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Taking care of an orchid

Orchid care & tips

The orchid is a beautiful flowering houseplant and one of the most popular plants out there. That's not surprising, of course, because let's face it, those colorful flowers are amazing, aren't they? To enjoy your beautiful orchid for as long as possible, it is important to take good care of your orchid.

How do you care for an orchid? Orchid grower Rob Olsthoorn knows everything about orchid care and tells you all his care tips on this page.

Just a short summary:

soaking in water once a week

Immerse in water once a week

taking care of an orchid immersing in water once a week

Give special orchid food once every 1 months

Needs a lot of light, but no direct sunlight

Needs a lot of light, but no direct sunlight

Ideal temperature 18 to 22 degrees

Ideal temperature 18 to 22 degrees

Repot once every 1 years

Repot once every 1 years

Prune after the flowering period

Prune after the flowering period

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If you can't wait any longer, read all our extensive care tips below!

TIP! Go directly to:

ABOUT THE ORCHID

WATERING ORCHID

SITE

REPOTING ORCHID

NUTRITION

ORCHID PRUNING

TOXIC

FLOWERS

ORCHID CUTTINGS

HOW TO SAVE AN ORCHID

orchid care - about the orchid

About the orchid

The orchid is the most famous flowering houseplant in the Netherlands. You can find her in many different colors, which are increasingly seen in living rooms. Did you know that the orchid traveled around the world before it arrived here in the Netherlands? Originally, the orchid is found in Australia and Southeast Asia. There the orchid can be found on trees, because orchids may be different than you are used to from plants.

They are an epiphyte. This means that, unlike many other houseplants, they do not grow in the ground, but on trees. So they do not have ground roots, but aerial roots. Orchids get their nutrients from the air, light, water and also from the trees. Beautiful and special.

 

Types of orchids

There are really a lot of orchids. The most popular is the Phalaenopsis, but the Cambria, Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Miltonia and Oncidium are also well-known and popular orchids. They also have Dutch names, namely:

  • Butterfly Orchid (Phalaenopsis)
  • Violet Orchid (Miltonia)
  • Tiger Orchid (Oncidium)
  • Cattleya orchid (Christmas orchid)
  • Boat Orchid (Cymbidium)
  • Bamboo orchid (Dendrobium)
  • Cambria orchid (Cambria)

The care for these species does not differ much from each other. If you follow the care tips on this page, you will be able to handle butterfly orchid care, dendrobium care or other orchid care very well.

Tip! Would you like to know more about the different types? Read all about it in our blog The top 7 most beautiful orchid species!

Care Kolibri Orchids About the orchid

Watering an orchid

You can water your orchid in different ways. It also depends on various factors how much and how often you should water an orchid. 

✔️ Standard watering 1 x a week
✔️ Completely submerge the growing pot
✔️ Watching roots before watering
✔️ Preferably use water without lime (e.g. rainwater)
✔️ Use lukewarm water

 

Watering an orchid

How often should you water an orchid?

By default you have to once a week water your orchid. Depending on the temperature and the season, this can also be given less often or more often. In the warm summer months, your orchid will be thirstier and will need more water. In the cold winter months you can safely water your orchid once every two weeks.

HINT | Always check the roots in the plastic growing pot before watering the orchids. These tell you whether they are thirsty or whether they still have enough water.

  • Are the roots light gray? Then water, because then they will be dry.
  • Are the roots dark? Then they have enough water. You don't have to water.

How should you water an orchid?

How should you water an orchid?

  • Unlike many other houseplants, the best way to water the orchid is to submerge the cultivation pot

The best way to water an orchid is by immersing the plant in water. The easiest way to do this is to submerge the grow pot in a bucket of water.

It is better not to water with ice cubes, because this is too cold for the plant. Orchids do not like cold. It is best to give water at room temperature.

Watering an orchid
Watering an orchid

How long should you dip an orchid?

Leave the plastic orchid growing pot in water for 5 minutes. Then lift the orchid in the breeding pot out of the decorative pot and let the water drain well. Now you can put your orchid back in the decorative pot and it can enjoy fresh water again.

HINT | Tap water is fine, but rainwater is even better! Tap water contains lime. If you have the possibility to collect rainwater at home, feel free to do so and give rainwater to your orchid! This allows you to enjoy your orchid even longer.

Important!: do you still water your orchid with a watering can? Make sure that there is never a layer of water in the pot! This can cause root rot and this is harmful to the plant.

Location

✔️ Avoid full sun
✔️ Avoid cold
✔️ Avoid draft
✔️ Not next to a fruit basket
✔️ Not next to blaring heating

Where is the best place to put my orchid?

Orchids like a light spot with room temperatures between 17 and 22 degrees.

HINT | Never place your orchid next to a fruit bowl. Many fruits release a natural substance called ethylene. This substance can speed up the orchid's aging process.

Can an orchid live in the sun?

An orchid can be in the sun for a while, but be careful with this! Too much direct sunlight is harmful to the leaves and flowers. Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves and this will not recover.

HINT | Direct sunlight is unfiltered. If you would like to place your orchid in front of a south-facing window or in another place with a lot of direct sunlight, you can do this if you hang a transparent curtain in front of it.

Hyacinth, woven tray
Kolibri Company - Kolibri Orchids Mineral white white Dame Blanche pot size 12cm

 

How much sun does an orchid need? 

Indirect sunlight likes the orchid the most. The orchid likes a light spot. This gives her a lot of energy, so she can grow well. Avoid direct sunlight at all times to prevent damage.

Can orchids withstand heat?

An orchid can withstand heat very well, as long as the plant (yes, it is again): is not in full sun. It is more important to keep the orchid from cold. The ideal temperature for the orchid is between 18 and 22 degrees.

Can an orchid stand above the heating?

No, do not place your orchid above or next to the heating when it is on. The warm radiator air ensures drier air and the orchid does not like that. In the colder winter months, the air in the house often becomes drier. To make it more enjoyable for your orchid, you can do two things.

  • Spraying your orchid with a plant sprayer. This causes the humidity to increase. Spray only on the leaves. You can also spray on the buds, but be careful not to touch the flowers, because they find it less pleasant.
  • Place a bowl of water on the heating. This causes the water in the house to evaporate and the humidity in the house to rise. This option has a nice extra: almost all plants can appreciate this! 
Kolibri Company - Kolibri Orchids Mineral white white Dame Blanche pot size 12cm

repot orchid

✔️ Repot every two years
✔️ Special potting soil
✔️ Likes to be tight in the pot
✔️ Repotting in spring

orchid repot care orchid kolibri repot orchids orchid

When should I repot my orchid?

As an orchid lover, you may have had the same orchid in your home for two years or more. It is high time to repot this orchid to a larger growing pot. The roots have grown to such an extent that it is time for a new, larger growing pot. You can do this by following these steps:

  • Preparation for repotting the orchid
  • Remove orchid from old pot
  • Inspect roots
  • Prepare new pot
  • Place the orchid in a new pot
  • To water

Keep in mind that orchids are epiphytes. This means that in nature they attach to living greenery and obtain nutrition from water and air. This means that orchids do not like normal potting soil, but orchid bark, which consists of tree bark.

TIP! We have written an extensive blog about repotting orchids and how best to do this. Read the blog: repot orchid.

How do I repot my orchid?

Repotting your orchid may be slightly different than you are used to with other houseplants, but with these tips from grower Rob, you are ready-to-go to give your orchid its new home!

STEP 1

Remove the orchid with roots and all from the plastic growing pot.

STEP 2

If necessary, trim the black roots with pruning shears. These are rotten and the orchid does not need them.

STEP 3

Grab a bucket of lukewarm water and submerge the orchid. Then put the orchid back in the plastic growing pot.

STEP 4

Sprinkle the new, fresh orchid bark into the jar and press gently.

STEP 5

Place the orchid in a somewhat cooler place in the house where the temperature is around 18 degrees and avoid direct sunlight. In this way the orchid can create new, strong roots.  

Orchid repot orchid care

Nutrition

✔️Special orchid food
✔️ Feeding once every two months

taking care of the orchid immersing in water 1 x a week feeding

How do you fertilize orchids?

Do orchids need special food? Taking care of an orchid is best done by spoiling them with orchid food once every two months. This keeps your orchid beautiful for longer, because it receives extra nutrients. For optimal growth of your orchid, one special nutrient drop is enough to provide your orchid with enough nutrients for the next two months.

Toxic

Are orchids poisonous?

There are many different types of orchids, but the most well-known and most popular orchids in the Netherlands are not poisonous. The Phalaenopsis is not poisonous to dogs and cats. If you, someone else, children or pets still get complaints after touching or ingesting the leaves or flowers of an orchid, always consult your doctor.

Flowers

The orchid owes its popularity to the beautiful flowers. They are available in many different colors and color combinations, so there is always an orchid that fits your interior.

✔️Beautiful flowers
✔️ Usually blooms once a year
✔️ Flowering period of 6 – 10 weeks
✔️ Only the Phalaenopsis blooms longer and more often

orchid care orchid flowers

How many times a year does an orchid bloom?

Most orchids have 1 flowering period per year and this lasts about 6 to 10 weeks. However, the Phalaenopsis orchid is an exception. The Phalaenopsis has up to 3 flowering periods per year and can even flower for 2 to 6 months! It is not without reason that the Phalaenopsis orchid is the most popular orchid in the Netherlands.

How do you get an orchid to bloom again?

Has your orchid finished flowering? Do not panic! This certainly does not mean that your orchid is dead. She is just going to rest, because it takes a lot of energy to keep those beautiful flowers so beautiful. You can make your orchid bloom again by pruning the plant.

Pruning orchid

Your orchid is a flowering houseplant. This means that the plant can flower at certain times of the year. And some periods not. When your orchid's blooming period has come to an end, the flowers will drop one by one. This is a natural process. The stems will also discolor and turn yellow. Don't throw away your orchid if you want to enjoy it again and let your orchid bloom again. It is then time to prune your orchid.

✔️ Cut off at the second eye
✔️ Prune when flowers have fallen
✔️ Put the orchid in a cooler place after pruning

How should you cut/prune an orchid?

The best way to prune an orchid is to cut the stem with sharp pruning shears. Where do you cut off a faded orchid? → At the second eye!

What is the second eye of an orchid?

The second eye of an orchid is the second bulge in the stem from the pot. When you prune an orchid because the leaves have fallen and the stem is discolored, you can prune the stems from the second eye. Continue to care for your orchid by just watering and keeping it out of the sun and after a few months you will see your orchid starting to grow new buds.

Hint | After pruning the second eye, place your orchid in a cooler room, such as the bedroom. But beware: still not too cold!

orchid care kolibri repot orchids orchid

Orchid cuttings

Orchid care tips orchid cuttings

How can you cut an orchid?

You can take an orchid cuttings by tearing or seeding, but it is very difficult as a hobbyist. Our grower Rob has years of experience with orchid cuttings. In our nursery in Naaldwijk we take the orchid cuttings ourselves. If you want young, healthy orchids, it's best buy orchids in our shop. Do you want to take cuttings yourself? Then you can try it like this:

  1. Remove a sleeping eye from an orchid. This is an eye that has not yet grown a branch. Do this gently and sterilely by removing the top sheet from the eye.
  2. When you've done this, the eye will look like a button. You can cut this bud and it will become the new orchid.

How do you save an orchid?

Does your orchid show that it does not agree with something? Is she getting discolored in the leaves, is she going to droop, is she losing leaves or flowers or is she dropping buds? She's trying to tell you something.

Orchids are not easily ill, but can suffer from mealybugs, for example. Mealybugs are an annoying creature. They look like small, fluffy insects. It's important to take action as soon as possible if you see mealybugs on your orchid, because it sucks nutrients from the plant that your orchid needs to stay healthy. In addition, mealybugs spread very quickly, so you want to prevent other plants in the house from becoming infected as well.

yellow leaf

Why is my orchid getting yellow leaves? We hear this question regularly and it is easy to answer! Yellow leaves on your orchid can mean two things:

  1. temperature. If it is too cold, your orchid will let you know by developing yellow leaves. Sudden temperature changes are also a possible cause of yellow leaves
  2. Sunlight. Orchids like a lot of light, but not direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can cause yellow leaves.

Check for yourself which of these two causes apply to your orchid and quickly move your orchid to a different place!

You can remove the yellow leaves, because they will not recover.

TIP! We have written a blog about orchids with yellow leaves and a detailed explanation on how to solve this. Read the blog: What to do with an orchid with yellow leaves?

Yellow buttons

My Orchid is getting yellow buds? An orchid gets yellow buds as a result of too much cold, too much water or a dark spot. The orchid does not like this and will therefore drop its buds. Place the orchid in a somewhat warmer place and only water the orchid once a week. Also make sure that you do not place the orchid next to the fruit bowl. The substance that comes from fruit, called Ethylene, is harmful to the buds of the orchid.

Kolibri Home - flower pot decorative pot pot Reed basket 9cm 2
orchid care orchid drops flowers

Orchid drops flowers

Why are the flowers falling off my orchid?

There are several reasons why your orchid is dropping flowers. This can be the result of incorrect orchid care, but also the end of the flowering period. It is therefore important to check what is the case with your orchid.

In the case of wrong orchid care, an orchid will drop flowers when the plant too little light receives or too little water. Do you care for your orchid according to the tips on this page? Then you have nothing to worry about. Then you drop orchid flowers, because it's the the blooming period is over. You can start pruning your orchid.

Orchid gets limp leaves

Weak leaves on an orchid are a sign of incorrect orchid care. It's a water problem in this case. This can be either too much or too little water, but since you are more likely to overwater than underwater, in most cases it is due to too much water.

How to solve? Remove severely weak leaves and do not water for a while. 

Orchid buds fall

Why are my orchid's buds falling? If you drop orchid buds, it is most likely that your orchid is too cold and/or has received too little light. Place your orchid in a warmer place (out of direct sunlight) and immerse the plant completely under water once a week for 1 minutes.

Orchid buds won't open

Why are the buds of my orchid not opening? There could be several reasons why your orchid's buds are not opening. The flowers cost the orchid a lot of energy. The plant must have that energy. Make sure you follow all the care tips on this page:

  • 1x pw immerse in water
  • Giving special plant food
  • Light location, out of direct sunlight
  • Temperature between 18 and 22 degrees

How do you know if an orchid is dead?

If an orchid is dead, you can see it like this:

  • All leaves have fallen
  • All leaves are discolored yellow
  • The stems are completely dry
  • All aerial roots are brown and dry

White bugs on orchid

Eewl, do you have white spots or bugs on your orchid? An orchid with white bugs is probably suffering from mealybugs. Mealybugs are a pest that is more common on houseplants. They suck the juice from the leaves and thus the energy from your plant. Mealybugs also excrete honeydew which can then attract ants. You would rather avoid this. You can combat mealybugs by dipping a cotton swab in methylated spirits and then dabbing it on the mealybugs.

Is your orchid dead and can the care tips on this page no longer save it? In our shop you will find new orchids with trendy decorative pots!

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