Potting and Growing Orchids
Most vandaceous orchids, a few Phaleanopsis, and Dendrobiums can be grown easily in wooden slatted baskets, without any compost at all, this method requires frequent watering.
Cattleya and Cymbidiums do well in a mix of bark chippings, perlite, and charcoal to keep the mixture sweet.
Oncidiums, Dendrobiums, Odontoglossums, and Catlias will also be happy in this mixture. Consider the thickness of the chosen orchid roots when deciding to use large, medium, or small bark chippings.
Paphiopedilums and Phragmipediums prefer a mixture of Rockwool, bark foam, sphagnum moss, and perlite.
Vanda’s and many other species can be placed in a wooden open basket and allow their roots to grow openly in the air – this method requires constant attention to watering and spraying for humidity.
Rainwater is the best option; otherwise, endeavour to use water produced by reverse osmosis systems unless you are extremely sure about the quality of your local water supply.
Spring and summer
I spray my Vanda’s on a daily basis and in the hot summer months (yes I know it’s the UK, but I live in Cornwall), remember these roots are airborne.
My potted orchids are plunged in a bucket of water for at least 30 minutes once a week – if the weather is cooler every two weeks will be fine.
The pseudobulbs post-winter will be wrinkled and as spring approaches and you start watering the orchids on a more regular basis they will fill out. Start feeding in the new-year and continue every couple of months.
Autumn to winter
Vanda’s are watered when roots appear white; when you water then they’ll change colour to light green – water every other day, but spray daily.
Potted plants water sparingly, I water mine every couple of months in the winter as the pseudobulbs keep the orchid okay.
NEVER over water – make sure the roots are dry not the bark or soil.