How to Care for Orchids

I’ve been so frustrated with orchids over the years I’ve stopped buying the as gifts it seems like the average person doesn’t know how to care for an orchid. I had decided to finally learn how to care for an orchid and I want to try to share some of that know ledge with you. I got this free eBook that helped me out and I’ll link to it later in the article. Sense there are in excess of 26,000 varieties of orchids I’m going to try to offer some basic help for people looking to care for an orchid indoors. Most people get orchids and from grocery stores or plant sales and generally the variety you see most often is phalaenopsis.


However you may have gotten your orchid there are some first steps you will want to follow when you first get it home.

  • Wait To Re-pot Your Orchid – If you re-pot an orchid to soon you may cause it to stop flowering prematurely. Wait until the flowers have reached their peak before you re-pot an orchid.
  • How To Water An Orchid – As long as your orchid is still bloom and potted in the sphagnum moss you should water only when the moss is firm and dry to the touch. Generally watering is required once a week. You water temperature should not differ from the ambient temperature in the room by more than 15 degrees. You want to make sure that there isn’t any standing water on your pot as this can create and environment that breeds deadly disease and bacteria for the orchids.
  • Care After Orchid Blooms Fade – Once the flowers of your orchid have run their course you can decide if you want to re-pot the orchid or cut the flower stem off above the first node (inflorescence). Cutting of the stem is not advised as it cause your orchid undue stress and may prevent a bloom in the following year.


If re-potting is the route you have chosen then you need to begin by building a potting mix of 1 part #3 charcoal, #3 perlite, and clay pellets or wood bark. This mix is easily found at garden stores but if you’re an online shopper or if the garden centers are closed for the winter you canpick some up from Amazon here. You will also want to upgrade to a larger pot, you can find some pretty ones on amazon.

  1. Once you have your plant container and your potting soil on hand remove the root ball or your orchid from the pot.
  2. Holding your orchid in one hand and being careful to hurt any of the petals you can remove the sphagnum moss from the roots and throw it away. Now is the time to take a look a the root system and spot any dead roots. If you can see and dried out or moldy roots pinch off the outer parts, there may still be a core attached.
  3. Before you begin to re-pot your orchid place a few rocks in the bottom of your pot. This added weight from the rocks will help anchor the roots and prevent the orchid from tipping over from the weight of the flowers in the following year.
  4. With one hand you want to hold the orchid in the pot and keep the base of the leafs around half an inch from the top of your new pot. With your free hand begin to trowel in your new potting mix, tapping the pot or work surface occasionally to help settle the potting soil and stabilize the orchid. Water the soil in to help it settle and fill with more soil if necessary.
  5. Now it’s time to get a watering schedule. If you’re keeping it indoors you want to pic a shady place and water once a week. If you’re going to place your orchid outdoors you may need to bump up the watering occurrence to twice weekly depending on the heat conditions.

You can also grow orchids in grow tents. Find how to purchase on here.


To make sure your orchid will bloom next year you need to make sure the plant experiences some cooler temperatures at night in the 50′s (fall time). Although this is easy enough to provide for the plant by simply putting it outside over night most people forget this step. While cool temperatures are needed for an orchids cycle if you expose the plant to frost, so bring it in before the first frost of the fall. Orchids need total of ten nights with cooler temperatures, once that’s been accomplished you can bring the plant back in. When February and March roll around once again you should begin to see new flower stems emerge near the base of a couple leafs. If you are lucky (and it’s rare) you will have new roots sprout out and up and those will bring flowers that spring.

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I'm no master gardener, but I'm always trying to learn new things. I'm always trying new gardening projects and I love to share them with our readers. I'm a landscaper designer by trade, but enjoy farmers markets and spending time with my family on the weekends.