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 water orchids and more ways to care for these colorful plants.
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 air plant
- 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!
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.
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.
Water Orchids and More!
Now that you know how to water orchids (and more), 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!
So you just confirmed that I have done everything possible to kill my orchid. I hope I still have time to save it! 🙂
Oh no! Yes, it is always possible to save a plant! My experience has been plenty of trial and error. Hopefully, these tips will help you save it :).
I once managed to keep an orchid alive for about a year and a half. Maybe I’ll try again this winter when I’m craving some color!
Yay! You should! How long did the blooms last? They never stay open long enough for me!
Great info! Thank you for joining the To Grandma’s House We Go DIY, Crafts, Recipes and More Link Party! Pinned this! Hope to see you again next week!
You are welcome! Thank you for visiting my blog! I am definitely coming back To Grandma’s House We Go linky party. See you then!
Jane Stephens says
I love orchids, but haven’t had much experience growing them, so this was a very useful, informative and timely post! Thank you Ann x
That is great to hear Jane! You are welcome!
My mum keeps Orchid and keeps them alive for years, I get hold of one and it dies within a week. I can keep other houseplants alive, something my mum can’t #mygloriousgardens
Oh no! Orchids are one of the few houseplants my cat doesn’t bother. I also love the flowers on the plant. They recently died, but I hope to see more flowers again soon.
Kids of the Wild says
I kept an orchid for 8 years before it died. I love Moth orchids in the house, they make a gorgeous splash of colour #MyGloriousGardens
Wow! You must have taken really good care of that orchid for it to last so long! I love how much color orchids adds to a home as well.
First timer here just wondering if someone could tell me… should I cut back the stem that had a flower on it? Its dead looking but leaves are great looking.. is it ever going to bloom again?
Hi and welcome to Gardening Limited! Your orchid has the potential to bloom again. Since the stem is dead looking, cut it all the way back near the base of the plant. Fertilize it every other week. Keep it in a cooler place at night to encourage it to flower again. Once you see a new flower, add ice cubes at least one time a week.
Good to know they like low light. They sound like they’d be a great addition to our house. 🙂
Orchids are a great way to add some color and greenery to a home! I currently have one but want to add more! Thanks for stopping by!
MOM ZILLA says
Thanks for your article it has helped me a great deal I always wanted to know the history! I fell in love with orchids about 10 years ago and had to learn how to care for them by trial and error… my question is what to do when leaves start to die off because it’s ugly. Do I need to wait until the entire leaf falls away from the plant or can I cut it back when it’s dying I don’t want to shock it?
You are welcome! I’m glad you found this article useful! Cutting back the dead leaf shouldn’t hurt it. Just get some garden shears and gently cut it off.
MOM ZILLA says
Oh and one more question I wanted one of those blue orchids for so long and my husband got me one❤❤❤. I’ve had it for about 3 months now and the new flowers are all blooming White. Can you tell me what has happened here and how to turn it back?
Orchids are not naturally blue. Some growers dye them certain colors, like blue, purple, and green. The original color of your orchid was probably white, which is why they are blooming that color. The only way I know of to have blue orchids is just to buy them that way.
Lee ~ Dragon'sEyeView says
I inherited a small orchid — it seems root bound and I was going to transplant it. Any tips? I know I need to leave the top roots in loose bark, but what about the rest of the plant? Thanks for the info about using an ice cube to water!
Congrats on getting an orchid! They are great to display and grow indoors. Cut away any dead parts of the plant. Make sure the pot is a little bigger than the plant, to give it room to grow. An orchid potting mix should work. Let me know if you have any other questions :)!
I have an orchid which is about 8 years old and has always faired well on the windowsill in my toilet (south facing room). I moved it recently to my bathroom as heard that they like moisture (from the bath or shower), right next door to my toilet room so window is pretty similar. It began to flower but they bloomed pretty quickly and some buds didn’t even flower (it’s always bloomed gloriously before). Now the shots have turned brown and the leaves are starting to shrivel. Is it the end of the road for the orchid or can I save it pretty easily?
I would move it back to it’s original spot in your toilet. Sounds like it preferred that area over the bathroom. The orchid sounds like its on its last leg, but maybe the change will do it some good. I hope it lasts longer for you!