Secrets To Orchids and Growing Indoor Plants
Growing indoor plants like orchids is an ideal way to establish attractive and peaceful settings while boosting a sense of happiness. In addition, growing indoor plants can be a fulfilling hobby and can help cleanse the air in your home.
To do well at growing indoor plants, you need to understand how the environment indoors affects orchids and how cultivation varies from growing them outdoors.
There are many factors that you need to consider when growing indoor plants like orchids. The first thing is to know what type of orchid you have and the type of environment it grows best in. An important consideration when growing plants indoors is the type of growing media to use and how it affects growing indoor plants.
A good media mix when growing indoor plants should have excellent aeration and drainage. Use a mix that has medium to large particles for thick rooted orchids. For seedlings or fine rooted orchids use a mix that contains small particles.
The three most important characteristics that all orchid potting mediums should possess are:
It needs the ability to hold water, to retain nutrients, and the ability to permit the roots a surface to adhere to.
Lava Rock is a good growing media for growing indoor plants like orchids. It will not rot and it retains water very well and is well ventilated. The problem with it is that it tends to accumulate mineral salts if your water contains considerable amounts of dissolved minerals.
Fir Bark is the most common orchid potting media when growing indoor plants. It is reasonable in price, it is light weight and easy to handle and it allows air and water to be absorbed by the plant's roots.
When Fir Bark decays it starts to compact. When the bark gets compacted its efficiency to hold water increase and can cause the orchid roots to rot. Growing indoor plants and using fir bark you need to re-pot your orchids every year and use a fertilizer with high nitrogen.
Growing indoor plants, mediums like expanded clay or expanded shale are an extremely good growing media for orchids. They retain water very well and will not rot. The draw back with this type of media is they cost more than other mediums, and sometimes hard to find.
Perlite is a volcanic material and used with other mediums when growing indoor plants. It is low-cost additive, holds water well, decay resistant, and is a common additive to fir bark.
Sphagnum Moss can hold up to 10 times its weight in water.
It's available in long or short fibers, alive or dried. Live sphagnum moss has been found to be best for orchids. It will continue to grow after being placed in the orchid pot if not over watered or over fertilized. It can be used by itself or mixed with other potting mediums.
Cork in a crushed state can also be used in a mixture of other mediums when growing indoor plants, but should not be used by its self because it breaks down rapidly.
Peat moss holds water very well and has a greater holding ability than sphagnum moss, but decays much faster. When growing indoor plants or outdoors peat moss should not be used by itself because it is too dense for orchids and should be mixed with other mediums.
Tree Fern is the second most popular potting medium for orchids. The fiber from tree ferns is resistant to decay and aerates well.
When using tree fern fibers, and growing indoor plants remember that it retains water very well. It is more expensive than most potting media. For this reason many orchid growers will mix tree fern fiber with fir bark.
Redwood Bark is more resistant to decay and comparable to fir bark. Redwood bark costs more than tree fern fiber and is usually mixed with other potting materials.
Charcoal can be added to cork or redwood bark potting mixes and is used to absorb the acids from highly acidic mediums. Charcoal, will also collect mineral salts and should not be used if you use hard water.
When growing indoor plants, especially with orchids do some research and find out what is the best media for the type of orchids you have and remember not to over water or fertilize and you should have no problem growing indoor plants and end up with beautiful healthy plants.
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