3 Essential Supplies For Growing Orchids In Your Garden

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3 Essential Supplies For Growing Orchids In Your Garden

28 July 2021
 Categories: , Blog

Orchids are widely prized around the world for their delicate beauty and vibrant blooms, but these unique flowering plants are also notoriously fragile and can die off quickly if they aren't grown in suitable conditions. Growing orchids outdoors in a garden environment can therefore be quite challenging.

However, with the right supplies, any gardener can create a breathtaking orchid garden. If you plan on growing orchids in and around your garden, make sure you have the following supplies on hand before you begin:

Specialised Orchid Pots

Unless you are growing terrestrial orchids, your orchids will almost certainly need to be grown in pots or planters to achieve the best results. However, the roots of orchid plants have unique requirements and must be exposed to both light and air for the orchid to truly thrive. Orchid roots will also rot and die quickly if they are exposed to too much moisture.

Most orchids grow best when planted in transparent, aerated growing pots, which can be purchased from any good garden supply company. These pots can be enclosed in larger, decorative pots if you don't find them attractive, as long as the outer pot is large enough to allow air and light to reach the inner pot. The holes in aerated pots will also allow water to drain quickly, preventing root rot.

The Right Growing Media

The unique properties of orchid roots also mean that regular tightly packed potting soil is not a good option for growing most species. You will need a growing medium that absorbs water readily but allows it to drain quickly while remaining loose and aerated to allow the roots to 'breathe'.

A wide variety of growing media are sold as suitable for orchid cultivation. Sphagnum moss, perlite and coconut husk fibres are well aerated and retain moisture well, while alternatives such as crushed charcoal and expanded clay drain quickly to prevent root rot. To get the best results, choose a specialised orchid potting mix that contains a mixture of different media, as these mixes strike the best balance between water retention and adequate drainage.

If you are growing terrestrial orchids at ground level, growing media can still be very useful. Most terrestrial orchids prefer soil that is loose, aerated and relatively nutrient-poor, so mixing a few handfuls of orchid growing media into the soil can make it more suitable for growing your terrestrial orchids.

Suitable Fertiliser

Most orchids have lower fertilisation requirements than other flowering plants, but the additional nutrients provided by a good orchid fertiliser can still be very helpful. Choose a dedicated orchid fertiliser, and ensure that it contains equal amounts of nitrogen, potassium and phosphorous. 10-10-10 and 20-20-20 mixes are usually the best choices.

To err on the side of caution, you should also make sure that your fertiliser is organic, and does not contain urea-based nitrogen. Synthetic fertilisers may contain chemical additives that can damage orchid roots, while urea-based fertilisers can cause nitrogen overdose, a serious problem that can quickly kill many species of orchid.

For more information regarding garden supplies, contact a local company.