One look at an orchid's blooms and it's easy to see why these flowering plants are so popular. The elegant flowers resemble sprays of dancing butterflies in a rainbow of colors. Selecting the perfect orchid plant might be the hardest part, as choices in varieties are so vast and varied. When it comes to growing orchid houseplants, moth orchids or phalaenopsis are the easiest with the least demands. However, cattleya, known as the corsage orchid, dendrobium, boat orchids or cymbidium and "dancing lady" orchids, or oncidiums, also grow well indoors.
Although they have a reputation for being difficult plants to keep alive, this fussy reputation is undeserved. Orchid care isn't as difficult as it might seem. Providing the appropriate light and meeting the orchid's needs leads to thriving, problem-free plants. Fortunately, there's a wealth of orchid care products that make that care a breeze. Orchid supplies include everything from potting mediums, orchid fertilizer, and orchid pots to pest-control products, which are available to maintain your orchid's health and blooming beauty.
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Below, we cover some notable considerations when selecting the appropriate orchid care products that will make you feel like an orchid-growing rockstar. We've also noted top products that assist in keeping your orchids happy, healthy and continually blooming with those stunning flowers for years to come.
What to Consider When Selecting Orchid Care Products
Supplemental Light: Orchids perform best in bright indirect light, with the cool morning sunlight working best. Placing your orchids in full sun can burn the foliage. If possible, select a location near an east- or north-facing window. If the natural lighting isn't the best and to promote the best bloom production, you can supplement the lighting by using grow lights.
Orchid Pots: The vast majority of orchids are potted with the double-pot system. The main portion of the orchid is potted in a plastic pot that has bottom drain holes. The plastic pot is then placed in a more decorative pot which is called the cachepot. The material of the pot doesn't matter, but bottom drainage is imperative to prevent rot and orchid death. Your orchid requires repotting about every two to three years into a new pot that is 1 to 2 inches larger than the current one. To prevent damage to the blooms, don't repot blooming orchids.
Orchid Potting Mix: Orchids require a potting mix that has good drainage but can still retain a bit of moisture. Regular potting soils used for standard plants are too heavy and retain too much moisture leading to problems with rot. You can purchase orchid bark which is a unique blend mixed specifically for orchid growth containing chunky components like bark, gravel, sphagnum moss and plant-dried fibers.
Feeding Orchids: To keep your orchids healthy and producing good growth and blooms, it's important to feed them. Select a blend that's specific to orchids and mix according to package directions. Feed them every three to four weeks when you water. After the plant blooms, reduce feeding and watering your orchid until you see new growth. Once the new foliage emerges, you can resume a normal watering and feeding schedule.
1. SMEREKA Orchid Repotting Kit
This orchid repotting kit from SMEREKA takes all the guesswork out of repotting your orchids. You get everything you need for successfully repotting, along with step-by-step instructions to answer any questions you might have. The kit includes the necessary pots to repot in a double-pot system, orchid fertilizer and orchid clips to hold those fabulous bloom stalks along with orchid bark.
The kit also includes cytokinine paste that allows you to clone your orchids if you're feeling like a bit of orchid experimenting to develop new plants. This repotting kit makes a great gift for the orchid grower in your life or even to gift yourself.
2. Southside Plants Crazy Keiki Cloning Paste
Even novice orchid growers can be successful at cloning new plants off their favorite orchid plants with this cloning paste from Southside Plants. You get everything you need in the kit for cloning orchids, as well as other plants with step-by-step instructions that will take the mystery out of cloning. The paste contains a special blend of vitamins and plant growth hormones that assist the mother orchid in producing an offspring while feeding it.
The application process is simple and you should see a newly developing baby orchid several weeks and up to a month later. This paste makes a great gift for the orchid-lover in your life and also makes a good scientific experiment to get the kids involved in growing.
3. Duspro Orchid Potting Mix
The health of your orchid begins with a suitable orchid potting mix, and this one from Duspro contains everything needed to promote good growth. This is an ideal mix for all your orchids and contains a mix of pine bark mulch, dried forest moss, organic coconut peat and perlite.
The mix is fast-draining and contains everything your orchid needs for good root growth and healthy development. You won't have to worry about your orchids drowning from too soggy conditions when using this potting medium. Each bag contains two quarts, and the company will give you a refund or offer a replacement if you're not completely satisfied with their product.
4. Harris Neem Oil Spray
The last thing you want to do is damage your orchid plants by using a product that's not safe and can injure the blooms or foliage. Harris neem oil is ready-to-use and works in three ways, as a miticide, insecticide and fungicide and is safe for use on orchids. Whether your plants suffer from pests like aphids, spider mites, scale or mealybugs, this product kills the eggs, larvae and adult pests. It also works well as a dormant spray helping to prevent fungal problems like mildew and leaf spots.
This organic spray is easy to use, as you just shake the bottle and spray but as with all products, follow directions on repeat applications. With this one bottle, you can keep your orchid plants safe from a variety of unwanted attacks.
5. rePOTme Store Feed Me! Orchid Food
Whether you have a new orchid or one you've had forever, orchid health depends on a variety of things, including proper feeding. This orchid food was developed by Michigan State University and gives your orchids everything they need to promote healthy growth. The water-soluble granular formula has a formulation of 13-3-15 and mixes well with low-alkaline tap water or reverse osmosis systems.
The fertilizer contains no urea, which can burn plants, and with the major ingredients of 13 percent nitrogen, 3.7 percent available phosphate and 15.9 percent soluble potash, plus a host of other necessary ingredients. The product comes with complete instructions on its use, and your orchids will thank you with their robust growth and flowering.
6. Miracle-Gro Orchid Plant Food Spikes
With Miracle-Gro orchid plant food spikes, you don't have to worry about remembering to feed your plants when watering, as each spike continuously feeds your orchids for up to two months. The spikes have an analysis of 10-10-10 and give your plants everything they need to produce healthy green leaves, strong roots and stunning blooms.
The package comes with complete instructions on use and how many food spikes you'll need based on the size of the pot, so your plants get the nutrition they require. You simply break the spikes in half and gently insert them into the orchid mix. Each time you water, the food spikes release nutrients into the soil and are taken in by the root system.
7. rePOTme Store Ceramic Orchid Pot Planter
If you're looking to dress up your orchids a bit with a fresh new pot when repotting, then this orchid pot from rePotme has you covered. The ceramic pot has a hexagon shape, is 4 inches by 6 inches and has plenty of open spaces on its sides and bottom to give your plants the airflow and drainage they require for healthy growth. You also receive the plastic inner pot, so your plants are growing in the preferable double-pot system.
These orchid planters come in 10 different colors, so there's something to meet everyone's design preferences. The planter also comes with a ceramic drain tray that has padded feet on the bottom to protect any surface it's sitting on.
8. GooingTop LED Grow Light
If your orchids aren't receiving enough natural lighting, then this grow light from Gooing Top is a good supplemental choice to give them what they need. The lamp has a flexible gooseneck allowing you to direct the light where it's needed and has a strong clamp that attaches the light where you want.
The grow light provides full spectrum lighting with 50-watt, 6000K LED lights with five levels of brightness. It's made of carbon steel and polyvinyl chloride with a plug-in adapter and remote control. The grow light is small enough to fit on any table without taking up too much space, but powerful enough to keep your orchids happy with much-needed lighting. It has a 365-day warranty, and the company will replace or give you a refund if you aren't completely happy.