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How Do I Plant Orchid Seedlings?

By Amber Eberle
Updated May 16, 2024
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Orchids are tropical plants that are prized for their delicate flowers. There are many species of orchids, but they all generally require similar care. Orchid seedlings sprout from seeds, and with proper care, will eventually produce flowers. For best results, orchid seedlings should be planted in pots indoors. They require a moist environment, moderate temperatures, and grow best in a mostly shaded area.

Growing orchids from seeds is a complicated process, and the resulting seedlings must be handled with great care. Young orchid seedlings should be planted in small pots which are 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7 cm) in diameter. They require a rich planting soil, which can be purchased from a nursery, or made by combining charcoal, bark, and perlite. A seedling should be gently placed in the pot, with soil loosely added around its roots. The plant's roots require a lot of oxygen in order to grow, so it is important that the soil is not too tightly packed around the plant.

These plants grow in the world's tropics, where they thrive in the moist, warm weather. In most other climates, orchid seedlings will grow best if they are planted indoors, where the temperature can be controlled. A sensitive seedling requires that the temperature be at least 64° Fahrenheit (18° C) during the evening, and 73° F (23° C) during the day. While orchids grow well in warm temperatures, the seedlings should not be exposed to temperatures above 82° F (28° C).

When planting orchid seedlings, they must be kept moist but not wet. A common watering technique involves placing small gardening stones in a tray, and then filling it with water until it reaches the top of the stones. The pots the seedlings are planted in can be placed on top of these stones, and moisture will be drawn into the soil through the bottom of the pot. A spray bottle should also be used to mist the seedlings with water each day.

While the orchid plant is a seedling, it does not require much sunlight. It should never be left on a windowsill that receives full sun, as the plant does best in a shaded area. As the seedlings grow, they should be fertilized one to two times a week with a liquid fertilizer formulated for orchids. A gardener must be patient after planting orchid seedlings, as they often require 18 to 24 months of care before flowers will bloom.

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