Orchids are often given to a loved one as a gift for Mother's Day, Valentines Day, Birthday, or other special occasion. Unfortunately, many who receive one of these beautyful exotic plants have no idea of how to care for it. The first step in orchid care is DON'T PANIC! Here are six quick and easy tips to care for your new gift that will keep it healthy and blooming as long as possible.
- 1 -Look for a tag or label that will tell you what kind of orchid you recived. The most common orchids sold as gifts are Phalaenopsis hybrids (Moth Orchid), Oncidium hybrids (usually "Sherry Baby" or "Gower Ramsey"), Cattleya hybrids, Dendrobium hybrids, Paphiopedilum hybrids, and Cymbidium hybrids If you still cannot identify your orchid, try my Orchid identification page.
- 2 -How long your orchid will remain in bloom can vary greatly depending on the type of orchid, the environment it is kept in, and how long ago it began blooming before it was purchased. You should expect your orchid to stay in bloom anywhere from 2 to 6 weeks. The Phalaenopsis can remain in bloom for several months! Keep your new orchid out of direct sunshine and in a cool area. If your room is very hot, the blooms will not last as long.
- 3 -DON'T over water your orchid! Water it only once a week to once every 10 days. If your orchid came wrapped in a pretty paper or foil wrapping, You should discard the wrapping. If you don't want to do that, at least remove the pot from the wrapper when watering your orchid. You do not want water to pool in the pot.
- 4 -If your home has low humidity, mist your orchid with a spray bottle of room temperature water. Do not soak your orchid with the spray. I said "mist" not SHOWER!
- 5 -DON'T REPOT your new orchid. It will be fine in the pot it came in.
- 6 -Keep your cats, dogs, ferrets, rabbits, and other critters away from the blooms. Yes, many of these little family members love the blooms too, only in a slightly different way... yummy!
Do you want to keep your orchid growing after it has bloomed? If so, read my articles about What Orchids Need: Water Light Temperature Fertilizer Humidity Air movement
Another thing to do is look up your orchid my online Orchid Encyclopedia and learn about its cultural requirements.
Don't be intimidated, orchids are not that hard to grow. Even my webmaster has grown a couple and had them re-bloom again for him every year!