Orchids are incredibly diverse, beautiful, and complex.
The flowers are beautiful, long-blooming, and have fascinating fragrances and forms. We have a few options for planting Orchards in our gardens or indoors.
I can plant them as seeds, bulbs, or by buying growing plants and transplanting them to my garden.
Orchid bulbs are easy to grow with the help of a few techniques and equipment.
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How to Plant Orchid Bulbs
Fill in the flower pot with soil and dig a hole big enough for the orchid bulb. Place the bulb inside the hole and ensure that it is sticking above the ground. Pack soil and don’t cover the bulb entirely. Plant them in a location where there is 12 hours of sunlight with 50-70% humidity. You’ll also need to water the orchid bulb at most once a week.
How to Successfully Plant and Grow Orchid Bulbs
There are various steps I need to take and factors to consider before I plant my orchid bulbs. These include:
1. Select the Right Species of Orchids to Grow
Planting my orchids successfully starts with selecting the right species for where I live.
The orchid bulb packaging contains planting zone information to let me know if the species is adaptable to the area I live.
The species also determines how the orchids will grow. Monopodial orchids like the phalaenopsis grow vertically with the main stem that grows from a single point.
Leaves grow on the main stem as the orchids grow.
Sympodial orchids are the ones that have lateral meristem emerging from the main stems to warrant horizontal growth. Examples include oncidium, cattleya, and dendrobium options.
You also need to consider the timing as per the calendar before I plant orchids. It’s usually best to plant the orchid bulbs in Spring.
The timing helps me plant the orchid bulb in the right season to help them grow and thrive.
For example, if you live on the west coast, it helps cultivate the orchid bulbs starting in early March through late June.
If you live in places with cold winters, it’s best to plant the orchid bulbs anywhere from the middle of May through mid-June.
This planting technique helps our gardener to get orchids that bloom throughout the season.
3. Soil and Air Temperature
It’s essential to monitor the soil and air temperature before I plant the orchids.
Some gardeners wait for the growing conditions to become ideal, while others use a calendar date or a predetermined interval after the frost clears.
I need to plant the orchid bulbs when the air temperature’s more than 50 degrees Fahrenheit, and the soil temperature’s beyond the 55-degree Fahrenheit mark for at least a week.
To measure the soil temperature, I use a salt thermometer from the gardening store and insert the same depth I’ll use to plant the bulbs, ideally three to four inches.
It’s essential to measure the morning and afternoon temperature and get the daily average temperature.
4. Choose an Appropriate Medium
An appropriate medium determines if my orchids will thrive. I need to select a medium that provides quick water drainage and good air circulation.
Also, I need to provide support for the roots, especially for epiphytes with roots that grow in the air.
These roots can cling to rock wool, cork nuggets, stone, coconut fiber, lava, and rock.
5. Select a Location With Good Lighting
Light is essential for the growth and good health of my orchids. Orchids need about 12 to 14 hours of light every day of the year.
The light needs to be right and indirect. Research shows you can also use artificial lighting for your orchids.
If I use artificial lighting, I make sure the orchids are at most 6 to 8 inches away from the fluorescent bulbs.
6. Plant the Orchids
Once the above conditions are set, it is time to plant the orchids.
I use a small trowel or my fingers to dig holes about two to three inches wide and three to four inches deep. Space the holes about 12 inches apart.
After that, I place a bulb in each hole, cover it with soil, and gently tap on the soil to remove any air pockets.
7. Water the Orchid Bulbs
Most orchids prefer less water than excess moisture. A water-logged pot can kill an orchid plant quite fast because it prevents air circulation, which causes the plant to suffocate and die.
Generally, I water my orchids once weekly. Also, it’s essential that I let their medium dry out before I add more water.
8. Ensure the Humidity Is Right
Research shows orchids do well in humidity levels of about 50 to 70%.
However, I may need to use a humidifier during the winter because the levels drop to about 30%. It also helps to moist the orchids.
9. Use Fertilizer
Mediums usually provide options with few nutrients. Therefore, I fertilize the orchids to ensure healthy growth.
I typically use liquid fertilizer. However, it’s essential to dilute it more than the fertilizer for other plants.
Also, I avoid fertilizing orchids in mid-winter or immediately after repotting them. It is appropriate to use fertilizer once in 2 months in the growing season.
Frequently Asked Questions About How to Plant Orchid Bulbs
How do you care for orchids?
To care for orchids look at providing the correct lighting, water, humidity, and the right medium. Orchids need watering about once a week but ensure the medium is dry first before watering. They also need a high light environment for at least 12 hours a day. Also, it’s essential to ensure the humidity range is between 50 to 70%.
What hole sizes do you need to grow orchid bulbs?
Dig holes about 3 to 4 inches in-depth and two to three inches in width. I use my hands or a small trowel to dig the holes.
I can choose to start growing orchid plants by buying seeds, bulbs, or young plants.
Bulbs are easy to grow as long as I have the right conditions in lighting, temperature, humidity, and timing.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.