How to: Caring for your orchid

There are many misconceptions about orchids being difficult or costly, but given the right care, orchids will add life and color to your home for months on end. Get them in the right spot in your space and they will thrive with little attention needed.  Phalaenopsis orchids provide big showy blooms that will outlast any cut flower arrangement, and with a little encouragement, within six months to a year, orchids can rebloom with another set of gorgeous flowers.

White Orchid Planter in the Juni Bowl

Lavender Phalaenopsis Orchid in the Juni Pot

Orchids are in a classification of plants called epiphytes, along with air plants and bromeliads.  This means that in nature, these plants grow by attaching themselves to trees branches or other surfaces, and get all the nutrients and moisture they need from the surrounding air and debris.  This makes them relatively easy going houseplants, if provided with a few basic necessities.

Orchid Care

Your orchid will want a bright, indirect light to be happy.  If you have an East facing window in your home or office, (think morning light) somewhere near that window would be ideal. If you have brighter, stronger sunlight coming in through a West or South facing window, keep your orchid a little further away from the window on a coffee table or mantle, as they can get scorched leaves from direct sun.  

Water your orchid about once every two weeks, or when the potting medium is dry to the touch.  Most orchids are potted in a plastic pot within a decorative container.  It is important to make sure your orchid is not sitting in any water, as any moisture trapped in the roots will cause them to rot.  To water, take your orchid out of the decorative container and run water through the pot. Make sure any excess water has drained before placing it back into the decorative container.  You can fertilize your orchid about once a month with a pinch of water soluble fertilizer mixed in when you water your orchid. Too much fertilizer can kill any houseplant, so use fertilizer extremely sparingly.

Orchids will need to be repotted every two years. A chunky bark mix is best for potting orchids, as the roots need excellent air circulation. Always do any repotting when the orchid is not blooming.

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