Introduction to my passion for Orchids.
I did not grow up in a household full of plants or was taught the art of gardening or anything like that. I was a normal kid who went to school and did what she had to do, went on to work full time and lead a normal life just like everyone else. Until one day, I came across a mini phalaenopsis and thought why not? It was not on sale but SO DIRT CHEAP. So I thought why not? And I guess (like everyone else who has not have ANY experiences with orchids) its just a plant. So how hard can it get? Oh boy…. very hard it turned out.
Every common mistakes in killing an orchid I did it.
Yes guilty as charged. I did not do my homework before and even after having my first orchid and ended up killing it. Hands tainted, not guilty, I went about my days, thinking a dead orchid to add to my list of plants I’ve killed. None. The next sale of mini orchids appeared when I was shopping for groceries and I thought okay, give it a second go. Why? Because it was again DIRT CHEAP. Somehow this time round it was like my mom struck my head and told me to use my head to make sure this one survived. And I did. I did my research, took great care of it. And it still died on me. Verdict: My thumbs are just not green.
Mistake 1: Overwatering
So the first orchid I got was in Summer and I thought like any plants it needed a lot of water due to the heat. WRONG. Exactly the opposite.
Lesson learnt: Look at the roots. If its silvery, water. If its green, its fine. Just these two golden rules will ensure the longevity of orchids.
Mistake 2: Crown rot
There are actually special watering cans solely for orchids and I used a normal watering can to water the orchid, resulting in crown rot. No idea what that was at first but I remembered seeing black steam and after the next couple of days, it was dead and gone, with still relatively green roots.
Lesson learnt: Here’s the thing: Unlike typical plants, orchids do not grown from roots, but the roots grow from its crown. So the crown is like the mother of the plant, the Queen Bee – if it dies, the whole orchid dies, regardless of its roots. No saving that one.
Mistake 3: Failed attempt at repotting
After getting myself educated from watching youtube experienced orchid growers, some did recommend repotting after purchase. My first experiment with orchids began with repotting. With absolutely no idea what I was doing, other than mimicking a youtuber’s every step, I did it again and had another orchid’s blood on my hands.
Lesson learnt: Study the orchid really carefully and access if it needs repotting. Obvious signs that scream REPOT ME are rotting roots or decomposed medium or snails in the roots. If the orchid falls sickly over the next few day being in the new environment, check thoroughly for the cause, it might be in the roots. Use a magnifying glass if needed.
All in all.
Growing and taking care of orchids is just like caring for any pets or plants. A watchful eye and alertness is required, if not, just let them be and they will live. I have learnt that hovering over them like a helicopter mom does not help at all and if they are left to do their thing, they will do better. This article is a guide for only phalaenopsis orchids and only the most common mistakes with orchid care has been highlighted. Just like humans, orchids may have underlying diseases or sickness, so always check the orchid carefully before purchasing them.
Hope this article is resourceful and helps any orchid growers starting or struggling with this hobby. Till next time!