General care for most orchids includes maintaining appropriate moisture levels and proper lighting, in that order. While most orchids can adapt to different light levels in the average home, very few can tolerate being too wet or too dry for extended periods of time. It is for this reason so many people are intimidated by the idea of keeping orchids.
So how do you water your new orchid?
We recommend investing in a low-cost spray bottle or mister. They can be found almost everywhere from grocery and hardware stores to garden centers and beauty supply stores. We promise it doesn't need to be anything special! You will use the mister to water your orchid rather than poring water into the media. This insures even distribution of the water and allows it to be soaked up rather than running through.
Your plant will come with a very light layer of sphagnum moss on top of the media, this provides two benefits:
1) It helps retain the right amount of moisture in the media beneath it.
2) It works as a built in water meter!
When the sphagnum moss is 95% dry and a little spongy, mist it directly until it's moist again. Feel free to give it a couple of extra sprays to ensure the water penetrates the sphagnum. Mist the whole surface of the sphagnum, not just the base of the plant. Remember, you want the water evenly distributed. Our Pars Terrae Mix is designed to allow just the right amount of water to be retained (chronic over-waterers rejoice!). That's it! Avoid pouring water into the media and never use ice cubes.
- Jewel orchids are some of the lowest maintenance, easiest to grow orchids. It is for this reason they are typically recommended for beginning enthusiasts.
- In terms of moisture and temperature, this species appreciates typical tropical conditions however, because our plants ship hardened off, they will be more tolerant of slightly cooler, dryer climates such as a typical home or office. Please see our Extras menu for our cost effective 2-in-1 digital temperature/humidity monitor.
- Jewel orchids prefer slightly lower light levels than most plants, making them a great choice for a room with low or artificial light.
- Natural lighting should be medium, indirect or filtered and never direct sun.
- Jewel orchids are known to do well under artificial lighting such as typical home or office lighting and indoor grow lights. We have selected our favorite low cost, discrete grow lights for use with Jewel orchids and made them available in the Lighting menu. These are the same lights we use in our nurseries and highly recommend them for any area you choose to supplement lighting for your new orchid.
- Growing media should be kept moist but never saturated.
- Care should be taken to prevent water from collecting and sitting on foliage for extended periods of time.
- Good air circulation is recommended to prevent rot or decay of foliage and roots. Air circulation in homes and offices will typically be sufficient provided your orchid is kept in the recommended terrestrial orchid media.
- We highly recommend using a media designed specifically for terrestrial orchids. Growing media should be light, airy and very well draining with the ability to maintain a good level of moisture. Should you need more media than what your orchid is shipped with, please visit our Pars Terrae Mix page for our pre-mixed media available for purchase.
- Jewel orchids are typically not cold hardy and should be kept above 65 degrees at all times with warmer temperatures (75 to 85 degrees) being preferred for vigorous growth. Make sure you place your new orchid outside of drafts created by indoor heating and cooling systems.
- These are terrestrial orchids that are native to tropical environments. While they can tolerate lower humidity levels, we recommend a humidity tray or regular misting (fine mist only) to maintain humidity levels in dryer climates.
- Specimens kept in a terrarium or vivarium do not require misting.
- Your orchid will be shipped in fresh Pars Terrae Mix designed specifically for terrestrial orchids blended by hand here at PA Orchid Exchange. Because it contains nutrient rich, organic worm castings with a high bio-availability, we recommend you do not fertilize for at least 8 months after receipt. A mixture of 1/4 strength (diluted with water) orchid fertilizer of your choice can be applied once a month during the growing season (typically spring to fall) if desired after the 8 month waiting period.
- Chemical fertilizers are never recommended for use inside vivariums or on plants you plan on putting inside a vivarium.
* Please consider that snails, slugs and foliage-eating reptiles are particularly drawn to Jewel orchids and can quickly damage your plant. We do not recommend co-inhabiting these species. In addition, while most Jewel orchids are rated as non-toxic, we can not guarantee the level of toxicity should it be consumed by your pet.
Jewel Orchids are surprisingly resilient in less than favorable conditions, however for the highest growth rate and healthiest plants, we recommend following the care tips as closely as possible.
As always we are available to help answer any questions you may have regarding care, re-potting or placement of your new orchid. Please remember that accompanying your inquiry with photos will allow us to give you the most accurate advice possible. Contact us