80 Acres Farms Fully Automated Indoor Farm of the Future

80 Acres Farms fully automated indoor farm

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80 ACRES FARMS – In today’s world, the production and consumption of food are becoming increasingly complex with each day that passes.

For starters, environmental and economic issues result in great amounts of unhealthy, low-quality food being offered to often unwitting customers.

Meanwhile, organic and healthy produce is often grown in remote locations, making its distribution problematic and greatly increasing its cost once it finally hits the market.

Without a doubt, these conditions are adverse ones, making it very difficult for regular people to find healthy, clean and flavorful produce at a reasonable price.

Introducing 80 Acres Farms, a company that is changing the game when it comes to growing and distributing food worth eating.

Business Of Sustainable Micro Gardens

Micro gardens are small growing areas planted without the benefit of a plot of land, even without extensive space.

These are gardens that require only pots, which can be created out of any kind of vessel, encouraging creative recycling.

Urban citizens are encouraged to go green and grow their own food inside old flowerpots, buckets, and more.

Business Of Sustainable Micro Gardens

What is 80 Acres Farms All About?

At its very core, 80 Acres Farms is a company that produces clean, organic food using innovative new technology.

However, saying it like that can give out the impression that 80 Acres Farms is a simple and straightforward operation.

On the contrary, the company is a rather versatile one, combining a series of forward-thinking concepts and ideas into an impressively-functional business model.

Let me guide you through it!

A Fully Automated Farm

Without a doubt, the key concept for understanding 80 Acres Farms is that of automation.

Recently, the company inaugurated its new state-of-the-art facilities.

They are complete with mechanical and digital setups that automatically perform every task required in farming, from seeding to harvesting.

These facilities cost more than $40 million in equity capital from Virgo Investment Group, a private equity firm from San Francisco.

While that may seem like a very high number, the benefits of complete automation are expected to quickly make up for such a heavy investment.

Apart from including robotics, the facilities include artificial intelligence actors that help monitor, analyze and optimize every aspect of the farming process.

For decades now, there has been talking about automating farming and how that would transform the industry.

However, only 80 Acres Farms has taken the plunge into complete automation so far.

The risk taken is likely going to pay: Already, the new technology has proven to produce cheaper, healthier and more flavorful produce.

Food That’s Grown Near You

One thing that the creators of 80 Acres Farms were adamant about is freshness.

As you know, the only way to get truly fresh produce is to get it within a day of its harvesting.

Unfortunately, however, most of the produce that is sold in groceries and supermarkets across the country travels huge distances before it can be bought by customers.

The result?

Produce that is no longer as fresh, flavorful and healthy as it is intended to be.

To prevent this from happening, the people at 80 Acres Farms devised a distributing plan by which local major national grocers, local retailers, restaurants and food service companies can get fresh produce within a day of its harvesting.

Of course, this means that the old model of shipping huge amounts of produce from remote parts of the country needed to be abandoned.

Instead, 80 Acres Farms committed itself to only distributing its food to businesses that are located reasonably close.

As a result, whenever you buy produce grown in 80 Acres Farms, you can be sure that it’s fresh and locally-grown.

The Important Role of Sustainability

Another essential component of the operation carried out by 80 Acres Farms is sustainability.

Committed to the community and the environment, the company has implemented a series of processes that help make its production more sustainable.

Without a doubt, one of the most notable implementations is that the entire farm is powered using renewable energy.

That is not all, though: Using state-of-the-art technologies and techniques, the farm has managed to reduce its water usage by a whopping 97 percent.

What is more, the company has managed to greatly reduce its CO2 output through the implementation of clean technologies.

Not content with that, 80 Acres Farms also put in place various policies that help greatly reduce food waste.

What About Nutrition?

At this point, you may be wondering about the food itself.

Is it good?

Well, I am happy to say that the efforts of the people behind 80 Acres Farms have paid off.

Using high-tech processes and techniques, the automated farm is capable of achieving optimal nutrition for all its foods.

The fact that artificial intelligence determines the best time to harvest produce plays a huge role in this.

In addition, minimal handling ensures that no nutrients will be lost during the time between harvest and consumption.

What About Safety?

Something else that is remarkable about the food that comes from 80 Acres Farms is its cleanliness.

In a time when even organic farms use pesticides and other chemicals, 80 Acres Farms does not.

That is not all, however.

At 80 Acres Farms, the highest safety standards are observed.

Of course, the farm is GAP and GSFI certified.

Even more than that, every product that the company sells is 100% traceable from seed to package.

Don’t Forget the Flavor

If you are worried about the taste, don’t be: Using select seeds, advanced growing methods and strict product selection, 80 Acres Farms has achieved incredible flavor in all its vegetables.

Fresh and full of nutrients, every bite that you take out of an 80 Acres Farms produce tastes like nature itself.

History of 80 Acres Farms

Now that you know what 80 Acres is about, let’s take a look at its history.

80 Acres Farms
80 Acres Farms

A Remarkable Team

As food executives with a passion for sustainability, Mike Zelkind and Tisha Livingston were in the business of helping food companies get out of financial trouble.

They were exceedingly good at this.

However, to them, having to deal with these companies after they went bankrupt was difficult.

Then they had a great idea: What about creating a company that, from day one, avoided all the pitfalls and common mistakes they had seen their clients make through the years?

As a result, 80 Acres was born.

Before that, however, some work needed to be done.

Prior to designing what would later become 80 Acres Farms, Mike Zelkind and Tisha Livingston traveled through the United States, visiting small farming towns in places like Ohio, Arkansas, North Carolina, Alabama, Florida and California.

Listening to hundreds of farmers talking about their problems painted a clearer picture of everything that was being done wrong.

Using this knowledge, and assisted by the best food technology experts in the country, the pair created a system that would help produce better, healthier, cheaper and more consistent food.

The Birth of 80 Acres Farms

After a lot of planning and a remarkable amount of work, 80 Acres finally became a reality.

From the very beginning, the effort put into the venture paid off: The innovative technology and processes that were used allowed 80 Acres Farms to grow clean, healthy foods three times faster than traditional farming.

Not only that: The results were incredible. Big, colorful, flavorful and aromatic vegetables that were packed full of nutrients.

The Technology Behind 80 Acres Farms

Without a doubt, technology has been essential for the success of 80 Acres.

The company has invested a lot of resources into implementing what is often referred to as smart farming.

This entails the integration of advanced technologies into existing farming practices, increasing production efficiency as well as the quality of the resulting products.

Moving On to Bigger and Better Things

80 Acres Farms wasn’t always a fully automated farm.

When it started back at the beginning of the previous decade, the farm used new technologies very sparingly.

That all changed, however, when the company’s owners secured $40 million in equity capital, which allowed them to completely renew their facilities and implement a wide range of automated processes.

As a matter of fact, every aspect of the farming process was renewed to feature handling robotics, artificial intelligence, data analytics, around-the-clock monitoring sensors and control systems.

A Fully Automated Farm

Having artificial intelligence and robotics handling every aspect of the farming process had fantastic results.

For starters, the process of planting, growing and harvesting the food became a lot faster and efficient.

In addition to this, the quality and consistency of the food increased enormously, resulting in great financial gains for the company.

Of course, this also meant that 80 Acres Farms could offer high-quality produce for cheaper, resulting in benefits for the customers as well.

Innovation is Key

For the minds behind 80 Acres Farms, nothing short of perfection is acceptable.

You can tell this looking at the design of the farm itself.

Every element that comes in contact with the plants has been designed to be as efficient and effective as possible.

Even more than that, every process that is used was designed specifically to be thoroughly eco-friendly and sustainable.

As if all this wasn’t enough, an advanced artificial intelligence supervises every aspect of the process, ensuring no mistakes will be made at any point.

The Social Commitment of 80 Acres Farms

All the technology in the world would be useless without the community that 80 Acres strives to serve and help uplift.

From independent farmers to food distributors to the people who eat the produce, the company has a commitment to establishing and nourishing wholesome and beneficial relationships with everyone that takes part in the process.

To do so, 80 Acres has taken several meaningful steps:

Better Food for Local Communities

The people behind 80 Acres are very much aware that the bottom line is giving local communities access to high-quality, clean and nutritious food.

To achieve this, every element of the process from seeding to packaging has been optimized, ensuring that the vegetables can reach their maximum potential.

In addition, the company has taken the necessary steps to guarantee consistency, affordability, accessibility, safety and sustainability.

Freshness Above Everything

In order to ensure the highest level of quality, 80 Acres has strategic locations in different cities and towns of the United States.

These locations deliver produce to grocers, local retailers, restaurants and food service companies within one day of harvest.

I don’t need to tell you this is fantastic as it guarantees that you and your family will only consume the freshest vegetables any time that you purchase a product of the 80 Acres Farms brand.

What About the Environment?

As previously mentioned, 80 Acres Farms is an environmentally-conscious company.

This makes itself evident in various ways.

Perhaps most impressive is the fact that the entire operation is powered using renewable energy only.

As a result, its CO2 output is dramatically small in comparison to that of a traditional farm.

Even more than that, though, 80 Acres in on a mission to eliminate food waste and cut back on water usage.

The goal, of course, is to make the enterprise as sustainable and eco-friendly as possible.

Social Media Presence

In order to maintain a have and maintain a strong relationship with the community, 80 Acres has a strong presence in social media.

In addition to posting the latest news and responding to customer feedback, the 80 Acres Facebook page provides tasty recipes, useful tips for handling and conserving vegetables and much more.

Meanwhile, its Instagram page delivers beautiful pictures of fresh produce as well as inspirational and community-driven messages.

80 Acres Farms

Having gone through everything that 80 Acres Farms is about, it’s easy to see why the company has gained so much popularity during the last year or so.

Becoming one of the first fully-automated farms in the country (and the world) is only a part of it.

The company’s commitment to the community at large has resulted in an outstanding focus on issues like health, consistency, sustainability and affordability.

What is more, 80 Acres Farms is rightfully earning a shining reputation for consistently growing high-quality produce that’s chock full of flavor.

How to Start Composting ~ How to Start a Compost Pile

How to Start Composting

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The idea of composting is appealing to many because it’s easy to do. But where to begin and how to start composting is where some people get stuck.

You know composting has many benefits. What’s great about composting is you will enrich your soil and grow awesome Orchids while using scraps from fruits and vegetables as well as yard material — nothing goes to waste.

These are things you already have that you are likely throwing away.

You can likely compost anywhere you live.

First, you’ll need to consider whether you will start a compost pile or use a compost bin.

Before you decide, there are factors to consider.

How to Compost at Home for Beginners Guide

Space is a big consideration.

If you have some land, you can use concrete blocks or bricks to build a compost heap. You will use these blocks to contain your compost. It will also help to keep the scavengers away.

If you don’t want to define the area with blocks, you can start a heaping compost pile all on its own. This works well if you have an out-of-the-way area on your property.

When your compost is exposed, it will be up to you to rotate it. You will do this with a shovel or rake, turning over the organic matter a few times a month.

This is more labor-intensive than having a composting bin that you can rotate.

Also, know that with compost heaps and compost piles, it will smell. You may attract flies and critters.

Depending on where it is on your property, this can affect your neighbors as well.

If you have wildlife, live in an HOA, or have a smaller space, you may opt for a compost bin.

In these instances, an outdoor composting tumbler can be a great option. It will keep your organic matter and food scraps contained. It won’t attract flies, wildlife; nor will it smell.

Getting Started Composting

If time is a factor, it may be easier to use a compost bin as well. Compost bins are easy to turn over and may be less labor intensive than raking and turning over an outdoor compost heap with a shovel or rake.

After seeing many different types of composting set ups, we learned you can probably compost wherever you live.

In addition, you can compost without using worms — vermicomposting — which might be more appealing.

Building a Compost Pile
We pulled this straw off the garlic this spring, so it can be composted now.

How to Compost at Home for Beginners

Household composting is the process of converting kitchen and yard waste into valuable fertilizer.

When a family’s compostable materials go to a compost bin instead of the trash can, waste can be reduced by up to 30%.

Our family eats a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. However, we toss a lot of it as well.

There’s the not-so-great-tasting parts as well as some stems, cores, pits, and rinds. There are the tops of carrots and pineapples, the ends of the onions, and watermelon rinds.

Sometimes, we forget about produce and it goes bad.

All of this is wasted.

However, when you compost these vegetable and fruit scraps, you use all of it.

Think of composting like you think of recycling: an easy step you take to preserve the environment.

Like recycling and using less overall, composting can become second-nature.

Once you get started, composting is easy.

Why Should You Compost at Home?

  • Compost turns into a valuable fertilizer for gardens and lawns
  • Composting saves up to 1/3 of landfill space
  • You use up all of your produce scraps, coffee grounds, eggshells, tea bags, etc.
  • Compost is easy to dispose of if unneeded

How to compost at home for beginners in five steps:

1. Get a compost pail.

A stainless steel compost pail or other compost container will make kitchen clean-up easier, and you can store it in your kitchen.

This is the simplest step of composting.

Compost pails are affordable and simple. You can find them at most home stores and gardening stores.

To reduce smells in your kitchen from composting, opt for a stainless steel compost pail with an air filter. Or you can use most any pail with a secure lid.

In addition, the stainless steel composting pails and other containers made for this purpose are designed to look nice on your kitchen counter.

In a pinch, you can use an empty coffee can or other container.

2. Know what inside household waste is compostable.

This is easy. From inside your home, think fruits and vegetables.

This includes all produce scraps from your fresh fruits and vegetables. You can use cooked vegetables if they don’t contain added oils, butter, or meat fats.

In addition, egg shells, tea bags, and coffee grounds are good materials you can use instead of discarding them.

You can add banana peels but know they often attract fruit flies.

3. Know what outside waste is compostable.

Likewise, you can add yard waste directly into your outside compost area.

Instead of putting your grass clippings in a garbage bin, you can compost them. If autumn where you live means you have to rake leaves, gather them up to add to your compost pile.

Other yard debris such as straw, wood ash, weeds, etc. There’s a lot of compostable materials you can use. You can even chop twigs, tree branches, trunks, etc.

Basically, if it grows, it goes! (As a general rule, for the beginner composter, this excludes meat and dairy products.)

4. Think about worms. Do I need worms to compost?

Before starting a compost pile or using a composting bin, decide if you want to have worms.

Composting with worms is called vermicomposting.

Worms aren’t essential to compost but it’s important to decide if you will want to vermicompost. If you want to use a bin rather than a compost pile, there are special vermicomposting bins.

wood ash compost
This wood ash will be great in the compost pile.

5. Choose a composting system. Pile or Bin?

There are two decisions to then make.

Are you going to make an outdoor compost pile or use a compost container / tumbler?

Compost pile

You can make your own compost pile by layering compost materials over bare earth, alternating with dry materials such as leaves, straw, or sawdust.

Pumpkins Growing in Compost pile
Pumpkins Growing in Compost pile

Your compost pile needs to remain moist. During certain parts of the year, depending where you live, you may want to cover it with wood or plastic sheeting to keep in moisture and warmth.

Add additional compost materials to the top of the pile, and harvest compost from the bottom.

The pile will need to be turned every few weeks with a shovel in order to aerate the compost.

We know a few people with a heaping pile of compost on their property. They add to it but pretty much just let it do it’s thing naturally.

Compost bin

Alternatively, you can buy a compost bin or compost tumbler.

Outdoor compost tumblers take much of the work out of composting. You simply turn the handle to rotate the compost.

Compost tumblers and compost bins make storage easy and more sightly.

They will minimize the smell and not attract scavengers and other wildlife.

If you live in an HOA or have neighbors close by, you may choose a compost bin over a composting pile.

Other things to consider are the heat. For example, living in the southwestern part of the United States, you may not want an exposed compost pile in the summer unless it’s far from your living area.

You can even use continuous-use composters indoors, where raw compost materials are kept separate from completed compost. Indoor composters are ideal for people with small balconies or not much yard space.

How to Start a Compost Pile
How to Start a Compost Pile

Starting a Compost Pile

When we started composting, it was really exciting to be able to use the scraps from all of our fruits and vegetables.

We didn’t use fertilizers before and were looking forward to seeing how much better our garden would grow using compost.

It was less wasteful overall and motivated us to buy more organic produce knowing we would use all of it — either by eating it or composting it.

We were happy to be minimizing the methane gas by-products as well.

We are happy to be using compost to grow an awesome garden. It’s satisfying to use everything again and again.

Use Your Compost to Fertilize Your Garden or Yard

DIY Raised Garden Bed
DIY Raised Garden Bed

Compost is a great organic fertilizer, and can be used for planter boxes, raised gardens, indoor potted plants, and your yard and lawn. It also saves the cost of bringing in extra dirt.

While it may seem daunting to begin composting, it’s easy to begin to compost at home.

Whether you are a beginner at composting or have done it for years, you will love being able to reuse what would otherwise be kitchen waste and scraps filling up our landfills.

Deciding Whether to Compost

You have three choices for disposing of your compostable materials.

You can either:

  1. Use your own compost in your garden
  2. Dispose of your compost using curb-side waste removal
  3. Take your compostable materials to a compost site

If you have no need for compost in your own garden or yard, and do have curbside residential garbage pick up, your service provider might offer yard waste and compost service.

You may already have it.

Our town offers this in the form of a green barrel designed for yard waste and leaves.

Residents simply deposit their compostable materials directly from their compost pails to their curb-side barrels.

Be sure to check your city’s guidelines.

There are increasingly more areas (Vancouver, Canada comes to mind) that requires the residents to compost their food scraps.

If your curb-side garbage service does not allow for compostable materials in its yard waste bin, you’ll want to find a local compost removal service or compost buying service.

Getting Started Composting

It’s important for you to consider which composting method will work best for you.

Will you vermicompost? Will you start a compost pile or begin composting with a tumbler?

It may seem daunting to start composting but once you make these decisions upfront, the rest will fall into place.

You will learn about the proper ratio of paper, water, and plant matter.

You will feel good about using leftover fruit and vegetable scraps.

In no time, you will be on your way to composting.

How Often Should I Water My Vegetable Garden

How to Get the Most Flavor from Your Garden

Flavor from Your Garden with Herb and Spices to Plant with Vegetables

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Flavor from Your Garden – Have you made the decision to go green in your life and start living a more sustainable lifestyle?

Maybe it’s not so much about eco-friendly choices, rather you’re just looking to live a healthier and cleaner lifestyle in general.

If so, planting a garden where you can grow fruits, vegetables, and herbs can be a wonderful option.

You will be able to take pride in growing your own ingredients.

In addition, you will feel that peace of mind knowing exactly how you grew them: organically and free from chemicals. 

But even with all your best intentions, sometimes your garden items can be a little lacking in flavor.

If that’s the case, there are tips you can use that will boost the flavor.

Let’s take a closer look. 

Get Creative with Combinations

Sometimes the solution is as simple as the combinations you are using.

Maybe you’re not being creative enough in the flavor profile.

Perhaps you’re playing things a little too safe.

This is where herbs and spices can really make a huge impact.

You can take those items you have worked hard to grow and drastically boost the flavor simply by adding the right herbs and spices.

What Are You Growing?

Let’s say you are growing beets — they tend to pair best with warm, fragrant, and spicy herbs and spices.

Examples would include coriander, cloves, chives, cumin, basil, ginger, caraway, sage, allspice, thyme, and tarragon.

It will require a little sampling and trial and error on your part to find the right flavors.

No-till Gardening
Guy gardener in garden gloves puts the pots with seedlings in the white wooden box on the table and a girl prunes plants in the wonderful nursery-garden on a sunny day. .No-till Gardening

Flavor from Your Garden with Herb and Spices to Plant with Vegetables

Other popular herb and spice pairings with vegetables include:

Carrots

There are many herbs and spices to consider when you plant carrots.

Think about mild and strong flavors as they work well.

Some pairings with carrots to optimize flavor are mace, cinnamon, rosemary, basil, ginger, paprika, nutmeg, thyme, sage, coriander, garlic, and dill to name a few.

Cabbage

When planting cabbage in your garden, opt for coriander, caraway, fennel, mint, curry, dill, ginger, thyme, nutmeg, or parsley.

Cucumber

If you want to plant cucumbers, you should think about adding hot and spicy herbs or refreshing herbs such as mint, mustard, basil, dill, tarragon, rosemary, coriander, garlic, and chives.

Tomato

To optimize the flavor of home-grown fruits, you should also planting them with flavorful herbs and spices.

In particular, tomatoes, do very well with oregano, thyme, basil, sage, lemon balm, and mint.  

Don’t Pick Too Early

Then there is the question of when you should pick the items you are eating.

There’s a secret to getting the best flavor from the fruits and vegetables you grow.

Pick garden items when you’re ready to eat them for the best flavor.

This tip will help ensure you are getting great-tasting garden items.

They will have time to naturally ripen to optimize their flavors.

The moment you pick vegetables and fruits, the taste starts to alter.

In fact, it happens so fast that within a few hours you can notice a difference.

The whole point of having your own garden is to enjoy fresh ingredients.

Nothing tastes better and fresher than something you grew yourself. 

Hydroponics garden

What About Your Soil?

Did you also know that your soil will help to determine how flavorful your garden items are?

Ideally, you want to use soil that is very rich in minerals and nutrients.

You can achieve this by using as much organic matter as possible — up to 20% of the soil’s total composition.

Add organic matter to your soil

When you think about adding organic materials to the soil, think about what you already have. 

You can compost.

This can include compost from your kitchen scraps — even better when they are organic and the scraps from what you already have planted and reaped yourself.

You will also maximize your soil when you can include dried leaves, grasses, and tree bark. 

When you can enrich your soil with natural materials, you won’t need to rely on fertilizers.

In addition to enriching your soil with compost and organic matter, add mulch.

This will help in insulate your soil.

Placing mulch strategically will help to keep your plants’ roots cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter.  

If you buy mulch, be sure to read what it contains.

Look for certified mulch which will be free from harmful ingredients.  How to Start a Compost Pile

Get Some Recipe Help

Finally, you may want to get a little help where recipes are concerned.

Just because you know what herbs and spices to pair with the various ingredients, doesn’t mean you’ve got a great recipe in mind.

Some simple and quick online research can yield dozens if not hundreds of mouth-watering recipes.

Pay particular attention to how long to cook the fruits and vegetables.

Some are at their peak when sauteed, steamed, or simmered.

You will want to be sure to not overcook them.

Following the recipe will ensure the best flavor as well as help retain the nutrients.

It’s important to know when to add fresh herbs and spices to the dishes.

In many cases, it’s best to add them at the end of the cooking time.

Some you will want to simply chop and add as a garnish — no cooking required. 

Also, when trying to maximize flavor, consider if something you grew is best enjoyed raw rather than cooked.  

Of course, proper food prep will be required in order for that recipe to be successful, which means having the right kitchen tools.

When chopping fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices, sharp knives are a must as well as a solid cutting board, preferably made from wood.

Keep in mind with wooden cutting boards you will need to care for them with specific products and only some are food safe.

Amazing Results and Fabulous Flavors

There is a lot you can do to enhance your garden to magnify the flavors.

By using each of these produce-growing garden tips, you’ll be able to enjoy incredible flavors from your garden.

When you can grow them yourself, you will really be able to take your recipes to the next level of creativity.

Orchid Types: Complete Guide

Are Orchids Poisonous

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Complete Guide to Orchid Types  – So much beauty resides in the world, but nothing compares to the beauty of a fully bloomed flower.

There are so many varieties of flowers in the world that it may be hard to choose just one as your favorite.

Though in our mind, there is one that stands above the rest for both its beauty and mystery and that is the orchid.

Even within this flower family, there are so many types that once you have developed a love for this gorgeous bloom, you may struggle choosing between the different orchid types without a little information.

So, in this guide, we will be looking at some of the multiple varieties of orchid types that are strewn across the globe.

But first, what is an orchid?

And why is it so infatuating?

Orchid Types: Complete Guide
Orchid Types: Complete Guide

What is an Orchid?

These simple, elegant flowers have been held in regard for centuries and have many captivating qualities that make them a great choice for any garden.

For centuries this marvelous plant has been used in medicinal practices by civilizations like the Chinese, the Greeks and even the Aztecs (they liked to put vanilla in their cocoa and vanilla comes from an orchid plant).

So, as you see, the orchid is not only beautiful but helpful as well.

The orchid comes from the family Orchidaceae which has 80 genera, 25,000+ species, and hybrids that get into the 100,000+ area.

They exist in every corner of the world that can sustain life.

These different types will vary in everything from size to color to weight.

Many of these have become popular with horticulturists the world over for the ease of care and long-lasting blooms.

They are also easy to find, and that makes them perfect for building your garden or simply add a flare in your living room.

With all those different varieties, it would be a long article if we tried to cover them all so below, we will look at just some of the most common.

Easy and Cheap Best Greenhouses For Orchids Lovers

17 Orchid Types

These beautiful flowers have been around longer than humans and as we said, they have served (and still do) many purposes.

Used in food and medicine as well as for their beauty, the orchid family is diverse, and each branch has its own unique features.

Here are some of the 800 genera and a little look at their unique beauty.

Angraecum

Within this type of orchid, you will find over 200 different species.

They will all bear the same star shape and are sometimes called the Comet Orchid.

One of the most well-known members of this family is the Christmas Orchid.

This type of orchid and most of its sub-species comes from Madagascar or Africa.

It is a monopodial plant (that means it has one stem that grows from the ground with alternating leaves).

These orchids tend to have a small to medium flower and come in a few different colors.

Most of these orchids are white, but you can also find them in yellow or even light green.

The Angraecum is pollinated by moths, which is why they often tend to be white for better visibility at night.

The nighttime fragrance of these orchids is quite enchanting.

Their care is easy as well.

It needs to be watered regularly and likes the middle of the road temps (60-80 degrees Fahrenheit).

They look good either potted or hanging.

Brassavola

This orchid also goes by the name the Lady-of-the-Night Orchid and for a good reason.

The scent it produces at night smells of a citrus base and is quite fragrant.

This is important as the scent is meant to attract the moths needed to pollinate the flower.

For the humans that cultivate it is just a lovely scent that you can smell from anywhere in your garden.

This orchid type is one that is primarily found in the wild in Central and South America.

They are prominent in places like Mexico, Peru, and even grow wild in the Caribbean.

They bloom regularly and often so you will never have to worry about not being able to take in their beauty no matter what time of year.

Their beautiful flower is small but stunning.

They are easy to care for as are most of the orchid species.

They like warmer temps and good exposure to light.

Watering frequently is a must, but so is ensuring the soil they are set in, gets dry in between watering.

They grow quite quickly and are best suited in humid climates.

Catasetum

This genus is one that offers a unisex flower.

Depending on what light you grow this orchid under, you will either get a female (Cattleya) or a male (Phalaenopsis) plant.

These two flowers look very different, so we are going to look at both under this orchid type title.

But first, let us look at the overall flower of this orchid.

The Catasetum in its unisex form usually has a white flower with a yellowish center.

It is one of the orchids that lay dormant during the cold months.

So, with a basic overview of the main orchid, let’s look at what happens when you get the female and male versions.

Cattleya

The flower of this orchid is a multi-colored beauty.

Its flowers will have a vibrant pinkish-red mixed with white and may have freckles and such as well as other colors if you have a hybrid version.

The Cattleya orchid is one of the most popular flowers in corsages as they look stunning and smell amazing.

The blooms can measure up to 8” when in full bloom and does well with indoor growing.

Phalaenopsis

The male form of the Catasetum is also called the Moth Orchid.

This variation comes in a wide range of vibrantly stunning colors.

You can have versions of this orchid that range from yellow to a spotted burgundy.

This orchid will bloom periodically throughout the year.

The flowers live long, and due to the easy care and growing this orchid is one of the favorites in the orchid growing world.

Cymbidium

One of the colder climate breeds of orchid, the Cymbidium is native to the Himalayas.

Unlike many of the other varieties of orchid, these have smaller and more petals.

That may be why they have won so many awards.

There are multiple colors available. You have a yellow/red, a lime green, and a bright pink version of these beautiful flowers.

Usually, these flowers grow in clusters of up to 25 flowers and can be as tall as 6”.

They are relatively long-lasting flowers and are easy to grow and maintain.

They really work well indoors and have a spectacular fragrance.

Dendrobium

In this variety of orchid, there are 1,000+ members.

These orchids have a more consolidated flower that resides at the top of the stem.

In this type of orchid, the species will be divided into two subcategories: hard-caned and soft caned.

Before we go into the details about each, let us finish our general overview.

This orchid can come in many colors, from white to lavender.

This is an orchid that can survive anywhere, depending on the variety you get.

In fact, there are varieties of this orchid that keep their growth year-round.

When in bloom you may notice that one single bloom may yield multiple colors and that is why gardeners love this breed so much.

Hard-Caned

These Dendrobiums are tall and have pseudobulbs that are thinner than the others.

The leaves of this orchid also are a bit darker green than the soft-caned version.

The hard caned keep their leaves for a year and have spiked tops that yield a flower spray like no other.

Soft-Caned

The soft-cane variety still has the thin and long pseudobulbs, but their leaves are a lighter green.

The blooms of this orchid bloom from the individual offshoot stems that line the cane.

They lose their leaves yearly making them a deciduous plant.

Each style of Dendrobium will need special care and a wholly different maintenance schedule.

Epidendrum

This genus has over 1,000 different varieties and is often called the Crucifix Orchids.

The Epidendrum orchid produces a large group of flowers each with three lobes and an adnate which resembles a crucifix, hence the name.

The flowers vary in color and overall shape to some degree.

You can get these orchids in colors ranging from pink/dark orange with yellow throats to purples and white.

Native to Mexico these orchids are great for beginning horticulturists.

They live for the light and, therefore, need a lot of good bright light to grow.

These orchids are used quite frequently in hybridization; they take a little care, but if done the right way will last for years.

Ludisia

There are a lot of unique things about this orchid.

The Ludisia, also is known as a Jewel Orchid, grows in the soil and not the air, has a unique feel and leaves to go along with it.

The leaves are reddish-green, and they have an almost velvet feeling.

Because they are native to the floor of the rain forest, they do well in shaded areas and tend to bloom in the winter and early spring.

This makes them a great indoor house plant.

The flowers when they bloom are small and beautiful.

The petals are usually white with a yellow center.

If you do want to grow them indoors, you will want to pick a place where the temp stays regular and has a nice humidity level.

They will need to be in the soil, as we stated, since they grow in it unlike other varieties of orchid that grow in the air.

Masdevallia

These orchids have a unique flower and even colors, which make them an interesting orchid to grow.

Though they require a little more attention and specialty environments so they may be suitable for gardeners with a bit more experience.

The Masdevallia orchid grows in the mountain regions of Central and South America.

They enjoy cool temps, which is why the high elevations of the mountainous regions are perfect.

The cool temps mixed with the higher humidity is ideal for most varieties of this orchid.

There are a few that prefer less humidity than those mentioned above.

The flower of the orchid is not like most with a long petal, but rather is sort of a triangular shape and compact that end in whisker-like tips.

They are summer bloomers and can be found in colors like a beautiful orange/yellow combo with very vibrant green leaves.

Maxillaria

This type of orchid houses within its family more than 300 different species.

Though only a handful are known to the populace because only that handful produces flowers of any beauty.

They can come in colors like white, yellow, brown and darker shades like reds and purples that are so dark you may think they are black.

They also come in color varieties as well, which will have multiple colors present and may resemble flames.

This variety also has petals that range in sizes and height.

The shape of the flower itself is consistent and has a triangular dynamic to them.

The flowers themselves bloom from the short spike that grows along the stem, and each one will yield one bloom.

The versatility of this variety is shown even more when you look at where they can grow.

Ranging from sea level regions, well into the high mountains, there are members of this family that find their homes in these places.

This may make them a little harder to cultivate, but once you find the right variety of Maxillaria for your environment, it will be easy to grow and maintain them.

Odontoglossum

This member of the orchid family has 100 different varieties as well as some hybridizations as well.

These various members can vary in size, color, and even patterns.

The orchid itself gets its name from two Greek words meaning tooth and tongue.

This is because, at the base of the stem, you will find a small protrusion that looks like both these things.

They can get up to a foot high, and the flowers can bloom to be 6” wide.

They will usually bloom anywhere from 20 -100+ flowers from each stem and once a year.

These flowers will last for about a month and a half before dying.

The flowers are fragrant and ruffled at the edges.

They grow well in cool environments.

Oncidium

This member of the orchid family is large and has multiple variations of flowers.

The most common Oncidium orchid is called the Dancing Lady.

This variety is easy to maintain and grow, so it makes it perfect for novice growers.

There are many variations in color and fragrance, including one that smells like chocolate.

The plant itself grows well in high humidity climates.

If you notice deformed leaves, then you may need to add humidity to its growing location.

These orchids, no matter which variety you choose, offer beautiful sprays of blooms that will brighten up any garden.

Phaius

This orchid is also known as the Nun’s Cap Orchid.

This is an orchid that is perfect for the garden as the stems can reach up to four feet high before ending in unique blooms.

These orchids have large leaves, and the flowers are usually either yellow, white, or purple.

This orchid is a winter flower and adds a lot to any garden.

The flowers will last a long time well into spring.

This orchid is one of the varieties that grow in soil and not the air.

You will want a good amount of lights and very moist soil.

Phragmipedium

You may know these as Lady Slippers, but they are called Phragmipedium orchids.

Dominant in Central and South America they grow well in rocky soil rich in nutrients like a volcano bed.

They tend to bloom in spring and may vary in color from green to mahogany.

This is one of the orchids used the most in the creation of new strains.

They require a lot of water, and some varieties have even been known to survive submersion underwater for short periods.

The center petal of the bloom looks like a little shoe, hence the name.

The other three petals are long and pointed with fluctuations in color throughout.

These blooms like mild temps and high humidity.

Psychopsis

A member of the Oncidium family this subspecies house five branches from it.

These orchids are pseudobulbs, which means that the blooms come from individual bulbs produced from the stalks.

The Psychopsis, or Butterfly Orchid, comes in a beautiful variety of vibrant colors.

Unlike many others, these vibrant colors are more autumnal colors like burgundy and bright gold.

These orchids can also have green leaves and speckles.

The form of the orchid has evolved to help the pollination process.

Mimicking a butterfly as the wind begins to blow it looks like a butterfly is aggressively flapping its wings.

This, in turn, instigates the bees of the area to attack, and through this action, the orchid is pollinated.

The orchid itself frequently blooms throughout the year and is quite easy to maintain.

Vanda

The Vanda orchid types finds its native home in the humid climate of Southeast Asia.

That is why this orchid flourishes with lots of light and heat and a good amount of humidity.

This plant, for all of these reasons, takes a higher level of care than others and therefore should only be grown by an experienced gardener.

The plant itself comprises a long thin stock and stunningly vibrant blooms that can be produced in white, violet or lavender.

The plant should be grown in a sturdy and larger growing space than many other orchid types.

These blooms are simply elegant and great to add to bouquets and centerpieces.

Vanilla

This orchid types are exceptionally unique in that it only blooms for one day.

This plant, unlike many of its cousins, grows more like a vine and will need some sort of support to grow properly.

To get to this point, it can take up to 3 years to achieve maturity enough to bloom.

These flowers are great in gardens and greenhouses and take a little extra care so maybe better for experienced gardeners.

It opens in the morning and closes in the evening and will not bloom again for another 365 days.

When they do bloom, they grow large groups of flowers (10-20) and are usually a yellow-green color.

The flowers grow to 6” but the plant itself can grow to 30’) and smell like vanilla.

In fact, vanilla can be procured from these flowers.

This happens after pollination, where the orchids pod begins to develop.

This pod is the vanilla bean, so not only is this orchid beautiful, you can cultivate your own vanilla beans too.

Though this may take some patience as some varieties of Vanilla orchids will not bloom until they have reached at least 20’ in length.

The biggest location in the world where these plants are grown commercially in Madagascar and Mexico.

Zygopetalum

This subset of the orchid family is relatively small and only encompasses 15 species.

The Zygopetalum are year-round bloomers and when fully bloomed herald spectacular colors like burgundy, pink and purple.

The leaves are a deep purple in the center with green trim and may have darker lines running through the petal itself.

The flower is a bit waxy and can grow to be almost 2’ tall.

They require special care so they may not be great for newer gardeners.

This orchid works better with strong indirect light and mild temps.

Humidity-wise you will be okay with mild to heavy, and they will need to be watered regularly, especially during the summer months.

Complete Guide to Orchid Types

As we said in the opening section, there are over 25,000 species of orchid, and we looked at not even a quarter of the varieties known to man (and that doesn’t include hybrids), but now you have a good base of knowledge you can use to begin your ultimate final decision on what orchid types you want to grow.

And if you are not looking to get into horticulture and were just interested in learning more about orchids, we certainly hope we have helped you as well.

With this list of some of the most popular varieties, you are armed with a good wealth of knowledge to get you started on whichever path you are on.

Understanding the different varieties of orchids is the first step in starting your journey into their cultivation.

Each of the above orchids and the many not mentioned have their own basic requirements when it comes to their care.

This stems from the plant’s native habitat and can help you narrow down which orchid types is right for you.

These flowers are also great for hybridization and can lead to unique variations that will stun the world.

No matter what level of gardening experience you have, there is an orchid that will be the right choice for you.

Coupling your climate with your experience, you will be able to narrow down the field.

Hopefully, our orchid types guide helps you a little and makes it a much easier goal to find the right orchid type for you and your garden.

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How to Repot an Orchid

How to Repot an Orchid

How to Repot an Orchid – Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family and have more than 800 known types and more than 100,000 hybrid species.

The main difference between orchid types can be seen in the size, color, and weight, and the actual differences can be extreme.

It is not well-known that the largest variety of orchid is the Grammatophyllum, which grows up to 3 meters in height, and was once sold for over $200,000 at auction.

On the other side, the most priceless is considered to be Kadupul flower.

It blossoms only once a year, during the night, and withers before dawn.

Although orchids were once grown only by specialty hobbyists, they are very common in many homes today.

In the right conditions, they are very easy to grow.

However, the biggest problem seems to be repotting the orchid.

The main reason behind repotting the orchid is that they don’t grow like other houseplants.

Most plants put roots in the pot of the soil, but orchid’s roots exist in a container of loose materials, such as charcoal.

Repotting the orchid can be a bit scary for some gardeners since that is the time when orchids are the most vulnerable and susceptible to diseases.

If you don’t know how to repot it, you might kill the plant.

However, if you follow just a few tips, repotting an orchid can be a pretty easy job to do.

At first, one of the most important things is to decide when to repot an orchid, since timing is critical, and there are two ways to determine if the orchid needs repotting.

If you see white roots popping out of the container, it means that an orchid has outgrown its “home.”

This is a definite sign that it needs repotting.

On the other hand, orchids might need repotting depending on the time of the year.

For example, if you have an orchid that produces pseudo bulbs, it should be repotted right after flowering and before its roots begin to appear.

With regards to the other kinds of orchids, you can repot them anytime.

However, you should try to avoid repotting them while they are flowering.

Also, if you notice that some of the roots are rotting, and feel soggy, it is definitely repotting time.

It means that the potting material is no longer draining properly.

The other sign might be if you see more than one or two roots growing over the pot, which means that your orchid has overgrown its pot and needs more space.

Another great tip is to never repot an orchid unless it really needs repotting since you might easily shorten its lifespan and affect its growing cycle.

It should only be repotted if some of the above symptoms are noticed.

If not, you should definitely leave it in the same pot, at least for some time.

For an orchid, it is always better to be a little bit overgrown than to be repotted too soon.

Materials You Will Need

So, before you start, you should figure out which materials would you need to repot an orchid.

You should note that many orchids used as house plants are epiphytic, instead of terrestrial, which means that they don’t grow in soil.

Repotting terrestrials in soil is one of the mistakes that many people make with their first orchid.

If you repot them in the soil, there is a high chance that they will die.

However, a combination of sphagnum moss, charcoal, coconut husks, and fir bark will go well with most types of orchids.

You should have four parts of fir bark, a part of medium charcoal, and a part of perlite.

On the other hand, if you are not sure what type of orchid you have, and you don’t want the risk, there is a packaged potting mix which is a safe way to go for most epiphytic orchids.

If you are not sure where to find a potting mix, check any nearby garden centers.

If, on the other hand, you have a terrestrial orchid, you will need a soil that retains water well and has a high concentration of wood matter and perlite.

Another essential thing to consider is pot size.

Many people make the mistake of choosing too big a pot.

The actual size of the new pot should be just about an inch bigger than the previous one.

This is crucial because if the new pot is too big, the orchid will use its energy mostly on root growth, instead of growing flowers, which will have a big impact on the flowering process.

That way, you might not see its flowers for months.

The material of the pot should be plastic, clay, ceramic, or glass, and it should have drainage holes, otherwise, the roots will rot.

Some orchids also have roots that can photosynthesize, so in that case, you should find a glass pot.

Preparing Your Soil

The next step is to prepare all the materials that you have.

First, you should measure the potting material that you will need, then put it into the container, so that it fills about half of it.

However, to prepare the potting soil mix (material), you should first soak it in water and let it soak overnight.

This will make the mix retain enough moisture, so it will be ready for putting the orchid in it.

After you have put the potting soil mix in the container, you should fill the container to the top with hot water.

Also, the soil must be at room temperature before putting the hot water in the container.

The next step is to sieve the potting mix with a classic strainer.

All the water should be drained from the mix as much as is possible, and then the warm water should be run over the mix to rinse out any possible dust it will have.

Removing the Orchid from Its Old Pot

Carefully remove the orchid from its old pot, releasing it root by root.

If some of the roots are stuck, it is imperative to use clean equipment, such as scissors, since orchids are very prone to various diseases.

Sterilizing the tools can be done by wiping with pure alcohol.

Then, you should prepare the new pot.

If you have used that pot before for other plants, you should sterilize it with boiling water to kill all the potential bacteria.

When the new pot is completely clean, and all of the necessary materials are prepared, it is time for repotting the orchid.

However, make sure and double-check that you have done all the previous steps correctly since orchids are very susceptible to diseases and are prone to withering if not cared well.

Putting the Orchid in Its New Home

Now it is the time to put the orchid in its new pot.

You should put it in a certain way so that the old growth of the orchid goes to the bottom, and the new growth towards the sides, so that it will have more space to grow and spread.

Also, most of the roots should be below the surface of the pot.

Press the potting mix into the pot, and then pour some water around the roots.

You should do everything gently so that the new roots don’t get damaged.

Also, if some parts of the roots are left uncovered, they won’t be able to grow properly, so you should pay attention to that.

It might be easier to add the potting mix little by little so that you will be sure there are no air pockets in the mix when the orchid is repotted.

In the end, the mix should be at the same level as the top of the pot.

You have to make sure that the plant will be able to stand upright when the potting is finished so that it doesn’t fall over.

Basically, that’s it!

Continue taking care of your orchid as you did before, and place it in a spot with the optimal temperature level that orchid needs to grow.

That’s fundamentally the easiest, if not the only way to repot an orchid.

There are also a few handy tips on how to take care of your orchid once you have repotted it.

How to Take Care of Your Orchid Once You Have Repotted It

At first, you should create the right environment, since this is by far the most important factor for orchid growth.

You should use pots with drainage holes to allow excess water to run out of the holes.

If possible, you should put the orchid near a window that faces the south or east.

The reason for this is that orchids need strong but indirect light to grow.

If you only have a window that is facing west, you should cover it with a curtain to prevent your orchid from getting burned.

Also, you should maintain the right temperature in the room where you grow orchids.

The ideal temperature should be between 16° and 24° Celsius (60° to 75° Fahrenheit).

If it is too cold, orchids won’t be able to grow, and will eventually die.

In addition, a constant and gentle air circulation should be provided in the room.

Since most orchids don’t grow in soil, air circulation should be provided to keep the roots healthy and able to grow.

It might not be important in a colder period of the year when you can just open a window, but it is imperative to have proper air circulation during hot periods, like summer.

You should keep watering orchids the same way you did before the repotting.

It is crucial not to water them continually, but only just before they go dry, usually every few days.

The best way to check if they are dry is to stick a finger or two into the potting container, then pull out and rub together.

That way, you will notice if the orchid needs watering.

It is also essential to pay attention to the humidity in your home.

If it is below 40%, it’s not ideal for orchids.

In that case, use a spray bottle of water and mist orchids about once every day.

However, if the humidity is higher than 60% in your home, you should get a dehumidifier, which will also prevent the growth of fungi on the orchid.

While the orchids are flowering, they should be fertilized once a month, with a balanced liquid fertilizer, mixed at half-strength.

When flowers wither, you should cut off spent stems.

It’s not great work since most of the orchids don’t flower more than once a month.

At some point, you might notice that scale, or insects, appear on the orchid, which you should remove by hand.

If you don’t see any bugs, you might notice sticky leaves and black mold.

The bugs usually hide on the top and bottom side of leaves and flower stalks.

Then, the affected area should be cleaned with soapy water and gently wiped down.

The soapy water will kill all the remaining insects and probably even remove stickiness on the leaves.

If the problem occurs again, you should spray the orchid with an insecticide; however, be sure to buy an insecticide that is safe for orchids.

You might even need to cut off the diseased tissue.

For example, if you notice discolored leaves or spots, most probably your orchid is suffering from some disease.

At first, you should remove as much of the affected area as possible.

Note that most of the infections, if not all, should be treated with fungicide and bactericide.

Pseudobulbs are one of the most known orchid infections, which might cause brown rot, black rot, and dark spots on leaves.

However, when sprayed with a fungicide and bactericide, it should disappear after a few days.

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How to Repot an Orchid

Now that you know how to repot an orchid, the biggest problem is solved.

Repotting an orchid is very important, yet a little bit complex for beginner gardeners.

However, once you do it a few times, it will become pretty straightforward, and you will be able to repeat the process each time you get a new orchid.

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How Long Do Orchids Live – So you’ve decided to decorate your home with some lovely, Pinterest-worthy flowers.

You’ve chosen orchids because they are classic, versatile, and live for many years. Don’t they?

Good question.

The lifespan of orchids depends not only on the quality of care they receive but also on the variety of the orchid you have chosen.

With excellent care and ideal conditions, orchids can last for years and years.

The Orchidaceae — or the orchid family — are a versatile and widespread family of flowers, most famous for their unique, colorful and fragrant blooms.

The orchid family currently has over 28,000 species, making it one of the largest families of flowering plants in the world!

Originating from the jungle, most orchid types are tropical plants that live hanging on trees or growing among rocks.

However, the most common types of orchid we are used to seeing are the terrestrial orchids that grow on the ground of the jungle floor.

Having so many different types of orchids makes it difficult to give general advice on plant care, but the most common home-grown orchids are hybrid types, and therefore the advice on this article will be based on this type of orchid.

Orchids, like all flowers, have a life cycle that includes several stages.

Understanding their life cycle and knowing how to best look after your new plant friend will help you to keep them blooming and delighting your home for years!

how long do orchids live

How Long Do Orchids Live? The Life Cycle of an Orchid

The life cycle of an orchid is similar to that of any other flower.

There are six stages: seed production, germination, seed formation, maturation, flowering, and reproduction.

The orchid seed is a result of crossing two “parent” plants.

Varying the colors of these plants, orchid breeders are able to create the most beautiful creations.

It can take up to two years for an orchid seed to germinate and finally develop into its own, unique plant.

This part of the orchid’s life cycle is long but definitely worth the wait.

For producing flowers, the orchid needs energy.

This energy is taken from the leaves, which may cause some of them to first turn yellow, then die and fall off.

Observing this process might make you worried your whole plant is dying, but it’s just a part of the flowering process, and completely normal.

It normally takes around 3 months for an orchid to produce its first flowers.

After the first blossoming, the young orchid will start growing roots.

The roots are important for the plant to gain nutrients, which it needs to produce more flowers and to grow.

The flower of an orchid normally blooms for several months, and during this time the flower can be pollinated again.

The complete life cycle of an orchid usually takes somewhere between 9 and 14 months, but if the orchid doesn’t die after this it can bloom again.

Typically orchids bloom every 8 to 10 months.

The life cycle, re-blooming, and duration of flowering all depend on several factors, some of which you have control over as the owner and caretaker of this unique plant!

Sunlight, water, and humidity are all key factors in keeping your orchid friend happy.

Optimal Lighting for Your Orchid

If you want to keep your orchid happy and make sure it re-blooms, you need to keep the light conditions and humidity levels optimal for the orchid.

From when you first bring your orchid home, you should start creating an optimized environment for your new friend to grow in.

Place your orchid somewhere where it can get plenty of light.

This should ideally be an area where there is lots of indirect sunlight.

Do not place your orchid under direct sunlight even for a few hours, as orchids are very sensitive to getting burned.

Too much sun can also lead the plant to dry out easily.

Therefore, indirect, filtered sunlight is the most ideal.

Indirect sunlight simply means that the light is filtered by for example bouncing off a wall or filtered through an object before reaching the plant.

If you are unsure whether the place you have chosen has enough sunlight or too much, you can test it out using your hand.

During midday, when the sun is at its highest and brightest, place your hand a few inches above the plant, so that you cast a shadow over it.

If your hand produces no shadow, there is not enough light.

If the shadow is extremely dark, your orchid might be getting too much direct light.

The shadow should be clearly visible, but not too dark.

A soft grey shadow indicates ideal lighting.

Watering Your Orchid

Because orchids originate from rain forests, some people think they need lots of humidity and frequent, heavy watering.

However, this is simply not the case, and in fact, the most common way people harm their orchids is by over-watering.

If the plant gets watered too often and is not able to absorb all the water at the pace it is being poured, this will cause the soil to get too wet.

If the plant sits in wet conditions for too long, the roots will start to rot and your lovely orchid may die a wet death.

So make sure not to over-water your friend!

There are three ways you can water your orchid without drowning them.

Submerging — not drowning

The first method is submerging.

This technique works if you keep your orchid and soil in a holding pot, which sits inside another “decorative” pot.

If your orchid is planted straight into a pot with soil, this might not work as you cannot drain excess water off.

Using clean water (distilled, or boiled and cooled down), fill the clear orchid pot so that the roots are submerged in water.

Leave the plant to soak up the water for 10-15 minutes.

After this, remove the orchid from water and allow to drain for a further 5 minutes.

Make sure all water is either absorbed by the plant or poured away.

Once done, place orchid back in the holding pot and back into its home pot.

Depending on the time of the year and where your orchid is placed, use this method approximately once a week.

Ice cubes — Yes, really!

The second method is using ice cubes.

Yes, you read that right!

Using ice cubes is an easy and effective watering method, plus it is a great way to avoid over watering your plant.

This method also improves water absorption, as the water is provided to the plant in small, consistent portions.

Simply pop an ice cube on top of the soil, beneath the leaves of the orchid and let your plant drink!

Just be mindful that there is no excess water left — if you see any water pooling, just pour it off.

Depending on the weather conditions, give your plant one or two ice cubes a week (one at a time).

Pouring water — the old school way

The last method is the most popular one — simply pouring water in the pot.

This might sound like the easy and obvious choice, but now that you know how damaging over-watering can be you might wish to reconsider.

Pouring can be an effective way to keep your plants happy, as long as you are mindful of not drowning your plant.

If your plant sits in one pot with the soil, and there are no drainage holes, you are best off under watering rather than over watering.

You can always add more water to the pot, but without any drainage opportunities you cannot get water out.

Make sure not to pour water on top of the plant, but straight onto the soil.

If the leaves get water on them, simply dab them dry with a kitchen towel.

Depending on the season and where your plant is located, ¼ of a cup of clean water should do your orchid just fine.

If the soil is very dry, you can add more. If the soil is wet, use less water.

Fertilizing Your Orchid

Now that you have the basics of water and light down, it’s time to talk about fertilizing your orchid.

The first thing to know is that fertilizer is not a magic potion that will save a half-rotten orchid from the depths of despair.

In fact, if your orchid is poorly, fertilizer is unlikely to make the situation any better but could make it even worse.

However, for a healthy orchid, it can provide a useful boost.

First, you need to select your fertilizer.

For orchids, the recommended fertilizer contains equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus.

You can also look for one specifically formulated for orchids.

Experts recommend using fertilizer once a month or once every fortnight after the orchids blooms have dropped and you wish to trigger re-blooming.

Fertilizer should be used carefully.

Use a narrow-spouted pitcher to gently pour the fertilizer into the pot.

Be careful not to let it touch the plant, as it may cause damage to leaves — fertilizer should only ever be applied straight on to the soil.

From the soil, it will be absorbed by the roots and used by the plant.

Do not water your orchid on the weeks when you have applied fertilizer.

Promoting Re-Blooming

Your plant may look a bit sad after it has bloomed and dropped its flowers, but don’t get discouraged.

This resting period is actually essential for the health of your plant.

Everything in nature works in cycles, and so does your orchid.

You may think of this time as a sort of a hibernation period — your plant is resting to get the energy to bloom again.

Although you should be patient and respect this period of rest, there are things you can do to help your little flower friend to blossom again.

Besides using a fertilizer, there are other ways you can help your orchid to rebloom.

During this resting period, you may start noticing tiny new buds growing on the flower spike of your plant.

You may encourage the orchid to grow more buds by cutting the spike back into a “node,” or a triangle-shaped area on the stem.

You can also remove the whole spike, thus allowing the orchid to use more of its energy on growing the roots and leaves.

This may seem counter intuitive, but happy roots equal happy plants!

Another important thing you can do to help your orchid is to pay attention to the temperature of the environment it lives in.

With a slightly lower night time temperature (55-65º) you can speed up the process of reblooming, and keep your plant happy.

Ready to Take on the Challenge?

Now that you know the optimal way to provide your plant friend with ideal lighting, how to water it, and how to encourage reblooming, you are ready to take on the wonderful challenge of growing an orchid!

Although this might sound like hard work, it will definitely be worth it, and with the right kind of love and care, you will have a decorative pal for life!

Are Orchids Poisonous to Cats
How to Care for Orchids
Orchid Blooming Guide
How to Repot an Orchid
How To Water Orchids
Complete Guide to Orchid Types

Alternative Landscaping Hacks For Your Property

Landscaping Hacks

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Landscaping Hacks – Homeowners look forward to turning their yards into beautiful and usable spaces where the entire family can spend some good quality time.

These days, a number of garden ideas and landscaping hacks are available for those who wish to turn their yards into Edens.

In this article, we’ll discuss some of the top ways to beautify your garden naturally with a few viable alternative landscaping hacks.

Best Greenhouses For Orchids

Alternative Landscaping Hacks and Trends

One landscaping trend that is becoming a buzzword today is “naturescaping.”

Naturescaping involves the use of simple techniques that allow a garden to thrive sans the use of synthetic materials, and in a way, mimics nature.

It’s very popular among do-it-yourself as it saves time and money, aside from making the yard safe and healthy for humans and pets alike.

More people are also making their outdoor space an extension of their home’s interior.

The reason is more on the practical side, as homeowners want to have outdoor kitchens and living spaces to accommodate different functions outside of their house.

Also, there’s a noticeable increase in ‘working themes’ in landscape designs.

For example, Zen-themed landscape is ideal and popular among people who like to retreat to their backyard or front yard for relaxation.

It’s suited for people who are into yoga as well.

Garden Living Areas
Garden Living Areas

With different alternative landscaping ideas available, any yard can be transformed into a living space.

Whether you are concerned about the high costs and maintenance of grassy lawns or if you have a small yard, you might be surprised at the number of different ways in which landscaping can enhance your property.

Landscaping hacks without grass

Unlike in the 20th century when well-manicured grass lawns were a fixture in many American homes, more homeowners now prefer to have lawns without grass.

This is due to the increased awareness about the disadvantages of grass lawns such as:

Disadvantages of Grass Lawns

  • The large amounts of water and gasoline needed to irrigate and mow lawns.
  • The amount of fertilizers needed in maintaining grass lawns.
  • The labor-intensive process of mowing lawns which takes up lots of time.

There are plenty of landscaping alternatives for people who don’t like to mow or are simply concerned about the environmental impact of grass lawns, such as:

Moss

Moss is an alternative that is best suited for areas with moist and acidic soil.

Moss is usually used as a ground cover in Japanese gardens and is preferred for many reasons such as:

  • It is low maintenance, unlike grass lawn. Once established, it needs no fertilizer and trimming.
  • Moss needs very little water unless it is extremely dry weather.
  • Its texture is also a great foil for nearby flowering plants and evergreens.
  • Many moss lovers also say that the green color of moss is a lot better than grass in promoting relaxation and reducing stress.

However, moss does have its disadvantages.

One is that it will turn brown in warm and dry weather, so it should be watered periodically.

Fallen twigs and leaves can also discourage the growth of moss patches.

To prevent this, there’s a need for gentle raking.

Lastly, it doesn’t handle foot traffic quite as well as grass.

Clover

Clover is another good alternative to grass as a ground cover.

Like moss, it doesn’t need fertilizer.

It thrives in sunny to partial shade areas, and can grow in a wide range of soils.

Compared to moss, it is more forgiving to foot traffic and is well adapted to grassy areas of the United States.

However, it is not ideal for homes with small children and animals because it wilts under the constant friction of running and playing.

Mondo grass

Mondo grass is another evergreen ground cover that is a good alternative to a grass lawn.

It can grow up to six inches tall if not moved.

As an alternative, dwarf mondo grass grows up to just two inches.

What makes it better than clover and moss is that it can handle foot traffic very well.

Although it is native to Asia, mondo grass thrives in a good number of regions in the United States.

Lilyturf

Lilyturf is also a great choice if you are sick and tired of mowing grass lawns.

Also called liriope, this plant has dark green leaves. Its leaves are wider than those of mondo grass.

These green beauties can grow to a maximum height of 1 ½ feet.

When it comes to soil conditions, lily turf isn’t picky as long as it is exposed to sun all the time.

It can also handle light foot traffic.

Dwarf Myrtle

Dwarf myrtle is native to Australia.

It likes full sun, and once established, is drought-tolerant.

It can be sheared to a height of 1 foot.

When left to grow on its own, it can reach up to heights of 2 feet.

You would also love its tiny white flowers that often appear in spring, and continues well into the summer season.

Prairie Meadows

Finally, there are prairie meadows consisting of wildflowers, low-growing flowering perennials and native grasses.

Prairie meadows love a good amount of sunshine, although some will accept shade too.

Now you know that grass isn’t the only green ground cover out there.

You have plenty of other plant options for your lawn.

More landscaping hacks, tips and tricks coming up!

Alternative landscaping material

Plants aren’t the only ground cover option you have.

You can also have gravel and other small rocks which come in numerous forms and colors.

These materials can solve drainage issues, add textural appeal and can handle foot traffic very well.

Types of landscaping materials other than plants are:

Granite

You can opt for decomposed granite, a granitic rock that comes in reddish tan color for lawns, garden walkways and rustic patios.

It can also be used as a top dressing around arid plants.

Granite is very cheap and can be bought at home improvement stores for around $3 a bag.

Pea gravel

Pea gravel is another good choice for landscaping filler material.

Pea gravel is a small, rounded rock that is about the size of a pea, hence its name.

It comes in different sizes — 1/4 inch, ½ inch and 5/8 inch, for example.

These rocks are also available in various colors, from brown, white and tan.

It is ideal for patio and pathways.

Like decomposed granite, it is very cheap and economical for large areas.

River rock

River rock is a lot bigger than pea gravel, usually an inch or larger in terms of diameter.

It is available in different colors and sizes.

River rock is often used to direct drainage through a property.

It’s also pretty cheap like decomposed granite and pea gravel.

Mexican beach pebbles

If you’re looking for an elegant rock ground cover option, consider Mexican beach pebbles.

These are small, smooth and rounded rocks with a grayish black color, which is used decoratively in gardens.

Though it may be slightly expensive, it’s a classy and sophisticated option for ground cover.

Indeed, there are lots of ways to dress up your garden or backyard!

With so many options in today’s landscaping market, you will constantly want to renovate and improve the look of the space outside your home.

Garden landscape hacks for using furniture aesthetically

Garden furniture can bring out the beauty of your garden in many ways.

Following are some ideas with which you can make the most of your garden space using good furniture and accents:

Circular patios

If you have limited space in the front yard, a circular or round patio set is highly recommended to save space, yet give you the feeling of an outdoor setting.

Indoor dining tables are not just the only option anymore for those with patios.

They can also serve as a gathering place, especially when you put enough seats or have a fire pit.

Patios are no longer just seen as a place to eat with guests, but also for relaxing.

Infinity pools

Also known as negative edge pools, infinity pools are a luxurious addition to any yard.

They create a beautiful effect for a swimming pool and adds a strong visual water element to the landscape.

It’s also easier to maintain than standard pools due to the presence of a filtration system, reducing the need to clean out the pool often.

Built-in fireplace or pit

Fireplaces lend a cozy feel to you and your guests when gathered around the flames.

These serve as rich centerpieces for your patio; a fun and visually interesting part to say the least.

Aside from being used as a source of heat during chilly evenings, a fire pit is now being seen as more of an accent in the workplace.

Fire pits are also being customized, available in round, rectangular and even portable designs.

Mixed plantings

Not all alternative landscaping ideas are costly like the three ideas mentioned earlier.

Try mixing your plants by adding vegetables, herbs and fruit bushes to your flowers.

This way you can conserve space and add variety to your garden.

Try to plant pumpkins, squashes and watermelons.

They will look good when in bloom.

Used items for planting spaces

Items like sinks, wardrobes, drawers and bathtubs can be used as decorative planting places.

They can often make a good garden accent that will draw smiles from onlookers.

You can use them for growing culinary herbs and vegetables.

Other items that can serve a similar purpose are buckets, ceramic bowls, toolboxes and old pots.

glass greenhouse
Glass greenhouse adds a touch of decor to your garden

Greenhouses

Greenhouses are great options not just for gardening, but also for improving the aesthetics of the garden.

You can opt for gable greenhouses, dome-shaped or glass greenhouses, all of which look good while serving their purposes of growing plants too.

Greenhouses have their own furniture like garden benches, hydroponics and aquariums which can lend their own special charm to your garden.

For more information regarding greenhouses, check out our Greenhouse Learning Center for FAQs, resources and other landscaping hacks.

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Best Landscaping options

Having a beautiful garden is a joy to the owner.

A well-sculptured yard with many aesthetic enhancements will attract friends and family into spending more time outdoor.

Today, homeowners look forward to decorating their patios and balconies with plenty of outdoor furniture in relaxed Zen-inspired settings.

Some good landscapes hacks that can enhance outdoor settings are by furnishing them well, using good quality lawn alternatives and fillers like gravel and pebbles.

These days, people prefer moss, mondo grass and clovers over using grass for lawns as they are low maintenance and less expensive.

These are also suitable for families with small children whose play activities disrupt the grass life cycle.

Garden landscapes can be accentuated by adding infinity pools, fountains, fire pits, circular patios, mixed plantings and greenhouses.

By growing different varieties of plants, the owner can harvest good quality food while enjoying the mental and physical rewards of gardening.

Altogether, good landscaping ensures that your yard will be a place of peace and joy for you, your family and the ecosystem around it.

How To Water Orchids

How To Water Orchids

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How To Water Orchids – Currently having about 28,000 species and distributed in approximately 763 genera, orchids are one of the most exotic-looking flower species in the whole plant kingdom.

Their beauty, variant colors, and patterns make them an appealing choice for house plants.

They are distinguishable and have some evident characteristics that include having highly modified petals, a temporary woody structure, fused stamens, and very small seeds.

The most common and easiest type of orchid to grow is a Phalaenopsis.

It’s the perfect type of orchids for beginners because one doesn’t need any set of complex gardening rules for its nurturing.

However, that doesn’t mean that taking care of an orchid is a walk in the park.

Each species is different from the other and requires an entirely different environment to grow.

You’ll need to know everything from potting to how to water your orchids properly.

When it comes to something as sensitive as plants, knowing the basics and following a guide is your best option.

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Potting and Re-Potting Your Orchid

You’ve bought a beautiful species of orchids, and now the first step is to know how to set it up.

Understand that orchids aren’t like regular plants, you can’t just put them in a pot full of dirt and be done for the rest of the day.

Orchids are delicate, and they need better drainage and airflow to grow rather than piles of soil.

So, you start off by making a good potting soil mix.

A potting mix able to offer good circulation, slow decomposition rate, swift drainage, and good moisture-retaining capabilities is the one best suited for your orchid.

The medium that would provide your plant with water needs to be the best, so you should experiment and take your time before choosing the right combination.

Technically, you won’t need to re-pot your orchids for about a year or two.

However, re-potting totally depends on the condition and maintenance of your orchids.

It is possible that you could need to re-pot earlier than expected.

Luckily, there are a few signs that can help you to determine the right time for re-potting your orchids:

  • Diseased or rotten roots
  • Overgrowth – plant growing out of its container
  • Overgrown roots
  • Breaking down or fast decomposition of the potting media

Checking the Health of Your Orchids

Like every other plant, orchids give away some obvious signs of their health which you should know how to read.

The health of leaves and roots are the best ways to know about your orchid’s condition.

You assess them in the following ways:

  • Check whether the roots are vibrant green or not
  • Hold off watering if your see mushy or brown roots
  • If your orchid has white/gray roots, then that means it needs more water
  • If your orchid has white leaves, then it means its receiving way too much light
  • Black leaves are an indication of fungal growth and bacteria
  • Dark green leaves indicate that your orchid is not receiving enough light

Caring For and Supporting Your Orchids

Different species of orchids can live up to 100 years!

However, there is no specific lifespan dedicated to the plant.

The plant will eventually get weak over time, so your attention and proper care are what will extend its lifetime.

Establish a care routine that involves knowing when to re-pot, add fertilizer, let it rest, and how to water your orchid correctly.

We have already discussed potting and resting of an orchid is simply a period to let it rejuvenated.

However, when it comes to watering your orchid, there are a few details you should keep in mind, especially about how you should water your orchids.

Complete Guide on How to Water Your Orchids

Why is it important to know the dos and don’ts of watering your orchids?

That’s because your plants are more likely to die because of improper watering than any other reason.

It is not rocket science, and neither is it a complicated process.

Instead, it’s all about reading the signs and understanding the watering needs of your beautiful orchid.

Remember, the key to the best method of watering your orchid is to learn to read its roots and look for the signs of its current condition.

Here are a few important steps you can follow on how to water orchids.

Know when to water your orchids

An orchid doesn’t need to be watered every day.

You should try setting up a schedule and mark it on the calendar whenever you water the plant.

Even though orchids are houseplants, unlike most of them they need to be watered only when they begin to dry out but still have a bit of moisture left.

It is also essential to know about the type of orchid you have because some orchids have storing-organs.

So, these species would need to be completely dry before getting any extra water.

However, if you have no idea about your orchid’s type, then water only when they are almost dry.

Understanding the signs

The climate and potting mix are some of the factors that can help you to know about watering your orchids.

You can get a rough indication that it’s time to water the orchids if the potting mix looks dusty and dry.

However, if that isn’t convincing enough, then you can also try checking the pot’s weight.

If the pot feels heavy, then it’s likely it still has water.

Otherwise, a lighter pot may indicate that your orchid needs watering.

You can also make sure by sticking a finger carefully into the potting mix and check for moisture.

Coming to the weather, the temperature of the air also affects the watering routine of orchids.

In a warmer temperature or in a place where the orchid gets too much sun, it would need to be watered more frequently than the one in a cooler temperature.

Thoroughly water the orchid

One of the best ways to water your orchids is to let the water run carefully from the faucet over your plant.

When it comes to watering your orchid, you’ve got to do it as you mean it.

Use a pot that has drainage holes because the roots will rot if you let the orchid sit for too long in the water.

If you are using a faucet, then a single strong stream for a full minute is enough.

However, if you are using a sprinkler as many professionals do, then you’d need eight or more minutes.

Misting your orchid

Apart from conventional watering, another way to keep your orchids healthy in the hot, humid weather is misting.

This will reduce the chances of both over watering and drying out of your plant.

You can mist your orchids a few times a day depending on the weather conditions.

Best Ways to Water Your Orchids

An orchid owner must understand that their plant doesn’t need heavy watering even though they are found growing in the tropical rainforest.

You now know how to water orchids properly, but you should also be aware of the best practices to water an orchid plant.

Just knowing how to water them isn’t enough.

Knowing the best ways is always a must when it comes to your orchids.

How to Reduce Irrigation Water Usage

The ice cube method

This is the easiest way to water your orchid plant without causing water sitting in the pot.

It is also the quickest way if you don’t want to transplant the orchid from a pot without holes to a one with holes.

Using small to medium ice cubes, you can pop around three medium ice cubes on top of the potting mix.

You can do that twice a week, depending on the weather situation.

Make sure that the cubes remain on the soil and don’t touch the plant itself.

This method will give you the following benefits:

  • Prevention of roots from rotting
  • Better absorption
  • Saves time and is easy
  • Avoids overwatering

Submerging method

Fill the clear orchid container with either distilled or cooled tap water.

Also, fill the holding pot in which the container will sit with water so that the roots are fully submerged.

Now remove the plant after 10 to 15 minutes and make sure that you fill the water just under the crown of the orchid.

Allow the plant to drain for about five minutes while pouring out the remaining water from the pot.

You can use this method once a week for the best results.

Pouring method

The pouring method works if the plant can’t be removed or you don’t want to stock up ice cubes.

However, if you are using this method, make sure to have a pot with adequate drainage holes.

Use water sparingly to avoid the orchid sitting in a pool of water.

Avoid pouring water directly on the plant; instead, focus on the roots underneath the leaves.

Things to Avoid While Watering Orchids

It’s just watering, how hard can that be?

Believe it or not, many myths are surrounding the orchid plant, and it’s easier to make common mistakes more often than you think.

So, when it comes to watering your orchids, keep in mind to avoid these common watering mistakes.

It’s a fact that even though orchids are tropical plants, you don’t always need to keep them wet or water too often.

The constant wetness and moisture will rot the roots and eventually kill the plant.

Make sure that your plant never sits in still water.

Always use a drain pot while watering your orchids and be aware that the plant should be dry enough with little to no moisture between watering.

The best time to water the plant is, in fact, the morning because you’ll be increasing the chances of fungal diseases if you water at night.

Watering at night allows it to stagnate in the growing tips of the plant which encourages the growth of bacterial and fungal diseases.

Watering early in the morning will increase the chances of water evaporation from the crown and foliage by nighttime.

The type of water you use also has effects on the health of your orchids.

Don’t use water that has higher calcium and salt content.

It is preferred to use highly purified water, distilled water, cooled tap water, or rainwater.

Watch out for deposits forming on your plant and flush out excess mineral salts, saturate the growing medium with water once a month.

Which Factors Affect the Watering of Orchids?

There are a few common factors that affect the watering of your orchids and their consequences.

It is important that you take these factors into account in order to provide your orchids with the best possible environment to grow.

Humidity

This factor not only influences the watering routine but also determines the amount your plant needs.

The level of humidity affects the frequency with which you water your orchids.

You will need to water less if the ambient humidity is higher.

Temperature

It is obvious that the higher the temperature, the more frequently you’ll need to water the orchids.

However, if you have stored the plant in a cool place inside the house, then it wouldn’t need to be watered as frequently.

Potting mix

Fertilizer or potting media play an important role in this regard.

Some have good water retaining capabilities, while others have better circulation and drainage properties.

The type of potting media used will also determine how frequently you’ll need to water.

Different species

There are over 28,000 different species of orchids, and yours could be one of them.

Each species has different requirements, so it can be a challenge to follow general guidelines.

Make sure you are familiar with the type you have because some orchid species have good water retaining properties while others don’t.

Airflow and sunlight

Under no circumstances, you should keep orchid in direct sunlight because it will cause sunburn.

You’ll also need to water frequently if you are keeping the plant in a sunny window.

Also, make sure that your orchids get plenty of fresh air.

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Are Orchids Poisonous to Cats?

Are Orchids Poisonous

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Orchids Poisonous to Cats – The presence of fresh flowers in a house not only adds character and beauty to your home but also gives that extra scent of freshness.

For lovers of orchids, there remains fear whether they can have those beautiful flowers in their homes with cats running around.

So there’s the constant struggle to prevent their cats from choking on them.

They therefore either have to give up owning a cat or having an orchid at home.

This is because generally, people believe that orchids are poisonous to cats.

Nevertheless, this is hearsay and would be further explained as we go on.

Let’s bear in mind that before getting a kitty, it is always best to know what is toxic to it and how best to keep it safe.

After all, you do not want your cat dying on you or you having to run to the veterinary care center daily.

Want to know if orchids are poisonous to cats or if you can really trust your kitties to be safe around orchids? Read on.

Are Orchids Poisonous to Cats
Are Orchids Poisonous

Why do People Believe Orchids are Poisonous to Cats?

Although some flowers are entirely safe to have in the house around a cat, others are quite harmful to a feline.

Until now, most people still believe that orchids are poisonous to cats.

This isn’t unrelated to the stomach upsets experienced by cats after a good flower snack.

What I mean is that when cats eat flowers, they might experience stomach upsets which could require veterinary care; people, therefore, assume that some flowers, orchids included, are harmful to kitties.

This is contrary to information released by the American Society for the Prevention and Cruelty of Animals, which states that after due research, orchids have been found to be non-toxic to cats.

I know you are excited but hold on for a moment — no rejoicing yet.

Be careful not to think that this means all flowers are not harmful to cats.

Some are still harmful, and it’s best to learn which isn’t and which is just to be on the safe side.

For now, though, be assured that orchids are not toxic to your kitties.

So go ahead, get that beautiful orchid to beautify your home without worrying about your cat’s health.

Please do not stop here!

Read on — there’s more to be known about orchid-cat relations.

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Why You Still Have to Keep Orchids Away From Cats

Despite the fact that your cats and orchids can co-habit in the same living space or house, there remain some other reasons why you need to separate them.

Reasons to be cautious:

Cats, you must have noticed already from the beginning of this article, are drawn to flowers, which is why they tend to nibble on them repeatedly.

Don’t ask me why.

Therefore, this newly learned fact of the non-toxic nature of orchids to cats doesn’t prevent your cat from pushing your flowers down.

Your cats can still eat your flowers or destroy them, bearing in mind that these orchids are meant to add character, fragrance, and beauty.

However, this cannot be possible if they are crushed, or half-eaten, which is why you should find a way to keep your cats away from your flowers.

This is my gentle advice to you.

Ways to Keep Your Orchid Plant Safe

See this as a bonus from me to you.

In this section, I’ll be giving you some significant tips on how to keep your orchid safe from your feline friend. So let’s continue.

There are different ways of doing this.

You can either decide to completely place your orchid plant completely out of the reach of your cat.

Another option is to use what I call “kitty repellent” to drive the attention of your feline friend away from your beloved plant.

Changing their location

First, you can decide to dedicate a section of your house to plants, always keep the door shut, and this would help keep your cat away from the orchid plant.

The loophole with this method is that your visitors do not get to see your beautiful flowers when they come into your home, except when they visit this separate section for your plants.

Using kitty repellent

A more house-aesthetic, friendly option is to dust your orchids leaves with cinnamon or cayenne pepper.

These act as excellent repellents to keep the cats away as even cats don’t like pepper in their eyes.

This works well, especially if you can’t afford to dedicate a section of your house to plants.

Another option similar to that of cayenne pepper and cinnamon powder is to make use of vinegar and water spray.

Vinegar and water spray also serves as a good kitty repellent and is easier than all the previously mentioned methods.

Nevertheless, you can always go for the common way of hanging your orchid.

This never gets old and can also serve as a form of design to your house.

It keeps the cats away from the plant to an extent.

Orchids Are Not Poisonous to Cats

Although some houseplants are toxic to cats and can cause severe health issues or even death, the orchid isn’t one of them.

Your cats are perfectly safe in your house with orchids around. Instead, the victim here, is the orchid plant, a casualty of constant attack, or you might say nibbling by the cat.

Therefore your plant needs protection from your cat.

As mentioned, a vinegar and water spray, cayenne pepper or cinnamon powder when sprayed or dusted on your orchid plant helps to repel the cat, preserving their beauty and fragrance.

So spray your orchid today or place it separately and thank me later as they remain safe from your feline friends.

But don’t ever think again that cats are the victims in the relations between them and orchids.

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How To Water Orchids

How to Care for Orchids

Growing the Best Orchids

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How to Care for Orchids – You may look at an orchid and think you could never grow that.

They look beautiful, but in truth, there is no reason to fear these magnificent plants.

They are easy to care for as long as you understand the orchid species you have chosen and follow a few simple rules.

In this article we are going to get down to the roots of just how to care for your orchid and also give you some tips and techniques you can use to ensure that your orchid grows big and healthy, so that you can take advantage of the beautiful blooms and magnificent fragrances that come along with any orchid type you choose.

How to Care for Orchids
How to Care for Orchids

Basic Rules for Orchid Care

Though the final care routine will depend on the orchid itself, there are a few basic rules to follow that are universal.

Therefore, though there are a few types of orchids that are challenging, for the most part, orchids are great flowers to begin your gardening foray.

If you do it right, you could very easily be experiencing your first bloom faster than you may expect.

Then with consistent upkeep of your routine, you may be able to enjoy that bloom for months (some even bloom all year long).

So, here are the basics you can use no matter what:

Watering

The first thing we need to tell you is that you do not have to water these plants as much as most think.

The truth is the biggest culprit of orchid death when starting out is over watering!

Too much water can cause the orchids to rot and then in no time you will have one dead plant on your hands.

There are some great techniques you can use though:

Submersion

When you are growing your first orchid, you may notice that the orchid tends to live in a clear container with soil or bark surrounding it.

That is because the world itself grows in the air rather than soil.

This clear container is placed in a pot.

In this method, you take the orchid and submerge the root for about 10 -15 mins.

Once you’re done, let the contents dry out for like 5 mins before replacing the orchid in the holding pot and the pot it belongs in as a permanent home.

This can be done once a week.

Ice Cubes

This is, by far, probably the most straightforward method.

Take one ice cube from your freezer and place it on top of the soil or bark surrounding your orchid’s roots.

This can be done twice a week but remember to remove any excess water that you see.

Pouring

If your orchid isn’t easily removed from the larger pot, you may have to use the tried-and-true method of pouring.

You will want to make sure to place the spout of your watering vessel near the base of the plant and not on the plant itself.

Be careful not to leave water in the folds of the leaves.

If you do, quickly dry them off, so moisture doesn’t gather.

You will want to pour about a fourth of a cup of water once a week to maintain a good watering level.

See next section for more info on how to tell when to water.

Feeding

Orchids really don’t need to be fed that often and when they do you want to make sure it is a diluted mixture.

There are a few ways you can feed your orchid:

Liquid/Pour

Using liquid food, you want to make sure you are super careful, just like if you are watering via pouring.

Do not pour over the leaves; use a watering can that has a narrow opening and only pour the food near the base of the root into the soil.

If you feed the plants this way, you will not need to water it, and then with the next watering, you will want to try to remove any remaining salt from the fertilizer.

Ice Cubes

This is simply using the diluted mixture you would pour over the soil and freezing it in cube form.

This method allows for a slower and better absorption of the orchid food.

See the Tips section for more info on feeding.

Humidity

Most orchids come from climates that have good levels of humidity.

That means it may be the most important thing you can do for your orchid.

There are ways you can create humidity, but when dealing with indoor growing, the easiest is probably using a spray bottle and misting.

You will not want to use tap water, instead use distilled so that you do not add any stray nutrients and minerals.

Here is how to mist orchids

Fill a bottle that as fine mist capability with distilled water.

You will want to lightly spray not only the roots but also the leaves approximately two times a day.

If you are worried about over watering simply use your finger in the pot test from above.

See the Tips & Techniques section on how to tell when to mist.

Pruning

Once the orchid has flowered, the blooms will drop off and die, and this is when pruning comes into play.

Check and see if the stem is still healthy or needs to get the ax.

If it is green and firm, then the answer is no.

However, if the stem is brown and super hard, then this guy needs to be removed as soon as possible.

Here is how you prune your orchid:

  1. Be gentle with the orchid as it is sensitive.
  2. Use a sharp set of shears to remove the dead leaves and any other dead pieces of the plant.
  3. Angle the shears downward, always making sure to trim on the diagonal.
  4. If you are trimming a healthy stem, cut just above the section node where the flower bloomed. This will stimulate a new shoot to grow.
  5. If you are pruning a dead stem, cut the stem at the base.

Light

Any plant needs light as part of its growing process.

The right light can mean the difference between a stunted orchid and one that blooms into its fullest glory.

So, you will want to make sure that your orchid is in the right place for optimal light exposure.

With a light, you have one of two options.

Indirect

This is sunlight or a growing lamp that is not directly targeted on the plant itself.

Usually, in this case, the light is bounced off a wall or something to diffuse the intensity of the light.

This is the light source that is best for the growth of your orchid.

Direct

Direct light may be good for some plants but not for your orchid.

So, make sure that your orchid is placed somewhere it will never meet direct sunlight or light in general.

See the next section for tips on how to find the right light and placement of your orchid.

Orchid Care Tips & Techniques

Now that you have the basics down let us get into some of the finer points, tips, and techniques you can use to optimize your orchid’s growth.

Watering

You may have to switch up your watering routine during the warmer months as the roots may dry out quicker.

So how do you know when you need to water?

If your orchid’s roots look like a canned green bean, then you are watering too much, and it is time to pull back.

If, however, they look like a dried-up stick, then you will need to water them more.

If you are unsure and can’t get a good look at the roots, then stick your finger in the pot.

If the soil is still damp, there is no need to water, and if it is dry, then your little orchid may be a bit thirsty.

Humidity/Air Flow

Low humidity and airflow levels can cause a lot of unwanted issues when growing your orchid.

Pay close attention to the following signs that may mean your orchid is humidity deficient:

  • Decreased growth
  • Flowers wilting and falling off
  • Leaves with a brown tip

To make this process even better, you need to make sure that you have good airflow as well.

This air needs to be humid and dry to get the fullest from the combination.

Light/Placement

As for the optimal place to set your orchid, you want to choose a room in your house that stays constant in temp away from too strong of an airflow where it will only receive indirect light.

You can figure out if a place must be intense of light by simply holding your hand in the light at the hottest part of the day as close to the window place you are looking to house your order.

If the shadow is super distinct and dark, then the light is too intense.

You are looking for a light shadow for just the right intensity of light.

Feeding/Fertilizer

There is fertilizer designed explicitly for orchids that leave out specific components present in typical fertilizers that don’t play well with the roots of the orchid.

So, when looking for the right fertilizer, make sure you are getting the one that will be most effective for orchids.

When feeding your orchid with this fertilizer here are some great tips to pay attention too:

  • You don’t want to boost fertilizer amount if you miss a week. You can, however, feed extra time with a decreased dose of fertilizer
  • If you see your orchid with deep green and drooping leaves take a week off. You are overfeeding it
  • When you see the orchid growing, that is when you want to make sure you are feeding it regularly
  • If you see some things wrong with your orchid, pull back the feeding, and see if that helps

Pots

You will find many established orchid growers using clear pots so that they can always see the roots of the plant.

The clear construction of these pots helps in the photosynthesis process, and that will help your orchids grow faster and healthier.

You will want to find a pot that just fits the size of the roots and gets the orchid attached to whatever you are taking it as soon as possible.

Temperatures

This is solely based on the type of orchid you choose to grow.

Some orchids grow in every climate.

Some will require lower temps, and these are the ones found living in the high elevations and mountainous areas of each of the continents.

Others that live in tropical climates will react much better to warmer temps so when deciding which orchid go with make sure you consider your environment and the climate of where you will be planting your orchid.

Repotting

Deciding to repot is an important one.

You will want to do this if any of the two events below happen:

  • The orchid is growing out the container it is currently housed.
  • The other event that will mean you need to re-pot is when the bark or soil starts breaking down.
  • Orchids use chunky mediums to grow in, and when you see that this is in smaller chunks, it is time to re-pot.

You will also want to make sure that you do it at the right time of the year.

This is also dependent on the type of orchid.

Some will be best re-potted after they flower but before the roots start to grow.

These are any that have a pseudo bulb system.

Every other type of orchid will be doable at any time a year.

Here is how you re-pot your orchid

  • You will want to start with the new pot selection. The new pot should be a few inches taller than the previous pot your orchid has grown out of
  • Look for orchid planters this will have holes around the circumference which allow for better airflow
  • You will want to clean the pot with a light cleaning solution of half a cup of bleach and a gallon of water. Then let the pot dry completely

Potting Mix

  • Put the orchid potting mix in a big bowl and activate it with hot water. Makes sure it is fully covered
  • Once this is done, you will let the water cool down completely, then drain all the water from the mix

Moving the Orchid

  • Fill the dry planter with the potting medium that you soaked earlier and place the pants in the middle of the medium’s top
  • You will want to prune the roots that are a little sickly
  • Place the orchid in its new home and cover the roots with potting mix; you don’t want them exposed
  • Make sure you water regularly for the first few weeks

Sick Orchid

Orchids are very easily affected by bacteria and bugs. If you notice something is wrong here are some things you can do to help with a sick orchid.

  • If you notice issues with your orchid, first move the plant away from others in the area.
  • If you notice leaves browning, you can use a mist bottle with diluted cinnamon to sprinkle the trimmed plant to combat any bacteria. Or you can use chemical compounds that do the same thing.
  • If this doesn’t solve the problem, there may be something wrong with the roots. Then the next step is to re-pot (use the steps above to do that.).
  • Make sure that until you are sure the orchid is back on the right track, you will want to keep it isolated.

Blooming

There are different blooming seasons and frequencies dependent on the orchid you choose to grow.

Some will bloom once a year, and others will bloom continually throughout the year.

Some will bloom via the stalks and others will bloom via bulbs from the top of the plant.

There are those that bloom in sprays and some in single flowers.

These tips and techniques are just some of the ways you can use to ensure you get the best results from your orchid.

There are many other ways to build a routine that will grow a lush, healthy orchid.

These can all be added together to support any type of orchid no matter its native habitat.

Are Orchids Poisonous to Cats
How to Repot an Orchid
How To Water Orchids
How Long Do Orchids Live
Complete Guide to Orchid Types
Orchid Blooming Guide

Orchids need extra care

Orchids may take a little extra care, but, in the end, they are easy to cultivate.

By following a few easy rules and systems, you can manage to cultivate a beautiful orchid that will give you tons of enjoyment and make you proud of the work you put in to grow it.

The first and most important thing to do is know the genus.

Every orchid has its own unique aspects you need to focus on, and by learning as much as you can about that genus, you will be able to understand how to care for your orchid.