Recognizable among thousands, the orchid is a plant of tropical origin that stands out for its spectacular flowers oscillating between a variety of colors, ranging from white to pink, mauve, blue, yellow and orange. Its elegant touch and exotic charm make it one of the most sought-after and appreciated indoor plants. Some even say it brings magic into the home. Personified as “the plant of seduction”, according to the principles of Feng Shui philosophy, the orchid alone represents love, joy, daring, fertility, beauty, purity and hope.
Location is key! To flower well, this exotic plant needs a lot of light. The orchid likes strong light, but not direct sunlight. The ideal would therefore be to install it preferably near a window. If the exposure is towards the south, a curtain will therefore be necessary to filter UV rays. It will also find a privileged place in the bathroom where heat and humidity mix.
As tropical flowers, orchids love heat. In spring and summer, you can keep them outside on your balcony or terrace, as long as the night temperature does not drop below 15°C. The rest of the year, it is always best to keep orchids indoors, near a window and never near a direct heat source such as a fireplace or radiator. It is also important that orchids are kept in a well-ventilated area with air circulation.
If you live in an apartment, get into the habit of opening the windows or turning on a fan during the summer when it’s very hot.
water and humidity
The amount of water an orchid needs generally depends on the variety, season and temperature. Normally, orchids are watered two or three times a week, but in some cases the plant may even be watered once a fortnight. The secret is to always check the condition of the soil, when it is too dry you need to water the plant.
Using a transparent vase is also effective, as it allows you to better control the hygrometric status of the plant. Note that the best way to water it is by immersion: the pot must be immersed in water up to 3/4 of its height. Leave it like this for a few minutes so that the plant absorbs all the water it needs. Little advice: if you feel that the pot is lighter than usual, then don’t wait any longer and water your orchids!
In summer, you can use a spray bottle to water your orchids, but you must be careful not to get too much water between the leaves and flowers. If the humidity in your home is normally below 40%, use the spray method to water your orchids daily. If your home is very humid (more than 60%), your flowers may develop mold. The best thing is to use a dehumidifier!
It’s up to you to learn how to properly dose the quantity of water to prevent the orchids from wilting.
The orchid is not very demanding, it is satisfied with a liquid fertilizer once a month. Except when it is in full flower or during a growth period: in this case a supply is necessary every 15 days to promote the development of healthy and long-lasting flowers. After fertilizing the plant, you should not water it for at least 24 hours, otherwise the fertilizer may be diluted and less effective.
The best fertilizers for orchids are nitrogen-based, which strengthens the roots and leaves.
Protecting orchids from
Like most plants, orchids are flowers susceptible to bacterial infections or mold. In the case of cochineal, the best remedy is to remove infected leaves by cutting them with scissors.
You can also opt for a natural repellent solution such as Marseille soap mixed with a little water. Simply spray the plant with a sprayer to control this annoying pest.
In addition to ensuring optimal humidity levels, you can also use a remedy based on bicarbonate and water: by spraying this remedy on the plant, you will fight mold and chase away undesirables.
NB: always check that the soil is not too wet and that the leaves are clean and dry. If they are stained, you still need to cut them.
The best soil for orchids is one that promotes rapid drainage. It is therefore preferable to choose products based on bark or sphagnum moss which offer this plant a solid and nutritious base on which to grow. Always be careful how you water the soil!
Remember: the orchid needs foliage spraying in dry weather and repotting every two years. Does not tolerate excessive watering, sunburn and cold drafts. Watch out for aphids, mealybugs and mites which tend to weaken it a lot.
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