Elegant, easy orchids to grow indoors
Moth orchids look spectacular indoors and are easy to grow.
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If you keep the following information in mind, you should have minimal trouble growing orchids in your own home:Skip to next paragraph
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– Temperature should stay between 70 and 75 degrees F. (21 C to 24 C) during the day and 60 to 65 degrees F. (15.5 C to 18 C) at night.
– Proper light it critical for getting plants to rebloom. Moth orchids are low-light plants that prefer an east or lightly shaded west window, They can also be grown under regular grow lights that are positioned about a foot above the plant. They do not like direct sunlight.
– Ideal humidity is between 50 to 60 percent. For a greater chance of success, cluster pots on trays filled with gravel and water, making sure that pot bottoms sit above the water level.
– Mastering the watering of orchids is often one of the most puzzling challenges of their culture. Moth orchids have a low tolerance for drought, enjoying an evenly moist, not wet, soil year-round. I water my plants weekly, flushing the pot well with water, then allowing it all to drain out before putting it back on the water-filled tray.
– During the growing season, I fertilize with a weak (l/4-strength) orchid fertilizer every time I water, cutting back to once every two to three weeks when the plant is in bloom.
– To induce a flower spike and subsequent bloom, plants need a bit of a cold spell. My basement is ideal, where temperatures dip to the mid-50s F. (13 C) for a couple of weeks during winter.
– Plants do best when they're grown in a potting media that's for orchids and in free-draining containers. Repotting is usually necessary every three or so years.
Moth orchids are very rewarding, generally non-demanding, plants for the home grower as long as you find the right balance between humidity, temperature, and light.
Betty Earl is one of eight garden writers who blog regularly at Diggin' It. She's the author of “In Search of Great Plants: The Insider’s Guide to the Best Plants in the Midwest,” is one of eight garden writers who blogs regularly at Diggin' It. She also writes a regular column for Chicagoland Gardening Magazine and The Kankakee Journal and numerous articles for Small Gardens Magazine, American Nurseryman, Nature’s Garden, and Midwest Living Magazine, as well as other national magazines. She is a garden scout for Better Homes and Gardens and a regional representative for The Garden Conservancy.
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