General Question

Jude's avatar

Any tips on caring for a 40 dollar orchid before I buy it and kill it?

Asked by Jude (32134points) January 14th, 2011

I just saw one at the flower shop. She was a beauty and yellow and would look lovely on my 180 year old Mongolian tea table.

I love plants and flowers. Just had to say it.

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15 Answers

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Don’t overwater it, indirect sunshine and depending on the thickness of the leaves moderate to moderately high humidity.

Coloma's avatar

Warmth, light and humidity.

Depending on the variety, and I’d give it a nice steamy bathroom treatment every day.

Jude's avatar

Thanks! Great hint about the steamy bathroom. I had no idea. :)

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Coloma That is a great idea. You leave it in the room with you while showering?

RocketGuy's avatar

Even though they are not supposed to be in direct sunlight all day, they need at least some, so don’t leave it on your table 24/7.

Coloma's avatar

I have a bromiliad (sp?) that is about 10 years old now. Yes, ‘we’ shower together. ;-)

I was in asia last year, the Orchids were STUNNING, everywhere, growing from the trees.

Lots of humidity is the trick.

I was at the Taipei zoo and the Orchids were mind blowing, I’d lose my friends lingering to take pictures of them.

ANef_is_Enuf's avatar

I gave mine ice cubes, rather than water. Steam is a good idea, though, never thought of that. Then again, I don’t have a shower.

Oh, I speak of it in the past tense because I gave it to my dad. Not because I killed it. lol.

wundayatta's avatar

Don’t forget to water it.

That’s how I kill mine :(

Skaggfacemutt's avatar

My daughter gave me one that was on death’s door and had never bloomed for her. I put it in the kitchen in that little corner behind the sink, with a window on each side. It grew like gangbusters and blooms constantly. Amazing – and I am not good with plants usually. Now I know why. That corner provides indirect sunlight, and the kitchen sink provides humidity, I suppose. Whooda thought!

gondwanalon's avatar

I know a guy who grows orchids in one of his bedrooms. They are everywhere all over the walls and hanging from ropes all over the ceiling. His success is partly due to hight room temperature, humidity, and grow lights. But his love for orchids is perhaps the biggest factor for his success.

Coloma's avatar


I agree! It’s all about the love. ( attention, care, is love )

I have the BIGGEST exotic grasses and bamboos around my deck and hot tub. I am always loving on them, telling them how beautiful they are. haha

Last summer I had to tell them, ‘no more fertilizer for you guy’s.’ haha

I’m serious…yeah, yeah, call me new agey works!

Jeruba's avatar

My mother-in-law fussed over them as if they were premature babies, and they loved her back.

I expect my plants to thrive on benign neglect, so orchids aren’t for me. I couldn’t even get a single African violet to bloom once in five years; finally I ditched the little ingrate. Give me a pothos and I’m fine.

Taciturnu's avatar

My best tip is to never EVER let my husband water if for you.

ETpro's avatar

The most important tip is to find out from the shop what species orchid it is and look that up online BEFORE buying. Most orchids sold in ordinary flower shops are relatively easy ones to care for. Cymbidiums are common and beautiful. Here’s a site that list the more available ones, and here’s the whole shooting match.

But there are some species that are very sensitive to ambient conditions, and each has its onw requirements as to temperature, lighting, humidity and frequency of watering. Look up the target species and make sure it’s easy enough to handle in a living room. Some need highly controlled hothouses to do well.

What they need will vary greatly. The toughest ones to care for will require a room with controlled humidity, temperature that cycles from day to night, and exactly right amount and timing of light. I would definitely avoid the more finicky species for my first orchid. If the orchid bug really bites you, it’s a wonderful hobby growing them and you’ll end up with something resembling a hothouse, however makeshift it must be, attached to your house. You will also be treated to some of the most beautiful and fragrant plants imaginable.

I had to give mine up when I left California, but I had quite a menagerie growing out there.

BarnacleBill's avatar

If you’re buying it as a decorative item for a particular piece of furniture, perhaps finding it in artificial would be a better choice. Your location of the piece of furniture may not be optimal for growing orchids.

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