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To unpretentious beginners





If you do not want
to loose that orchid someone gave to you on your birthday or on Valentine's Day... and you just want to see it bloom again;

If you do not intend
to have even a very, very small greenhouse but just to keep that one orchid;

If you do not know
nor wonder about pseudobulbs, columns or rhizomes
nor wonder about the meaning of monopodial or sympodial
nor wonder about the meaning of epiphytic, terrestrial or rupicolous
nor wonder about NPK;

If you do not want
to be worried about the periods of active growth, rest or flowering;

But ...
You just want to take care of only that first orchid,

WARNING
Do not believe you will be able to only take care just of that first orchid even if you think you can. You will try but after the moment that first orchid blooms by your own care, it will be very, very difficult to resist increasing more and more your collection and you will find yourself soon looking for a small corner where you can put another species you saw in a exhibition and bought.
You will be then at a point of no return to an addiction to orchids.
Do you remember those orchids which you thought were terrible or ugly and in fact, for you, could not even be considered as orchids?

BE CAREFULL !!

One day you will find yourself longing for one of them. When this takes place you must forget about the instructions below and go direct to CARES AND TIPS. If, in spite of this warning, you still insist in thinking that you can take care of just one orchid, go on and give it a try.

General Instructions

You need to know the name of the orchid you have bought or received, if it is from a cold, intermediate or hot environment and if it likes shade or sun. Probably you received or bought a plant in flower, so that time is its blooming period or month.
Do not forget to take note of this because you will need this information later.
Try to buy your orchid at a reputable establishment where people can give you this essential information because there are some people who speak nonsense to sell orchids and as a result you will see your plant start to fade, then die and you will not know the reason why.
  • Ventilation: Place the orchid where there is good air circulation but without wind.

  • Light: Choose a location where the light is strong or not, depending on the needs of the species (you have already been informed about this when you bought the plant). In general, do not put the plant in direct sun except for the first few hours of the morning.

  • Feeding :When the plant is growing, apply a fertilizer with 30-20-20 or 20-20-20 NPK formula (I will not tell what NPK is because you do not care. Just ask it at the store);
    Three months before the month noted to be the blooming period, apply a 10-30-15 NPK formula. After this, do not apply anything until it begins to grow again at which times you apply the formula mentioned above and the cycle starts all over again.

  • Water and humidity: To water, you need to adopt these indispensable rules:
    Always water in the morning. If the plant is potted, water always when the compost is dry. Some terrestrial orchids like Cymbidium and some orchids which have aerial roots like Phalaenopsis, Miltoniopsis, love humidity, so keep the compost moist at all times.
    Orchids placed in suspended open-work baskets without compost or just with charcoal or pieces of tree-fern can be watered every day and on especially hot days, water it in the morning and in the evening.
    Use water enough to flow out through the pot drain holes. Remember that orchids do not like to be swampy so do not put trays under pots.
    During autumn and winter, reduce the number of watering times for all of them.

  • Composts: Except for the terrestrial orchids (Brazilian species have, in general, aerial roots), orchids do not like soil and need to have their roots well aerated so use sphagnum moss, osmunda fiber, tree fern, charcoal (do not use barbecue charcoal) and so on.
    If it is terrestrial, mix together, in the same proportions, black soil, clean river sand, peat moss and sphagnum moss. In either case, place a few pieces of polystyrene or some small stones over the pot holes in order to help the drainage.


Just a little tip:


If you live in a hot climate, you can cultivate Dendrobium phalaenopsis, Phalaenopsis, Vanda, Renanthera, Cattleya or Oncidium which are species suitable to warm or hot environments.
If you live in a cool or intermediate climate, there are more choices such as Cattleya in general, Oncidium, Miltonia, Sophronitis, Cymbidium and Dendrobium nobile, among others.

If,


in spite of living in a hot place and in spite of the above tips you still want to buy a Sophronitis coccinea or Cymbidium because of its blooming beauty, or in spite of living in a cool place, you decide to buy a Phalaenopsis or Vanda teres, go ahead but do not try to make it bloom again. Give it to someone living in the proper environment or, in the worst case scenario, throw it away when the blooming finishes and purchase another plant.



Good Luck !!!



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