Orchid Care

Orchid Care: How To Care For Orchids

  1. What are they
  2. Some genera of orchids
  3. Care
  4. Humidity Requirements
  5. Light Requirements
  6. Temperature Requirements
  7. Fertilizer Requirements
  8. How to fertilize
  9. Glossary
orchid care


Orchids are plants herbaceous perennials of the family Orchidaceae, class Liliopsida (monocots), very abundant, with more than 600 genera and 17,000 species worldwide. Although they are more abundant in the tropics, there are also species in temperate environments, from sea level to high altitudes.

They are characterized by very showy flowers, hermaphrodites (both sexes in the same flower), zygomorphs (with only one plane of symmetry), trímeras (3 sepals and 3 petals) and a central column that supports the male reproductive structures (anthers) and feminine (pistil) called ginostemo.

The lower petal is called lip and its morphology defines the different genera of orchids. The flowers can be isolated or in inflorescence and are pollinated by insects. The pollen is agglomerated, forming a mass called polinium which has an end with a glandular, sticky broadening, which serves for the polyne to adhere to the body of the pollinating insect.

The fruit is a dry capsule with many small seeds, without endosperm and undifferentiated embryo.

Some live in the branches of trees (epiphytes), others on rocks (lithophytic) and some on the ground (terrestrial). The roots of the epíficas and lithofílicas are adapted to live exposed to the air or immersed in organic matter , since they have a water accumulator tissue called veil.

They have two basic types of growth. Simpodial, in which new growth occurs horizontally, from an underground stem or rhizome, generating a sub-unit capable of producing a flower or inflorescence and eventually being separated from the plant (eg Cattleya). Monopodial, in which the new growth occurs vertically, with which the plant grows constantly in height (eg Phalaenopsis).



Irrigation / water requirements

Irrigation is another very important aspect in the cultivation of epiphytic orchids. These plants grow on trees or other plants in their natural habitats and obtain moisture from the air and rainwater that runs down the surface of the branches. This means that the roots of the epiphytic orchids are never submerged in water in their natural habitat and that they should never be submerged in the pot in which you grow them in your home.

Water is perhaps, along with light, the most important element in the development of orchids.

It is through this element that the plant hydrates and nourishes from the organic substances dissolved in it.

Orchids can not be watered with the first water that we have at our disposal.

Normally the tap water that comes out of the house tap has a high hardness, chlorine, high pH and other components that make it highly damaging.

Remember that in their natural habitat the waters are usually very soft and free of additives.

To water our plants we must use soft water

(low in mineral salts, calcium, sodium, etc.).

Bottled waters are normally used (the Bezoya brand is ideal).

However, if we have many plants, a good option is to install a reverse osmosis water filtration system.

Currently there are different models at very affordable prices.

This type of multiple filtration ensures a low hardness, a ph correction, elimination of chlorine and heavy particles.

The way to water the orchids is, therefore, a little different from that of the rest of the terrestrial plants. How much water should be applied and how often it depends on several things:

1. How dry is the environment where you grow your orchids. 
2. The size of the pot. 
3. The size of the plant. 
4. The type of substrate in which your plant grows. 
5. The type of orchid. 
6. How warm is the climate where you live. 
7. How actively the plant is growing. 
8. How much wind is your plant exposed to?

Therefore, it is not possible to give a general rule of irrigation that can be applied to all orchids. In general, observe the leaves and roots of your plants; They will indicate if the frequency and amount of irrigation water you are using is appropriate or not. However, an important rule to remember is that epiphytic orchids tolerate better lack of irrigation than excess.

How to water:

Excessive watering
Most people are accustomed to growing plants that grow on land and not in bark, moss or any other medium in which orchid plants of the epiphytic type are grown. Because the growth substrate is very different from the ground , beginners in the orchid crop must learn to properly water their plants. Beginners usually irrigate their first orchid plant immediately upon reaching home and, as the special growth substrate for orchids will look dry a few hours later, they reapply a little more water. This cycle continues and the result is excessive watering, with a consequent drowning of the plant.

The special growth substrate for orchids is designed to quickly absorb water and then dry. This substrate is more loose or loose than the earth normally used for terrestrial plants and allows oxygen , a vital element for the proper growth of the roots of orchid plants, to flow around the roots. If this substrate is kept wet constantly, the roots quickly rot and the plant begins to wilt since its roots can no longer absorb the water needed by the plant. When this happens, beginners add even more water, since it is easy to think that the plant needs it.

If your orchid is irrigated excessively, then the visible symptoms are:

1. Withering of the plant 
2. The pseudobulbs wrinkle, losing the turgid appearance of a healthy plant. 
3. The leaves of orchids such as Cattleyas and Phalaenopsis, curl and develop folds (wrinkles). 
4. The leaves of orchids such as Miltonia and Oncidium do not expand and pleat like an accordion. 
5. Blackened areas develop, especially around the base of the plant. 
6. Older leaves turn yellow and fall off. 
7. The growth substrate smells acid or sour. 
8. If possible, gently pull the orchid plant out of the pot and examine the roots. If the roots haveDark color and they are grainy or like puree, then, it is evident that the plant is being affected by over watering.

Some tips to prevent your plants from dying from excessive watering:

If you notice that your orchid plant does not look healthy and its visible symptoms coincide with an excess of watering, then change it immediately from pot and growth substrate. Cut with a pruning shear or with a sharp knife all dead or decaying roots. If the roots are seen with black fungi, disinfect the roots with a special fungicide for plants before putting it in the new pot. Use new and rather thick substrate in terms of its texture to transplant, as it will allow the roots to dry more quickly and the plant to stabilize. As your plant will probably have few roots to anchor well to the new substrate, use a wooden stake and soft cotton pita. to affirm it.

If you do not have healthy roots to your plant, or you have very few left, you can place the entire plant in a transparent plastic bag, loosely binding the mouth of the bag. The bag will help the orchid plant not lose moisture excessively by its own evaporation of water by the leaves. Keep the bag in a place where it receives light indirectly until new roots begin to appear. Do not put the bag in direct sunlight, as it will quickly kill your plant. When the roots start to appear, then put your plant on a tray with water.

After applying any of the above alternatives, be very careful how and how often you irrigate your orchid plant, so that the problem does not recur.

Poor watering

Many times those beginners in the cultivation of epiphytic orchids who have heard that these plants should not be irrigated excessively, tend to irrigate poorly. They mainly spray water to the leaves of the plant and apply very little water in the form of irrigation to the growth substrate, which does not reach to completely moisten. Alternatively, they treat their orchid plant as if it were a cactus and water it very infrequently.

If your orchid is irrigated poorly, then the visible symptoms are: 
Unfortunately, the visible symptoms of lack of irrigation in the aerial part of the plant are almost the same as those described above due to excessive irrigation. However, if you gently remove your orchid plant pot to be able to observe the roots, then you will have a better assessment of the problem. If the roots are firm, then the problem is likely to be irrigation shortage . If the roots are black and like puree, then the plant is suffering from excessive irrigation.

1. The plant looks withered, but has its healthy roots. 
2. The thinnest leaves of some orchids, like the Miltonias, are pleated like an accordion and do not develop. In this case, even if you increase the watering, the affected leaves will not improve; the situation is irreversible for the affected leaves, but the new leaves will be normal. 
3. The plant looks weak and the leaves come off easily.

Some tips to prevent your plants from dying due to lack of irrigation: First of
all, you must be sure that the problem that is affecting your plant is lack of irrigation water and not excessive irrigation. If you are sure that the problem is lack of irrigation water, then,

1. If the plant is firm in its pot, just increase the frequency of watering. For example, if you watered once a week, start watering twice a week. 
2. Water with plenty of water every time and not with a small amount; let excess water drain freely through the base of the pot. Never keep the pots of your orchid plants on dishes that accumulate water and keep the base of the pot in constant contact with water.


Orchids have clear requirements on the quality of irrigation water. They do not tolerate hard waters (with many minerals ), with chlorine or other organic contaminants. Therefore, the ideal is to water them with distilled or demineralized water, although this may be more expensive. Your plant will appreciate this effort, growing better and flourishing more.

Utility of softening drinking water with commercial softeners, before using it to water orchid plants:

There are different types of water softeners on the market and the water purified by them may or may not be suitable for watering your orchid plants. If the softening process consists of methods of ion exchange, then water can be used to irrigate orchid plants. However, if the water is softened using sodium salts (salt), then do not use this water to water your orchids. In this case, calcium and magnesium from water are replaced by sodium, which is toxic to orchids in the amounts released by this type of softeners. Unfortunately, most water softeners for houses use sodium as a softening agent. Orchid plants that are watered with this water with sodium may grow a few centimeters, but eventually their growth will stop completely. It can take less than six months to kill an orchid plant by watering it with this type of water softened with sodium.The method used to soften it was ion exchange or sodium.

Ë Humidity Requirements Ë

Most epiphytic orchids thrive best in environments where the relative humidity of the air is between 60% and 80%. However, the air inside a house normally has a relative humidity between 30% and 40%. A heated house with many carpets and curtains could have a humidity as low as 5%, which is unsuitable for growing orchids.

If you can grow other plants well inside your house, then you can grow orchid plants well. But if air humidity is a problem to grow other types of plants, then undoubtedly it will also be a problem to grow orchids.

Sophisticated equipment is not required to improve the humidity of the air inside your home. Trays of adequate size, filled with water and pebbles will be enough to improve the humidity of the air around your orchid plants. The water that evaporates from the tray will be enough to improve the dry environment of your home. However, make sure that the base of the pot or the leaves of the plant are not in direct contact with the water in the tray.

Some tips to increase the humidity:

1. In a greenhouse, you can moisten the walls and the floor. 
2. Inside your home, a shallow tray filled with water will suffice. Place pebbles inside the tray, along with the water, and be sure to put the pot with your orchid plant over the tray; avoid that the base of the pot is in direct contact with the water and / or pebbles contained in the tray. You can increase the evaporation of water from the tray, by placing a water heater (like the one used to heat the water in the aquariums) below the pebbles. 
3.Put your orchid plants in groups or together with other plants, but not too much so that air can circulate between them. When the plants are grouped, they generate a beneficial micro-climate around them, due to their own evaporation of water by the leaves. 
4. Use environmental humidifiers. There are many types and prices . However, before investing in one, invest first in the purchase of a hygrometer (relative humidity meter), in order to verify if the humidity around your orchid plants is really low and try the indicated methods first previously. 
5.At times of the year when the air is drier, move your plants to the kitchen, bathroom or other place where hot water is used. The evaporation of hot water helps moisten the air. 
6. If the air is extremely dry, you can cover your orchid plant with a transparent plastic bag, in order to build a mini greenhouse. However, do not completely seal the bag around your orchid plant, as there must be some movement or change of air inside the mini greenhouse and for no reason expose a plant so covered in direct sunlight. 
7Spraying water manually on the leaves of plants does not help to significantly increase the humidity of the air, since the water quickly evaporates from the air. If you want to spray water on your plants, be sure to do it in the mornings, so that the plants are with their dry leaves at sunset, and to use distilled water, since the orchids are very sensitive to chlorine and to the excess of minerals contained in the Water.

Some tips to reduce environmental humidity:

Excessive humidity inside a house is an infrequent problem to grow orchid plants. High humidity can be a major problem inside a greenhouse, because the environment is isolated from the outside. This is particularly true if you live in a region where the weather is humid or in an area where the winter is gray because it is cloudy most of the time .

A visible sign of excessive moisture, without adequate air circulation, for orchid plants is the formation of brown water droplets on the surface of the leaves, small lilac spots on the flowers and, in extreme situations, blackened flower buds . 
To correct the problem, you must increase the air circulation in the area with fans, to dry out the environment. Ventilate the area so that the air comes out, if the humidity outside the room is less than inside it. However, be careful not to produce cold or very hot air currents when attempting to ventilate the enclosure. Also, water at longer time intervals, reduce watering to plants and do not spray them with water.


For most epiphytic orchids it is essential that there is a good movement of the air around them. In their natural habitats, most epiphytic orchids are exposed to constant breezes. The moving air is beneficial for the general health of the orchid plant. It helps prevent various problems of disease and prevents staining due to cold or heat excessive when plants are exposed to adverse conditions of temperature. You will notice that a small fan located near the growth area of ​​your orchids will provide much better growing conditions for your plants. Your plants will respond with better and greater growth.

Ë Light Requirements Ë

Like all plants, light is one of the fundamental factors for its proper development.

Most orchids need a lot of light but little or no direct sun

(from tropical orchids, only Vanda and Cymbidium can tolerate direct sun but outside the central hours of the day).

You should look for a location near windows with good orientation.

If the sun enters at any time of the day try to filter the light through curtains that attenuate it.

Good light conditions are essential to stimulate the flowering and growth of the plant.

If not enough natural light is available, one option is to install special artificial lights for plants.

There are different types (mercury, high and low pressure sodium, etc.).

The insufficient light causes the lack of flowering, little growth, fragile stems that can fall, very dark green leaves or, according to other conditions, leaves that yellow until they fall.

In general, epiphytic orchids do not tolerate direct sunlight on their leaves. However, this is the crucial factor in determining if your orchid plant will bloom or not. An adequate amount of light is required to ensure a good development of the plant and a good accumulation of storage nutrients . If your plant is not in an environment with an adequate amount of light, then it will not be able to produce enough food (sugars) to be used in a flowering cycle (if it does not have enough light) or it will be burnt by the sun and dried or transformed corked by excessive perspiration (if it has too much light).

Generally, you can know how much light an orchid plant needs simply by observing its foliage (leaves). For most orchids, one should expect light green leaves. Being exposed to an adequate amount of light, the leaves darken their foliage a little due to the greater production of reddish pigments that protect the leaves from light. This means that the plant is working well and is protecting itself from burns on its leaves. This is the ideal situation for an orchid plant to bloom.

If your orchid does not have enough light, then the visible symptoms are: 
1. Plant with dark green-emerald leaves and no shine, but with a healthy root system.
2. Each new shoot is smaller than the previous one. 
3. Laceas leaves and weak-looking plant. 
4. Does not flower or produces very few flowers. 
Some tips for improving natural lighting : 
1. Move your plant to a place with a better source of natural light, such as a more lighted window. 
2. Open the curtains of the windows near where you have your plant. 
3. Remove objects that can shade natural light to the plant (other plants, trees, furniture, etc).

However, be very careful when changing your plant to an environment with greater luminosity, because a plant that has been exposed to low lighting for a long period of time will have delicate leaves and more sensitive to light, which can burn easily.

Therefore, gradually move your plant to more lighted environments, to allow it to acclimate slowly. If you keep the plant in its new location you notice that the leaves start to show signs of burning (they turn brown or very dry) move the plant away from the light source or give it more shading for one to two weeks until it adapts at the new level of light.

Some tips to improve lighting with artificial light:

1. Reduce the distance between the light source and the plant. In case of using incandescent light (bulb), be careful not to locate the plant too close to the light source. 
2. Move the plant towards the center of the light source. 
3. Keep the light source on for longer (between 14 and 16 hours a day). 
4. Make sure the vials are no longer than one year old, as the older vials give less light. 
5. Ideally use light bulbs or fluorescent tubes specially designed for the lighting of plants, since the bulbs and normal fluorescent tubes do not deliver the full spectrum of radiation required by the plants.

If your orchid is exposed to excess light, then the visible symptoms are: 
1. Leaves with dark spots, due to burns, mainly at their apices. The spots can be yellow, orange or brown, rough looking and arranged as above the surface of the leaf. 
2. Leaves feel warm to the touch. The leaves should feel cold when in contact with hands. 
3. The leaves begin to turn black and fall off. A plant exposed to excess light may eventually die. 
4. The general growth of the plant is squat (dwarf plants) and the leaves begin to turn yellow. 
5. In some orchids the color of the leaves is lost (whitish leaves).

Some tips to reduce natural lighting:
1. Move the plant away from direct sunlight. Remember that the sun that passes through a window can be intensified by the glass . 
2. The afternoon sun is much warmer (bright) than the morning sun, so move the plant to a location where you only get the morning sun. 
3. Put thin curtains in front of the windows. 
If you are growing your plants with artificial light, normally you will not have this kind of problems, unless you have the lights on all the time or they are very close to the plants.

Ë Temperature Requirements Ë

The temperatures that are normally found inside a house are suitable for cultivating well the most common types of epiphytic orchids (Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Phaphiopedilum, Oncidium, Miltonia, etc.). In general, if the temperature is comfortable for you, these orchid plants will be too. Daytime temperatures of 18.3 ° C (65 ° F) and 26.7 ° C (80 ° F) and nighttime temperatures between 12.8 ° C (55 ° F) and 23.9 ° C (75 ° F) are the most appropriate. Some orchids, such as the Phalaenopsis, require the existence of periods with marked temperature differences between day and night to start their flowering. In this way, if the temperature of your house is constant and never fluctuates between day and night,
However, many orchids are hardy enough to live outside the ideal temperature ranges, although they can see their growth and bloom affected.

Low Temperature
When exposed to orchids at temperatures below freezing or below the freezing point of water (0 ° C), water crystals begin to form in the tissues of the plant, resulting in the death of the affected area . Depending on the degree of damage , the entire plant may die. Temperatures above the freezing point of water, but below the optimum temperature for a type of orchid, will produce less damage, but will still damage the tissues of the plant.

If your orchid has been exposed to temperatures too low, then the visible symptoms are: 
 Temperatures below the freezing point: the whole plant, and in particular the leaves, become dark and granular (it “burns”). An orchid placed very close to a window exposed to temperatures below zero may show damage to the leaves that touch the window. 
2. Very low temperatures, but not below the freezing point: the plant will weaken, becoming more vulnerable to the attack of fungi and bacteria

Some tips to keep your plants from freezing: 
1. If you grow your orchid plants outside the home, notice the variations in nighttime temperatures. If nighttime temperatures begin to be less than 10 ° C (50 ° F) for more than two hours, then enter the plants inside the house or protect them by covering them with sheets of newspaper, a lightweight sheet, plastic bags, plastic packing with air bubbles, etc. However, just covering them will not be enough if the temperature drops below 4 ° C (40 ° F). Even the most cold-resistant orchid plants do not tolerate temperatures below 10 ° C (50 ° F). A night with temperatures below 12.8 ° C (55 ° F) is enough to kill a Phalaenopsis orchid. However, orchids such as Cymbidium can tolerate cooler temperatures without suffering damage, provided they are acclimatized outside; in this last case it is fundamental that the pseudobulbs do not freeze. 
two.If you grow your orchid plants inside the house, make sure that the leaves of the plants do not touch the glass of the window. You can place a layer of plastic wrap with air bubbles on the glass, to help isolate the plants from the cold that diffuses through the glass. If you have a heating system, increase the temperature of the piece where your orchid plants are (in countries or cold temperate regions). 
3. If you grow your plants in a greenhouse, then you must have an adequate heating system, which should keep burning during winter nights.

High temperature

Temperatures above the range preferred by orchids can also cause damage. A high temperature, normally associated with a high intensity of light, is extremely harmful.

If your orchid is exposed to high temperatures, then the visible symptoms are: 
1. Leaves with burns (yellowish or blackish leaves). 
2. The tips of the leaves turn brown and the leaves begin to die from the tips toward the base. 
3. The leaves begin to fall and the plant produces malformed or deformed leaves and buds. 
4. Plants that have been kept too hot during the night are weakened and have an elongated growth.

Some tips to lower the temperature:
As you can imagine, decreasing the temperature is much more difficult than increasing it. However, some useful tips are, 
If you grow your plants inside the house and do not have an air conditioning system, then take your plants out of the house and put them in a shaded patio area, but with good lighting . The night temperature will be much lower outside than inside the house. 
Increase air circulation with fans. This will increase the evaporation of water by the leaves of the plants, which will cool the entire plant. However, observe the watering of the plant, since the substrate will dry faster.
Diminish the sun’s illumination. Sunlight is a great source of heat (infrared radiation) for plants, so a decrease in the hours of sunlight that plants receive will be of great help. If necessary, shade your plants more. 
Try to grow orchid genera suitable for the climate where you live. If you live in very warm places, do not try to grow orchid genera that grow in colder environments.

Ë Fertilizer Requirements Ë

It is important to remember that the epiphytic orchids, those that grow on the branches of the trees and not on the earth (terrestrial orchids), obtain the necessary minerals for their normal growth from the rainwater that drains through the branches of the trees; This rainwater contains very low concentrations of minerals, which are diluted in rainwater as it runs off the bark of trees and organic matter accumulated on the branches. Due to this habit of growth, orchids are not plants that require large amounts of mineral nutrients and therefore must always be properly fertilized. The rule should always be: fertilize once a week using a very diluted solution.

Type of fertilizer

Using the right kind of fertilizer is very important for the good growth and flowering of the epiphytic orchid plants. Most of the substrates used to grow orchids lack the essential nutrients for the normal growth and flowering of the plant. Organic substrates (bark and moss) will release small amounts of minerals as they decompose, but these are insufficient for good plant nutrition .

All the fertilizers are constituted by three main ingredients: 
– Nitrogen (N), which promotes the general growth of the plant. 
– Phosphorus (P), which promotes flowering. 
– Potassium (K) , which promotes strong root formation.

These ingredients are mixed in different proportions because the plants have different needs throughout the year. The proportion found in any commercial fertilizer is indicated on the label by a code of three numbers, in which the first number corresponds to the percentage of nitrogen, the second number to the percentage of phosphorus and the third number to the percentage of potassium. For example, a good balanced fertilizer, such as one with a 7-9-5 ratio (NPK), is suitable for use on any type of substrate on which you are growing your orchid plant. You will have noticed that when you add up the three percentages of this code, you do not get 100%. This is because the difference corresponds to inert ingredients and minerals required in very low concentrations by plants

For a long time it was thought that the substrates based on tree bark absorbed the nitrogen of the fertilizer, not leaving it available for the roots of the orchid plants, so it was required to use, in these substrates, a fertilizer rich in nitrogen (30- 10-10). However, now it is known that this is not true.

To help promote the flowering of the plant, you can use a special type of fertilizer, called “bloom stimulation”, whose proportion is higher in phosphorus, such as 3-12-6. This type of fertilizer should be applied before the formation of the flower buds, which requires that you know the annual cycle of growth and flowering of your orchid plant.

Avoid using fertilizers designed for use in meadows and gardens in your orchid plants. Also, do not use fertilizers in which urea is the source of nitrogen. Prefer those that contain ammonium. Urea has to be degraded by microorganisms before the nitrogen can be absorbed by the roots of the plants, which results in an excessive accumulation of salts in the growth substrate. The excessive accumulation of salts can burn the new roots of the orchid plants and thus negatively affect the growth and flowering.

Fertilizers are sold in a variety of ways: granulates, liquids, tablets, powder, etc., and for a variety of plant types: azaleas, palm trees, fruit trees, grass, orchids, etc. We recommend using those formulated especially for orchids and that they are soluble in water (powder or granules that can be dissolved in water before use), which can be found in garden centers or purchased through the Internet if they are not available in your country.

Ë How to fertilize Ë

Normally it is fertilized using irrigation water as a liquid medium to solubilize the fertilizer. 
Use the dosage indicated by the manufacturer on the fertilizer label specially formulated for orchids. Normally the suggested dose is ¼ or ½ teaspoon of tea per 3.8 liters of water (1 gallon). Always remember that it is better to add little and not much fertilizer. 
Some orchid growers recommend fertilizing once a week, while others suggest fertilizing every other week. We suggest fertilizing once every two weeks, since it is the pure water used to irrigate between fertilizations, it will wash the excess of salts from the growth substrate, avoiding the problems of toxicity of the plant due to excessive accumulation of salts.
If you are a beginner in the cultivation of epiphytic orchids, then it is better to use a balanced fertilizer throughout the year (example, 7-9-5). If you are a more experienced grower, then use a fertilizer balanced or rich in nitrogen when the plant is growing vegetatively (forming leaves and stems) and switch to a fertilizer rich in phosphorus at the right time to stimulate flowering. 
Instruct yourself well about the type of orchid you have, since some require a recess in fertilization once the growth and flowering have been completed (when the plant is in recess).

You can easily know if you are fertilizing your plants, because they will grow little (plants smaller than normal) or will show yellowish leaves.

If your orchid is fertilized excessively, then the visible symptoms are: 
1. Accumulation of salts (white crystals or pale yellow) on the growth substrate or around the outside of the pot 
2. Blackened (burned) roots when entering in contact with this accumulation of salts. If the accumulation of salts is excessive, the plant can die. 
3. Tips of blackened or dead leaves.

To avoid these problems, you must alternate watering with pure water and water with diluted fertilizer. Fertilize once a week, week in between. This will allow the pure irrigation water used between the fertilizations, wash the excess fertilizer, salts and minerals from the growth substrate.

If you have been fertilizing excessively, then what you should do is transplant your orchid plant to a new pot, using new growth substrate. Before placing the plant in the new pot, wash the roots with plenty of distilled or demineralized water, to eliminate the salts accumulated on their surfaces. Once transplanted, reduce the amount of fertilizer used to the one suggested above.


  • Anther : is the male part of the flower responsible for producing pollen.
  • Cane : it is a succulent or thickened stem to store water and nutrients, characteristic of the Dendrobium.
  • Epiphyte, epiphytic : it is a plant that grows naturally on another plant, but that does not depend on it for its nutrition or obtaining water.
  • Species : is a type of plant that is genetically different from another.
  • Foliar Fertilizer : is a type of fertilizer that is mixed with water and applied directly on the leaves of the plant.
  • Fertilizer : they are essential minerals for the nutrition of the plant.
  • Gender : corresponds to the grouping of plant species that share similar morphological characteristics and that, therefore, are related.
  • Habitat : is the geographical location where a plant normally grows.
  • Hybrid : it is a plant resulting from the crossing of two different species.
  • Inflorescence : a group of flowers arranged on the same stem.
  • Keiki : is a Hawaiian word used to refer to a small plant or seedling produced asexually by an orchid plant, as in the Phalaenopsis or Dendrobiums.
  • Lip, lip : is a lower petal of an orchid flower, specialized to help in the pollination of the plant, by insects. It has a different, usually larger, form from the other petals of the flower.
  • Lithophytic : it is a plant that grows on rocks.
  • Mericlone : is a plant derived from tissue culture in vitro and which is genetically identical to the mother plant.
  • Monopodial : is a plant that has a single stem that grows vertically or in height and that produces leaves and flowers along it.
  • Knot : the part of the stem where a leaf or lateral stem is attached.
  • Photosynthesis : is the process through which the plant makes carbohydrates or sugar from water and carbon dioxide . This process occurs in the green parts of the plant, which possess chlorophyll.
  • Pseudobulb : it is a thickened portion of the basal part of the stem of many orchids, responsible for storing water and nutrients.
  • Rhizome : a stem that grows horizontally, indefinitely, from which adventitious roots, leaves and / or branches are formed.
  • Adventitious roots: are roots that are produced from buds located on the stems of the plant and do not come from the original root of the embryo.
  • Aerial roots : are those roots that grow above the growth medium.
  • Simpodial : is a form of plant growth in a horizontal or lateral direction, along a rhizome.
  • Substrate, medium : material in which a plant is grown; It can be organic, like tree bark, or inorganic, like lava stones.
  • Terrestrial : it is a plant that grows anchored to the ground, from where it extracts the water and mineral nutrients necessary for its survival.
  • Pod : is a modified leaf that protects an inflorescence or leaf emerging.
  • Velamen : is the tissue that covers the aerial roots of the epiphytic orchids, in charge of absorbing water and avoiding the excessive evaporation of water from the radical tissue.
  • Buds : are small structures of plants located at the nodes of the stems and at the terminal end of the stems, responsible for producing new branches or flowers.

Don Burke

I am Don Burke, one of the authors at My Garden Guide.  I am a horticulturist that cultivates, grows, and cares for plants, ranging from shrubs and fruits to flowers. I do it in my own garden and in my nursery. I show you how to take care of your garden and how to perform garden landscaping in an easy way, step by step.I am originally from Sydney and I wrote in local magazines. Later on, I have decided, more than two decades ago, to create my own blog. My area of specialization is related to orchid care, succulent care, and the study of the substrate and the soil. Therefore, you will see many articles dedicated to these disciplines. I also provide advice about how to improve the landscape design of your garden.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

link to Pin Oak Tree

Pin Oak Tree

Pin Oak Tree (Quercus palustris) The pin oak tree (Quercus palustris) is a plant from the genus of oak trees in the family of the beech plants (Fagaceae). In temperate latitudes, it...