Thankfully, orchids are quite easy as houseplants as long as you don't bug them or overwater them. And the plants are in the right container and environment.
First of all, you need to make sure to water them lightly. A rule of thumb is two pieces of ice a week. That is it. DON'T OVERWATER them or they will die a quick death.
Growing Orchids In Containers
Orchids like to have their roots quite squished and sometimes crawling over the top of the pot. This is ok! Orchids are epiphytes, meaning they grow on a larger plant (like a tree) and their roots are literally touching air. Don't suffocate the roots by burying them deep in a huge pot of soil. We have been able to leave my plants in the pots they came in for over a year with no problem. Don't try to tuck those roots back down into the pot. Just let them be. The reward is new shoots from the base of the plant.
Sunlight For Orchids
Remember orchids grow on trees in the jungle, meaning they are under the canopy and do not receive a terribly large amount of direct sunlight. You might even move your orchids outdoors for the summer to get a little light, but it is not necessary. Typically a bright indirect sunlight indoors is enough sunlight for the plant to thrive. If you are trying to get the plant to rebloom, then you may give the plant a little more sunlight than normal. But try not to give any direct sunlight if possible.
You can provide orchids a water soluble fertilizer specially formed for orchids or African violets. Typically its a 20-20-20 slow release fertilizer that pretty weak compared to other houseplant fertilizers available. Use according to directions on the fertilizer you choose. It is better to under-fertilize than add too much fertilizer.
Getting Orchids To Rebloom
Some people like to purchase orchids when the plants are in full bloom at the store. The beautiful plants have amazing flowers, but are often difficult to get to produce flowers again. Do you grow orchids in winter? Did you die for a bloom or two in February when the ground was covered with snow, ice and filth? If so, the blooms on your orchid are probably LONG gone and you are thinking about tossing that plant out, aren't you? WELL STOP. That orchid is still a fantastic plant and it CAN bloom again for you, though it might take awhile.
You can get the plants to rebloom with a little extra attention and care. First, snip off the old flower stem at the base of the plant. Then you need this simple recipe: A little more sun, a little more light and a wee bit of fertilizer. Give it a weak fertilizer (a 20-20-20 or a fertilizer marketed for African Violets or orchids) and a spot closer to the window or outdoors under indirect sun. Water a few times a week (though do NOT get it soaking wet) and before you know it, that old orchid you were about to throw out will reward you with another show.
Can you tell the difference between the old and the new?
Those leaves will hold their sculptural form for MONTHS and all they ask for is a few ice cubes each week. That is it. 2-3 ice cubes from your leftover sweet tea and your orchid will be happy as a clam.
Now, you simply have to wait for that new stem to grow strong, a flower stem to shoot up and beautiful blooms to unfold from your orchid.
The question is - will it be worth the wait? We believe it is!
Author Chris Link - Published 10-14-2021