Newbies are often in the dark with regard to growing orchids. I have compiled a small list of some of the more important dos and don’ts to consider when learning to grow orchids. This is not an exhaustive list but I suggest new growers use it to start exploring the requirements for caring for orchids correctly.
DON’T over water your orchid
DO think of your orchid’s natural environment – A tropical forest? Drench it and then let the roots dry out.
DON’T underwater your orchid
DO test the media moistness regularly and water accordingly. When learning about caring for orchids It is better to under water than over water. You will soon learn the requirements of your particular orchid in your specific growing environment.
DON’T over-feed your orchid
DO use an orchid specific fertilizer and follow product instructions. Watch for signs of incorrect feeding.
DON’T Let your plants get too cold
DO bring plants inside or protect them in cooler temperatures especially in winter.
DON’T allow your plants to get too hot
DO consider shade and exposure to sun when caring for orchids.
DON’T expose your orchid plant to too much light
DO provide the best light source for your particular orchid; a little research may be required.
DON’T over love your orchid
DO talk to it if you like but I suggest listening and watching will be more helpful. You will be surprised how much it can tell you about its health from the color of its leaves to the health of its roots to how often is flowers.
DON’T grow your plant in a windy place
DO give your orchid plenty of air circulation, this not only helps keep it cool but also helps the roots dry out between watering.
DON’T allow your pets to mistreat your orchids.
DO keep your orchids out of the way of both domestic and wild animals. When caring for orchids there are enough pests to be concerned about already.
DON’T munch on your orchids
DO everything possible to stop pests from eating them.
DON’T use incorrect media and don’t use soil.
DO give your orchids roots the perfect environment – Bark, moss and Perlite are good. Like most things your local nursery or garden center will have the right media and should also be able to advise you on the best way to use it as well as other advice on caring for orchids.
DON’T re-pot your orchid too often.
DO choose a pot to match your plant and re-potting every two years or so is usually all that is required.
DON’T expect too much from your orchid.
DO remember this old saying “A watched plant never flowers” – be patient – it may even grow when you are not looking – one bloom a year is plenty.
DON’T move your plant too often.
DO let it be once you have decided on the best place to put it – it will adapt to light exposure wherever you place it.
DON’T give in to the latest fad.
DO think first – If someone says they can help you grow bigger orchids, quicker or produce blooms more often be a little suspicious. Use quality and proven fertilizers or food.
When caring for orchids it is best to research your orchid and follow some time tested orchid growing “best practices” until you have some experience under your belt. Then if you so desire, you will have the knowledge and experience to experiment or alter your routine and care.
So what are you waiting for? Go get your hands dirty.