A Guide to the Fussy Orchid

Orchids are a highly attractive plant that many people love to bring into their homes, though they do have a reputation for being a bit fussy. Don’t let this deter you from adding an orchid to your assortment of house plants, though—while orchids require some different forms of care than other types of plants, you shouldn’t take that to mean their care is particularly difficult.

A well-cared-for orchid can bloom for months and have a very long life. All it takes is a bit of understanding of the kind of care they need.

With this in mind, here are some tips for caring for an orchid in San Francisco, CA:

  • Pots: The pot selection is important for the growth capability and long-term health of the plant. Orchids grown in pots require some extra attention to their roots—it’s important to be careful not to smother the roots or let them rot. Choosing a clear pot designed for orchids can help you track the health of the roots, and white plastic pots will allow more light to pass through them. Put an orchid in the smallest pot that will fit the roots and stake it until it gets established.
  • Humidity: Orchids like humidity, so when placed inside a home, it’s beneficial to use humidity trays. These trays allow water to collect in the base while the plant is above the water. The evaporation of the water over time then benefits the plants.
  • Light: Different types of orchids will have different light needs. There are “high light” orchids, but they don’t require the constant direct sunlight you’d want to give to, say, a tomato plant. “Low light” orchids still need some light as well, so you won’t want to keep them away from a reliable source of light. Inadequate light is one of the most common reasons for people having issues with their indoor orchids failing to bloom.
  • Watering: You must be careful not to over-water orchids. This is a very difficult aspect of orchid care, because it can be hard to determine how much water is “too much.” The proper amount of water will change with the seasons, with more water being necessary during hot weather and less during cold. Other factors include the type of mix, the tightness of the mix packing, the type of pot and the air circulation. Bring the orchid in its pot to the sink and allow water to pour through the bottom of the pot, indicating the plant and mix are fully saturated. After watering, place the orchid back in its growing space until the next watering, which could be anywhere from few days to more than a week away.
  • Mix: What kind of mix should you use for an orchid? Find mixes that ensure good drainage and airflow. Orchids will not grow in dirt, because it is too dense and will smother the roots. Choose a mix that matches your orchid type and its ideal growing conditions.

For more information about how to care for an orchid in San Francisco, CA, contact The Delicate Daisy – House of Flowers to speak with a florist today.

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