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Comprehensive Guide to Indoor Orchid Care

Updated: Feb 26


Orchids are one of the most popular ornamental flowers known for their beauty and unique features. If you are an orchid enthusiast, it is important to understand the basics of indoor orchid care to ensure their longevity and keep them thriving. In this article, we will guide you through the best practices of indoor orchid care and provide you with all the essential information you need to keep your orchids healthy and blooming.


The Right Potting Mix


The first step to indoor orchid care is to choose the right potting mix. It is important to use a mix that allows for good drainage and air flow. Orchids thrive in a well-draining potting mix that consists of bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss. The mix should hold water well, but should also drain quickly to prevent root rot.


Adequate Watering

Watering is a crucial aspect of indoor orchid care. Over-watering is the most common reason for orchids to fail, so it is important to be mindful of how much water you give your orchids. Orchids should be watered thoroughly, but not too frequently. The frequency of watering depends on the type of orchid and the environment it is in. In general, most orchids need to be watered once a week.


Proper Lighting


Orchids require bright, indirect light to thrive. They should be placed near a window that provides ample natural light, but not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can cause sunburn and damage the delicate flowers and leaves of the orchid. If natural light is not available, artificial lighting can be used to supplement.


Temperature and Humidity


Orchids are native to tropical regions and therefore require warm temperatures and high humidity. The ideal temperature range for most orchids is between 65-85°F (18-29°C). High humidity is essential for orchids to thrive and can be achieved by placing a tray of water near the orchids, misting them regularly, or using a humidifier.


Fertilizing


Orchids need regular fertilization to promote healthy growth and blooming. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer should be used every two weeks. Avoid using fertilizer when the orchids are not actively growing, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions for application.


Repotting


Orchids should be repotted every 2-3 years, or when they outgrow their current pot. Repotting allows the orchids to have access to fresh potting mix and helps to prevent root rot. When repotting, be sure to use a pot that is slightly larger than the previous one and use a well-draining potting mix.


Pests and Diseases

Orchids are susceptible to pests and diseases, just like any other plants. Common pests include spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs. To prevent pests, it is important to inspect your orchids regularly and take action as soon as a problem is detected. Diseases can be prevented by ensuring that your orchids are not overwatered and are not exposed to stagnant air.


Indoor orchid care is a simple but crucial aspect of keeping your orchids healthy and thriving. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your orchids will provide you with years of beauty and enjoyment.


18 Popular Indoor Orchids


Brassia


Brassia is a type of orchid that is known for its large, spider-like blooms that can grow up to 8 inches long. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Central and South America and are considered one of the easiest orchids to grow.


Calanthe


Calanthe is a type of orchid that is known for its large, showy flowers that bloom in shades of white, yellow, pink, or purple. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Asia and are often used in landscaping due to their vibrant blooms.


Cattleya


Cattleya is a popular type of orchid that is known for its large, fragrant flowers that come in a variety of colors, including pink, purple, yellow, and red. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Central and South America and were once highly prized for their beauty.


Coelogyne


Coelogyne is a type of orchid that is known for its delicate, fragrant blooms that come in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, and pink. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Southeast Asia and are often used in corsages and boutonnières.


Cymbidium


Cymbidium is a type of orchid that is known for its long spikes of blooms that come in a variety of colors, including yellow, green, pink, and brown. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Asia and are often used in cut flower arrangements.


Dendrobium


Dendrobium is a popular type of orchid that is known for its delicate, long-lasting blooms that come in a variety of colors, including white, yellow, and pink. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Southeast Asia and are often used in corsages and boutonnières.


Encyclia


Encyclia is a type of orchid that is known for its fragrant, long-lasting blooms that come in shades of yellow, pink, and purple. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Central and South America and are often used in perfumes and scented products.


Epidendrum


Epidendrum is a type of orchid that is known for its showy, long-lasting blooms that come in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, and red. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Central and South America and are often used in landscaping due to their vibrant blooms.


Ludisia


Ludisia is a type of orchid that is known for its delicate, fragrant blooms that come in shades of pink, yellow, and red. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Asia and are often grown for their attractive foliage as well as their blooms.


Miltonia


Miltonia is a type of orchid that is known for its large, fragrant blooms that come in shades of pink, yellow, and red. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to South America and are often used in corsages and boutonnières.


Oncidium


Oncidium is a type of orchid that is known for its large, showy blooms that come in a variety of colors, including yellow, pink, and red. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Central and South America and are often used in landscaping due to their vibrant blooms.


Paphiopedilum


Paphiopedilum is a type of orchid that is known for its distinctive, slipper-shaped blooms that come in a variety of colors, including yellow, green, and pink. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Asia and are often grown for their unique blooms.


Phalaenopsis


Phalaenopsis is a popular type of orchid that is known for its large, long-lasting blooms that come in a variety of colors, including white, pink, and yellow. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Southeast Asia and are often grown as houseplants.


Phragmipedium


Phragmipedium is a type of orchid that is known for its large, fragrant blooms that come in shades of pink, yellow, and red. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Central and South America and are often used in corsages and boutonnières.


Polystachya


Polystachya is a type of orchid that is known for its large, showy blooms that come in shades of yellow, pink, and purple. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Africa and are often used in landscaping due to their vibrant blooms.


Prosthechea


Prosthechea is a type of orchid that is known for its delicate, fragrant blooms that come in shades of yellow, green, and pink. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Central and South America and are often used in perfumes and aromatherapy due to their fragrant blooms.


Rhynchostylis


Rhynchostylis is a type of orchid that is known for its large, fragrant blooms that come in shades of pink, yellow, and red. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Asia and are often grown for their attractive foliage as well as their blooms.


Vanda


Vanda is a type of orchid that is known for its large, showy blooms that come in a variety of colors, including blue, purple, and yellow. It prefers bright, indirect light and temperatures between 60-85°F. Watering should be done once a week and the soil should be kept evenly moist. They are native to Southeast Asia and are often used in landscaping due to their vibrant blooms.


Take Our Indoor Orchid Poll


Votes will help us deliver more Orchid Care content for you.

What is Your Favorite Indoor Orchid?

  • Brassia

  • Calanthe

  • Cattleya

  • Coelogyne


Indoor Orchid Care Frequently Asked Questions


What type of potting mix should I use for my indoor orchids?


Orchids prefer a well-draining potting mix that contains ingredients such as bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss. Avoid using regular potting soil, as it does not provide adequate drainage for the roots of orchids.


How often should I water my indoor orchids?


The frequency of watering will vary depending on factors such as the type of orchid, the size of the pot, the humidity and temperature of your home, and the season. As a general rule, water your orchids once a week and be sure to let the potting mix dry out before watering again. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to indoor orchid care.


What is the best temperature and humidity range for indoor orchids?


Most orchids prefer temperatures between 60 and 85°F and humidity levels between 50-70%. It is important to keep your orchids away from direct sunlight and drafts.


How do I fertilize my indoor orchids?


Orchids should be fertilized regularly, about once a month, with a balanced fertilizer that is specially formulated for orchids. Be sure to follow the instructions on the fertilizer packaging and avoid over-fertilizing.


My orchid has stopped blooming, what can I do to encourage it to flower again?


If your orchid has stopped blooming, there could be several reasons. Make sure it is getting the proper amount of light, water, and fertilizer. You may also need to re-pot it into fresh potting mix. In some cases, cutting back the stem after the flower has faded can encourage re-blooming.


How do I know if my indoor orchid is getting enough light?


If your orchid is getting enough light, its leaves should be a medium green color and should not be scorched or yellowing. If the leaves are very dark green, it may be getting too much light. If the leaves are yellowing, it may be getting too little light.


How often should I re-pot my indoor orchid?


Orchids should be re-potted every two to three years, or when the potting mix has broken down and is no longer providing proper support for the roots.


What are some common pests that can affect indoor orchids?


Common pests that can affect indoor orchids include spider mites, scale insects, and mealybugs. To get rid of pests, you can use an insecticide specifically formulated for orchids or try using natural remedies like neem oil or rubbing alcohol.


If you need help with your Orchid, please check out our Plant Clinic.


Are you interested in another Orchid? Please call us at (630) 353-0570. We're here to help.

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