Orchids are one of the most popular houseplants. So that you can enjoy it for a long time, you must respect the principle “less is more” when watering and fertilizing.

Below are six important tips that can help you promote the growth and health of your orchids.

1. Repotting time

Orchids should be repotted every 2 to 4 years, after flowering in spring. Special orchid pots have a built-in step so that the plant is not in water all the time. Transparent plastic pots have the advantage of being immediately visible when the roots are dry (they then have a gray-white color).

2. The effect of orchid substrate

In nature, most orchids grow on trees, so their roots are well ventilated. If you pot the plants in regular potting soil, there is a high risk that the roots will not receive enough oxygen and excess water will not be drained away, so they will start to rot. To avoid this, you should use an orchid substrate that is much looser than the soil.

3. The ideal location

Orchids love light, but many specimens cannot tolerate direct sunlight over a longer period of time. If you place them on a window, then only on the one facing east or west.

4. Water correctly

In winter, it is enough to water the orchids once a week. In the warmer months this is necessary twice as often. You can also tell if the plant needs water based on whether it feels very light when you take it out of the pot.

To avoid waterlogging, it is best to lightly spray the leaves with water and place the plant in a water bath for a few minutes so that the root ball is covered with water. They must then be drained. Clean rainwater is particularly suitable, but it must be at room temperature. You can also use tap water, but it should not be too hard. If necessary, you may need to filter the water first. But there are also special breeds of orchids that tolerate hard water better.

5. Use orchid fertilizer

When fertilizing, as when watering, the rule of frugality applies. There are orchid fertilizers in stick and liquid form. If you spray it, you must be careful not to get anything on the flowers, otherwise there is a risk of a fungus forming on them or pests nesting. Fertilizer should also not be used after the plant has flowered. Only when new flower shoots form should you fertilize as usual.

If you want to use a normal liquid fertilizer instead of a special orchid fertilizer, you should definitely dilute it with water in a ratio of 1:10.

6. Pruning rules

You should regularly check orchids for dead leaves, plant parts or aerial roots that need to be removed. To ensure you don’t cut off any living parts of the plant, spray them with water. If they don’t turn green, you can use scissors. Of course, muddy or rotten parts should also be carefully removed. The flowering stems of the plant are pruned after flowering, above the third small bract (the bracts are the thickenings of the stem).

Of course, it’s not just home care that determines the quality and lifespan of an orchid. Sometimes “hops and malt get lost” in the store because the plant is constantly exposed to drafts, for example. It is worth taking a closer look when buying. If you then follow the 6 tips mentioned, you won’t risk much harm.