As diverse as they are beautiful, orchids of all kinds thrive in Hawaii’s tropical climate. If you’re new to orchid care, use this quick guide to ensure yours add color and vibrancy to your home year after year.
Place orchids in a semi-shady location.
Put the flowers on a shaded patio, in front of a window with curtains, or in another location that doesn’t receive full sun. They require bright filtered light to thrive since full sun can burn them.
Examine the leaves often to check that the flowers are receiving enough sunlight. If they are dark instead of light green, they’re not getting enough light. If the leaves are yellow, they’re receiving too much light. Without the proper amount of light, orchids may fail to bloom at all.
Wait until each flower has fully bloomed before repotting.
Repot the flowers once they have finished blooming. Transplanting orchids while they are still in the blooming phase can shock them, causing them to drop their flowers and die.
When you do repot, use a potting media designed for orchids, such as mixture of bark, perlite or spaghnum moss. Standard soil from your backyard is too dense. It contains too much moisture that won’t allow roots to breath and contributes to root rot.
Repot plants loosely in pots.
Firmly pack plenty of appropriate potting media around your orchids and use stakes, such as curly willow or green bamboo, to keep them upright. Orchid plants will struggle in too-loose media often resulting in exposed root systems. Exposed roots become vulnerable to pests, such as snails and slugs, and diseases, such as root rot.
Give too much fertilizer.
Fertilize the plants with slow release orchid food or with standard liquid fertilizer at half the recommended rate. Slow release pellets only need to be applied once a year after flowers have bloomed. Liquid fertilizer can be given at every other watering but stop a few months before blooming. Too-much fertilizing will allow the plant to grow robustly but may not trigger flowering bypassing the blooming season.
If you have further care questions or need more tips, contact Akatsuka Orchid Gardens. The family-owned orchid nursery has served Hawaii and the mainland since 1972 and specializes in cattleya hybrids. They also sell fir bark and peat moss, among other potting mediums. Call (808) 967-8234 or visit the wholesaler and retailer online for more information on their flowers.