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Tips for growing Orchids

Orchids are slow groiwng pernnial herbs and their cultivation is simple as compared to other plants since their requirements are minimum for optimum growth. It is generally believed out of experience that orchids are destroyed due to over care rather than by neglect. However cultivation of all types of orchids calls for proper care and conditions for good growth and regular yield of flowers.

Climate: Most of the Orchids grow well in tropical and subtropical climate. The warm humid climate of th ecoastal area is idial for orchid cultivation.

Temperature: The ideal temperature for optimum growth is between 15.5 degrees C to 26.5 degrees C. However they can be grown at a maximum temperature of 35 degrees C and a minimum of 12 degrees C. Highter temperature than 35 degrees C can cause leaf burning.

Watering: Every morning in a fine spray to well soaked condition. In summer water everyday or once in two days. During cloudy winter months, watering may be done once or twice a week. If the potting medium is dry then watering has to be done.

Ventilation: Adequate free circulation of fresh air.

Propagation: Orchids can be propagated by seeds, division of clumps, cuttings and be tissue culture.

Culture: Various containers and potting media can be used depending on the size and growth habit of different orchids. Orchids can be grown in ptos, pans or hanging baskets. The growing media for orchid plants are entirely different from other plants. Growing medium should be porous and well aerated for the roots to freely grow and respire easily.

Fertilizer: Regular manuring has been found to improve growth and flowering. N.P.K fertilizer ration 17:17:17 or 19:19:19 supplemented with trace elements can be given.

Repotting: Repotting is done when the growing medium has deteriorated and needs replacing, when the plants have outgrown the present pot and needs a bigger pot. Plants can be divided with a minimum of 3 – 4 shoots and a sprouted bud in the case of sympodials. Repotting of orchids is to be done only when it is necessary and it is best done after flowering.

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