Earlier Orchids were looked upon as the luxury for wealthy and famous people. The use of orchid was restricted to few particular occasions like weddings. But things are changing now. Lots of information and tools for orchid care are now available which have made caring for orchids easy and affordable to ordinary people.
More than 25000 species of orchids are available now, including the hybrid varieties. So everyone can now find a variety that he or she can take care of. Taking care of orchids is no more difficult than that of most house plants, but just in a little different manner. First thing that you should be aware is the need of that particular variety that you have or planning to have. All the care that you have given to the orchid will be worthwhile, when you see the orchid bloom. There are very few flowering plants that can match this satisfaction.
Phalaenopsis, called 'Phal ' in short, is one of the most common varieties of orchids that are generally available in the stores and preferred as a gift. As compared to other varieties, these are much easier to take care of. The most popular color of Phal orchids are white and purple. If cared for properly most orchids will flower at least three months. The orchids should be placed under speckled or indirect sunlight. They must be protected from direct noon sunlight. Best is to place them near an east facing window. This will protect the orchids from direct sun during the noon while providing them with the necessary warmth and sunlight in the morning. The sunlight can also be replaced with artificial light.
The best temperature range for orchids is 55 degrees Fahrenheit to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Any sharp change in temperature should be avoided as this may damage the orchid. Watering an orchid is a little different from watering the normal plant. They should be watered only when required. Over watering, which is the most common error made by many people, will damage the orchid. Unlike other plants the roots of orchids are not deep rooted in the soil but are attached to tree surfaces or any other raised surface. The roots are dried during dry season when they use up the water that is store in the root during the wet seasons.
A greenhouse is the best place for an orchid to survive as they like high humidity and you may not like your house to be that humid. This may be the reason behind the belief that orchids are meant for rich people. But this should not be the deterring factor for keeping an orchid in your house. Simply put the orchid pot on a humidity pan to meet it's demand for humidity, and it will flourish. In Northern hemisphere the orchids tend to flower best in the fall through spring months. To extend the blooming time as much as possible, it is very important that they have the necessary nutrients during the flowering time. So fertilize the orchid before it's flowering season and enjoy the bloom for longer.