This time of year I can really use some color and orchids are a great choice. Orchids aren't as hard to grow as you think. By selecting the right types, placing them in the right location and watering and fertilizing properly, you can have orchids in bloom for months. Even if you do nothing but occasionally water, many orchids will still flower for weeks, making them a much better gift than cut flowers.
Here's how to grow orchids indoors:
Orchid Selection- There are many different types of orchids. The easiest to grow are the moth orchid (Phaleonopsis), lady's slipper orchid (Paphiopedilum) and Dendrobium orchid. Buy ones in bloom to get the color you like.
Find the Right Location- These orchids grow best with bright, filtered light in an East or South facing window. If the leaves start turning red, it's too much light. If the plant doesn't flower well or as little growth, it may need more light. The air temperatures should be 60F to 80F. Avoid sudden changes in air temperature or cold drafts.
Water Properly- Moth and Dendrobium orchids grow in a bark medium, while lady's slippers grow in potting soil. Water once a week (more in summer, less in winter), soaking the pot and making sure it drains well and dries between waterings. A simple way to water is to place 3 ice cubes in the pot once a week. This will keep the soil sufficiently moist. If you over water the flowers will wilt and die prematurely.
Care- Prop up the flower stalks with VELCRO® Brand Ties and VELCRO® Brand Garden Ties. Match the color of the ties to the color for added bling. This will help keep the flower stalk from flopping over. Fertilize once a week with orchid food. Once the flower stalk is finished blooming, prune it off.