Orchid care isn't as difficult as you think, and to discover the orchid care secrets or the pros, Meghan Carter of Askthedecorator.com
visited award-winning orchid breeder Dick Wells. There she discovered the best technique for growing orchids.
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Meghan: Orchid care is pretty easy and with a few tips, you will be well on your way to beautiful orchids. So today, I am here with Dick Wells of Hilltop Orchids to discover the secrets of orchid care.
I am hitting the road, searching for answers and finding great design. It is a quest for beauty, function and of course, inspiration.
Orchid care is a topic award-winning orchid breeder, Dick Wells, passionately promotes promotion he uses a word most of us wouldn't expect, easy. Wells, the owner of Hilltop Orchids claims that caring for orchids is simple "fun science" as he calls it.
Dick: They are conducive to the home environment and they are really like that. People are looking for different things to try and this is one of the different things to try.
Meghan: So if you are interested in decorating with orchids, you will be happy to hear that orchid care is extraordinarily easy as I discovered during my talk with Dick Wells.
Watering is the most difficult part of orchid care and even watering is not tough if you know the right technique.
Dick: When you water, another thing that a lot of folks—when you water, water thoroughly. Do not measure out a half of cup of water or a cup of water and pour it onto “Well I have done it.” You want to water thoroughly until this is moist.
Meghan: Thoroughly drench it?
Dick: Drench it, yes. Even if it requires a pint or a half a pint or what have you and let it flood out the bottom.
Meghan: The easiest way to do that is to take your orchid to your sink and let the water run over it until your orchid is completely soaked. Make sure all the extra water drains through the bottom of the pot, do that about once a week and your orchid will be well hydrated and looking beautiful.
While orchids are heavy drinkers, they are not big eaters.
Dick: We recommend that you fertilize them every other watering.
Meghan: How do you fertilize them?
Dick: With a water-soluble fertilizer and just water them in like you would water it.
Meghan: When it comes to the right temperature, orchids pretty much like the same types of temperatures as humans not too hot and not too cold.
Dick: They come from an area that we do not usually see freezing temperatures nor do we see any great degrees of high temperature. They seem to prefer a nighttime temperature of 60 degrees to say 85 degrees. The leaf surface temperatures should not get above 87 degrees and if they do, it just sets them back in their ability to grow and produce flowers.
Meghan: High humidity and ventilation seemed like they do not belong together but orchids like it sticky with a breeze.
Dick: We would suggest a certain amount of air movement. Most homes anymore are complete with ceiling fan. We suggest that if it is in a room with a ceiling fan, you run the ceiling fan all the time. They need air movement. You can readily see by looking in the greenhouse how much air movement we are moving here.
Meghan: Yes you have fans everywhere.
Dick: We do.
Meghan: So, should a homeowner then spray the leaves?
Dick: I would spray the leaves especially during the summer months about once in the morning and that should be fine. Just a light mist.
Meghan: Just with a little like sprayer?
Dick: Yes just a little sprayer thing that you might have and you are done.
Meghan: Orchids need light to survive and bright indirect sunlight is the best type for them.
Dick: We suggest and east or westerly window or a Southern window protected. A northern window only if it is a bright northern window where sun is reflecting off for something outside and reflecting into the window. It will not take direct sun.
Meghan: To keep your orchid looking beautiful, it is a good idea to repot it every year.
Dick: Repotting is the same as anything else that you repot in terms of the plant world. It requires a little different media, a media that is more open and has bark in it and perlite in it.
Meghan: So you do not use regular soil?
Dick: No. Regular soil is a no-no.
Meghan: As you can see, caring for orchids is not too hard. If you spend a minute or two each day caring