Steven Armus owns Native Prairie Restoration in Franksville, Wisconsin. Outside of work, Steven Armus enjoys working in the garden and growing orchids, a complex but rewarding pastime resulting in natural works of art.
Here are four tips for those just starting out.
1. Do the proper research. The most important step is to make sure that the orchid being grown is exactly what it appears to be. If it’s not clear what genus or alliance the plant is, it doesn’t hurt to take it into a local greenhouse or orchid society to double check. It’s hard to take care of a plant without knowing how it will react to temperature or light.
2. Choose orchids that will thrive in the local climate. It’s important not to choose a plant that will grow best in cold weather, if the environment is hot and muggy. Even if conditions can be simulated, it’s best to choose an orchid that will work best with what can be provided simply.
3. Use the proper amount of water. Unlike other plants, which can often withstand overwatering, orchids can easily die if given too much water. Water once a week, and allow the plant to dry out a bit to increase air circulation, which is vital for proper growth.
4. Keep an eye out for pests. When purchasing the orchid, ask a local grower or orchid society about what to look for in an unhealthy plant. The faster a problem is caught, the easier it is to treat.