The Feb/March Birds & Blooms magazine has an interesting and educational article about orchids written by Tom Krischan from Wisconsin. He recommends several varieties for the beginning orchid gardener.
What I know is this: you can’t beat the colors that these flowers produce. It’s amazing and gives my mood a lift every time that I look at them. Just try and pull me away! You will find that a well-placed orchid or two, even if pulled out of your home for an outdoor event, is sure to become a smashing conversation starter.
If you don’t garden, don’t be detained from trying an orchid. Although a little pricey up front, the glorious color they provide are very much worth it. Trust me, even one is enough.
Tom says that there are five key ingredients for successfully growing orchids:
- Light – They need a few hours of sunlight every day. When it blooms, move it slightly away from warm sunshine to prolong blooms.
- Water – Hold back on it. Orchids need water only after their potting material has dried out completely. Water thoroughly but not frequently.
- Temperature – Tropical orchids are great inside but most favor temperatures between 70-85 degrees during the day and 10-15 degrees cooler at night. Keep them away from heating vents and cold doorways.
- Fertilizer – Most grow fine without any. But if you want to, simply use a balanced 20-20-20 mixture at one quarter the normal strength.
- Bugs – Inspect your plants every time you water for bugs, the most common of which are the mealy bug (look like tiny bits of cotton) and scale (looks like brown-colored flat discs stuck to leaf or stem surface).