Keep in mind that these instructions apply to the orchids we sell and grow; specifically, these instructions apply to the typical New England house and are catered to the growing medium we use.  For more specific instructions according to exact species or hybrid or for other types of orchids, please see the American Orchid Society website for orchid information and culture sheets at www.aos.org.  The American Orchid Society provides its members with invaluable information in its monthly magazine, Orchids, and discounts to many events as well as contributing greatly to the preservation of orchids and orchid-growing.

Cattleyas

Light: Bright light; East or South facing windowsill

Water: Flush when completely dry (usually once/week); Water enough so that water is flowing out of the bottom of the pot

Temperature: Intermediate (down to 50 degrees at night and up to 85 degrees during the day); temperature drop at night is good!  All orchids need air movement, so open windows in the summer and keep a fan on year-round.

Fertilization: Every other week; if using over-the-counter cut dosage in half

Humidity: When the heaters or woodstoves go on, use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water

Dendrobiums

Light: Bright light; East or South facing windowsill

Water: Flush when almost dry (usually every 5 days); some need a rest in the winter (don’t water much); Water enough so that water is flowing out of the bottom of the pot

Temperature: Intermediate (down to 50 degrees at night and up to 85 degrees during the day); temperature drop at night is good!  All orchids need air movement, so open windows in the summer and keep a fan on year-round.

Fertilization: Every other week; if using over-the-counter cut dosage in half

Humidity: When the heaters or woodstoves go on, use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water

Nobile Type Dendrobiums

Light: Bright – but plenty of air movement, they like cool weather

Water: Flush regularly through Spring and Summer, cut back and water only when fully dry through fall and winter

Temperature: Intermediate (same as regular Dendrobiums), BUT put outside in the late summer if not already out side – these guys need night temperatures in the low 50’s for at least a month to set their blooms

Fertilization: Fertilize regularly through the Spring and Summer, DO NOT fertilize in Fall and Winter

Humidity: When the heaters or woodstoves go on, use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water

Miltoniopsis (the pansy orchid)

Light: Low light, needs shade if in a bright room or window

Water: Do not dry out; needs regular flushing (usually every 4 days); Water enough so that water is flowing out of the bottom of the pot

Temperature: Cool to intermediate (down to 50 degrees at night and up to 80 degrees during the day); temperature drop at night is good!  All orchids need air movement, so open windows or keep a fan on, particularly in the summer heat which can blast buds and new growth.

Fertilization: Every other week – less if necessary because roots are very sensitive to burning; make sure to fully flush every other watering; if using over-the-counter cut dosage in half

Humidity: These love humidity!  Use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water

Oncidium Intergenerics

Light: Bright indirect light; Southwest windowsills work well, or place just out of direct light in a brighter room

Water: Do not dry out!  Flush when almost completely dry (usually every 5 days); Water enough so that water is flowing out of the bottom of the pot

Temperature: Intermediate (down to 50 degrees at night and up to 85 degrees during the day); temperature drop at night is good!  All orchids need air movement, so open windows in the summer and keep a fan on year-round.

Fertilization: Every other week; if using over-the-counter cut dosage in half

Humidity: When the heaters or woodstoves go on, use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water

Odontiodas:

Same as Oncidiums, except ondontiodas are less heat tolerant, so when the summer heat goes above 80 degrees make sure they are in the shade with lots of air movement.

Paphiopedilums (lady slippers)

Light: Like the shade; West windowsills work well, or place just out of direct light in a brighter room

Water: Do not dry out, but do not get soggy; Flush when almost completely dry (usually every 5 days), make sure to water directly into the medium, water in the leaves or crown will result in rot; Water enough so that water is flowing out of the bottom of the pot

Temperature: Intermediate (down to 50 degrees at night and up to 85 degrees during the day); temperature drop at night is good!  All orchids need air movement, so open windows in the summer and keep a fan on year-round.

Fertilization: Every other week – less if necessary because roots are very sensitive to burning; make sure to fully flush every other watering; if using over-the-counter, cut dosage in half

Humidity: When the heaters or woodstoves go on, use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water

Phragmipediums (Phrags)

Light: Indirect, bright light

Water: Phrags need and love water!  Either flush medium every day, or put pot in a bowl of water which you refresh every few days to avoid build up of algae, medium, etc.

Temperature: Intermediate (down to 50 degrees at night and up to 85 degrees during the day); temperature drop at night is good!  All orchids need air movement, so open windows in the summer and keep a fan on year-round.

Fertilization: Every other week – less if necessary because roots are very sensitive to burning; make sure to fully flush every other watering; if using over-the-counter, cut dosage in half

Humidity: When the heaters or woodstoves go on, use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water

Phalaenopsis (moth orchid)

Light: Like the shade; West windowsills work well, or place just out of direct light in a brighter room; Leaves should not be warm to the touch

Water: Do not dry out, but do not get soggy; Flush when almost completely dry (usually every 5 days), make sure to water directly into the medium, water in the leaves or crown will result in rot; Water enough so that water is flowing out of the bottom of the pot

Temperature: Intermediate (down to 50 degrees at night and up to 85 degrees during the day); temperature drop at night is good!  All orchids need air movement, so open windows in the summer and keep a fan on year-round.

Fertilization: Every other week; if using over-the-counter cut dosage in half

Humidity: When the heaters or woodstoves go on, use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water

Zygos (this includes Galeopetalums, Zygonesias, Aganax, etc.)

Light: Indirect light, can take shade

Water: Do not dry out but do not get soggy.  Flush regularly – they like to be watered a little more frequently – until water is flowing out of the bottom of the pot

Temperature: Intermediate (down to 50 degrees at night and up to 85 degrees during the day); temperature drop at night is good!  All orchids need air movement, so open windows in the summer and keep a fan on year-round.

Fertilization: Every other week; if using over-the-counter cut dosage in half

Humidity: When the heaters or woodstoves go on, use humidity trays or make your own by placing pebbles (keep them wet) on a plate and place the orchid on top so that the water evaporates around the orchid but its roots aren’t sitting in water