How To Plant Orchids [ Full Guide ]

Orchids are known for their captivating beauty and unique charm, making them a popular choice for indoor and outdoor gardens. Their elegant and exotic blooms have intrigued and inspired gardeners for centuries. While they may seem delicate and difficult to grow, with the right knowledge and care, anyone can successfully plant and cultivate orchids. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the step-by-step process of planting orchids, from understanding the basics to selecting the ideal location and preparing the pot for planting.

Quick Answer: How To Plant Orchids

Before delving into the detailed steps of planting orchids, here’s a quick overview of the essential aspects of orchid planting:

  1. Understanding the Basics: Orchids have specific requirements when it comes to potting medium, light, and watering. Understanding these basics is crucial for successful orchid cultivation.

  2. Choosing the Potting Medium: Orchids thrive in a well-draining, aerated potting medium. Different types of orchids may require specific potting mixes, so it’s important to choose the right one for your orchid variety.

  3. Selecting the Ideal Location: Orchids need the right balance of light, temperature, and humidity. Choosing the ideal location for your orchids is crucial for their growth and blooming.

  4. Preparing the Pot: Proper preparation of the pot includes selecting the right size pot, ensuring adequate drainage, and sterilizing the pot to prevent diseases.

Now, let’s dive deeper into each of these aspects to gain a comprehensive understanding of how to plant orchids successfully.

Understanding The Basics Of Orchid Planting

Understanding the fundamental requirements of orchids is the first step to successfully planting and cultivating these stunning flowers. Orchids belong to one of the largest and most diverse families of flowering plants, with over 25,000 documented species. Despite their diversity, most orchids share some common characteristics and requirements for successful growth.


Orchids thrive in bright, indirect light. They need to be shielded from direct sunlight, as it can cause leaf burn and damage the plant. An east-facing window that receives gentle morning sunlight is often ideal for many orchid varieties. Some orchids, such as Phalaenopsis, can thrive in lower light conditions, making them suitable for indoor environments.


Orchids generally prefer moderate to warm temperatures, similar to those found in tropical regions. Most orchids thrive in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C) during the day and slightly cooler temperatures at night. However, specific orchid species may have unique temperature requirements, so it’s crucial to identify the needs of your particular orchid variety.


Maintaining sufficient humidity levels is crucial for orchid health. While orchids appreciate high humidity, stagnant air can lead to fungal and bacterial problems. It’s important to provide adequate air circulation while ensuring the humidity levels remain between 40% to 70%.


Overwatering is one of the most common causes of orchid demise. Orchids generally prefer a drying period between waterings. The frequency of watering depends on factors such as the potting medium, the orchid variety, and the growing environment. It’s essential to water orchids thoroughly, allowing excess water to drain freely from the pot.


Fertilizing orchids is essential for promoting healthy growth and vibrant blooms. A balanced orchid fertilizer, applied at half the recommended strength, should be used every one to two weeks during the growing season. It’s crucial to flush the potting medium with plain water periodically to prevent salt buildup from fertilizers.


Orchids typically require repotting every one to two years to refresh the potting medium, promote healthy root growth, and provide space for new growth. Repotting should be done when the orchid is not in active blooming or growth.

Understanding the basic requirements of orchids sets the stage for successful planting and cultivation. With this knowledge in mind, the next steps involve choosing the right potting medium, selecting the ideal location for your orchids, and preparing the pot for planting.

Choosing The Right Potting Medium

Selecting the appropriate potting medium for orchids is crucial for their health and growth. Orchids are epiphytes, meaning they naturally grow on the surface of other plants, rather than in soil. As a result, standard potting soils are not suitable for orchids. Instead, orchids require a well-draining, aerated potting medium that allows for proper air circulation around their roots. Several types of potting media are commonly used for orchids, each with its unique characteristics and suitability for different orchid species.

Bark-Based Potting Mix

Bark-based potting mixes are one of the most popular mediums for orchids, especially those with pseudobulbs or thick roots. These mixes are composed of large chunks of bark, often supplemented with materials like perlite, charcoal, or sponge rock to enhance aeration and drainage. Bark-based mixes provide excellent air circulation around the roots and mimic the orchid’s natural growing environment.

Moss-Based Potting Mix

Moss-based potting mixes consist of materials like sphagnum moss, which retains moisture and provides a more consistent humidity level around the orchid’s roots. This type of potting mix is well-suited for orchids that prefer a more consistently moist environment, such as certain species of terrestrial orchids.

Inorganic Potting Mix

Inorganic potting mixes, such as those composed of clay pellets or lava rock, provide superior drainage and are excellent for orchids that require a very well-draining environment. These mixes are suitable for orchids that are prone to root rot or prefer to dry out quickly between waterings.

Other Potting Media

There are several other potting media options, including combinations of bark, perlite, coconut husk, and various organic and inorganic materials. Some orchid enthusiasts even create custom potting mixes tailored to the specific needs of their orchid species.

When choosing a potting medium, consider the specific requirements of your orchid variety and its natural growing conditions. Different orchids have different preferences for moisture, aeration, and drainage, so selecting the right potting mix is essential for their well-being.

Selecting The Ideal Location For Orchids

Choosing the ideal location for your orchids is crucial to their overall health and blooming. Orchids have specific requirements when it comes to light, temperature, and air circulation, making it important to consider these factors when determining their placement.


As mentioned earlier, orchids thrive in bright, indirect light. When selecting a location for your orchids, consider providing them with ample natural light, while protecting them from direct sunlight. An east-facing window is often a suitable location for many orchid varieties, as it allows for gentle morning sunlight without the intensity of the midday or afternoon sun.


Orchids generally thrive in moderate to warm temperatures. Select a location that provides consistent temperatures within the preferred range for your specific orchid species. Avoid areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, such as near drafty windows, as they can stress the orchids.


In addition to light and temperature, consider the humidity levels in the chosen location. Orchids appreciate high humidity, but stagnant air can lead to fungal and bacterial issues. If the air in your home or growing area is particularly dry, consider using a humidity tray or a small humidifier to maintain optimal moisture levels around the orchids.

Air Circulation

Adequate air circulation is essential for preventing fungal and bacterial problems, as well as promoting healthy orchid growth. When selecting a location for your orchids, ensure that there is sufficient air movement to prevent the buildup of stagnant air around the plants. Avoid placing orchids in enclosed areas with limited airflow.

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Placement

The ideal location for your orchids largely depends on the specific growing conditions they require. While many orchids thrive indoors, some varieties may benefit from outdoor placement, especially in mild climates. Understanding the natural habitat of your orchid species can provide valuable insights into the optimal location for their growth.

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Carefully considering these factors and understanding the natural habitat of your orchid species will help you identify the ideal location for your orchids, whether indoors or outdoors.

Preparing The Pot For Planting

Proper preparation of the pot is essential for successful orchid planting. Orchids have unique root systems and growth habits, which require specific potting considerations to ensure their health and vitality.

Selecting The Right Size Pot

When choosing a pot for your orchid, it’s important to select a size that allows for the orchid’s current size and anticipated growth. Orchids generally prefer a snug fit in their pots, as too large a pot can retain excess moisture and lead to root rot. Consider repotting your orchid into a slightly larger pot only when necessary to accommodate new growth.

Ensuring Adequate Drainage

Orchids are highly sensitive to waterlogged conditions, which can lead to root rot and other issues. Ensure that the chosen pot has ample drainage holes to allow excess water to escape freely. Additionally, consider using a pot with a raised bottom or adding a layer of drainage material, such as broken pottery shards or small stones, at the bottom of the pot to facilitate proper drainage.

Sterilizing The Pot

Before planting your orchid, it’s important to sterilize the pot to eliminate any potential pathogens or harmful microorganisms that could harm the plant. This can be done by soaking the pot in a solution of one part bleach to nine parts water for approximately 30 minutes, followed by thorough rinsing and drying.

Preparing The Potting Medium

If you are using a pre-packaged potting medium, ensure that it is well-aerated and free from excessive moisture. If you are preparing a custom potting mix, thoroughly moisten or soak the components as necessary to achieve the desired consistency before planting the orchid.

Planting orchids can be a rewarding and fulfilling endeavor, but it requires a thorough understanding of their unique requirements and proper planting techniques. By comprehensively understanding the basics of orchid planting, choosing the appropriate potting medium, selecting the ideal location for your orchids, and preparing the pot for planting, you can create an environment where these stunning flowers can thrive and flourish. With the right knowledge and care, you can enjoy the beauty and elegance of orchids in your home or garden for years to come.

The Step-by-Step Guide To Planting Orchids

Orchids are exquisite and delicate flowers that add beauty and elegance to any space. Known for their vibrant colors and unique shapes, these plants require specific care and attention to thrive.

1. Selecting The Right Orchid Species

Before diving into the planting process, it’s crucial to choose the right orchid species that suits your environment and preferences. There are numerous species and hybrids available, each with its own specific care requirements. Some of the more common orchid types include Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Cattleya, and Oncidium. Research the characteristics of each species, their lighting, temperature, and humidity preferences, and choose one that aligns with your gardening skills and the conditions in your home or garden.

2. Choosing The Right Potting Medium

Orchids are epiphytes, which means they grow on other plants or surfaces. They don’t rely on soil for nutrients but require a well-draining medium that allows air circulation around their roots. There are several potting mediums available, such as bark chips, sphagnum moss, coconut husk chips, or a combination of these. When selecting a potting medium, consider the water retention capacity, the type of orchid, and the humidity levels in your area.

3. Preparing The Pot

Start by selecting a pot that is appropriate for the size of your orchid. Ensure that it has good drainage holes to prevent waterlogging. It’s generally recommended to use a clear or semi-transparent pot to allow light to reach the orchid’s roots. Sterilize the pot and its drainage holes with a mixture of 1 part bleach to 10 parts water to eliminate any potential pathogens.

4. Repotting The Orchid

If you’re repotting an existing orchid, carefully remove it from its current pot and gently shake off any old potting medium from the roots. Inspect the roots for any signs of rot or damage, and trim them with sterile scissors or cutting tool if necessary. Be cautious not to remove too many healthy roots, as they are crucial for the plant’s health.

5. Placing The Orchid In The Pot

Position the orchid in the pot, making sure that the crown (the base of the leaves) is slightly above the pot’s rim. This will prevent water from pooling around the growing tip, which could lead to rot. Gently hold the orchid in place and start adding the potting medium around the roots. Lightly tap the pot on a hard surface to help the medium settle evenly.

6. Securing The Orchid

To keep the orchid upright and stable, you can use various methods. Some options include using a stake or bamboo cane, adding support clips, or using orchid-specific pots with built-in clips. Securing the orchid will prevent it from leaning or falling over as it grows and develops new leaves or flowers.

7. Watering The Orchid

Once the orchid is securely placed in the pot, it’s time to water it. Fill a container or sink with room temperature water and allow the orchid’s pot to sit in it for about 10-15 minutes. This allows the potting medium to fully absorb water. It’s essential to water orchids thoroughly but avoid overwatering, as this can lead to root rot. Allow the excess water to drain completely before returning the orchid to its usual location.

Watering And Fertilizing Orchids

1. Watering Orchids

Orchids have specific watering requirements, as they are sensitive to both under and overwatering. Rather than following a strict watering schedule, it’s best to observe the orchid’s needs based on its potting medium and environmental conditions. As a general guideline, most orchids prefer to dry out slightly between watering. The frequency of watering will depend on factors such as the type of orchid, potting medium, temperature, and humidity levels.

To determine if your orchid needs watering, gently insert your finger into the potting medium. If it feels dry about an inch below the surface, it’s time to water. However, if it’s still slightly moist, hold off on watering for a few more days. Remember that it’s better to slightly underwater rather than overwater orchids.

2. The Watering Technique

When watering orchids, it’s important to use room temperature water to avoid shocking the plants. Cold water can cause stress to the roots, and hot water can damage them. Fill a container or sink with water and allow the pot to sit in it for about 10-15 minutes, enabling the roots to absorb moisture. Avoid splashing water on the leaves, as this can lead to fungal diseases.

3. Fertilizing Orchids

Fertilizing is a crucial aspect of orchid care, as it provides the necessary nutrients for growth and blooming. Orchids have specific nutritional requirements that can be met by using orchid-specific fertilizers. These fertilizers usually have a balanced ratio of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K). It’s essential to follow the instructions on the fertilizer package for correct dilution and application.

During the active growing season, usually in spring and summer, orchids require more frequent fertilization. Dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength and apply it every two weeks. In the dormant season, typically fall and winter, reduce the frequency to once a month or halt fertilizing altogether, depending on the type of orchid.

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Managing Temperature And Humidity For Optimal Growth

Orchids are native to tropical and subtropical regions, thriving in warm and humid conditions. Replicating these conditions can be challenging, especially in drier climates or indoor settings. However, by carefully managing temperature and humidity levels, you can create an environment that promotes the healthy growth of your orchids.

1. Temperature Requirements

Different orchid species have varying temperature preferences. Some prefer cool temperatures, while others thrive in warmer conditions. It’s crucial to understand the temperature range required for your particular type of orchid. Generally, most orchids prefer a daytime temperature range of 65°F-85°F (18°C-29°C) and a nighttime temperature range of 55°F-65°F (13°C-18°C).

To provide the necessary temperature conditions, place your orchids in appropriate locations. In warmer climates, partial shade or indirect sunlight is recommended to prevent overheating. On the other hand, in cooler climates, placing orchids near a south-facing window can increase the temperature slightly during the day. Using a thermometer near your orchids can help monitor the temperature accurately.

2. Humidity Requirements

Orchids thrive in high humidity, usually between 50% and 70%. This can be challenging to maintain, especially in areas with low humidity or during dry seasons. There are several methods to increase humidity for your orchids:

  • Grouping orchids together: Orchids release moisture through their leaves, creating a microclimate of higher humidity when placed close together. This also promotes air circulation, preventing the onset of fungal diseases.

  • Using a humidity tray: A humidity tray is a shallow tray or saucer filled with water. Place the orchid pot on a stand to prevent it from sitting in water directly. The evaporation from the tray increases the humidity levels around your orchids.

  • Using a humidifier: If you’re unable to maintain adequate humidity naturally, using a humidifier in the growing area can be beneficial. Set it at a level that aligns with your specific orchid’s requirements.

  • Misting: Although misting can increase humidity temporarily, it is generally not recommended for orchids. Water droplets can sit on the leaves and pseudobulbs, potentially causing fungal or bacterial infections.

To accurately monitor humidity levels, you can utilize a hygrometer, which measures humidity.

Orchid Maintenance And Care

Caring for orchids goes beyond the initial planting process. Consistent maintenance ensures healthy growth, abundant blooming, and the prevention of diseases. Here are some essential aspects of orchid maintenance:

1. Proper Lighting

Orchids require the right balance of light to thrive. Insufficient light can result in weak growth, while excessive light can lead to leaf burn. Determine the lighting requirements of your specific orchid species and place them in suitable locations accordingly. Most orchids prefer bright, indirect light. In general, east-facing windows provide ideal morning light, while south-facing windows offer bright, filtered light throughout the day. Avoid placing orchids in direct sunlight, as this can scorch the foliage.

2. Pruning

Pruning orchids is necessary to maintain their health and appearance. Regularly check for any dead, yellowing, or damaged leaves or stems. Use sterile pruning shears or scissors to remove these parts. Additionally, after the orchid has finished blooming, you can consider cutting back the flower spike above a node to encourage new growth and potential reblooming.

3. Air Circulation

Good air circulation is essential to prevent the buildup of stagnant air and to reduce the risk of pests and diseases. Avoid overcrowding orchids and ensure that they are not placed near drafts or airflow from heating or cooling vents. Mildly circulating air can be achieved by using a small fan set on the lowest speed.

4. Repotting

Over time, orchids outgrow their pots or encounter issues with the potting medium breaking down. Repotting them every 1-3 years is essential to provide fresh medium and ensure their continued growth. Consider repotting your orchids when you notice the potting medium has decomposed or when the plant has grown too large for its current pot. Stick to the same potting medium or experiment with alternatives that suit your orchid’s needs.

5. Preventing Disease And Pests

Orchids are susceptible to various pests and diseases, including aphids, mites, mealybugs, scale, and bacterial or fungal infections. To prevent these issues, regularly inspect your orchids for any signs of pests or diseases, such as discolored leaves, webbing, or sticky residue. Remove any affected parts immediately and treat the plant with appropriate products or natural remedies. Maintaining good cultural practices, such as proper watering and providing adequate air circulation, can also help prevent these problems.

Common Mistakes To Avoid When Planting Orchids

While planting and caring for orchids can be rewarding, there are some common mistakes that beginners often make. By being aware of these errors, you can avoid potential pitfalls and ensure the long-term health and success of your orchids. Here are a few mistakes to avoid:

1. Overwatering

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes when it comes to orchid care. Orchids should never sit in standing water, as this leads to root rot. Instead, follow the watering guidelines mentioned earlier and allow the potting medium to dry out slightly between watering.

2. Using The Wrong Potting Medium

Orchids require a well-draining medium to prevent waterlogging and root rot. Avoid using regular potting soil or heavy materials that retain too much moisture. Instead, opt for specialized potting mixes designed specifically for orchids, or create your own by combining materials like bark chips, sphagnum moss, or coconut husk chips.

3. Insufficient Lighting

Orchids need the right amount of light to thrive. Placing them in areas with insufficient light can lead to weak growth or a lack of blooms. Be sure to research the lighting requirements of your specific orchid species and provide them with appropriate levels of light.

4. Ignoring Temperature And Humidity Requirements

Temperature and humidity play a crucial role in the growth and flowering of orchids. Neglecting these factors can result in poor growth and a decreased lifespan. Take the time to understand the specific needs of your orchid species and provide them with optimal temperature and humidity conditions.

5. Neglecting Orchid Maintenance

Proper maintenance is essential for orchids to flourish. Neglecting tasks such as pruning, repotting, or monitoring for pests and diseases can lead to poor plant health and reduced blooming. Make sure to incorporate regular maintenance practices into your orchid care routine.

Planting and caring for orchids can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience. By selecting the right species, choosing the appropriate potting medium, and properly managing temperature, humidity, and light, you can create an environment conducive to your orchids’ growth. Regular maintenance, including watering, fertilizing, pruning, and monitoring for pests and diseases, is critical for their long-term health and success. By avoiding common mistakes and following the guidelines provided in this article, you’ll be well-equipped to plant and care for beautiful orchids in your home or garden.


The first thing you need to know about orchids is that they grow differently than other plants. Orchids are epiphytes, which means they naturally grow on trees without soil. They absorb moisture and nutrients from the air, water, and debris that collect on their roots. Therefore, planting orchids require a specific kind of potting mix designed with a well-draining and airy blend of materials.

When you are choosing your type of orchid, you will need to consider the growing conditions it needs- such as light, temperature, and humidity. Each orchid variety requires different levels of these conditions to thrive. Therefore, you will need to research the type of orchid you have and follow its specific needs. Below are some key points to keep in mind when planting orchids.

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Most orchids need plenty of light to bloom. However, it’s essential to provide the right amount and intensity of light for the specific type of orchid you are planting. In most cases, you should avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch the delicate leaves. Instead, plan on providing bright but indirect or filtered light. The right intensity and duration of light can vary by the type of orchid you have.


Orchids do not need to be watered too often, and you should avoid watering them excessively. Overwatering can damage the plant, as orchids have evolved to thrive with intermittent rain and air moisture. On average, plan on watering your orchid every 5-7 days, depending on the humidity level and heat conditions of your environment. You want to ensure that the potting mix is moist but not waterlogged. Generally, it’s best to water them in the morning and avoid wetting the leaves to prevent fungal growth.


As mentioned earlier, orchids grow in humid and tropical climates. Therefore, they need higher levels of humidity than the average indoor plant. One way to ensure that your orchids receive adequate moisture is to place a humidifier nearby or add a tray of pebbles filled with water below the pot. You can also opt for a humidity tray or mist the orchid with water daily.


Orchids need a warm, stable, and consistent temperature to thrive. Although most orchids prefer warm temperatures between 65-85°F, some varieties can handle extended periods of cooler weather conditions. Ensure that you keep the orchids away from temperature drafts, which can damage the leaves.

Dealing With Pests And Diseases

Like all plants, orchids can be susceptible to pests and diseases. The good news is that most orchid problems are preventable and treatable with the right care. Here are some common orchid problems you should watch out for and how to deal with them.


Orchids can attract numerous pests like aphids, spider mites, and scale insects. You may notice a sticky residue or small black spots on the leaves of affected orchids. To deal with pests, remove any insects you can see with a cloth or small brush. Alternatively, apply a natural insecticide or neem oil to the plant, being careful not to get it too close to the flowers.


Orchids can contract several diseases, including bacterial and fungal infections. You may notice spotting, mold growth, or decay on the leaves and flowers. To avoid disease, make sure you are using fresh soil or medium when transplanting the orchids, keep the leaves dry during watering, and allow good air circulation around the plant. If your plant is suffering from disease, remove infected parts, and apply an antibacterial or antifungal treatment or a copper fungicide.

Propagation Techniques For Orchids

Propagation is a great way to multiply your orchids. There are a few methods to propagate orchids, including dividing them, seed germination, or using new growth shoots. Here is a guide on how to propagate orchids using stem cuttings.

Steckling Propagation

  1. Take a healthy stem cutting from the orchid. Ensure it has at least two nodes or roots left, usually at least 6 inches long.

  2. Dip the cutting in a growth hormone and then plant it in a soilless orchid mix.

  3. Cover the pot with a plastic bag to keep the environment humid.

  4. Keep the orchid in a warm place away from direct sunlight.

  5. Water and fertilize the plant as necessary.

  6. Once roots begin to form, and new growth appears, remove the plastic cover, and treat it like any other mature orchid.

Re-potting And Transplanting Orchids

Orchids will need to be repotted about every two years. You can tell if it is time to repot your orchid if you notice the roots growing outside the pot, the soil has been degraded, or the plant has stopped blooming. Here is a guide on how to repot your orchids.

  1. Soak the orchid in water for at least an hour before repotting them. This will make it easier to wriggle the root ball from the old pot.

  2. Gently remove the orchid from the pot and inspect the roots. If the roots are healthy, cut away any dead roots to encourage new growth.

  3. Choose a larger and well-draining pot for your orchid and fill it with a mixture of orchid bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss.

  4. Place the orchid back into the pot and add additional orchid mix around the roots. Ensure that the plant is not buried too deep, and the top of the root ball is visible.

  5. Water and fertilize the orchid according to its needs.

Troubleshooting For Common Orchid Planting Issues

Despite your best efforts, your orchids may encounter some planting issues at times. It’s best to address any problem immediately to avoid damage to your plant. Here are some common orchid planting issues and how to troubleshoot them.

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves can indicate that the orchid is either receiving too much or too little light. If the leaves are pale green or yellow, you may need to move the plant closer to the light source. However, if the leaves are dark yellow or brown, you may be exposing the orchid to too much sunshine. In this case, relocate it to a less exposed spot.

Leaf Drop

Leaf drop can occur for many reasons, including overwatering, underwatering, stress, or pests. Try to determine the cause of stress and adjust its growing environment to rectify it.

Lack Of Blooms

Orchids need a well-balanced combination of light, humidity, temperature, fertilization, and other factors to bloom. If your orchid is not blooming, consider adjusting some of these factors and giving it extra care.


In this guide, we’ve shown you how to plant orchids and provided tips on how to care for them for optimal growth. Keep in mind that orchids require specific conditions, and you will need to research the type of orchids you have and follow its care instructions. With good care, your orchids will provide years of enjoyment and beauty in your garden.


What Kind Of Orchid Should I Buy?

Choose an orchid that is best suited for your skill level. Phalaenopsis is a good beginner orchid, while Cattleya and Oncidium orchids are suited for intermediate orchid growers.

Where Should I Plant My Orchids?

Orchids require a lot of indirect sunlight, so choose an area that gets plenty of bright but filtered light. They also need good air circulation and a consistent temperature between 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Often Should I Water My Orchids?

It is recommended to water your orchids once a week and allow the soil to dry out in between waterings. Overwatering can cause root rot, so make sure to check the soil moisture level before watering.

What Kind Of Soil Should I Use To Plant Orchids?

Use a well-draining medium such as orchid bark, coconut coir, or sphagnum moss. Do not use regular potting soil as it can retain too much water and cause root rot.

How Should I Fertilize My Orchids?

Use a balanced orchid fertilizer every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and once a month during the rest of the year. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer label and do not over-fertilize as it can damage the roots.