– Delimit your range of choice: concentrate your choice on some genera or types of orchids, in addition to buying the easiest crops first. In this way you can better focus your efforts and perfect your technique. In addition, many genera of orchids have similar requirements and attentions.
– Climatic relevance: Always remember that the guarantee of success in the cultivation of orchids is directly proportional to the adequate climate and the requirements of your orchid. So take into account:
1-) Do not buy, a plant that does not grow at the temperature level of its region (in the tropics the temperature is very related to altitude), for example: it is better to cultivate Cymbidium at less than 1,600 – 1,800 meters high or Anguloa Ruiz & Pav. at the sea level. These plants, even if they do not die, will not flourish, even with the greatest attention they can provide. If you want a particular plant with fervor, the family of orchids is so big that you can surely replace it with another that lives better in your garden.
2-) Consider that not necessarily an Orchid adapted to its temperature conditions is really the right choice, since the humidity influences, a climate can be hot, intermediate or cold, but it can also be wet or dry. Not necessarily an orchid well adapted to a range of temperatures “x” will be also if the humidity conditions in your area are extremely contrary to the ideal humidity conditions of your species, which does not mean that measures can not be applied corrective for this plant to grow in your garden, but it already makes it partially leave the range of low maintenance orchids with high yield, which is the ultimate goal of your choice.
3-) In the same way, consider the tolerance to the drought of your orchid: even if you are one of those people who do not resist the temptation to water and water your plants, there will always be times of the year that due to carelessness, travel, delegation of responsibilities , etc., your plants will not receive sufficient or no irrigation, unless mother nature is benevolent in rains. Therefore moderate your impulses, inform yourself of the correct watering of your plants and choose if possible, those that fit the pluvial parameters of your region. If your area is of marked dry season, I recommend: choose those that support or need periods of less risk. Support means that these plants can remain without receiving water for varying periodsof time without suffering from extreme dehydration (for example, the orchid “Cattleya lueddemanniana Rchb.” generally accepts drought times more than the other Cattleyas type Labiatas); on the contrary, needing periods of lower abundance means that the plants come to rest, which is equal to the estivation that some animals make in times of scarcity(In this case, the rest of the chosen plant should coincide as much as possible with the dry season of your region). If your region is not of marked dry season or it is practically non-existent, I recommend: buy plants that adapt to this condition and avoid those that require rest or little irrigation. The trick in both cases is to try to recreate the same climatic parameters, which means to try that the risks, as far as possible, are made at the same rate of rainfall in your region.
– Tolerance to variations in climate: many of the most resistant orchids are counted among those that can be cultivated under different conditions; these resist better the climatic variations. Tolerance to variations in climate is closely related to the range of diverse habitats for an orchid to thrive in nature. For example, if an orchid grows from sea level to the evergreen cloud forests and has a wide distribution area in nature, we have a plant with these qualities. Likewise, it is generally accepted that hybrids show greater adaptability and climatic resistance (including vigor), to the original specimens.
– Easy to obtain and replace: although patience is essential to get the orchids you want; It does not hurt to try to choose plants that can be obtained with relative safety and also are easily replaceable in case of loss.
– Longevity: Orchids are usually long-lived plants, but there is always the case of short-lived plants, such as the Sophronitis Lindl. and its hybrids.
– Space available: take into consideration the size, and therefore, the space occupied by the plant. Especially if it is limited.
– Be sure to buy only healthy plants: The state of health of a plant is essential when buying it , although on many occasions that State is obvious is not always so. Since it exceeds the limitations of this article, I will not talk about the recognition of them, which I leave to your own experience and research. I will limit myself to mention that only in the Orquidearios, they give him security to buy healthy orchids with greater certainty than the non-specialized ones. Whatever the case, never forget to check the orchids before purchasing them. Also do not be surprised by a plant of great splendor in its flowering, rather look for signs of previous blooms to thus verify its capacity for free flowering (unless it is a relatively young plant, so it would be expected that this was the first).
It is advisable to isolate newly purchased plants as they can be carriers of pests or diseases. If you buy from a recognized nursery you are likely to receive a replacement or be advised to solve the problem.
Keep the area of culture impeccable to avoid the proliferation of fungi or insects. Remove wilted leaves and flowers. Water early in the morning to make sure the plants and flowers are already dry at night. Avoid the accumulation of water in the dishes or the floor of the pots. Preferably use porous material that absorbs excess water near the pots.
Each plant has a particular irrigation regime that depends on several factors; as the medium, the temperature, the relative humidity of the environment, the amount of wind they receive, the season of the year, up to the color of the walls that surround them.
What you should know when growing a certain orchid is its ecosystem. Each one is accustomed to a certain microclimate based on aspects such as altitude, humidity, sunlight, etc. In addition many plants require periods of rest in which they replenish their strength. Document yourself about the species you wish to acquire. Verify that you can reproduce the natural conditions to which this plant is accustomed if you wish to obtain good results. Another good start is acquiring plants already acclimated to their geographical area. Normally, this purpose is achieved through in vitro cultivation since the plant is acclimated from very small to the conditions of the environment. When a plant is extracted from its ecosystem or habitat it is usually affected and can lose leaves and roots or even die. To avoid predation and have better results, especially at the beginning of this hobby is better to acquire this type of plants in Orquidearios. If you detect an infection or plague, act immediately. Do not underestimate this type of affection since they are usually extremely harmful. Isolate the plant immediately and carry asample of infection to a specialized nursery or to the Orchid Society of your area. Wrap the diseased specimen in a plastic bag to prevent it from spreading the disease.
Spend time in the collection. Growing orchids is something that takes up a lot of time. You have to water, fertilize, replant, make substrate, etc.
Read special books on the cultivation of orchids. This learning never ends.
The light . Some genres thrive well with full light such as Cattleya (Guaria), Schomburgkia Lindl. (Guarión), some Oncidium (Rain of gold ), some Epidendrum L. In general the plants of the low zones support more the sun . If you do not know where your plant is from, grow it under shade and observe it for a few weeks.
If it is missing or there is too much light it will know it by indications of the plant like:
With too much light the leaves become yellowish.
The lack of light induces a dark green coloration together with little growth and absence of flowering.
The correct amount of light causes the plant to grow and have a normal flowering.
Irrigation. The best will be, if you know where the plant is from. The orchids of the humid forests need more water than those of the dry and hot zones. The substrate should be moist but not wet.
Form of cultivation, plants in logs dry faster than in pot.
Season. Many orchids have a rest time without growth, so they need less water.
The place where the plant is, dry or wet. The selection of the pot and the appropriate size strongly influences that replanting is not carried out at intervals of less than two years. Monopodial orchids can be transplanted at intervals greater than two years, which is not recommended for sympodiales.
Monopodial orchids, such as Vanda and Phalaenopsis
they can be transplanted even in active growth.
The replanting operation needs more attention than sowing. When the pot is changed , the plant should be placed inside a bucket with water so that the roots are well moistened, doing this will damage the plant less at the moment of extraction