In general, orchids that receive bright indirect light, coolish temperatures and plenty of fresh air will open and hold strong flowers. Light is important for opening the buds but you can move the plant to a shadier spot after the flowers open. Heat and dry air will age the flowers more quickly and even a few minutes of direct sunlight can burn the foliage if the air is hot. Whenever the foliage feels warm, move your orchid to a cooler spot.


While there are many approaches to watering, we find this to be the simplest and most effective method for our boarding clients: Choose one day a week to check your orchids. Each Monday for example, take them all over to the sink and flush them thoroughly with lukewarm water. If a plant seems heavy and wet wait until the next week and check again. If a plant seems very dry you may need to water it twice a week. Plants in small pots dry out faster than plants in large pots and, surprisingly, plants that are potted in gravel rarely need water more than every 2 weeks. Plants dry out faster in warm conditions, and if a plant is in a low light situation it won't be growing much so it will dry out more slowly. It is usually best to err on the dry side with orchids. When you do water always water copiously and let the plants drain thoroughly. And remember, unless they are a deciduous type, they do need water when they are out of flower.

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