Avoid making these common orchid-growing mistakes to help your plants thrive.
The care and maintenance of an orchid are not difficult, but it’s important that you take the time now so they can live as long as possible!
15 Most Common Orchid Growing Mistakes
There’s a common mistake newbies make with orchids. These plants are not like other houseplants and as they don’t grow in regular soil, their watering needs vary too!
Don’t give your plant daily coverage – watering can occur only when the growing medium feels dry to touch
2. Overly Fertilizing the Plant
Not all plants need to be fertilized, and orchids in particular seem poorly suited for a regular feeding schedule. If you don’t want to harm your beautiful orchids, avoid adding fertilizer too often.
For best results, make sure to use a fertilizer that contains equal parts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium. For example: 10-10-10 works well diluted with water in half, or in one quarter strength once every 5-6 weeks.
3. Keeping it in a Cool Spot
Orchids are delicate plants, so they should be kept out of direct sunlight and away from areas where there’s cold drafts. If you live in a cool climate like me then try not to place them near windows which can make your house feel stuffy or give off COLD air!
Also avoid positions around A/C vents because these will cause problems with temperature fluctuations. Additionally make sure not too expose your orchids to temperatures below 50 F.
4. Using Hard Water
When the water has excess salts, it will prevent your plant from getting enough nutrients and moisture.
Hard tap is not recommended for rooting plants because they’re too high in chloride content which makes leaves wilt quickly after contact with soil or potting mix; best to use spring water that’s low on chlorine but still rich in minerals like calcium carbonate.
5. Keeping it in Direct Sunlight
Houseplants love sunlight but for orchids, too much exposure to the sun is a big NO. In direct morning light from an east facing window it will do just fine, but avoid hot afternoon southern faced windows in climates where it can burn leaves!
6. Not Using the Right Growing Medium
You might be thinking that orchids are tough enough to grow on their own, but don’t let the growing medium determine what they need!
If you use garden soil instead of sphagnum moss for example, then your plant will struggle. Use fir bark chips in equal measure with perlite and coconut husk dusts mixed together – this helps all elements reach optimal moisture levels without missing either end goal too much; dryness or wetting out completely.
In any case, do not use a garden soil for your orchid plants. Use an orchid mix to grow the plant. This will ensure that it’s healthy and happy, which is important for you!
7. Misting the Flowers
Orchids thrive best in the humidity of a tropical rainforest, but they can’t handle being too wet or moist. Misting them will result to sudden death and wilting blooms!
To avoid this tragedy, do not mist them at all. Instead, put the pot on a pebble tray filled with water. This will help with their humidity a lot, and will keep them healthy and happy!
8. Transplanting Orchids While they are Blooming
The plant has directed all its energy in flowering and will not be able to handle transplanting. It may even die!
9. Not Providing Enough Ventilation
Orchids thrive well when they are given plenty of room and a little bit more indirect sunlight than most people provide.
The best way to keep them happy is by avoiding crowding with other houseplants, but if you find yourself without enough space for your orchid garden then don’t hesitate and group 2-3 orchid plants together!
10. Choosing the Wrong Variety
It’s important to pick the correct orchid for your environment. Every type has different growing requirements, but thankfully, as they come in thousands of varieties it will be easy for you find one that works well with yours!
11. Avoiding Re-Potting Them
Repotting is a great way to make sure your orchid gets plenty of fresh soil and new roots. Repotted plants also allow you an opportunity for inspection, so it’s always best if they’re re-potted every 1-2 years in order retain their health!
If the plant has not grown much lately then use smaller pots (or even recycled ones!) with appropriate potting mix.
12. Watering from Above
Do not water your plant from above. Always make sure you are watering the soil, avoiding any leaves or flowers so as to not cause unnecessary damage!
13. Not Taking Care of Their Cleanliness
If you want your plant to live for a long time, don’t just water it every once in awhile. Make sure that if there is dirt on its leaves then grab some soft cotton damp cloth and clean away all of the dust with gentle hands in order to allow them to breathe better.
We’ve mentioned above that orchids don’t like to be overwatered, however, you should not underwater them too!
Check the growing medium for dry spots every 3-4 days and water when it feels dry to touch. If you see yellowing leaves, increase watering in order to prevent further damages.
15. Using Extreme Water Temperatures
Many people do not realize how important it is to make sure the water they use for their orchid plants has been at room temperature.
Using too hot or cold temperatures will shock and damage your plant roots as well, resulting in shorter lifespa