in Hanging Baskets
American Orchid Society
Orchids look beautiful and perform well in hanging baskets
Many varieties of orchids are easy to grow. Their blooms are very
long-lasting and they grow well inside the house, on a covered porch or
under a shady tree.
With 30,000 different species of orchids, it is impossible to give
specific care and cultivation instructions, so we have below general
guidelines that have worked well for us.
Terrestrial orchids live on the ground.
Paphiopedilums (lady slipper) and some
cymbidium orchids are
terrestrial orchids and grow well in potting soil.
However most other tropical orchids however are epiphytes. Epiphytic
orchids usually live on the branches of trees and have "air-roots".
Cattleyas, vandas, phalaenopsis, and dendrobiums are common examples of
So when selecting your orchids, besides reading the label, look at
how they are potted – if they are in a container of potting soil they
will most likely be terrestrial orchids, if they are is moss or bark
they are epiphytes - orchids which love to hang.
For epiphyte orchids, the growing medium must provide good air
circulation and permit water to drain very quickly – hence why most are
grown in moss or bark mix.
Epiphyte orchids grow most successfully in containers that allow
circulation of air to their roots – so hanging baskets lined with
sphagnum moss or coconut fiber make an ideal home.
Terrestrial orchids can also be grown successfully in hanging
All orchids look great in baskets especially when the hanging basket
is planted on mass and orchids are side-planted into the side of the
Orchids like a shady spot out of the direct sun. Placing your hanging
basket of orchids in too much sunlight will stress the plant resulting
in yellow and burnt leaves.
Most orchids can tolerate drought far better than they can tolerate
excess moisture. Nothing will kill your orchid faster than letting it
sit in a water-logged pot.
As a very general rule, orchids should be watered once every 5 – 10
days depending upon the type of orchid
Varieties that need to be kept evenly moist (not soggy or wet) at all
Paphiopedilum, Miltonia, Cymbidium, Odontoglossum.
Varieties to keep evenly moist during active growth and then that can
be allowed to dry out between waterings include Cattleya, Oncidium,
Varieties to let dry out between waterings include Phalaenopsis,
Your orchid hanging basket or planter should not sit or soak in
excess water for any period of time.
Orchids need to be fertilized for optimum growth and flowering.
Fertilizer should only be applied when plants are in active growth.
This means that most orchids should not be fertilized in midwinter, or
right after they have been repotted.
Some orchid growers like to apply a liquid fertilizer – some very
diluted amounts each week, other more generous amounts once a month.
For a slow release
Dynamite is popular – it is sold at many garden centers, Home Depot
and Lowes. The fertilizer for orchids is in the red canister – click
here for more information.
When potting your orchids into your hanging basket be very gentle
when shake off excess potting mixture. Do not over-handle the root
If you orchids do not want to stay put – use a plant support or green
florist wire to hold them in place till their roots develop.
Click this link for answers to some more FAQ on orchids.