How to Care for Indoor Orchid Plants

Written by diane dilov-schultheis
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How to Care for Indoor Orchid Plants
Orchids come in a large variety of colours. (Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

Orchids, a member of the Orchidaceae family, are one of the largest plant families in the world, with between 25,000 and 30,000 species. These breathtaking tropical beauties can be grown indoors successfully when the proper care is provided. Select orchid varieties suited for indoor growing, such as Moth orchid (Phalaenopsis) or Lady’s Slippers (Paphiopedilum) for best results. Create the proper growing environment inside your home and soon you will be watching the orchids blossoming.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Trays
  • Rocks, stones or gravel
  • Fan
  • Orchid fertiliser

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place your orchids in a location that receives 12 to 14 hours of indirect sunlight. The actual amount required varies among the species, but you can monitor the leaves for telltale signs. An orchid with the proper amount of light will produce yellowish-greenish leaves and grow upward, and an orchid that needs more light produces dark green leaves.

  2. 2

    Set the pots holding your orchids in trays filled with stones, sand or gravel. Fill the trays with water to add humidity to the air, but keep the water level below the bottom of the pots to avoid water logging the orchid’s roots.

  3. 3

    Keep the temperature in the orchid’s growing room -9.44 degrees Celsius lower at night. Most daytime temperatures inside of homes are suitable for growing orchids, which can vary from 15.6 to 21.1 degrees Celsius, depending on the variety grown.

  4. 4

    Use a fan to keep the room air circulating gently, which is crucial to growing healthy orchids indoors.

  5. 5

    Water the orchids until water drains from the bottom of the containers, and then wait until the soil nearly dries to water again. A general rule to follow would be to water the orchids one or two times weekly during the growing season and once every two weeks in the winter season.

  6. 6

    Use a fertiliser formulated specifically for orchids, but dilute it to half-strength. Apply the fertiliser weekly during the summer and twice a month during the fall and winter months.

Tips and warnings

  • Never allow indoor orchids to sit in water for long periods.

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