Posts by Carol:

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care Instructions

Phalaenopsis orchids are among the easiest growing orchids for beginners!  These beauties can flower throughout the year (peaking in the spring) and are incredibly easy to care for as they enjoy much of the same indoor conditions found in our homes.  Just look at these flowers bloom!

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care Instructions

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care Instructions : (You might also find my post on the anatomy of a phalaenopsis orchid helpful.)

Light They grow easily in a bright window, with little or no direct sunlight.

Temperature Phalaenopsis should be above 60 F at night, and range between 75 and 85 F or more during the day.

Water Because they have no major water-storage organs other than their leaves, they must never completely dry out. Phalaenopsis orchids should be thoroughly watered and not watered again until nearly dry.  Want to know how I water my orchids?  Check out my Orchid Care and Maintenance Tips : Watering Your Orchids post for more details on my drench and drain method.

Humidity The recommended humidity is between 50 and 80 percent.  You an adjust humidity levels in your home by setting the orchids on humidity trays or on gravel, partially filled with water, so that the pots never sit in water.

Fertilizer It is best to fertilize your phalaenopsis orchid on a regular schedule, especially if the weather is warm, when the plants are most often growing.  Twice-a-month applications of high-nitrogen fertilizer (such as 30-10-10) are appropriate where bark-based media are used. Otherwise, a balanced fertilizer is best. When flowering is desired, a high-phosphorus fertilizer (such as 10-30-20) can be applied to promote blooming.  You can also dilute the fertilizer into your orchid’s water, making it a regular part of your watering schedule.

Potting This is best done in the spring, immediately after flowering. Phalaenopsis orchids must be potted in a porous mix. Potting is usually done every one to three years. Mature plants can grow in the same container until the potting medium starts to decompose, usually in two years.

To repot, remove all the old medium from the roots, trim soft, rotted roots, and spread the remaining roots over a handful of medium in the bottom of a new pot. Fill the rest of the pot with medium, working it among the roots, so that the junction of the roots and the stem is at the top of the medium.

Want to learn a few tricks of the trade?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–he shares his best secrets with his readers.  You’ll learn secret orchid care techniques expert growers use to super-charge their plants!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

These phalaenopsis orchid care instructions are taken from my AOS guides and from a series of Orchid Care Cheat Sheets I received for free from Ryan.  They’ve come in so handy when I just want a quick refresher on orchid care!

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

Carol’s Orchid Care and Maintenance Tips : Watering Your Orchids

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Categories: Orchid Care, Water

Today’s orchid care and maintenance tips are all about watering your indoor orchids.  I’m so excited to share my watering tips with you!   I’ve been following these watering basics for a few years now and my babies have never been happier!  Let’s get started! 😛

Orchid Care and Maintenance

Water in the Morning

Watering Can

I water my orchids first thing in the morning while our coffee is brewing. Watering in the morning ensures that the orchids dry out by nighttime when the temperature drops. Remaining wet at night (or in cooler temperatures in general) makes them vulnerable to nasty orchid pests and diseases.

Use Room Temperature Water

This tip is simple, use room temperature water.  Never use water that is too hot or too cold for your orchids. Uncomfortable water temperature can result in damage to your orchids—and you don’t want that! :(

Water Quality

Rain Barrel Collection

The kind of water you use will make a difference to your plants.  My first choice is rain water. Did you know the organic matter in the rain water even nourishes the plants! I never miss the opportunity to collect rain water for all of my indoor plants.  I have a rain barrel that collects the run off from the roof and I place buckets around the yard to catch all the rest.  I store it in clean plastic gallon containers in my little shed. Now, I know relying on mother nature for rain is not possible in all locations. Tap water will work just fine—but you do have to be careful as our drinking water is often chemically treated with chemicals (like salt) that will harm your orchid if there is too much build up.

Ryan shares some great home remedies in his book Orchids Made Easy that will help remove water deposits from leaves. I recommend you check them out on page 40!


Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid

My method for watering my orchids is easy peasy!  I like to call it the “DRENCH and DRAIN” method!  I fill a plastic tub (you can use your bath tub or kitchen sink) with several inches of rain water or tap water if that is what you have.  I then let my orchids sit in the water (about 50% of the pot should be in the water) for a few minutes–making sure they each get a good drink.  Once the potting medium is thoroughly soaked, I let the orchids sit on a drying rack (or in the drained sink or tub) for a few minutes to make sure that all of the excess water has drained before placing them back on their shelves.  I then give their leaves a light misting with a spray bottle.  Once they are back in place I use a hand towel to dry off any water that might have splashed between the leaves.  You want to make sure water does not collect deep down between the leaves because those areas can easily begin to rot! 😕

How Often

In general, you want to keep the orchid potting mix moist. You can determine this by using your finger or a wooden chopstick from the Chinese restaurant.  Simply poke 1 inch into the orchid medium, if the chopstick is damp/wet, your orchid is perfectly fine. It will take you just a few weeks to figure out what your watering schedule will be each week (once or twice a week, etc.).

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Yellow Leaves on OrchidBUT, there are few factors you should be aware of.  The type of pot and potting medium you use do impact your watering schedule. For instance, both plastic pots and moss medium retain more water and stay wetter longer than clay pots and bark medium do.  You also want to pay careful attention to the type of orchid(s) you have.  Cattleyas, Cymbidiums, Phalaenopsis and Dendrobiums for instance each have different water requirements.  In fact, most orchid problems (diseases and death) are the result of improper watering–usually overwatering.

(Be sure to check out my other posts where I’m sharing everything I know about caring for each of these orchid varieties.  Also, don’t miss my special  posts about orchid pots and orchid potting mix.)

Well, these are all the watering tips I have for you today!  Hope they make caring for your orchids a tad bit easier.

ps. Don’t forget to check out Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips.  He offers some incredible watering advice I didn’t get the chance to share with you today!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

Welcome to the Orchid Care Lady!

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Categories: Orchid Care

Phalaenopsis Orchid Care InstructionsHi there, and thanks so much for stopping by my Orchid Care site! :)

I want to let you know that while orchids are a passion of mine, they’re still just a hobby for me — and I find myself learning new things every single day.  (So, while I’m thrilled to be sharing that passion with the world, I can’t claim myself to be an expert just yet! :-))

BUT… I can tell you from one hobbyist to another, probably the most valuable resource in my orchid reference library is a little How-To Guide called “Orchids Made Easy” written by a TRUE orchid expert — Ryan “The Orchid Guy” — who after 30+ years of orchid growing experience, decided to divulge some of the most unusual (but surprisingly effective) orchid tips, tricks, and home remedies you’ll find anywhere.

AND… Ryan has a series of Free Orchid Care Email Tips where he generously gives away a bunch of his secrets for FREE!

You can Click HERE to Check Out that Free Orchid Care Email Tips series for Yourself!

Otherwise, I hope you enjoy this little site (it’s still a work in progress).  And happy orchid growing!

Carol :-)

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

Caring for Orchids : It’s not as hard as you think!

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Categories: Orchid Care

orchid care greenhouse

Don’t let those gorgeous orchid blooms intimidate you! You don’t have to have a green thumb or own a fabulous orchid greenhouse like Barbara (I love her greenhouse!)—caring for orchids indoors is a breeze. Orchids are extremely sturdy plants and I’ve found them no more difficult to care for than the average house plant.

My Bill gave me my very first orchid, an inexpensive blooming phalaenopsis orchid as an anniversary gift (many moons ago). Truth is, I was absolutely frightened! I cared for it as best as I could—weeding through (no pun intended) the many orchid care books in books I had found at the local library.

phalaenopsis orchid

Shortly after receiving it, a new shoot developed with five little green buds. My neighbors must have thought I’d gone mad because my screams of joy were probably heard for miles! The five buds bloomed and with that, my passion for orchids was born!

I now have well over 70 orchid plants in my home, several of which I’ve successfully rescued from that sad “almost dead”clearance shelf we’ve all walked by. Nothing gives me greater joy than waking up each morning and seeing my “babies” in bloom.

If this self professed non-green thumb can grow beautiful orchids, anyone can!  I’ll be sharing all of my orchid care tips and secrets on this site.  No fancy-shmancy orchid jargon here, just simple, easy to follow, tips that will keep your orchid babies happily blooming.  I’ll show you how you can care for your orchids in as little as 5 minutes a week!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance