Growing Orchids Indoors
Growing orchids indoors can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, if you provide these plants the right growing conditions. With some planning and care, your indoor orchids will grow well and produce exquisite blooms for many years.
Tools and Materials Needed:
- Orchid plant
- Potting mix
- Peat, gravel, or bark
- Distilled water
- Orchid fertilizer
Step 1 - Plant the Orchid in a Suitable Container
When you purchase orchids, select a suitable species that will grow well indoors. Moth orchids, Dendrobium and Lady's Slippers are safe choices for indoor growth. Choose a healthy plant that has bright green leaves and is blooming well. It is important to select the right container in which you grow your indoor orchid. Clay containers are widely preferred due to their high porosity.
Orchids require growing media with excellent drainage and aeration. There are specialized orchid pots and potting mixes available, which are the safest to use. You can also improve drainage and aeration of ordinary soil by adding peat, bark or gravel. Remove the plant carefully from its container. Inspect the roots and remove any rotting parts. Place the plant in the container you purchased and fill potting mix around it until the mix is firmly set.
Step 2 - Select a Suitable Spot
Orchids require bright light, but direct exposure to strong sunlight can harm the plant. Placing the orchid in an east-facing window is ideal. In any other location, try to protect the plant from direct sunlight. If the plant gets too little light, the leaves will become dark in color. Too much light can burn the leaves or make them yellow. Remember that the plant needs a good supply of air. Normal indoor temperatures are usually good for orchids.
Step 3 - Watering and Fertilization
Indoor orchids are most likely to succumb to over-watering. Water the orchids once a week during winter months and twice a week in the summer. It is preferable to hold the container over a sink while watering. Water the plant with purified or distilled water until the soil is drenched. Let all the excess water drain out, after which you can put the container back in its base. Water the plant only when the soil is almost dry. Avoid wetting the leaves and flowers. Apply a specialized orchid fertilizer once or twice a month during the growing period. To grow orchids well, you must provide adequate humidity by keeping a humidifier in the room or by placing a tray of pebbles and water under the container, without their touching the base. Never let the plant sit in waterlogged soil.
Step 4 - Maintain and Care for the Plant
Always check your indoor orchid for signs of disease or root rot. Make sure the plant is getting adequate water, humidity and light. Never fertilize the plant in the winter, and cut down on watering in the winter as well. With proper care, your orchids will reward you with exotic blooms that will brighten your home.