Disclaimer: This article was written by Costa Farms and shared with me in order that I could share it with my readers.
Follow these simple steps to ensure success with orchids
Miami, FL – It can be three months (or more!) from the unveiling of a moth orchid’s first flower bud to the final flower closing.
But the experts at Costa Farms have tips to make orchids last longer?
“The primary thing is to ensure the conditions are good for your plant,” says Justin Hancock, garden expert from grower Costa Farms. “If your orchid is stressed, it won’t last as long as if it was in a better setting.”
Hancock offers the following tips for keeping moth orchids alive and thriving:
Humidity: “Look at relative humidity. Orchids want it at least 50%. If your home is drier, look to these easy ways to boost humidity,” says Hancock.
•Pair your orchid with other plants, which release moisture as they breathe. Grouping other houseplants with an orchid creates the feel of a mini rainforest.
•Sit a little humidifier next to your orchid.
•Or, fill a bowl or tray with water and sand; the top of the sand, where your orchid sits, should be just above the water. The water evaporates into the surrounding air.
Light: Moth orchids grow under trees and don’t want direct sun. Indoors, they love east- or west-facing windows. Use a sheer curtain to soften the light in sunnier windows.
Don’t have a window?
Moth orchids thrive under artificial light, too.
Put them a foot or two from fluorescent light bulbs.
In offices, where there are lots of bulbs, they can be farther away.
Temperature: Moth orchids thrive in same temps as us: Between 70 and 80F (21 to 27C) and about ten degrees cooler at night. If it’s usually hotter than 85F (30C), the flowers will dry up faster.
Watering: “To keep the flowers in tip-top shape, allow the potting mix to dry before watering again.
Depending on other conditions, it may be once a week in summer and a little less in the cooler months of autumn and winter,” says Hancock.
Pick an orchid with as many buds as you can to prolong the display.
“Many homeowners buy the orchid that has the most open flowers, but that’s usually the first one to go out of bloom,” says Hancock.
When you bring your new orchid home, treat it like a pet: Don’t let it to bake in a hot car in summer or freeze in a cold car between the store and home.
A few minutes of excessive temperatures can decrease the floral show.
Moth orchids bloom once a year, usually in winter when nights are cool (52-58F or 12-14C).
Make sure your orchid gets enough light so it has energy to bloom.
Fertilizing regularly in spring and summer months helps, too.
The simplest method to fertilize is to mix it in water at a 10 percent ratio (one part fertilizer to 10 parts water).
For more information about orchids, visit www.orchidsareeasy.com.
About Costa Farms
Costa Farms is the largest producer of indoor houseplants in the world. Founded in 1961 by Jose Costa, Costa Farms is a third-generation, family-owned business that globally stretches over 3,800 acres and employs 2,800 people. Along with thriving indoor, bedding and perennial plant divisions, Costa Farms operations are located in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina, and abroad in the Dominican Republic, and Far East. Learn more about Costa Farms at www.costafarms.com.