So you have come to a decision to decorate your house with some beautiful flowers. While going through some options, you then decide to go with orchids since they are versatile and classic. Moreover, they last for long periods of time or don’t they? That’s actually a good question. The lifespan of an orchid depends on how well they are taken care of.
It also has a lot to do with the variety you have chosen to grow. With quality care and excellent weather conditions, they can last for long. So what exactly is “long?” Do not worry, in this article we are going to talk about the lifespan of orchids.
How long do orchids live?
Well, the simple answer to this question is, “it depends.” This is because there are many species of the orchid family, and they are not entirely similar.
The hybrid and non-hybrid orchid species might be different from each other. The non-hybrid species, such as the white and purple orchids, have similar characteristics and lifespans. The major difference between white and purple orchids is only the color! If all factors are constant, they will have the same lifespan.
What is the life expectancy of an indoor potted orchid?
When the orchid is well taken care of, it might last for about 15 to 20 years.
Speaking of an orchid’s life expectancy, some people also ask, does planting an orchid in a vase change the lifespan? Well, the answer is no. Many people do think that planting in a vase reduces the life expectancy of orchids, but it does not. What happens is that when orchids are planted in a vase, they need a little more care.
Basically, there are certain things you need to do here that you otherwise would not do if the orchid was planted outside the pot. Some of these things include; repotting and washing the vase regularly. Of course, if you do not follow such rules, the plant may die quicker than normal. It is because of such things that people think that planting an orchid in a vase affects its lifespan.
How long do orchids take to bloom?
Quantifying the amount of time it takes for an orchid to bloom is quite difficult as different orchid species bloom at different times.
Some orchids will bloom once a year, and their blossoms can last for a long time. The flowers can last for weeks, and at times they can even last for months.
Some hybrids will bloom multiple times a year, and some will continuously flower. The tricky part about orchids is that they will not bloom unless they are triggered. You can trigger it by letting temperatures drop overnight. At times the temperatures will have to be 10 to 15 degrees.
Tips to help your orchid live longer
Here are some things you can do to help your orchid live longer.
Provide optimal lighting
If you want to keep your orchid happy and ensure that it blooms again, you need to make sure it gets proper lighting.
Here is how to do this:
Place the orchid in a place where it can get a lot of indirect sunlight. This is necessary because orchids are very sensitive to direct sunlight. In essence, exposure to direct sunlight may cause orchids to get sunburns.
If you are not sure if the place you have picked has enough sunlight or is receiving too much sunlight, you can use your hand to test it. At midday, when the sun is shining the brightest, you should place your hand above the orchid so that you cast a shadow over it.
If your hand does not produce any shadow by any chance, that means there isn’t enough light.
If your hand produces an extremely dark shadow, which means that the plant is getting too much direct sunlight.
A subtle grey shadow will indicate the ideal lighting, and that’s the one you should go for.
Watering the orchid properly
Many people might assume that orchids require a lot of water since orchids originate from rain forests. But that is not the case. That is also the most common way in which people kill their plants i.e. by over-watering them.
If you overwater your plant, you will not give it the chance to absorb the water at the right rate. This will then make the soil wet, and the roots will begin to rot. After some time, your beautiful orchid will die a wet death.
There is a general rule that orchids should be watered once a week. This is because they can withstand drought better than put up with excess moisture.
Fertilizing your orchid
Now that you know that you should not over-water your orchid, you should now know how to fertilize your orchid. The first thing you need to know about fertilizer is that it does not work magically. It won’t magically save an already rotten orchid and bring it back to life. However, if your orchid was healthy, it could give it a much-needed boost.
The recommended fertilizer for orchids should have equal amounts of phosphorus, nitrogen, and potassium. You could also purchase fertilizers specifically made for orchids.
Experts prefer using fertilizers once a month. If you wish to trigger re-blooming, you should apply fertilizer once every two weeks after the orchids have bloomed.
Note: You should be very careful not to let the fertilizer touch the leaves as they will damage them.
Do not get discouraged after your orchid has bloomed and dropped its flowers. The resting period is crucial to the plant. During this hibernation period, the orchid is resting to gain energy so that it blooms again. In as much as you should be patient, you could always do some things to assist your orchid bloom again.
You can encourage it to blossom again by cutting a spike into a node on the stem.
Another way to encourage it to bloom is by paying attention to the temperature of where it is grown. With a cold night temperature, the process of blooming again can be sped up.
Growing orchids requires patience. It takes a long time before it blooms, but when it does, it is such a beautiful plant that adds color to your home. So do not get discouraged along the way. Hopefully, with the tips, we have talked about, you will be able to maintain healthy orchids that will last for years to come.
My name is Alex K. Worley. I am a web geek who loves gardening and connecting with nature. I maintain a small backyard organic garden from which I source most of my green food. I hope to help you learn something new about gardening.