Growing Orchids – How to Care Orchid Plant Indoors and Outdoors

Growing Orchids - How to Care Orchid Plant Indoors and Outdoors

Orchids is one of the top air-purifying plants that you can grow in your home. The plant has the properties to remove the toxins like xylene from the air and releases oxygen at night times making a good air-purifying bedroom plant and looks good.

If you are a beginner and love to grow beautiful orchid flowering plants in your home then this article will help you to learn about how to grow and care for orchids at home indoors.

Wondering, How to grow beautiful orchids flowers in your home?

Orchid is a flowering plant in the family of Orchidaceae and has very distinct characteristics than other flowering plants. They are considered as ornamental houseplants and are native to America, Africa, Asia and other tropical countries.

Orchid plants have simple leaves with parallel veins, variable in size. Some species grow in full sunlight have thick leathery leaves and shade loving varieties have long thin leaves. Flowers are available in white, red, pink, yellow and green color flowers.

The underground tubers of terrestrial orchid varieties are ground to a powder and used for cooking in Turkish recipes.The orchid flower petals are used in making powders, scents, body sprays and body lotions.

For complete information about orchids, read the full-length article.

Orchid Varieties

There are more than 1200 orchid varieties that are cultivated worldwide for its fragrant flowers in commercial applications. All these orchid Varieties have unique growing conditions, soil, flowering time and maturity.  Here is the table that completely gives you an idea about orchid varieties, origin, and its specification.

S. No Variety Origin Specification
1 Phalaenopsis orchid China Pink flowers, moth-shaped flowers
2 Cymbidium orchid Asia Maroon flowers
3 Brassavola orchid Mexico White flowers
4 Catasetum Orchid Central America Yellow flowers, thick cigar shape bulbs
5 Cattleya Orchid Argentina Purple flowers, cylindrical rhizomes
a Cycnoches Orchid South America Small white bulbs
7 Dendrobium Orchid Japan Light pink color flowers
8 Encyclia Orchid Florida Onion shape, drought-resistant leaves
9 Angraceum orchid Tropical regions Fleshy leaves, long-lasting flowers
10 Trigonidium orchid Brazil Red color flowers
11 Arundina  orchid India Linear leaves, purple-white flowers
12 Asoscentrum orchid Srilanka Orange, purple, red, pink color flowers
13 Coryanthes South America Bucket shaped flowers
14 Cypripedium orchid Europe Hairy leaves with pink flowers
15 Dendrophylax orchid Cuba Cord-like green roots, white flowers
16 Dracula orchid Colombia Thin plicate dark green leaves
17 Gonogra orchid Central America Very thin aerial roots
18 Maxillaria orchid West indies Lanceolate leaves, small flower stalks
19 Miltonia orchid Argentina Waxy, non spurred flowers
20 Oncidium orchid South america Yellow flowers, green pseudobulbs
21 Phragmipedium orchid Mexico Elliptical narrow leaves, white flowers
22 Pleione orchid Nepal Purplish white flowers with 5 petals
23 Restrepia orchid Venezeula Thick leathery leaf in elliptic oval shape
24 Acianthus orchid Australia Heart-shaped leaves
25 Acorchis orchid Indonesia Long, dark green leaves
26 Aganisia orchid Trinidad Sweet scent flowers
27 Aerides orchid New guinea Fragrant pink or purple flowers
28 Anguloa orchid Colombia Long plicate leaves
29 Aorchis orchid Asia Long leaves, white- purple flowers
30 Barkeria orchid Mexico Pink flowers
31 Beloglottis orchid Bolivia Fleshy roots, flowers upside down
32 Bletilla orchid Vietnam White with purple flowers, claw tubers
33 Bulbophyllum orchid Africa Cane-like stems, thin leathery leaves
34 Calanthe orchid Madagascar Reddish-purple color flowers
35 Calypso orchid Russia Pink, purple, red, white color flowers
36 Coelogyne orchid Indonesia White flowers with yellow centers
37 Disa orchid Arabian peninsula Fleshy tuberous roots, dark red flowers
38 Epidendrum orchid America Small to medium size flowers
39 Eulophia orchid Africa Pleated leaves, longitudinal leaves
40 Grammatophyllum orchid Phillipines Olive-green waxy flowers, purple-red
41 Habeneria orchid Antarctica Flat leaves, white, yellow, green flowers
42 Ionopsis orchid West indies Purplish-white flowers
43 Lycaste orchid America Egg-shape pseudobulbs, plicate leaves
44 Masdevallia orchid Mexico Creeping rhizomes, fleshy lanceolate leaf
45 Meliorchis orchid Vietnam Appears like wing of stingless bee
46 Mormodes orchid Central America Reddish-orange flowers
47 Orchis Tibet Root tubers, erect stem, cylindrical spikes
48 Paphiopedilum orchid Southeast Asia Thick, fleshy succulent leaves
49 Pholidata orchid Malaysia Flowers appear upside down
50 Promenaea orchid Rio d generio Pseudobulbs, sweet-scented flowers
51 Rhynchostylis orchid Phillipines Very broad green leaves, purple flowers
52 Satyrium orchid Srilanka Helmet shaped flowers
53 Sophronitis orchid Costa rica Cylindrical rhizomes, noodle like roots
54 Stanhopea orchid Central America Elegant horns, twisted flower petals
55 Stelis orchid West indies Narrow leaves, creeping stems
56 Trias orchid Andaman nicobar Red spots on broad flower petals
57 Tolumnia orchid French Colorful, showy flowers
58 Vandas orchid Singapore Long-lasting, yellow-brown flowers
59 Trichoglottis orchid Indonesia 1-2 fragrant flowers per shoot
60 Vanilla orchid Central America Greenish-yellow flowers
61 Yoania orchid Japan Thick stems, white-red color flowers
62 Zeuxine orchid Madagascar Flowers with 2 stigma & granular pollinia
63 Zygopetalum orchid Brazil Glossy, strap-like leaves, green or purple

How to Grow Orchids Indoors | at Home  | from Seeds

                               Orchid Growing Conditions

Name                                              :         Orchid

Family                                             :         Asteraceae

Scientific Name                             :        Orchidaceae

Origin                                              :         America

Soil                                                  :         5.5-6.5

Sunlight                                          :         Full sun

Plant Height                                 :         7 feet

Temperature                                 :         70-80F

Watering                                        :         Regularly

Fertilizers                                       :         N-P-K

Harvesting Time                           :          1-2 years

Select an orchid variety

Some orchid varieties like Cattleya, Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum orchids are easy to grow than others. Different orchid varieties have different growing conditions, light requirements, and temperature. Talk with a local nursery to grow orchids best in your living areas or buy orchid baby plant online or from a nursery.

Choose right pot and soil for orchids

Orchids can grow in a double pot or big container that has holes at the bottom for proper drainage. make sure the pot size should be of 8-12 inches for planting orchids.

If you are growing orchids for the first time, you just need to plant in a potting mix soil like other blooming flowers. Most orchids like to grow in a peat moss or perlite with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5.

Planting orchids seeds

Before planting the seeds, sterilize them by boiling in warm water to speed up the orchid seed germination process. Now sow the orchid seeds in a  chosen pot containing well-drain soil.

Watering orchids

Water the seeds in a pot daily in small amounts. When the plant matures and reaches a minimum height of 2-3 feet, you can start watering orchid plants once in a week during the winter season and twice or thrice in a hot climate. How often you water depends on the size of orchid plants.

They can easily survive in cool, intermediate and warm climatic condition i.e. 80-90F for warmer, 70-80F intermediate and 55-65F cool weather conditions.

Pests and diseases  affecting orchid plants

Pests Diseases
Aphids Botrytis
Mites Leaf spot
Caterpillars Brown rot
Mealybugs Fusarium wilt
Fungus gnats Anthracnose
Scales Damping off
Thrips Powdery mildew

To prevent pests and diseases problem, remove the infected leaves or stems immediately or spray insecticides containing ammonium compounds. If you find an orchid plant prone to diseases then stop overwatering the plants or is valuable (providing beautiful flowers), isolate it from the diseased plants and disinfect the growing area with 10% bleaching solution.

Nutrient deficiency in orchid plants

S.No  Variety Symptom
1 Nitrogen Spindle Yellow leaves, pink color tints
2 Potassium Yellow or purple leaf tints, poor flowering
3 Phosphorus Dull-yellow color foliage
4 Magnesium Reddish brown tints, yellow leaf veins

Pollination

Orchid plants have flowers for reproduction. Orchid flowers trap birds, insects or honeybees by using a special fluid to transfer the pollens from the orchid blossom to the new orchid plant. Not all the orchid varieties are self-pollinated, but some are cross-pollinating plants and may vary depending on its growing conditions.

Pruning and Repotting orchids

Pruning is done to improve the plant health and increase the yield. To prune orchids leaves, stems and flower buds make use of gardening tools such as shears or cutters. Repotting means placing a potted plant into a small or large pot according to the size of the root system. To re-pot, an orchid plant, determine whether it is time to repot orchid after it finishes flowering.

Fertilizing your orchids

Fertilize orchids when they mature or starts blooming once in every month with a weak solution of balanced plant fertilizer. Prefer N-P-K fertilizer that contains equal amounts in the ratio of 20-20-20. The fertilizer should be diluted by adding equal amounts of water before applying it to the orchid plant.

Phosphorus content in the liquid fertilizer is responsible for the development of flowering and fruiting. You can also fertilize the orchid plant with Epsom salt, organic compost, manure and Coffee grounds. 

Harvesting orchid flowers

Gardeners grow orchids for their fragrant multicolor flowers. Each orchid variety may differ from flower size, shape, color and blooming time. They just need consistent moisture and high humidity levels, making them a suitable potted plant in any location.

To harvest orchids, select 1 orchid flower that is 2-3 days old. Cut the base of the individual flower stem with sharp knife or scissors. Immediately place the flower in a glass of water added with a floral preservative solution. Now place the beautiful orchid flowers in the refrigerator and check for every 4 hours. Store the fresh cut that stays for a long time and uses them when needed.

How to Grow Orchids from Cuttings?

Orchids grow well in the USDA regions ranging from 8-10. If you have any 1 orchid plant variety, you can easily propagate them from stem cuttings to grow orchids with same characteristics as that of a parent plant. Here we discussed 2 methods i.e. how to grow orchid cuttings in soil and water at outdoors.

Growing Orchids in Soil

To grow orchids from cuttings in soil, cut a stem of your orchid at least 12 inches long near the base of the parent plant using sharp knife or scissors. Take out the stem and place it in a tray containing damp soil covered with plastic wrap in an indirect location of at least 60F.

When the roots sprout from the buds, place 1 in each container by covering the roots and stems with a good potting mix soil. Now keep the pot or container in a bright indirect location so as to receive minimum light or maintain a room temperature between 55-80F for the plant to thrive.

Water orchid plants until it drains completely from the bottom drainage holes of the container. Fertilize the plant once in every 3 weeks in spring or mid-fall season. Orchid flowers may bloom once or twice in a year.

Growing Orchids in Water

Orchids that grow in water are called as hydroponic orchids.Instead of growing orchids in a container, it’s fun to grow orchids in a glass of water. This method is quite easy and appreciated when you start growing in your home. It also looks amazing and brings beauty to your home. Here is the simple procedure you can learn how to grow orchids in water.

Some orchid varieties are terrestrial and some are epiphytic. Each variety has its own requirements and mostly the hydroponic orchid grows in a very little soil and grabs moisture levels from the atmosphere.

For this, place the orchid cuttings in a glass of water and change the water in glass weekly.  Provide the plant with proper sunlight and make sure you remove the old and dead tissues from the root moss before planting in water to avoid bacterial infections. Within 2 weeks the roots sprouts and you can transplant it to outdoors for better growth.

Orchid plant care|  How to take Care of Orchids

  • Provide sunlight for a minimum of 6-8 hours a day for the orchid plants to thrive.
  • Choose the best orchid variety i.e.phalaenopsis orchid to grow at both indoors and outdoors.
  • Water the plant regularly in small amounts when you start growing from seeds or baby plant.
  • Pruning is done only when you find the dead or diseased leaves, stems to encourage new growth.
  • Re-pot the orchid plants to bigger pots every year when the roots grow bigger and emerge out of the pot.
  • To improve the fertility and soil moisture levels, add mulches (dead leaves, stems) at the base of the plant.
  • Before planting the seeds, test the nature or ph of the soil and if necessary fertilize the orchid plant.

Is orchid a perennial or annual?

Orchid is a flowering plant that spreads widely in the family of Orchidaceae. The flower blooms are very colorful and fragrant. These popular houseplants remain green and healthy-looking year around like perennial flowers and bulbs in your outdoor garden. They just need little care to grow under right growing conditions.

How to plant orchids in coconut husk?

It’s fun to grow and enjoy orchids in a coconut husk. For this, you need a light absorbent medium (coconut husk) that makes the orchid roots stay healthy and aerated. This method is best suited for outdoors when planted orchids in potting mix soil provided by sufficient water and sunlight to thrive quickly.

Can you use ice cubes to water orchids?

In hot climatic conditions (especially during summer seasons), when you forgot to water an orchid plant it begins to shrive. For those who don’t have enough time to take care of your garden plants, ice cubes work well. You can water the orchid with 2-4 ice cubes per week. These ice cubes melt slowly, gets enough time to absorb the water so that it doesn’t drown.

Do orchids need a lot of sunlight?

Sunlight is the key factor for growing healthy orchids. If you provide direct sunlight, may cause the plants to burn and too little light prevents from flowering. So the best place to plant orchids is the window location. By placing the plant near window location, gets bright indirect sunlight that is sufficient for the plant to bloom flowers.

Do orchid stems grow back?

Every year orchids will produce 1 or 2 new leaves. Once it completes the growth stage, the stem starts blooming flowers. The flower bud emerges from the stem beneath the 2nd or 3rd leaf from the top. After it finishes blooming flowers, cut off the shoots or stems that produce blossoms. It is done because in the process of an orchid flower blooming, takes energy from the plant itself.

What are the good orchid companions?  

Companion planting is an organic way of maintaining a natural balance in your garden. Bromeliads, Guzmania, pitcher plants, Hoya Plant, Epiphyllum, Tillandsia, Anthuriums Alocasias, Philodendrons, and rhododendrons the good companion plants for orchid varieties. Planting these plants together with orchids helps for controlling pests, pollination and increases the crop productivity.

How often do you water orchid plant?

Water orchid plant varieties such as miltonias, paphiopedilums, and phragmipediums once a week during winter and twice during warm-dry conditions. The size of the orchid container also helps to determine how often you need to water orchids despite climatic conditions. For a 6-inch pot, you need to water for every 7 days and 5-6 days for a 4-inch pot.

Will an orchid plant rebloom?

Of all the orchid varieties, phalaenopsis will rebloom in home growing conditions. For this, you need to cut between the scars left by the first flower and last node on the stem. Now the lower nodes of the orchid plant begin to develop and produce flowers within 8-12 weeks.

How long do orchids live for?

It greatly depends upon the variety of orchids as well as the care that flower blooms receive. When you provide right growing conditions the plant may reach a height of 7 feet tall and flowers bearing 6 inches in diameter. One of the most popular orchid variety phalaenopsis normally blooms 1-2 times a year and can last from 60-120 days.

Why are orchid leaves turning yellow?

If your bottom orchid leaf is turning yellow it doesn’t mean that it is sick or dying. You cannot prevent bottom orchid leaves from turning yellow because it is the natural cycle of an orchid. If your orchid leaves are drooping suddenly, apply cinnamon a natural fungicide to fight against the infections.

For more information refer:  Why are my plants turning yellow?

Orchid  Plant Benefits

Orchid plant is listed as the air-purifying plants that you can grow easily at home indoors. It helps to sleep better by improving the quality of air in your bedroom. These are low-maintenance plants and requires much care to thrive in right growing conditions.

Here in this section we shared some possible benefits of orchids that helps you to live happily.

Air quality

According to the NASA Clean Air Study, placing orchid plants(Dendrobium-a non-toxic variety) around your home can encourage deep breathing by absorbing carbon dioxide (also eliminates toxic xylene compounds) from the surrounding environment and releases oxygen into the air. It can also help you to sleep better when you place it in your bedroom.

For weight loss

Orchids are a great source to reduce the weight. For this take some orchid roots and add a cup of water into it. Now boil the roots that are added with water until it becomes half of a cup. Drink the orchid extract juice regularly and you will see a drastic change in your body weight. Within 3 months your body weight will be reduced to some extent and makes you look slim and fit.

Orchid Extracts

Like Rose, Jasmine and Lily orchid fragrant flowers are also used in beauty products. Oils, shampoos, lotions, conditioners and many other products are made with orchid plant extracts that are used in the formulation of skin and hair. This lotion is best suited to apply on damp skin after bathing as a daily moisturizer. Sulfate-free hair products are designed to slow color from fading and have a lovely floral scent.

The orchids extract used in medicine to boost the respiratory system but can also cure allergies, asthma and wounds.

Improves overall health

The orchid plant is famous for its beautiful colors and fragrant flowers. Keeping indoor houseplants such as phalaenopsis orchid variety have unexpected benefits that improve your overall health.

Orchid is considered as a TCM (Traditional China Medicine) in China for healing diabetes, fever, kidney stones and lungs. Roots taken with curd eliminates the worms in the stomach, cure infections, diarrhea and blood clots.  leaves are the best medicine for knee pains, arthritis and muscle cramps.

Food Ingredient

Orchid is the simple and traditional medicinal plant that you can grow in the backyard. All parts of the orchids namely leaves, stems, flowers and roots are loaded with medicinal properties.

They are also consumed in the form of teas. For making tea, orchid leaves are collected first, dried and sealed before making an herbal tea. It is a very safe medicine that helps to treat common cold, fever and body pains.

Herbal medicine   

Beautiful orchid flowering plants are sold as potted plants or as cut flowers. It is considered as a symbol of beauty, love and luxury. Decorating your homes with orchid plants will help you to relax, reduce stress and boosts your mood.

In the past centuries, orchids have an important role in using it as a natural herbal medicine from plants. It also has the ability to minimize the chances of cardiovascular diseases and other chronic illness.

 

Growing Orchids - How to Care Orchid Plant Indoors and Outdoors

It’s fun to grow and enjoy beautiful orchid flowers starting from seeds or stem cuttings in your garden space that spreads fragrances and makes your garden surrounding look beautiful. If you have wonderful ideas about growing orchid plants, please share your experience with us in the comment section given below.

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