Thanks to George for encouraging us to grow orchids.
If you missed the Orchid Care 101 seminar last Saturday, Sept. 8th, here are a few tips I learned from George, president of the Illinois Orchid Society.
Water orchids every 7-10 days depending on your indoor environment. Keep to a schedule for consistent watering.
-Soak orchid in bowl for 1/2 an hour. Allow to drain.
-Or, water orchid in sink. Drain while having a cup of coffee. Do this 2 more times. Allow to drain fully. Orchid pots without drainage holes are dangerous because roots can easily rot if you aren't careful.
-Allow your plant to dry out between waterings.
-It's better to underwater an orchid than to overwater it.
-Feed weekly with a weak solution of regular orchid fertilizer for a healthy plant.
-Use a 'Bloom Booster' orchid fertilizer to encourage an orchid to bloom.
Repot when Phalaenopsis orchid is finished blooming and in growth mode (root tips are green). It is important to repot orchids from time to time, for continued growth and bloom. To repot, gently remove the entire plant from its former home, carefully removing any dead root material that may be present. Place the orchid in a pot just one size larger than its previous one; a large, new pot would be a difficult adjustment.
-A good orchid potting mix is one that has good drainage. A good, general mix has mostly bark and a bit of soaked sphagnum moss. Place the orchid and its roots system into the new pot. Fill in with the proper bark/moss mixture and press firmly on the top to secure the roots.
Reblooming: The main attraction with orchids is their delicate, lovely blooms.
-Light plays a vital role in getting orchids to bloom. Strong, indirect light is needed, along with a subtle change in the amount of light and temperature fluctuation. Cooler night temperatures will aid in budding.
-Remove dead flowers, as they fade, and cut the dead flowering stem back to the base of the stalk. You should get a new stem or inflorescence to grow in a year.
With a little knowledge and careful attention, anyone can grow beautiful Phalaenopsis orchids in their home. Orchids just need what we all need: water, food, bright light and room to grow!