Orchid Growing Tips: 5 Beginner's Mistakes & How to Avoid Them

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Dendrobium Orchid

We all make mistakes!

Mistakes are a natural part of the learning process - the important thing is that we learn from them. But even better than learning from our mistakes is learning from someone else's mistakes. So, we decided to put together a list of the five most common mistakes made by amateur orchid-growers to help you to avoid sending your orchid to an early grave.

1. Over-watering
By far the most common cause of an orchid's premature death is by overwatering. Do not water every day and allow excess water to drain from the pot. Too much water around an orchid's roots will cause them to rot and die. Check out our article and this blog entry for information about watering your orchids.

2. Low humidity
Whilst water in the liquid form is bad for the roots, an orchid needs to be in a humid environment so that it's foliage can 'suck' water from the air. Most indoor environments will not have enough humidity for your orchid to thrive, so you will have to increase the levels artificially. One option is to create a humidity tray

3. Potting in soil
Believe it or not, this happens time and time again. The new orchid grower purchases their first orchid, takes it home and re-pots it in a pot of soil! Within a week the orchid is dead. NEVER EVER pot an orchid in soil. In the wild orchids attach themselves to plants and rocks to grow. They need aeration around the roots or they will suffocate. Take a look at our article to get an idea of alternative potting mixes.

4. Keep out of direct sunlight
Yes, orchids like lots of light but that does not mean putting them in direct sunlight - they will get sunburnt and irreparable damage will be caused. Read this article about orchids and light to find out more.

5. Don't forget fertilizer
Your orchids need to be fed fertilizer to get the essential nutrients they need to survive - water and light simply are not enough! This article contains details of where to get your orchid fertilizer and how to feed your orchid.