Bamboo will grow completely submerged in water

Orchids: the darlings on the windowsill

Status: 02.01.2021 6:00 p.m.

They are among the most popular indoor plants. No wonder, because orchids look graceful and bloom for a long time with the right care. What is important when it comes to watering and fertilizing?

Orchids come in many attractive colors and flower shapes and most varieties are easy to care for. Plants of the genus Phalaenopsis are among the most frequently offered orchids in this country. They originally come from the tropical rainforest and thrive there as so-called epiphytes, i.e. they grow on trees.

Can orchids tolerate blazing sun?

Vanda orchids work well in bright bathrooms.

In their natural environment, orchids always have a protective canopy of leaves over them. That's why they shouldn't be in the blazing sun. A west or east window is ideal. The plants prefer a rather high humidity. Vanda orchids, for example, are therefore particularly suitable for bright bathrooms. Plant lovers should regularly spray the leaves and air roots of their orchids with water that is low in lime. This is especially important if the window sill is exactly above a heater.

It is better to immerse orchids in water instead of watering them

Orchids are also very easy to care for when watering. In winter, the plants should be taken out of the pot once a week and the roots should be immersed in stale or boiled tap water; rainwater is even better. In the immersion bath, the roots soak up water and store a supply for the next few days.

They need water again at the earliest after about a week, when the substrate is dry and light brown. A simple trick helps with the assessment: If the plant appears unusually light when you lift it, it needs water. If the pot is still heavy, it can be watered later. In any case, the excess irrigation water must be able to run off.

Expanded clay increases the humidity

The humidity can also be increased with the help of expanded clay. To do this, put the moist balls in a large planter and put the orchid's smaller plastic container into it. The water slowly evaporates due to the warmth in the apartment, rises and thus moistens the plant. There are also special window sill sets for orchids to buy. They work the same as the expanded clay planter, but are more expensive.

The right soil and fertilization for orchids

Orchids need a special substrate.

Most species of exotic beauties thrive best in special orchid soil. The substrate should definitely be air-permeable and coarse. If you do not want to buy a special orchid fertilizer, you can also use normal liquid fertilizer and dilute the recommended amount 1:10 with water. Most orchids grow from spring to autumn, during which time fertilize every two to four weeks. In winter you should almost completely do without fertilizers.

Cut faded orchids

Faded orchids usually bloom again. This works with so-called multi-shoot species such as the Phalaenopsis, if you cut off the stalk above the third small bract after it has faded. Bracts are the visible thickenings on the stem. In single-shoot species such as the dendrobium orchid, the stem can be cut off completely after it has withered.

Important: Orchids should never be placed next to a basket of ripe fruit. Leaking ripening gases can cause the plant to lose its flowers quickly.

Repot orchids regularly

Orchids should get new substrate every two to three years. It rots over time and gradually constricts the roots. Since most of the shoots and leaves develop in spring, this is a good time to repot.

AUDIO: Indoor plants: the right care (39 min)

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NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Gardening tips | 12/19/2020 | 06:50 am