If you have an orchid for the first time: what you need to know about the capricious flower

The ice cube watering method and other subtleties for beginners

After getting their hands dirty with simpler plants, moving to a new home or on another important occasion, many home flower lovers want to get an orchid. Sometimes you just want to have something alive and incredibly beautiful at home, like this capricious flower. Well, it's a good decision, but you'll have to prepare for the appearance of such a beautiful neighbour. After all, you should know how to care for a beginner orchid.

Just Add Ice, a blog dedicated to these delicate plants, has compiled a guide for those who are buying an orchid for the first time. Be sure to read these four simple tips. Note that they are primarily for the most popular species - phalaenopsis. But in general, they are suitable for others.

Avoid excessive watering

Orchids are extremely sensitive to both insufficient and excessive watering. That is, this advice sounds simple and logical. But how can you use it if you have no experience? Try the ice cube watering method. To get started, you will need three cubes per week. Put them in the pot with the plant so that they only touch the substrate and do not interact directly with the leaves or roots. For example, around the edges of the pot. As the ice melts, the substrate will slowly absorb water. At the same time, the melting will be fast enough so that the plant does not have time to get cold.

Make the first watering when you feel that the orchid soil is already well dried. Then, monitor the condition of the substrate and the plant itself and gradually increase or decrease the number of cubes if necessary, because the orchid's "appetite" may change depending on the conditions. Also, do not place the flower in a draft, near fans, vents, or direct air conditioning at it - this can dehydrate the plant.

Go easy on the sun

Despite the fact that indoor orchids are almost all native to the tropics, they do not tolerate direct sunlight, although they are very light-loving. Therefore, provide the flower with sufficient lighting, but without contact with the sun. It can burn the leaves. To create the perfect environment for your orchid, try placing it near a window, but behind a thin curtain.

Only tropical temperatures

But you will have to tinker with the temperature. During the day, the plant needs air from 18 to 26 degrees Celsius, and at night - from 15 to 21. These are optimal indicators. At the same time, it is desirable that there is a daily difference of about 5 degrees. Orchids also like high humidity - from 55 to 75%. So, if you live in a cold climate, use a humidifier in winter to protect the plant from the dry heat that comes from heating appliances. It will be useful for you too.

Don't despair when your orchid starts to shed its flowers

The emotional reaction to the sight of your new green pet shedding its beautiful flowers can range from disappointment to horror. Do not rush to drink a sedative. Most likely, your orchid just needs to rest. During this period, feed it with a special fertiliser. But use only half the recommended dose for watering. Do not water the plant during the weeks when you are fertilising.

Also, inspect your orchid for pests or diseases. And remove wilted flowers and dried stems with sharp scissors. The tool should be steam sterilised.

If the concern persists, check the roots. If they are bright green, your plant is healthy and has enough to eat. If they are grey or silver, you need to gently increase watering. If they are brown and soft, you have overdone it. Let the roots dry and return to the three ice cubes method.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL published a detailed guide on how to properly water orchids for experienced plant lovers.

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