Common orchid care ‘mistakes’ which could easily ‘kill’ your houseplant

Orchid: Express shares tips for watering plant

Orchids have a reputation for being hard-to-grow indoor plants, but the difference is that they just require a different type of care.

This includes being mindful of how much they are being watered as they are extremely sensitive to root rot as well as needing to be repotted regularly.

According to the experts at BabyBio, not enough sunlight is just one of the many “mistakes” which could “kill” an orchid.

They explained: “Like all plants, sunlight is essential to allow your orchid to convert light into energy, and in turn produce an orchid’s beautiful blooms. 

“Most orchids thrive in bright but indirect sunlight, so east or west-facing window sills are ideal for most of the year.”

If an orchid is given too much sunlight, particularly in the summer months, its delicate blooms may become scorched.

If orchids are left to sit in wet potting mix, they will end up dying, which means careful watering is a must.

The experts said: “To prevent over or under watering, always check the dampness of the compost first to ensure it actually needs a drink. Ideally, you’ll want to water it when the potting mix is almost dry, but not completely dry.

“You can also mist your orchid lightly to increase humidity, but be careful you don’t soak the leaves or leave them damp as this can lead to mould, fungus, and leaf rot.”

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As well as watering, orchids love to be fed but require a unique mix of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium for optimum growth.

This means it is important for owners to invest in a specialist plant food which can provide all of these nutrients for the plant.

There are several feeds on the market, including Baby Bio’s Orchid Food which can be purchased from garden centres as well as online.

The pros continued: “Orchids should be repotted every year so that they can continue to bloom and flourish, however many leave them in the same pot for years.

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“If roots appear tight and tangled or you spot white roots growing out of the container, it may be time to repot.

“Another sign your orchid might need repotting is if its roots are beginning to rot, or appear soft and brown, as this could be a sign that your compost is no longer draining effectively.”

When repotting, owners should make sure to use a clean, sharp pair of scissors as this houseplant is susceptible to disease, so it is important to make sure the tools are sterilised.

Using the correct compost is also crucial when moving an orchid to its new home because they grow on rough bark rather than in soil, and a mistake many people make.

Using the correct compost will help to mimic the plant’s natural environment as well as helping to promote aeration to the roots.

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