22 min

Orchid Love in the Home The Sunshine Gardening Podcast

    • Home & Garden

Orchids are a popular and colorful addition to any home setting. In this episode of the Sunshine Gardening Podcast, I called up Dr. Rick Durham, Extension Professor and Consumer Horticulture Specialist to have him answer common questions about how to properly care for orchids in the home! To get the full scoop on showing orchid love in the home, stay right here for more on the Sunshine Gardening podcast!

















Tell us about some of the common orchid types for the home.







Phalaenopsis – Moth Orchid – Southeast Asia







* Often considered easiest to grow* Epiphytic* Require moderate light and good moisture* Temperatures of mid 60s night, 70-80 days* Flower spikes often produce new buds after flowering* May bloom anytime of the year, many flowers* Individual flowers last from a few days to a month or more









Moth Orchids











Dendrobium – many resemble Phalaenopsis, Philippines, Australia, East Asia







* Epiphytic* More light than Phalaenopsis* Temperature variable, most require nights of 55-60, daytime in 70-80.* Somewhat forgiving of dry medium –pseudobulbs, some like a dormancy period* Seasonal bloom periods* Flowers may last for 6 weeks or more











Dendrobium Orchids







What kind of care is needed to keep orchids happy at home? Tell us more about the cultural requirements needed for orchids such as light, growing media, and humidity.







Light• Orchids generally need bright, often indirect, light• Those listed above will grow in the home under proper conditions• Southeast or south exposure window is best for those needing lots of light: Cattleya, Oncidium, Dendrobium, close to window• East or west exposure window is best for lower-light species: Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum• No mid-day sun for any, may benefit from summers outdoors but no direct mid-day sun• Also - possible to grow orchids under lights







Epiphytes - grow on trees• Light, airy growing medium• Tree fern fiber, fir bark, sphagnum peat, vermiculite, redwood fiber, lava rock, mounted on cork• Pots should have ample drainage• Pot-in-pot systems may increase humidity around root system, avoid standing water• Repot every 2-3 years as medium breaks down and plants out grow their pot• The presence of aerial roots is normal and healthy• Soft, dark colored roots are a sign of too much water







Humidity• Many orchid species are native to tropical rain forests• Home humidity levels can be quite low (both summerand winter)• Avoid drafts of forced air (hot and cold)• Use room humidifier, group plants together, or place plants on pebble-filled trays with water• Spraying plants with water is less beneficial• Orchids may benefit from summers outdoors– protect from mid-day sun– step up watering and increase fertility







How often should you water orchids? How often should you apply fertilizer?







Watering• Water often enough so that medium stays moist, brief periods of dryness is ok• Pots will become light – indication that water is needed• If water accumulates in saucer or outer pot, pour it out soon after watering• Ice can be used as a substitute for watering, I prefer to do so only occasionally• Note pseudobulbs – They should be plump and firm, naturally shrivel with age







Fertilization• Fertilization is most crucial when new growth is occurring (after flowering)• Orchids...

Orchids are a popular and colorful addition to any home setting. In this episode of the Sunshine Gardening Podcast, I called up Dr. Rick Durham, Extension Professor and Consumer Horticulture Specialist to have him answer common questions about how to properly care for orchids in the home! To get the full scoop on showing orchid love in the home, stay right here for more on the Sunshine Gardening podcast!

















Tell us about some of the common orchid types for the home.







Phalaenopsis – Moth Orchid – Southeast Asia







* Often considered easiest to grow* Epiphytic* Require moderate light and good moisture* Temperatures of mid 60s night, 70-80 days* Flower spikes often produce new buds after flowering* May bloom anytime of the year, many flowers* Individual flowers last from a few days to a month or more









Moth Orchids











Dendrobium – many resemble Phalaenopsis, Philippines, Australia, East Asia







* Epiphytic* More light than Phalaenopsis* Temperature variable, most require nights of 55-60, daytime in 70-80.* Somewhat forgiving of dry medium –pseudobulbs, some like a dormancy period* Seasonal bloom periods* Flowers may last for 6 weeks or more











Dendrobium Orchids







What kind of care is needed to keep orchids happy at home? Tell us more about the cultural requirements needed for orchids such as light, growing media, and humidity.







Light• Orchids generally need bright, often indirect, light• Those listed above will grow in the home under proper conditions• Southeast or south exposure window is best for those needing lots of light: Cattleya, Oncidium, Dendrobium, close to window• East or west exposure window is best for lower-light species: Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum• No mid-day sun for any, may benefit from summers outdoors but no direct mid-day sun• Also - possible to grow orchids under lights







Epiphytes - grow on trees• Light, airy growing medium• Tree fern fiber, fir bark, sphagnum peat, vermiculite, redwood fiber, lava rock, mounted on cork• Pots should have ample drainage• Pot-in-pot systems may increase humidity around root system, avoid standing water• Repot every 2-3 years as medium breaks down and plants out grow their pot• The presence of aerial roots is normal and healthy• Soft, dark colored roots are a sign of too much water







Humidity• Many orchid species are native to tropical rain forests• Home humidity levels can be quite low (both summerand winter)• Avoid drafts of forced air (hot and cold)• Use room humidifier, group plants together, or place plants on pebble-filled trays with water• Spraying plants with water is less beneficial• Orchids may benefit from summers outdoors– protect from mid-day sun– step up watering and increase fertility







How often should you water orchids? How often should you apply fertilizer?







Watering• Water often enough so that medium stays moist, brief periods of dryness is ok• Pots will become light – indication that water is needed• If water accumulates in saucer or outer pot, pour it out soon after watering• Ice can be used as a substitute for watering, I prefer to do so only occasionally• Note pseudobulbs – They should be plump and firm, naturally shrivel with age







Fertilization• Fertilization is most crucial when new growth is occurring (after flowering)• Orchids...

22 min