Orchids are a whole family of plants that has more than 25,000 species to their credit. These are flowers of a very characteristic shape, which can be of a large number of colors and which are increasingly popular as a gift flower. They are currently widespread throughout practically the entire world, but they are especially important in India, Madagascar, China and the Himalayas.
If you want to learn how to plant these beautiful plants with spectacular flowers, keep reading this article in which we show you a practical guide on how to plant orchids with the steps and various tips.
Pots for orchids: which one to choose
The vast majority of orchids are epiphytic plants . This means that they are species that in their natural habitat live by anchoring on trees or rocks instead of being buried. Therefore, if you bury your orchid in a pot with soil in the usual way in other plants, it is most likely that you will end up killing the plant by rotting its roots, which are better if they are more ventilated.
Thus, the choice of pot is very important in the case of orchids, since there are different types of containers other than traditional clay pots and which are especially recommended for these plants. The usual thing with orchids will be to use small containers, although there are exceptions, such as Cymbidium orchids , which need larger pots in which their large root system can fit. These are the most recommended pots for orchids :
- Transparent plastic pots: these are the most suitable both for orchids that photosynthesize through their roots, and for those whose roots warn us when the plant needs watering, since they allow us to see its root system without having to manipulate the plant.
- Metal mesh pots: they allow a greater respiration of the roots, and their design makes them easy to hang in a high place, both for aesthetic purposes and to put the plant in places where it receives more sunlight.
- Wooden pots: These are made from a special type of rot-resistant wood. Its design also leaves small holes, which help improve both the respiration of the root system and the drainage of the container. It is advisable to cover your interior walls with a layer of moss before adding the substrate.
Of course, we can also use the traditional ceramic pots or some specific pots for orchids that are sold in specialized stores.
Substrate for orchids: which is better
There are three main types of orchid substrates that can be made depending on the specific species of orchid. All of them coincide in their absence of soil, which does not benefit the roots of these plants. We have chosen mixtures that are made with a part of perlite, another part of medium grade charcoal and four parts of shell or coconut fiber or fine, medium or coarse grain fir bark.
- Coarse mix: this substrate is especially recommended for Cymbidium and other large species.
- Medium Mix: This is recommended for Cattleya and Phalaenopsis species , among others.
- Fine mixture: it is one of the most used for Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, Oncidiinae and basically all those that require higher levels of humidity due to their small roots.
How to plant orchids step by step
To transplant or plant an orchid , follow these steps:
- Clean the plant of debris: Remove any dirt or moss from your orchid before planting it in its new location.
- Prune off bad roots – Some roots may have blackened or withered. Cut them with a properly disinfected tool so that the plant does not lose energy in that part in poor condition.
- Place the orchid in the container: then fill it with the mixture of one of the three substrates described above, depending on the specific type of orchid.
- Give it a suitable location: orchids need a good supply of light and be in an area where the air circulates, so make sure to locate your new container in a suitable place. It is preferable that they receive light indirectly, although in abundance.
How to plant orchids on a trunk or tree – steps
Planting orchids on the trunk of a tree to support them is very simple. Follow these instructions and you will see that it is not something complicated.
- Prepare some mesh cuttings: these will be in charge of keeping the plant fixed to the support until its roots take hold.
- Fill the pouches with some substrate: this way, the orchid will have a source of food until it is firmly established.
- Secure the orchid to the trunk with the substrate mesh: over time, the roots of the orchid will grip themselves to its supporting trunk, and you can remove the mesh without any danger.
When to transplant orchids
Orchids should be transplanted roughly every 2-3 years , but the plant does give us some signals when it needs a container change. If the roots are dying from lack of space , the plant is too big for its pot, or the leaves closest to the substrate have dried up or wilted, it means that the orchid needs a transplant .