5 common mistakes in the care of orchids

Last updated on October 23rd, 2023 at 08:15 pm

Orchids always want to stand warm and be watered a lot? We clear up the biggest misconceptions about the care of indoor orchids.

5 common mistakes in the care of orchids
The warm living room is not suitable for Dendrobium orchids – they need cool temperatures up to max. 12 °C

  1. not all orchids like it warm

5 common mistakes in the care of orchids

Temperature preferences depend on the type of orchid: the popular Phalaenopsis is absolutely suitable for the living room – it prefers 20 to 22 °C. Cymbidiums, which are native to the Himalayan region, as well as Dendrobium nobile and Dendrobium kingianum, on the other hand, require cool locations with temperatures as low as 6 to 12 °C. Temperate areas with 16 to 18 °C require Miltonia, Colmanara and Paphiopedilum, for example. Masdevallia feels comfortable between 8 and 18 °C.

  1. orchids love the sun?

Most orchid species live as epiphytes (perching plants) high up in the trees. Therefore, they grow in the light shade of the treetops. Accordingly, our indoor orchids should not be placed on a window sill that is fully exposed to the sun all day. Especially the midday sun is not good for them. A location at an east or west window is more ideal.

  1. do not water, but immerse!

Instead of watering with a watering can, orchids prefer to be dipped: To do this, place the pot in lukewarm water (preferably rainwater) for about 5 minutes weekly or every 2 weeks. Add liquid orchid fertilizer if necessary. Then drain well.

5 common mistakes in the care of orchids
Soak orchids in warm water every 7 to 14 days. Low-calcium rainwater is more ideal than tap water
  1. fertilize properly during flowering?
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No, please don’t! Orchids are not fertilized while they bloom, but so that they bloom. The fertilizing period is from March to October. During this time, orchids are fertilized weakly every 2 to 4 weeks. If the plants have already started to bloom, fertilizer applications can be reduced or omitted. Use special orchid fertilizer – it contains a lower concentration of salt. 5.

  1. remove withered flowers immediately?

Not with all orchids! Single-shoot orchids, such as Dendrobium or the lady’s slipper orchids (Paphiopedilum) always form their flowers only on a new shoot. Here the stem can be cut back directly at the base after flowering – even if it is still green.

Multi-shoot orchids, to which the Phalaenopsis also belongs, sometimes form new flower shoots from the remaining eyes of the faded stem. Therefore, place the pruning shears higher, above the second or third eye. If in doubt, just always remove only the brown, withered part.

Why are orchid pots transparent?

As mentioned earlier, most of our indoor orchids grow naturally as epiphytes on rainforest trees. Their aerial roots are used to being exposed to light. To mimic these special site conditions in the room, orchids are cultivated in a coarse bark substrate and in a transparent pot.

These transparent pots are not particularly pretty, but they are important for plant health. Therefore, do not choose an opaque ceramic pot as a planter, but a clear or milky glass jar or a low saucer.


  • James Jones

    Meet James Jones, a passionate gardening writer whose words bloom with the wisdom of an experienced horticulturist. With a deep-rooted love for all things green, James has dedicated his life to sharing the art and science of gardening with the world. James's words have found their way into countless publications, and his gardening insights have inspired a new generation of green thumbs. His commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship shines through in every article he crafts.

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