How to Keep an Orchid Plant Alive

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Orchids require proper maintenance to remain alive and healthy. Many orchids are sensitive about getting the right amount of weekly watering, light, fertilizer, temperature and humidity. Because these plants are native to tropical island regions, they are prone to drying out and dying when planted indoors. If you’re growing orchids for the first time, it’s best to start with an orchid like a phaleaenopsis, paphiopedalums or cattelyas to learn their regimented upkeep.

Moderately Challenging


things you’ll need:
  • Pot
  • Plate
  • Pebbles
  • Curtain
  • Fertilizer
  • Rainwater
    1. Use sterilized rainwater when watering your orchid. Boil water to kill off any bacteria or fungi. Allow water to reach a lukewarm temperature.
    2. Submerge your pot half an inch above the rim in the water for 10 minutes. Lift orchid up and allow water to flow from the pot’s drainage holes. Wipe any water on leaves or new growth to prevent crown rot.
    3. Keep an orchid’s temperature between 60 and 80 F. Refrain from keeping an orchid in a drafty room or near an open window on hot days.
    4. Increase the orchid’s humidity by placing the pot on a shallow dish full of pebbles and water. Make sure the water level is below the pebble line and not touching the pot. Kill any algae by washing the pebbles every three months in a mixture of water and bleach. Wash the pebbles thoroughly before putting them back in the dish.
    5. Dissolve an all-purpose orchid fertilizer with water. The best time to fertilize your orchid is after watering. Follow the instructions and pour the fertilizer in the pot while allowing it to drain through the holes. Make sure the orchid is well-drained before placing it on its dish.
    6. Place your orchid next to a window that has a curtain drawn in front of the pane. Orchids need partial sunlight to grow. Check your orchid’s leaves to see if it is getting adequate light. Dark leaves indicate too much light, and light leaves means it needs more light.

Tips & Warnings

  • Water in the morning on sunny days to allow for water evaporation throughout the day. Over-watering or watering in the afternoon can kill your orchid.

  • Avoid placing your orchid in direct sunlight to prevent burning the leaves and drying out the bulbs.

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