How Long Do Orchids Live? All You Need to Know about Growing Orchids

One of the most widely admired flowers is orchids. Beautiful, delicate, and with a captivating charm, many are interested in growing it in their homes. However, if you are an avid gardener like me who is fond of exploring the process of growing various plants and flowers, one of the questions you might have is how long do orchids live?

This has been an inquiry that peeks the interest of many. With that question in mind, I will help you discover the answer through this article. Together with it, I will also share with you the important things you need to know about orchids.

How Long Do Orchids Live?

Orchids mostly live long and some species are considered almost immortal. However, this will, of course, depend on the variety of orchid and the quality of care it is given. You must also take note that there are flowering periods which typically last for about two to three months.

This is then followed by a resting period wherein, the flower falls. Few orchid owners, especially the new ones will assume the plant is dead when this happens. During this period, although it is not evident, the orchid plant is using this resting stage to store energy and prepare for the next flowering period.

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To understand this further, let me discuss the life cycle of an orchid plant. From pollination, the seed pods of an orchid will usually take 6 to 8 months to mature. After maturity, the orchid plant gathers energy from its leaves causing it to usually turn yellow and fall off.

It will take three months after this time that your orchid will go into its flowering period. Following the flowering period, the orchid plant will go into its resting period wherein it stores nutrients and energy. Once again, after the resting stage, the orchid plant re-blooms which can happen once every 8 to 12 months and can be pollinated again.

To cut it short, the orchid plant can live for several years and potentially even reach a decade. With continued proper care for your orchid plant, your efforts invested in it is paid off with your orchid lasting for a long time.

A very big aspect to consider is providing the best care to extend your plant’s lifespan. To achieve that, I will share with you the knowledge and best practices I have acquired over the years from my own gardening experiences through this article.

How To Plant Orchids?

1. To start off, pick the kind of orchid plant you want to grow in your home. Research on the different species of orchids since there are over tens of thousands of them to choose from.

(Tip: For beginners, the type of orchid easiest to grow are Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, and Paphiopedilum)

beautiful pink phalaenopsis orchid flower

Beautiful Pink Phalaenopsis Orchid Flower

2. Use a type of soil that is loose and porous to help the plant breathe as it grows. A common mistake by beginners is selecting potting soil to use for the orchid plant. Orchid plants need more air and have something their roots can hold on to as they grow.

Most gardeners opt to use coconut husks, charcoal, sphagnum moss, styrofoam pellets, and bark chips as potting mix.

3. Choose a pot small enough to plant your orchid in. Having sufficient holes in the pot for proper drainage is important as excessive water is not helpful and can cause damage to your orchid plant.

(Tip: Some of the non-traditional pot options you can try are net pots with wire mesh that allows the roots of the orchid plant to breathe. Another type is a clear plastic pot that allows more sunlight and gives a better view of the plant’s root system for your regular inspection.)

beautiful pink phalaenopsis orchid flower

4. Lastly, monitor your orchid plant and assess is the right time to re-pot. It is advisable to do repotting once you have noticed some of the lower leaves have withered or when the pot seems too small for the orchid plant. It is also important to do this if you start to notice that the roots are wasting away.

Check out the video version​

Proper Way of Caring for Orchids

1. The correct temperature

Orchids are known as exotic plants which mean most of them are from regions of tropical climate. Determined by species of orchid, the temperature should be around 65 to 75 Fahrenheit or 18 to 24 degrees Celsius.

(Tip: To promote new buds, drop the atmospheric conditions of your orchid’s environment during the night by 10 degrees especially during autumn and winter seasons.)

2. The right amount of sunlight

Gardener spraying herbicide

Exposing your orchid plant in direct sunlight can burn the leaves and petal tips while not getting enough will prevent it to flower. The trick is to position your orchid plant near a window facing east or south to get the healthy balance of sunlight it requires.

(Tip: Regularly check your orchid plant’s leaves to determine whether it’s getting too exposed to the sun or not having enough of it. You can also place them near windows with curtains or blinds so they can get just enough sunlight without being directly exposed to it.)

3. The right amount of water

Watering your orchid plant too frequently can easily kill it. Excessive water left in between the leaves and the crown can cause rotting which in turn destroys the plant’s tissue and in worst cases kill your orchid.

This goes the same when the roots are constantly left sitting in water. It is best to water your orchid weekly. However, throughout the dry season, it may require you to shorten the watering period.

(Tip: Sprinkle water over your orchid plant for about 15 seconds after which let it dry out. Remember to not leave water on the plant dish or container.)

4. The right level of humidity

Since orchids thrive in tropical weather, be sure to observe the humidity of your growing room to be always at around 50 to 75%.

(Tip: To achieve the required humidity level for your orchid plant, you can place a humidifier nearby.)

For more tips, check out this video

Conclusion

Ultimately, it is true that orchids require a bit more care and attention compared to other plants, but in return gives you a long lifespan. Not only that, orchids also offer a wide range of species that can yield amazing results and give added value to your garden.

Was this article helpful in answering your question on how long orchids live? Do you have other suggestions regarding this topic? I hope I was able to share some important things to get you started with growing your own orchid plant.

Feel free to let me know your thoughts by leaving your comment below.

Dan Harris
 

Hi. I'm Dan Harris. My wife and I started gardening 5 years ago. Neither one of us had any gardening background but we loved the idea of growing our own organic food. Over the years, our garden has almost doubled in size and I’ve learned a lot from my season’s successes and failures. I’ve been excited to share my own beginning knowledge and special skills with all garden lovers.

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