description of the relative ease of maintaining them – once you have the right information – makes me think it may be time to try again!

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