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Well, I was inspired by Sandie's latest pics of her beautiful orchids, so I bought a couple. Now I don't have the slightest idea what to do with them. I have a bay window over my kitchen sink that has bright, indirect light, a southeast exposure. I'm hoping they can stay there.

Also, they are in plastic liners that are just sitting in clay pots. Most of the orchids I've seen come in pots that have holes in the sides of the pot. Do I need to repot them? Do they need a special fertilizer? How often do they need to be watered? Obviously, I needs lots of help. :)
 

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web.mac.com/milbran220 (click on orchids)

Like my birthday ones? (first two pictures are of my phals... the last four are of my dendrobium)

I've had a lot of success with mine just leaving them in the pots they came in. That board someone linked... I'm on there too as "inara"... they have a lot of excellent advice. I was scared that I'd kill them but Phals are the easiest to take care of. Mine have had extreme temperatures and still thrived. All I do is water them 1 per week with some orchid food diluted over the course of a month (usually says on the box)... some people fertilize once a month but I'd knew I'd forget so I just dilute it in the water I use for regular waterings and they have done fine.

Just make sure the roots don't sit in water... there should be drainage. Mine have done fine with not a lot of humidity.

Just keep an eye on the leaf colors... those will be your first indication something is "wrong".

Mine are in a window facing east... I keep the blinds down but open all the time.
 

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Ditto what Lindsay said. I am no expert, but I have quite a few. Mine do not bloom, because I don't have the right kind of light to put them in. :-[ But I am successfully keeping them alive, and have been for years. Why I do this, no idea, because the foilage alone is nothing to write home about! :p I guess I'm thinking I will keep them until we move and then see if I have a situation where I could get them in better light.

Anyway, two things to add:

1) If you have the phals, the kind with the more prostrate leaf growth rather than a vertical stem...see the little cup shaped indention where the leaves grow from? In the middle of the plant? Whatever you do, do NOT let any water get in there and sit. Kills them quickly! Be careful to water below the leaves when you water to avoid any water dripping in there.

2) Orchids don't like to be repotted, so do this as infrequently as possible. They are probably fine in the pots they came in. Mine all came in plastic pots, and they seem to do well in these. I have the plastic pots inside of cachepots or other containers so they look pretty.

Other than this, they are pretty darn low-maintenance. Everyone thinks they are so hard, but as long as you keep them moist (but not sitting in any water, as Lindsay said) they are really hard to goof up!

Sometimes, when I am feeling charitable :D, I fill one of the sinks with water and orchid food, and let their roots soak until they are well-saturated, then take them out and let them drain. Like, I'll leave them in there for half an hour or so. They seem to enjoy this. :p I should probably do it more often, but I have to admit that most weeks they just get the faucet run over them for a few minutes. :D
 
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