Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Secret to Growing Gorgeous Orchids

Humidity, Humidity, Humidity.

This can be a very tricky one, but you need to raise the humidity. Humidity in a normal household is far too low for orchids to thrive. It is important to bring it up to at least 40 or 50 percent. In cold climates during the winter relative household humidity often averages close to 20 percent (Frowine). Household humidity can be even lower in desert areas. At humidity that low orchid leaves will begin to shrivel and flowers will brown and drop off. Something called Bud Blast will often occur in low humidity situations (especially on Phalaenopsis orchids). This is where the developing flower buds drop off before they have a chance to open.

Some orchids can adapt to lower humidity than others, so it is important to know how adaptable your orchids are. However, in general, no orchid is going to thrive at humidity below 35%-40%. Last winter my humidifier broke and the humidity around my plants was hovering near 35%. Most of my orchids survived this period, but they didn’t love it. I was also misting them several times a day. Misting is generally not recommended, because it only brings up the humidity temporarily and can cause orchid plants to rot.

Check back tomorrow for 10 Tips on How to Raise the Humidity in your Orchid Room

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