Orchid Care Sheets
Cattleyas need a significant amount of light to maintain healthy new growth and vigorous blooms. In the home cattleyas prefer an East or West window. In a greenhouse or outdoor situation cattleyas need 40-50% full sun. Cattleyas should be light green in color. Dark rich green is a sign of insufficient light.
Mature cattleyas can tolerate a wide range of temperatures varying from 50 to 100. Ideally they will thrive with 75 to 90 daytime temperatures. They are also favorable to a 10 drop at night to set their flower buds.
Mature plants like to dry out from one watering to the next. Recently divided plants or young plants need more constant water, never allowing them to dry completely out for any period of time.
Cattleyas will perform the best with 50 % humidity.
You can increase humidity in the home by misting the leaves in the morning, giving them ample time to dry before nightfall. In your home you can also add a humidity tray to increase your level of humidity. With increased humidity remember to keep air constantly moving.
Cattleyas need a well balanced fertilizer, such as 20-20-20, during the warmer months for healthy new growth. Going into the cooler months they need high phosphorus to promote healthy blooms. Fertilizer should be applied ½ strength with every watering. Leaching with clear water should be done every 6 weeks to avoid soluable salt build up.
Cattleyas should be repotted every 1-2 years. They should be potted using a medium grade fir bark mix which will allow for ample drainage. When repotting give new growth adequate space to grow for the next growing season. Never repot when in bloom.
Cymbidiums need a high amount of strong light for healthy growth and vigorous flowers. If possible they should be outdoors or in a greenhouse during the warmer months. Full sun all day with shade during the extreme heat of the day is needed. Leaves should be golden green. If they are dark green, the plant needs more light exposure.
Cymbidiums are broken down into two groups when talking about temperature, standard and miniature. Both standard and miniature need 75-95 degrees during the day. Standard cymbidiums need night temperature to fall between 45-55 degrees for a period of 8-12 week to initiate flowering. Miniature cymbidiums can stand 10 degrees warmer and still flower. To extend the flowering keep the plant slightly cool around 60 degrees when in bloom.
During the warmer months cymbidiums need a constant supply of water to the roots, never allowing them to dry out. As the temperature cools off, cymbidiums do not need as much water. Be sure to thoroughly water the plant with each watering.
Cymbidiums growing outdoors have enough humidity in the environment. If growing indoors humidity levels should be increased. This can be done with a humidity tray. Keep air moving if plants are in flower to avoid botrytis.
During the warmer months when plant is actively growing, feed with a high nitrogen fertilizer such as 30-10-10 to encourage new growth. Going into the cooler months feed with a bloom formula such as 6-30-30 to promote flowering. Fertilizer should be applied at full strength weekly, with the exception of winter when monthly is adequate.
Cymbidiums should be repotted every 1-2 years just a new growth starts to emerge. A medium grade fir bark mix should be used. Sphagnum can be added for water retention. Cymbidiums like to snug in their pots. With this in mind do not over-pot into a large container.
Light requirements vary by species for dendrobium. Most require bright light to partial sun. An east window is adequate inside the home for most dendrobiums. Outside most prefer morning sun for several hours. In western exposure light shade should be provided.
Most dendrobiums prefer a warmer environment, not dropping below 55 degrees. Again, this will vary slightly be species. Most dendrobiums will actively push out new growth when temperatures are consistently over 70 degrees.
Dendrobiums require more water during their growing season, never allowing the roots to dry out completely. Most dendrobiums need very little water if they are not actively growing. Deciduous dendrobiums are one type that likes very little water after it drops its leaves. When it starts to show signs of active growth it will need more water.
50% humidity is adequate for most dendrobiums to thrive. This can be achieved be adding a humidity tray. Air circulation is important with increased humidity. Misting is not recommended for dendrobiums to increase humidity.
Use a well balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 when actively growing. A bloom formula such as 6-30-30 should be used going into the cooler months to promote flowering. Fertilizer should be applied at ½ strength with every watering.
Dendrodiums should be repotted every 1-2 years. A medium grade fir bark mix should be used. Sphagnum can be added for water retention if needed. Plants should be centered in the middle of the pot.
Miltonia Care Sheet
Miltonias like bright indirect light. Southeastern exposure is ideal for them to grow.
Intermediate temperatures ranging from 55 degrees to 90 degrees are tolerable, with a 15 degree drop in the fall to promote flowering.
Never allow Miltonias to dry out completely, water every 5-7 days.
Increase humidity levels by misting or using a humidity tray.
Fertilize with a growth fertilizer in the spring and summer, and a bloom fertilizer in the fall and winter. This should be done at ½ strength once a week.
Repot every year into a good quality fir bark mix, fine to medium grade. Do not over pot them as that will lead to root rot.
Light requirements vary from bright light to full sun depending on species. Most oncidiums need bright light to partial full sun. A good rule of thumb to follow is the thicker the leaf, the more sun required by the plant. Most oncidiums prefer and east or west window without shade to restrict the light in the home. Outside most oncidiums like morning sun.
Temperature: Most oncidiums are intermediate to warm growing, ranging from 80-95 with a 15 temperature drop at night going into the cooler season to promote flowering. Warmer temperatures are tolerated with increased humidity and air movement.
Water: Water requirements vary by species as well. Plants with large fleshy leaves and large psuedobulbs require less water because the store more water in these organs. Plants with thin leaves and thin roots should never completely dry out. Many oncidiums require less water during the cooler months when they are not actively growing.
Humidity: Oncidiums do no require as much humidity as most orchids. 30% humidity is adequate for them to flourish. In the home a humidity tray is sufficient for increasing humidity levels. Outside or in a greenhouse you do not need to increase humidity levels unless you live in a dry environment.
Fertilizer: Oncidiums prefer a well balanced fertilizer or grow formula during the growing season, such as 20-20-20. Use a bloom formula such as 6-30-30 going into the cooler months to help initiate flowering. Fertilizer should be applied at ½ strength with every watering. Leaching with clear water should be once a month.
Potting: Oncidiums should be repotted every 1-2 years. A medium grade bark mix should be used. Sphagnum moss can be added to fine rooted and thin leaved plants for water retention. Plants should be positioned in the pot allowing new growth room for the next season to grow.
prefer bight indirect light. An east window or a shaded West window is ideal
for healthy vigorous growth and blooms. In a greenhouse or outdoor environment
20% to 30% full sun, preferably in the morning is adequate light. Foliage should
be semi-erect. If foliage appears to be droopy, more light should be provided.
Paphiopedilums are generally separated into 2 groups when it comes
to temperature, warm growing mottled leaved, and cool growing green leaved. The
cool growing paphiopedilums like 60 to 80 day
temperatures. The warm growing group likes 75 to 95 during the day. Both groups
like a drop in temperature going into the cooler season. If growing in cooler
temperatures reduce humidity to avoid rot.
not have large water storage organs, therefore roots constantly need moisture. Paphiopedilums should be kept evenly moist never allowing
the plant to dry out completely.
Paphiopedilums prefer 50% humidity when growing at average temperatures.
In the home you can use a humidity tray to increase humidity. Misting is not
recommended for paphiopedilums.
susceptible to root burn if they are not properly fertilized. They should be
fed with an orchid urea free fertilizer. This should be
applied at ½ strength once a week. Remember to never fertilize a dry plant, always water first with clear
Paphiopedilums should be repotted every 1 to 2 years. They should be potted in a small/fine grade fir mix with other organic materials for water and nutrient retention. A small amount of charcoal should also be in the mix to prevent root burn due to excess fertilizer. Larger plants can be divided by pulling apart the multiple sets of leaves. Plants should always be centered in the pot with the union of leaves and roots just below the surface of the potting medium.
Phalaenopsis Care Sheet
Light: Phals like bright, indirect light; preferring an East window in the home, but a south window will do if some shade is provided. Leaf color should be medium green. Very light green leaf could mean too much light, and a very dark green leaf could mean too little light.
Temperature: Ideal temp is 60 degrees at night and 75 during the day, but can vary from 55 to 95 degrees.
Water: Water thoroughly every 7-10 days making sure not to let a Phal dry completely between waters. Watering in AM is best.
Humidity: Keep between 50%- 80% Keep air moving (fan) with higher humidity.
Fertilizer: Phals should be fed with growth formula in spring and summer, and a bloom formula n fall and winter. Or use a Urea free food year round. Best to fertilize ½ strength every watering.
Potting: Repot yearly, preferably when not in bloom. Feed with root stimulator after repotting.
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Tolumnia Care Sheet
Tolumnia, formerly classified as an Equitant, and still referred to as an Equitant Oncidium by some is a great performing orchid that is quite simple to grow. What makes this little beauty such a jem is that it will bloom off old growth as well as new growth. If you provide ideal environmental conditions Tolumnia will bloom 3-4 times a year.
Tolumnia need a good amount of sunlight. A bright East window is ideal. A western exposure with some protection in the summer months will also work. The leaves should be a nice light green. If they are a dark rich green, they are not getting enough light. Yellow leaves or bleaching is a sign of too much sun. It is normal to see a reddish color on the leaves if they are getting adequate sun light.
Like most orchids Tolumnia can tolerate a wide range of temperatures from 55 degrees to 90 degrees. They prefer a 10 degree difference between daytime and night time temperatures.
Tolumnia do not like to have their roots wet for an extended period of time. This is why they make an excellent mounted plant, or even a bare root plant. They like to have their roots wet by dunking them into water but do not let them sit in water. This should be done every 2-3 days.
Humidity can be increased by misting in the morning. Keep good air movement with increased humidity. Remember to always mist in the morning, not at night.
It is important to fertilize on a regular basis to promote flowering as well as new growth. A growth fertilizer should be used in Spring and Summer, and a bloom fertilizer should be used in Fall and Winter. Or you can use a well balanced all seasons. Fertilize at half strength once a week. Many people find it easy to dunk these into a fertilizer solution once a week.
It is best not to pot these plants. They do best as a mounted plant, or bare root. Potting them will lead to root rot if you are not careful.
Vanda Care Sheet
Light: Vandas need full to partial sun all day long.
Temperature: Vandas are warm growing orchids. Temperatures should stay above 55 degrees.
Water: Vandas like to watered, and then dry out quickly, which is why Vandas are often grown in baskets with exposed roots. They should be watered daily if roots are exposed. In winter months it is important to mist the roots not allowing them to dry out.
Humidity: Vandas like high humidity levels around 80%. Misting is needed to maintain this if you are growing a Vanda in your home.
Fertilizer: Fertilizer with a growth fertilizer in spring and summer, and a bloom fertilizer in fall and winter. This should be done at ½ strength once a week. You can dilute the fertilizer in a spray bottle and mist the roots on a weekly basis with the fertilizer solution.
Potting: Vandas grow best as a bare root plant, or in a slatted basket.