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If this is your first experience growing an orchid, don't
be afraid of them, most are no more difficult to grow than ordinary houseplants. Orchids are unique, unusual,
gorgeous, and very special. Since most orchids are epiphytes, or air plants, their culture requirements are different
than other plants but once you get used to what they need, we expect you will be delighted growing them.
Learn what kind of orchid you have so you can understand its needs. With over 800 genera, more than
25,000 species, and hundreds of thousands of registered hybrids, the orchid family is among the most diverse
of the plant families. Don't let that be intimidating, there are only a dozen or so types of orchids that
are generally seen for sale, a few more types if you go to an orchid show or nursery. Over half of the
orchid plants that are produced are
Phalaenopsis. Other genera such as
Paphiopedilum are showing up in
many places, including groceries and hardware stores. If your orchid doesn't have a label, you can try to
identify it from pictures on our
Orchid Identification page and from there
learn its culture and repotting needs.
Watering an orchid is different than it is for other plants. The easiest way to water an orchid is to
take it to the kitchen sink once per week and flood it with water. The water will run right through the pot
as orchids are potted in free-draining mixes. Walk
away for a couple of minutes, come back and flood it again. A few minutes later put it back. Resist the
temptation to water it too frequently, orchids hate that. Generally speaking, once every 7 - 10 days should
be fine. If an orchid is in a planter with no drainage hole it will need to be moved to one as soon as
Fertilize "weakly, weekly". In nature most orchids cling to trees and get very little in the way of food.
They are happiest with a consistent supply of weak fertilizer. In general orchids prefer a balanced complete
fertilizer. Our Fertilizing
FAQ offers help with specifics.
Repot orchids when they go out of bloom in fresh orchid mix. This gives them the best chance at a successful growth phase and the flowering phase that
follows. Orchids will smother if they remain in the same media too long; they are air plants and need oxygen
at their roots. The freshness and quality of the orchid mix is an essential component to successful growth
and flowering. Usually repotting every 2 years is adequate though many will benefit from annual
“This fall I religiously followed your advice, creating an environment of shortened
days and lower temps in order to encourage blooming...I was successful. FINALLY!! Thank you, thank you!!
Both of my plants decided to bloom and they look beautiful. I wanted to share the good news and
my gratitude with you. Thanks again!”Laurie J.
“The potting medium you sent is gorgeous!! It's superior to the bark I've been
buying at Lowe's. I can't imagine what (my orchids) will do when I put them in your potting mix. It even
smells fresh!! Many, many thanks. I'll be ordering from you again.”
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