Your most popular questions, answered.
How often should I water?
Water should be put in the cup between the leaves and on the planting media. Water enough that the media can dry in-between watering but the cup never fully dries up. The tank should be flushed out with plenty of water periodically to prevent possible stagnation. This periodic flushing also prevents a build up of salts left when water in the cup evaporates.
How should I fertilize my bromeliad?
When you buy a blooming bromeliad, you don't have to worry about feeding it because it has already fully matured and has enough energy to finish flowering.
How much light does my bromeliad need?
Bromeliads are satisfied with low light-after all, they are often grown in shade houses their whole life. Direct sunlight will burn their leaves. Place your bromeliad in an area where it will only receive early morning or late afternoon light.
What are acceptable temperatures for my bromeliad?
our bromeliad can briefly tolerate temperatures between 40-100F (5-37C). Cool nighttime temperatures can enhance color and prolong bloom life.
Will it re-bloom?
Unfortunately, once your bromeliad is done flowering, that particular plant will not flower again. The good news is that if you wish to propagate the plant, you can. The even better news is that from one bromeliad you may be able to get five to six baby bromeliads! First, you have to let the bloom on the original plant die and then wait for new kikis (baby plants) to start growing from the base. You can elect to keep them together or separate them into individual containers. Fertilize the new plants with a balanced fertilizer such as 20-10-20.
Should I re-pot my plant?
Only if the container that the plant is growing in can no longer support the weight of the plant.
It looks like a small bromeliad is growing out of the base of the bromeliad I bought. What does this mean?
This just means that the mother plant has produced a new plant that will eventually mature and bloom. Please refer to "Will it re-bloom?" for tips on how to bring your new plant to maturity.
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How often should I water my orchid?
The frequency of watering is going to depend on the climate that the plant is in; the key is that orchids like to go a little dry in-between watering. The phalaenopsis is the only exception-it likes to stay consistently moist. Note also that plants use more water while flowering.
Should I mist my orchid?
It does not hurt to mist the foliage in-between regular watering. Be sure not to mist the flowers, though.
What are acceptable temperatures for my orchid?
Please refer to the specific care tips for your particular orchid variety for preferred temperatures. Orchids can be exposed to temperatures outside of their preferred range for brief periods of time. Extended cold will cause leaves to turn yellow and eventually fall off. If this happens, remove the yellow foliage and continue normal care.
How should I fertilize my orchid?
Purchase a bag of fertilizer at your local garden center. 20-10-20 fertilizer or 20-20-20 fertilizer is fine. Mix in 2 tbsp of fertilizer per 1 gallon of water, which should be about half strength. 1 time every 30 days is sufficient, but you can also use the mix once a week to spray the entire plant and then once a month pour about half a cup of the solution onto the plant's roots for better absorption of the fertilizer.
What do I do when it stops blooming? Do I cut the stem off?
When all the flowers are wilted, you can cut the spike at the base with a pair of sterilized clippers. You can sterilize the clippers using rubbing alcohol.
How can I get it to bloom again?
It will certainly bloom again with minimal care on your part. Simply fertilize and water as recommended above for about twenty weeks, then cut back the fertilization to no more than once a month.
How much light does it need?
The plant should never receive direct sunlight. Phalaenopsis like low light, so placing the plant in an East-facing window should provide the perfect amount of light. Other orchid varieties require slightly brighter light, best achieved in a South-facing window. Alternatively, you can place the plant outside in a spot that will allow it to receive the appropriate amount of sunlight.
When should I repot?
You should repot the plant when the roots start to excessively grow up and out of the pot-generally, roots protruding from the media are normal and do not require repotting; however, as the plant continues producing more spikes, it can eventually outgrow the pot.
What's the best potting material for when I repot?
If possible, use a media similar to what the plant is currently growing in. If you can't find that particular media, you can use regular potting soil with bark chips. (The bark chips help drain the water from the pot.)
The leaves are developing black blotches. Why?
It is very difficult to identify a disease by looking at it. The best thing to do is to send the plant to your local agriculture center to identify the disease so that you can treat it with the correct fungicide.
Why are the leaves wrinkled, leathery, and/or limp?
When the leaves are wrinkled or leathery it means that the plant is dehydrated and needs water. Once back on a regular water schedule, the plant will do fine.
What are the most common orchid pests?
Deferent genera of orchids get different pests.
Dendrobium: Mites, caterpillars, aphids, thrips, and snails.
Phalaenopsis: Mites, thrips, caterpillars, mealy bugs, and snails.
Oncidium: Aphids, thrips, snails, and slogs.
Cattleya: Scales, mealy bugs, thrips, and mites.
Vanda: Thrips and scales.
Cymbidium: Scales, mealy bugs, and mites.
Can I grow my orchid outdoors?
Yes, you can, but you must remember the following:
- The media the plant is grown in needs to have large particles of rock, charcoal or tree bark for good drainage.
-The plant needs to be in an area where it receives either the morning light or the late afternoon light.
-The temperature can't be below 50° Fahrenheit.
There was a white plastic tag in the pot my orchid came in. What do all the codes on the tag mean?
The codes on the tags are for our growers' reference. They allow them to identify the hybrid cross and the age of the plant.
What is the difference between green and clear plastic pots? Is one better for my orchid?
Clear plastic pots allow roots to perform photosynthesis (absorb sunlight and use it to produce food for its self). We use clear plastic pots for our phalaenopsis orchids because that is the one variety of orchid that conducts photosynthesis through its roots. The other varieties in our greenhouses conduct photosynthesis through their leaves so we can plant them in green plastic pots, which are slightly less expensive than clear.
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Orchids and bromeliads are some of the easiest plants to grow, but that doesn't mean you don't have questions! We're happy to lend a hand...or, in this case, a thumb.