First and foremost, the most important thing you need to know is what type of orchid you have. Without that information, you are simply guessing how to care for it! For help in identifying your orchid, visitEasyOrchidGrowing.com and watch the video titled “Common Types of Orchids.”
That being said, there are basic a few basic steps that will help you keep your orchids sunburn free. While most orchids thrive in bright, indirect sunlight, they are susceptible to sunburn if overexposed. If you’ve ever left an orchid in the midday sun, you know how easily they can burn—and how unsightly the damage can be. Luckily, it’s not that difficult to protect your orchids.
Behind the Curtain
When you bought curtains, you probably focused on home décor, but the strategic use of curtains—and blinds—can improve the chances of keeping your orchid healthy and green. The protective barrier and shading created by curtains provides a filter, supplying your orchids with the healthy dose of the indirect sunlight they crave.
In the Window
Some windows of the home naturally receive less direct sunlight than others. Depending on your location and your home’s orientation, curtains may not be necessary for orchids in north- and east-facing windows. Nevertheless, it's important to monitor the condition of your orchids. Just a touch too much sunlight, and you may start to see wilting, yellow leaves.
On the Move
In some homes, it may not be possible to use curtains and blinds; in others, natural sunlight may be inconsistent. It is best to slowly increase your orchid’s light levels to help prevent burning from too much light too quickly, which could cause sunburn. For example, you might start with your orchid in the center of a room, slowly move it closer to an east-facing window, and then slowly move it to a covered patio. But be careful, just as too much light can cause sunburn, too little can prevent proper blooming.
In the Great Outdoors
Most orchids are native to the rain forest, so they’re most comfortable in a humid, shady habitat. Consider mounting the orchid underneath a nice overhanging tree. The tree’s foliage will filter the sunlight and keep the orchid properly shaded. You can also place orchids beneath an awning or covered porch for shading. Keep in mind, however, that orchids have to be acclimated to their surroundings. A sudden move from your air conditioned den to a 90 degree outdoor location could be shocking. When relocating your plants, always ease them into the new situation gradually and monitor their progress to ensure continued health.
Now you know how to protect your orchids from sunburn! But don’t forget the importance of proper hydration and nourishment. Plants need energy, too, and a soluble plant food like Better-Gro® Orchid Plus® Plant Food can provide a much-needed boost for your orchids year-round.
For more information on orchids or orchid care, visit EasyOrchidGrowing.com.