Planting an Orchid
Planting an orchid is a relatively easy task, however, traditional gardening methods will not work with this flower. Orchids typically will not grow in ordinary soil so you will need some additional materials to start your new orchid garden.
Choose an Appropriate Pot
One of the main differences with orchids is that they need a significantly larger amount of drainage capabilities than most flowers. Most pots will not work for orchids so it will be important to choose carefully. There are actually a number of pots on the market with multiple drainage outlets designed specifically for growing orchids. Another option for orchids is to use flowerpots made out of recycled organic materials. These allow drainage to occur naturally and are actually quite affordable.
Orchid Planting Soil
Because orchids do not grow in traditional planting soil, you will need to choose another material. The most common product used for growing orchids is a mixture of pine bark, which allows the roots of the flower to attach while still receiving nutrients. Commercially, an orchid bark mixture containing fertilizer especially designed for growing orchid flowers is also available.
There are several types of fertilizer that can be especially beneficial for orchids. There are commercial brands that are available that can be diluted in water and used on a monthly basis depending on whether or not the flowers are in bloom. Also, some gardeners prefer to mix their own using natural products and following the same regimen as with commercial fertilizers. These can be mixtures of ground up eggshells or bones as well as fruits high in potassium such as bananas. Whatever mixture you choose, prepare a diluted cup of about one third fertilizer to water content before planting your new orchid.
Prepare the Soil
Once you have decided upon the appropriate soil, layer the bottom of the pot with the bark up to about 6 inches away from the top of the pot. Flood the pot with water and allow it to drain to make sure that it will function properly as well as to prep the soil before planting the flower. Make sure that the water does not sit stagnant for more than a few seconds in the pot before draining. Once you are comfortable with the time that it took to drain, pour your fertilizer mixture in the same fashion onto the bark and set aside away from direct sunlight. Allow it to set for at least an hour before returning to plant the flower and finish the project.
Finalizing the Planting
After allowing the soil and fertilizer mixture to set, it is now time to plant the orchid. With one hand, hold the orchid in place so that the roots are touching the bottom of the soil mixture. With the other hand, fill in the empty space with more bark soil until it reaches a few inches from the lip of the pot. Once the flower is secure, flood with water again and allow it to drain. In the next weeks, water on a regular basis and then every other week after that. Fertilize once per month.