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I have had houseplants from time to time and lately have been growing them some more. My favorite houseplants to grow are orchids. Today I want to talk about how to care for an orchid plant.
I love including color in my home, and orchid plants let me do that. They come in a variety of sizes and colors. The most recent orchid I purchased was a small plant, but still wonderful to have indoors to enjoy.
Did you know that orchids are a type of airplant?! I didn’t. The last class I took at Armstrong Garden Center mentioned that orchids are airplants while discussing houseplants. It makes sense since they don’t need much soil to thrive.
Orchids are one, if not the oldest type of flowering plants. They have been around for thousands of years and used and admired by many people all over the world.
Greek women would eat the flowers, since the ancient Greeks thought to eat the plant would help the women bear sons, due to the plant’s association with male fertility. The Chinese used orchids to help cure lung diseases and coughs. The Aztecs thought they could become stronger by drinking a mix of chocolate and vanilla orchid flowers.
There are many different types of orchids. There are 30,000 different species from all over the world! Phalaenopsis, also called moth orchids, are the most common orchids that you will find at garden centers. They come in an assortment of sizes and colors too.
Here are some other popular types of orchids:
- Lady’s slippers
Orchid Fun Facts
Below are some fun facts about orchids.
- Orchids are very popular houseplants
- Orchids can grow all over the world, although many people think they are strictly from tropical areas
- Some orchids can live to be 100 years old
- Orchids are one of the oldest types of flowering plants
- Counting on what type of orchid you have, some bloom for a few hours to up to about half a year
- Orchids are used in spices, perfumes, and Asian medicines
- Many orchids grow from trees as an airplant
- Because of this, orchids naturally grow sideways. The clips used on houseplants are to train the orchids to grow upwards.
- Vanilla, a very common flavor, comes from an orchid, Vanilla planifolia
- Several million seeds can be located in a single seedpod
Orchid plants are very easy to care for. Below are a few tips to follow when growing orchids in your home. Let me know if you have extra tips to add in the comments section below!
Is it hard for you to keep your orchids alive? Here are some common orchid ailments to consider.
Orchids grow well in low light conditions. If you have your orchid near a window that is too bright, place a light curtain over the window or set the orchid a bit back. You can also use orchids as tabletop centerpieces. Just place them near a dim light source when you are finished using them.
Overwatering is one of the most common reasons a plant will die on your watch. Let your orchid(s) dry out before watering them. I usually place an ice cube in my small orchid’s pot about once a week. It really counts on how large the plant is and how quickly it uses up the water.
Speaking of pots, here is a great guide on how to repot your orchids!
You will want to fertilize your orchids regularly, especially during the seasons where they are flowering. There are plenty of fertilizers to choose from that are both organic and synthetic. Remember to fertilize right after you water your orchid so the fertilizer doesn’t burn it!
Pets and Orchids
Orchids are one of the few houseplants that are nontoxic to cats and dogs. The houseplants I recently bought were knocked down by my cat, Tiger, but he seems to leave orchids alone. So, it looks like orchids will be my main choice of houseplants until I can find some large enough (without costing a fortune) that he won’t be able to knock down.
Enjoy Your Orchids!
How are your orchids growing? Do you have any tips to add on how to care for an orchid plant? Let me know in the comments section below!