Orchids require quite a bit of time in order to get the results you want. Here I am going to talk about some general tips to make sure that your orchid grows healthy and blooms happily.
Orchid seeds are nearly impossibly small, so it is best to get an already established plant. Repot it in a fast-draining medium that also holds water. Good options are bark based or peat based mixtures. You want it to drain easily to prevent rotting of the roots, but retain enough water that the plant doesn’t dry out quickly.
To get your orchid to grow properly indoors, you will need to use south or east facing windows to give them the proper amount of light. Windows with northern exposure don’t give enough light and those with western exposure can be too hot.
Feed your plant a balanced fertilizer regularly. Stay away from anything with urea. Many growers use a diluted solution in water once a week, others fertilize once a month. But never fertilize a dry plant, as it could burn the roots. Water first, and then fertilize.
Troubleshooting your orchid:
If your orchid fails to rebloom, that is a sign it needs more light. Look at the leaves. If they are the color of grass or have slightly yellow tones, then it is getting the right amount of light and it should continue to bloom. If the leaves are too yellow or they turn white, your plant is getting too much sun and its chlorophyll is being destroyed.
When your plant has shriveled leaves, it signals a lack of water to the plant. This could mean a few things, and requires investigation. Look at the medium your plant has been living in, because it might need to be replaced or it might not be holding enough water. You must also look at the roots of your plant to see if they are plump and either white or green in color. If the roots are not in good shape, it cannot take up water no matter what you do. To try and save the plant, you must raise the humidity in the air around the plant and repot/replace the plant medium and hope for the best.
Unfortunately, wet growing conditions along with too-high levels of humidity can bring on fungal or bacterial rot. There are many sites online where you can compare what signs your plant is exhibiting to common diseases and issues as well as giving you tips on what to do to correct the problem.
If you notice that buds are falling off before they open, there could be several reasons. Sometimes changes in the temperature can affect the blooms (for example, check to see if there is a heating/cooling duct aiming at your plant). It could be that you are under- or over- watering the plant. Maybe you moved the plant somewhere new before the buds opened, that can also cause them to fall off. The air around your plant might be too dry. Another issue could be pests – common culprits are mites, aphids, thrips, or mealybugs – or even ants, although ants are usually attracted to a food source and are often a sign of another infestation.
I hope you have found this post useful!