Thursday, March 13, 2014


When you think of the Orchid you probably associate it with beauty, elegance and class.    You may even find yourself shying away from one of the oldest, yet most fragile plants around today.  It’s really not that hard to maintain an orchid.  However you do need to have a lot of patience and determination.

Orchids originated many many more years ago than I could possibly count.  They began a rise to popularity in the 18th century.  They became so popular they faced endangerment.  Mother Nature was extremely clever with this jewel though.  This flowers various means of pollination have help the Orchid stay afloat, and improve for centuries.   With a spectrum of tones and fragrances insects find them as hard to resist as birds do. The variety of colors and hybrids have steadily increased over the years.
The first thing, and the most important thing, you want to do to insure your orchid’s success is read the specifications that come with your personal choice.  Does your environment meet the requirements your orchid desires?  Different species of Orchids require specific temperatures, lighting and moisture.  They have been known to survive anything from mild, moderate, or hot and humid conditions.  They do not however handle cold temperatures at all.  So it’s easy to see why they survive in every corner of the continent excluding the Antarctic region.

Once your orchid is welcomed to its new home immediately remove any decorative covering from the pot.  These often aluminum wraps will interfere with proper drainage.   Too much moisture will turn an Orchid to mulch quickly.  It might be necessary to find a more suitable planter.  It is important to remember that an orchid does like a snug fit, so avoid one that is to large.  This allows the orchid to use available resources to produce the magnificent flowers and not expanding the root system. 

Find a good Orchid Bark to re pot the stem into.  Orchid Bark, in basic terms, is a mixture of potting soil and fir mulch.  The soul to mulch ratio will vary.  The higher percentage of fir mulch the more moisture the soil holds.  If an Orchid requires higher doses of moisture pick a higher ratio of fir bark.  Provide a good liquid fertilizer that is sufficient in nitrogen.  There are several options available tailored specifically for the Orchid.  Follow the fertilizer directions every four to six weeks, but do not over feed or you risk permanent damage to the roots.

So remember to check an orchid’s environment requirements for moisture, temperature and lighting before taking one in to care for.  If you do you could find yourself with a most glamorous plant that will provide beautiful flowers and has been known to live indefinitely.