Orchid Growing Tips
Growing Healthy & Beautiful Orchids
After the flowers fall off, place your orchid on the lanai, Florida room, or in a bright windowsill, with exposure to some filtered sun. The leaves should be medium-colored green. If the light is too bright, the leaves may burn or be very light green. The outside of the leaves can get slightly warm to the touch, but if the leaves feel hot, they are burning. Never full sun all day. Dark brown, dry, patches on the leaves may be sunburn.
Orchids sometimes require specialized care, but many varieties can be grown in a typical home without special conditions. We've provided some special growing tips oriented to southwest Florida growers for some of the more popular varieties of orchids. But, most of these tips are really good advice for the rest of the USA too.
Miniature & Compact Dendrobium Orchids
The phalaenopsis type dendrobiums are easy to grow and hold their blooms for about 2 months.
Your dendrobium orchid can bloom for many weeks or months if you use these simple suggestions. Most of our plants do not need to be repotted for several years. Ask if you are unsure.
If you really like to baby your orchids, vandas may be for you. They require copious amounts of light, water, fertilizer and air to thrive and bloom their best. They resent cold weather though, so you'll have to have a nice bright winter spot for them where you can tend to their needs.
Phalaenopsis orchids are widely available and come in a dazzling array of colors. They are good orchids for beginners. They are easily grown in the home with a culture very similar to african violets. They love morning sun and a slightly water retentive potting mix. They will hold their blooms for three of four months. Then it's time to cut the spike, repot and let the plant gather its strength for next year's blooms.
Orchid Pests and Diseases
The St. Augustine Orchid Society website contains a lot of information on orchid pests and diseases
to assist you in diagnosing problems.
There are pages of pictures of problems along with tips on control and prevention.