Before you know it, spring will be here and flowers will be in bloom. If you're the owner of a potted orchid, you'll soon begin to see your plant budding. Now is the time to make sure your orchid is in its best health to show off its flowers.
There are two types of orchids: terrestrial and epiphytic. Terrestrials, like the paphioppedilum, commonly known as "lady's slipper," grow in the ground. Epiphytics, like the phalaenopsis, naturally grow balanced on a limb of a tree with its roots in air.
Both kinds of orchids need to be kept in bright, indirect sunlight, evenly moistened, and fertilized regularly in order to bloom at the right time. Orchids love humidity, so grow your plants over a tray of pebbles with water or keep them in the bathroom. The first step in making sure your orchid is in shape is to get rid of its dead or dying leaves. If it needs repotting, you should do so before it is in bloom. Terrestrial orchids are repotted like other plants -- just make sure to use the special terrestrial orchid growing mix; ephiphytes, however, require something different.
Repotting Ephiphytes How-To
1. Remove all dead roots, which are dark in color or soft.
2. Center plant and roots in pot.
3. Add orchid to a bark-and-wood-chips mix.
4. To water, submerge plant in tepid water for 20 minutes, then drain and fertilize every other watering. Add orchid fertilizer to water following directions on the package. Water epiphytes well and allow to dry out slightly between waterings, approximately every five days.