Delicate and wonderful: orchids need very careful care. And yes, there is a particular nutrient that can help you.

Too much water, or too little? Watering orchids can be a dilemma. It is therefore absolutely necessary to know how to act, not only to have constant flowering but to keep the plant healthy . There are also tricks that can help you with care, which must be correct so that the delicacy of the vase is safeguarded. Let’s discover together how to have beautiful flowers with little effort.

How to give milk to orchids

Milk, yes. You read right. This very particular ingredient helps you clean the orchid leaves , therefore it works as an irrigation aid . Preparing the right solution for this operation is very simple. Simply mix a spoonful of water with a spoonful of milk and apply delicately on the sheets and with a cotton ball or a make-up remover pad. It can be used to  remove dust , which often settles on the ends of the plant, as well as eliminating limescale residues , the result of drops of water left to evaporate and not dried beforehand with a soft cloth.

Excess water , in fact, can also cause problems for the leaves and favor the  proliferation of fungal infections . The milk also helps to eliminate the spores that can compromise – even quickly – the health of the plant. The milk helps to cleanse the leaf , to make it healthy but also to polish it. Even the eye wants its part, you’ll think, and it’s also the case with orchids. White, colorful, mottled: having flowers every year is certainly the goal of those who love Orchidaceae and, for this reason, take care of them.

How to water correctly

Let’s go back to the main menu, the one where the correct watering of your orchids appears – at the top of the list. It’s not easy, of course, especially because they don’t grow in traditional soil and therefore you can’t predict the behavior of the water. For them, a mixture of peat, bark and other inert materials is in fact necessary . The objective of irrigation is therefore to impart humidity to the peat and bark, which retain it quite easily.

First tip: orchids are not watered from above. You need to gently submerge a jar into a sink or basin filled with water. The liquid level must not exceed half of the jar . Be very careful not to let the bark come out . The immersion must not be too short but not too long: the peat must be soaked but you must avoid water stagnation. 20 minutes may be fine, but before placing the jar in its saucer, let it drain very well, even for half an hour.

The need for water changes according to the seasons and, above all, varies with the trend in temperatures . Once a week may be enough in spring, while in summer you have to repeat the operation – at least two or three times – depending on the heat. Go back to once a week in the fall and every 10 days in the winter. Keep in mind that your orchid is giving us signs of lack of water . The substrate must not be dry, while the roots must be green . If they tend towards silver, then they are thirsty.

Which water to use

To water your orchid correctly, it is important to choose the right water . As you may have understood, this plant does not like limestone. And no, not even chlorine . It is therefore not recommended to use mains water , it is instead advisable to use rainwater or demineralised water , the same one used to fill the  iron boiler .

The same water can be used to nebulize the leaves , delicately, and in the absence of this you can fill a watering can and let the mains water decant so that the limestone settles on the bottom. Pay close attention to the water temperature , which must not be too cold. In fact, at 15°C, the orchid begins to lose its flowers. Try to use it at room temperature. In winter, you can dilute it for a few seconds with a microwave .

How to mist leaves

For orchids, it is important that the environment that welcomes them is humid. Our homes, on the other hand, have dry air , especially when they are heated or cooled by heating and air conditioning systems. It is therefore necessary that the optimal environment is recreated for them, through a correct nebulization of the leaves. This procedure can be done all year round, but be careful of the flowers that must not receive traces of liquid.

If the environment is really very dry, then you can try an environmental humidifier . Unlike other houseplants , it is preferable to mist the leaves in the early hours of the morning. The heat of the sun is in fact able to evaporate excess water in the leaves, so as to avoid the onset of spores .

How to adapt irrigation to the soil

Proper watering of your orchid depends a lot on the potting soil you use . If it is composed of bark and sphagnum moss, then we can also risk using traditional watering , as long as the pot is allowed to drain before placing it on its saucer. In case of cultivation in bark only , then you can proceed with watering from below according to the methods we have suggested. The leaves can be moistened gently with the help of a spray bottle , remembering to dry the excess water.

Fertilizer and flowering

The orchid is a plant that needs care in many respects. Fertilizer is in fact essential for its correct growth and to obtain abundant and long-lasting flowering. It is therefore very important to choose the right one, among the numerous proposals, which differ not only in the formulation – not all suitable for every variety of Orchidaceae – and in administration . The instructions must be shown on the label , otherwise you can ask your trusted retailer for advice. The plant must be fertilized all year round.

Flowering is instead expected twice a year, once in spring and once in autumn. This phase lasts many months, so you can count on a scenographic plant for some time. Remember that flowers should never be wet. Once the last flower has fallen , you can decide whether to keep the stems or cut them. In the first case, the flowers will bloom again on the same stems, but they will be smaller. If, on the other hand, you choose to eliminate them, then the plant will move towards the production of new stems, on which the offspring of the new season will be born.

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