Skip to Main Content

Orchid Tips

1) Identify your orchid.

2) Make sure that your water is clean. If in doubt, use distilled water.

3) Use tepid water at all times. The roots of an orchid can be damaged by the use of too hot or too cold water.

4) Keep your orchid out of air conditioning drafts. This cold air can cause bud and bloom damage.

5) Once your orchid has bloomed, cut the stem off at and angle just above a node and place the plant along a North-facing window with no direct sunlight for 45 days, or until a new stem develops. Once the new growth begins, place your orchid in usual temperatures for that species.

6) Repot your orchid when the potting medium breaks down, usually every two years. Never use soil with orchids, this will kill them.

7) Most orchids like tight conditions, so keep the grow pot or the decorative pot tight around the root base.

8) Try to keep the humidity up around your orchid. This will enable more growth and development.

Always make sure to use clean utensils when dealing with your orchid. Orchids are very susceptible to infection.

Orchid Troubleshooting

1) Bud blast or drop – when your orchid has buds that turn yellow and do not open, this is usually caused by a change in temperature, lighting or humidity.

2) Refusing to bloom – can be caused by a multitude of issues. Not enough light, too little temperature fluctuation, artificial lights set at same length (make days shorter to mimic winter months), low humidity, damaged root systems, either too much or too little fertilization and immaturity all can cause a healthy plant to not bloom.

3) Yellowing leaves – can be because of too much or too little water. Also, yellowing leaves can be from a lack of nitrogen.

4) Dying leaf tips – most likely from too much salt in your water or from not enough watering. If the plant has not been watered, you will see shriveled pseudobulbs and stagnate root growth.

5) Root tip dieback – again from either not enough water or too much salt in the water. Healthy roots have a little tip of bright green at the tip and they are covered by a silvery velamen covering the rest.

6) Discoloration in leaves – can be from a variety of pests, water problems, or a virus that has struck the plant.

7) Always use clean instruments when dealing with your orchid. You can use a lighter to clean off the blades of your pruning shears, keeping the flame on the area for several seconds at a time. Household bleach also works well for sterilizing: use 1 part bleach to 9 parts water. Rubbing or isopropyl alcohol is also effective and does not have the potential to harm your clothes. Keep shears in either the bleach or the alcohol for at least 10 minutes. Also, remember that your hands carry germs. It is always best to wear latex gloves when handling orchids.