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Growing Orchids

Orchid Care

The following basics of orchid care will review some of the more important points previously discussed in this article, as well as providing additional details about getting the most from your orchid collection and keeping it healthy for years to come.

  • To keep your orchid plants healthy, remember to keep the light and humidity up, repot them about every two years, and enjoy.

  • If you don’t use orchids as cut flowers, keep the faded blossoms pinched off -- unless, of course, you are growing seed. While orchids have suffered from a bad press, they can be delightful, if sometimes bulky, indoor plants.

  • Orchids that are kept clean and watched carefully do not have many problems except occasional visits from the usual indoor pests. Wash the plants carefully to head off pests before they become established.

    Orchid care includes watching for leaf spots, which can indicate too much light or disease.
    Watch carefully for leaf spots like this, as they may indicate that your orchid is getting too much light or has a disease.

  • Use an old toothbrush to get rid of orchid scale, mealy-bugs, and such. Snails and slugs can be especially annoying when they feast on flower buds. Fortunately, these invaders can be picked off by hand.

  • Leaves turn yellow from too much sun, too much water, or old age.

  • Buds often drop when temperatures fluctuate.

  • Plants may refuse to bloom altogether if they do not get their proper rest or enough light. In some areas, air pollution can be a problem.

  • Transparent, water-soaked spots can indicate the presence of fungus.

  • Avoid disease by maintaining good air circulation, refraining from crowding plants, watering carefully, and avoiding the spread of disease from one plant to another.

  • Brown or black spots are usually due to burning by the sun, but they can be due to disease. Diseased plants should be isolated immediately and probably destroyed.

  • If you have problems that cannot be treated successfully with recommendations from your orchid source or local orchid society, discard the plant, the pot, and its mix.

Healthy, happy, and carefully cared for, the orchids in your collection are bound to grow and flourish. Continue to the next page and learn how to propagate even more of your favorites.

Check these resources to find more ideas and information on placing plants around your house:

  • Gardening: Whether it's vegetables, flowers, or foliage you're considering, the facts you'll need are here. Learn all the basics of successful gardening.
  • House Plants: Wondering what might look nice in your kitchen window? Find out which plants are happiest inside the house.