Based in Franklin, Wisconsin, Dr. Steven Armus owns and operates a well-established dermatology practice. Concerned about the environment, he also owns and operates Native Prairie Restoration and provides conservation-focused horticultural services. In his free time, Dr. Steven Armus enjoys activities such as gardening, and he grows orchids indoors.
Known for being high maintenance, orchids are not difficult to care for properly as long as basic parameters are met. Originally from the tropics, they must be kept at room temperature, comfortably above freezing. Orchids respond only to north facing light and dislike wind and indoor drafts. The aerial roots they put out may not be aesthetically pleasing, but should never be cut. In addition, they should not be removed from the container in which they originally took root.
Another aspect of orchid care involves using soft water. Those who live in areas with hard water will want to boil the water first (and let it cool) before using it on the plants. Watering can either be done sparingly once a week or in one torrential drenching, which mimics the tropical rain storm. When drenching, use a bucket and quickly remove the orchid after the watering is through, wiping off excess water on leaves.
Once the orchid completes its eight week flowering cycle, trim the stem down to the lowest node from which flowers can emerge, which will stimulate new stem growth.