Orchid – the real queen of the home greenhouse. Any grower, even a beginner, recognizes her among thousands of other plants by her wide brilliant leaves and gorgeous flowers. Sometimes it is flowering, long and intense, that becomes the determining factor in choosing an orchid in a flower shop. But the joyful owners of this flower often encounter a lot of problems in the process of leaving, as this plant is very demanding in almost everything – from choosing a pot to moisture in the air. Therefore, it is necessary to seriously approach the study of how to care for an orchid at home.
How to care for a flower after purchase?
Probably, many orchid owners noticed that her “state of health” after the first day of staying in indoor conditions was significantly worsening. This can be expressed as the cessation of flowering, loss of turgor (ie, elasticity, density and color saturation) of the leaves and even the drying of the peduncle. In order not to get such negative consequences, you need to know how to care for the flower after purchase.
The very first thing you should do after you have brought a beautiful orchid home is to provide her with a kind of quarantine. So you can not only reduce to zero the stress transferred by the flower in the process of “moving” to a new place of residence but not harm other flowering plants living in your house. Yes, yes, you read everything correctly; it does not harm other flowers since your guest can be a carrier of various pests or diseases.
The quarantine rules are quite simple and consist in the following actions:
- The duration of this period should be from 10 to 14 days.
- Put a pot with a new flower in another room or at least far from other household plants (on the bedside table or shelf).
- In the first two or three days do not remove the packaging film, which is a flower.
- Orchid belongs to the group of epiphytes, and this means that care for the plant should be a special way. She loves to swim in the sunlight. But in the period of quarantine, it is impossible to leave it in direct sunlight – the adaptation will take place more favorably if left in a shaded place.
- In the period of the whole quarantine, there is practically no need to care for the plant. It is not necessary to water or spray it, especially if the purchase occurred in the winter. Do not be afraid – it will not have time to dry. The whole point is that you cannot visually determine when the watering was last and since the orchid is very capricious in terms of waterlogging, it’s better not to risk it once again. This also applies to water fertilizers.
- A flower was brought into the house – carefully examine the bark in the pot for the presence of white bloom, which is a peculiar bell indicating fungal diseases.
- It is not necessary to treat the leaves or bark with special anti-stress or insect and pest medications.
- The pot should have a sufficient number of drainage holes, and if there are few or no ones, you can make them yourself with a nail or a knife, heated by an open fire.
Important! Do not damage the roots of the plant. It is better to make holes in those places where it can be clearly seen that the roots do not adjoin the wall of the pot.
Many inexperienced flower growers believe that you need to start caring for a new flower from its transplant, but this is wrong. If the plant has a healthy appearance, does not fall out of the pot and has no suspiciously dark patches or spots on the leaves and at the base, this means that it is not necessary to change the substrate.
If your guest feels good after 10-14 days of quarantine and continues to delight you with abundant flowering, you can safely acquaint her with the rest of your home or apartment.
How to perform a transplant?
Orchid transplantation is not an easy task, as a banal replacement of soil and change of pots will not be enough here. In order to make a transplant correctly, it must be performed slowly and in accordance with the following rules:
- It should be done in extreme cases when there is a risk of losing the plant. For example, you notice the development of mold on the substrate or your flower has been there for more than two or three years, and also if the pot is small and the root system itself “crawls out” of it. Immediate transplanting is required in cases where orchids were planted in sphagnum moss (as a rule, it is used as a substrate in stores, as it is very easy to care for a blooming beauty in such a soil).
- The most favorable period for transplantation is spring.
- For orchids, the pot plays an important role – the usual clay pot will not suit them since in such home pots the root system will quickly begin to grow into the walls of the vessel, which will eventually lead to the death of the plant. Choose a special pot – it can be both glass and transparent or translucent plastic pots.
- Transplantation is best done before the plant enters its next growth phase, for example, you notice the appearance of a peduncle or the flowering phase is not yet complete.
- Choose only a special substrate, which consists of natural bark (usually pine). It is best if the fraction of the substrate is medium or large.
- After you got the orchid from the old pots and freed it from the bark, carefully examine the entire root system, root after root. Fully dried or, on the contrary, decayed roots should be carefully removed with scissors, pre-treated with alcohol. It is better to treat the cut sections with special wood or activated carbon crushed into dust.
- Be sure to use drainage, in which quality you can take the usually expanded clay.
- Lay the root system loosely and effortlessly so as not to damage it. Pour the substrate over the roots, and so that it completely fills the pot, lightly tap on its wall.
- Florists are advised to place moss on top of the substrate, which will prevent the rapid evaporation of moisture. But if you don’t have one at hand, you don’t have to run headlong to the nearest flower shop – you can easily do without it.
How to care for a plant after transplanting? First, it needs to be watered. And abundantly, so that the entire substrate is saturated with moisture. The ideal option is to put the pot in a container with warm water for 15-20 minutes. But you do not need to use the top dressing for a newly transplanted flower – it is best to do it in the process of the next watering, which will not be earlier than in 10-14 days, depending on the type of orchid.
Choosing a place
It is important to understand that you need to take care of room orchid in a complex way, which means that you need to monitor the lighting, temperature, and humidity in the room where your beauty will live. Now let’s analyze each of the factors separately.
The most important factor for orchids, which directly affects their growth rate and flowering intensity. Remember the main rule – this kind of flowers loves a lot of diffused light without direct sunlight. Therefore, the best place to grow orchids will be the north window. If there is no possibility to install flowering pots there, then you can equip for them a southern window, only taking into account the fact that you will be too bright in the summer. For this purpose, both a protective matte film and plastic panels are suitable.
To care for orchids should be in accordance with their specific purpose. These flowers are divided into three main types: heat-loving, medium-temperature, and cold-loving. Each species, as you can guess, loves its specific temperature. But speaking in general, the temperature in the room where this gorgeous flower grows should be no higher than 27-28 degrees above zero and no lower than +13.
This is by no means the least important factor that also needs to be taken into account. Regarding humidity, you should remember that you should grow orchids in an atmosphere where humidity ranges from 60% to 80% – for them it is vital. To achieve such high rates, you can use additional spraying of the leaves, wiping them with a damp cotton pad and regular watering. But there are some subtleties here because orchids have a negative attitude towards waterlogging – this can lead to root decay and the death of the plant.
In order for the orchid to delight you with its flowering and healthy green appearance, you should properly care for it, including knowing the basic rules for watering:
- The peculiarity of the irrigation regime depends on the type of orchid.
- Drying of the substrate and the roots of these flowers tolerate better than waterlogging.
- To care for the plant at different times of the year should also be different. So, in the summer, water it no more often than every 10-14 days, and in the winter – once every three weeks.
- Watch the condition of the leaves and pseudobulbs: if they start to wrinkle – this means that there is a lack of moisture, if they turn yellow – you take care of your orchid incorrectly and fill it too.
- During the flowering period, you need to take care of the plant more closely, because it needs abundant watering, but taking into account the regime. Spray the leaves periodically or wet them with a sponge or cotton pad as an additional moistening.
- In the rest period, the flower is better not to pour moisture.
- For irrigation, use soft water (thawed, boiled or rain). In no case do not water the orchids purchased bottled water.
- The best method of watering – soaking a flower for 15-20 minutes.
How to care for an orchid so that it blooms profusely and regularly? Use a special dressing and always follow the instructions indicated on the bottle with fertilizer. If you properly care for her, fulfilling all the recommendations, your beautiful woman will reward all your work with a lush and long flowering that will not leave anyone indifferent.