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Care and maintenance of your orchid

Updated on March 28, 2013

maintenance tips for an orchid

An orchid is a beautiful, elegant addition to any home. Its airy blooms exude tranquility, and its soaring stem invites contemplation. Unfortunately, many people stop short of purchasing an orchid for their home because of concerns regarding the proper care and maintenance of this ethereal plant. This article will endeavor to show that with just a few simple tips, even those with the blackest of "green thumbs" will be able to keep an orchid alive and thriving.

Orchids originated in the tropical rainforests, so it stands to reason that replicating those conditions through proper watering and humidity control are contributing factors to the proper care of an orchid.

In order to properly water an orchid, one must provide a slow drip, much like they receive from the constantly dripping canopy that is their original source. It is quite easy to produce the desired watering effect through the simple placement of three or more ice cubes in the pot. As the ice cubes melt, they will deliver their moisture to the roots of the plant in a slow, measured fashion.

As far as humidity goes, most orchids thrive in indoor conditions, provided they are kept out of direct sunlight. Again, considering their origin, this makes perfect sense. Orchids are climbing plants that wind around existing trees, but never make it out from under the gloom of the canopy. If one keeps an orchid away from East or West facing windows, one will find that the lifespan of the house orchid is greatly increased.

A final note about orchids: Even with the best of care, an orchid is a transient bloom at best. Once the blooms fade and then drop during the course of several weeks, one will be left with a stem that slowly browns. However, if one were to continue in the proper watering and humidity controlled care of the orchid, it is possible that it will bloom again, once more creating a lovely focal point for any room.

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