Orchids - care instructions, plants and fertilizers

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Orchids mostly thrive on trees within their homeland. The branches of the giant trees in the rainforest serve as a perfect base, so that they can use the low daylight. However, orchids are not parasites. They absorb necessary nutrients partly through their roots from the rainwater and the air.

The roots of the orchids hang partly in the air. However, if these are covered by earth, they rot in no time.

Plant orchids

So that the orchid roots are sufficiently supplied with moisture even in the living area without taking their breath away, special substrates are available. When acquiring an orchid, it is already planted in such a substrate. This usually consists of peat, Styrofoam and bark and other components that hold water, but are also permeable to air.

The orchids must be repotted every two to three years. Again, it is important that under no circumstances normal potting soil is used. Special orchid substrate for repotting the orchid can be purchased in garden centers or online. However, the substrate should contain only moderate peat.

Careful orchid care

Orchids can use their aerial roots to partially absorb the required water from the room air. The appropriate humidity is also very important for the leaves of the orchid, as they evaporate so less water, as in very dry indoor air.

  • If the humidity is too low, the green dries up.
  • If the room humidity is too high, bacteria and fungi can spread rapidly and damage the valuable plants.
  • Likewise vital metabolic processes are endangered if the humidity exceeds a certain degree.

The humidity for orchids should be at least 40 percent in the vicinity and 80 percent maximum. These values ​​can be easily controlled by a hygrometer and are also valid for the well-being of the people who are in the rooms.

By spraying the orchids, dry room air can be countered most quickly and in a simple way. However, the spray should be extremely fine. Erected water bowls are another way to provide for an optimal microclimate. They should contain expanded clay in order to provide a larger surface and thus to release enough water to the environment. The trays are to be cleaned regularly or completely dry out at short notice. So no bacteria can spread.

The biggest enemy of an orchid is rottenness. This can lead to the death of the orchid in just a few weeks. Several orchids, which are maintained on windowsills, are often drowned. Although orchids live originally in rainforests, but mostly on trees. Here the plants dry up after a very short time. Orchids must therefore be poured carefully:

  • During the winter, it is sufficient to supply a medium orchid pot only once a week with water.
  • In the summer weeks may be poured twice a week. The frequency of watering depends of course on the type of orchid and its pot size.

To determine the timing of the water needs, a simple trick can be applied: The orchid pot is raised briefly. If the plant is extremely light, water needs to be replenished. If the pot has a certain weight, the substrate is still wet enough. Thus, it may dry out in the meantime. Another rule of thumb is: If the orchid is in the growth phase, it needs a little more water. If, on the other hand, no active growth is observed, the watering should be significantly reduced.
Casting should always be strong, with excess water draining out of the pot at the bottom. The pots of purchased orchids have several holes at the bottom, which make this possible. If the plant later in a planter, it is therefore advisable to take them out for pouring. Otherwise, the excess water collects there and drowns the orchid.

In addition, a layer of expanded clay (two to three centimeters) or some pebbles on the bottom of the planter can provide for distance to any moisture. Remaining water must be poured afterwards, in order to avoid putrefaction. Clean rainwater is best for casting orchids. However, sturdy orchid hybrids can also be supplied with stale tap water at room temperature. Drops of water should never remain on the orchid, as this favors fungi that can be observed as spots above the leaves.

Orchids fertilize when needed

Orchids are used to a modest supply of nutrients on the rainforest trees. No orchid likes to be treated with a dose of fertilizer every week.Their roots are very sensitive to salt and can even die off by intensive fertilization. For optimal fertilization, a simple rule of thumb can be used: If a new shoot or a fresh leaf is discovered on the plant, it can be fertilized. If the orchid is resting, no fertilizer should be given.

Since several orchids live through their growth phase from spring to autumn, they can be fertilized every two to four weeks during this time. Always pour pure water between the fertilizers to thoroughly rinse off any salt residue. In the winter weeks, however, fertilizer should be greatly reduced.

For the fertilization of orchids special orchid fertilizer is best. It can be purchased in any garden center as well as online. Orchid fertilizer consists of an ideal composition of nutrients that optimally cover the needs of the exotic. Furthermore, it is much more diluted than normal fertilizer. The dosage on the packaging should never be exceeded, rather halved, so as not to harm the fascinating plants.

Rest stop the orchid

Several orchids once a year rest in their growth. During this time, only very minimal should be poured. The room temperature must also be significantly lower during this period. Orchid fertilizer should not be used during the rest period. If orchids do not get a certain amount of rest, they will do some leafs, but not their magical flowers. Some orchids also lose their leaves during the resting phase. In contrast, yellow leaves should be collected regularly.

Orchid leaves have a 'breaking point' for this purpose. If a leaf has died, it can be easily removed by gently pulling it. No scissors are needed and there is no risk of damaging important plant parts. Ideally, the gardener waits until the orchid simply drops it.

Worth knowing about orchids soon

In the sheer infinite diversity of the plant world, the largest family is that of orchids, with over 600 genera and about 25,000 to 30,000 different species in the wild. However, those orchids that we keep in the living room are mostly hybrids, that is, created by crossing, of which there are now at least 30,000 species.

Tip: If you have little experience in dealing with orchids and want to play it safe, you should not start with a natural form but with a hybrid. These forgive by their robustness initial care mistakes rather and make even without complicated specialized knowledge every flower lover joy.


  • Most orchid species feel most comfortable west or east; Here, when the sun is shining, the sun falls directly on the plants.
  • In particular, a lot of light, for. B. species and crosses of the genus Cattleya and Vandabut also these prefer the protection of the partial shade in midsummer.
  • Comparatively little light because z. B. the genera Paphiopedilum and Phalaenopsis.

to water

  • Overhydration is the sure death of an orchid.
  • If the soil is too heavy, the water can not drain sufficiently. Even then, the roots begin to rot.
  • For this reason, flower pots in which orchids are sold usually have holes in the bottom.
  • For a medium-sized pot, it is enough to water once a week in winter and twice in summer.
  • The substrate may even dry significantly between the waterings.
  • It would be best to use clean rainwater for casting.
  • Robust orchid hybrids also tolerate normal tap water, preferably a bit stale.

Tip: During the growth phase (spring to autumn) the plant needs more water. If it does not grow, it is better to restrict casting.


  • As for fertilizer, the orchid shows extreme modesty.
  • If too much fertilizer, the roots even die due to the high salt content.
  • However, in the growth phase it still needs support - it is best to provide sparingly with special orchid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks.
  • In between, always pour with pure water to rinse out the salt residue.


  • With few exceptions, all orchids undergo a period of rest during the course of the year in which they neither flower nor grow.
  • At this time, the room temperature should be much lower than during the flowering period.
  • The plant is poured very little and the fertilizer should be completely omitted.

By the way: Other beautiful tropical plants are psychoactive plants.

Video Board: How to care for Phalaenopsis Orchids - Watering, fertilizing, reblooming.

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