Although caring for orchids isn’t as difficult as it seems, it still requires some attention. However, it’s challenging to provide consistent care while you’re away from home. In this article, we’ll explain how to care for orchids while you’re on vacation.
How to Care for Orchids While You’re on Vacation
With a little effort before you go away, your orchids will be safe and sound while you’re on vacation. However, the duration of your holiday will affect how you prepare your orchids. With proper care, orchids can live for years to come.
Most indoor orchids will be fine with normal care if you only go away for a week. But if you’re going away for longer, you’ll need someone to come and care for your orchids. There are three main aspects of orchid care to remember while you’re on vacation.
Throughout the year, orchids need lots of bright, indirect sunlight. Ideally, your orchid should be located approximately 3 feet away from an east, southeast, or south-facing window.
This provides plenty of bright, indirect sunlight throughout the day. Your orchid will receive most of its light during the morning when the sun is less intense. Too much direct afternoon sunlight can burn your orchid’s leaves (and prevent reblooming), so protect it from intense afternoon light.
If you’ve already found the right light conditions for your orchid, you shouldn’t need to move it. Otherwise, move your orchid to an area with suitable light conditions before you go away.
Temperature and Humidity
Orchids need warm, humid conditions for most of the year (whether you’re growing them inside or outside). Ideally, temperatures should stay between 65 and 85ºF (18 to 30ºC), and humidity levels should stay between 50 and 80%. Keep in mind that different types of orchids may need slightly different temperatures and humidity levels (particularly during the winter).
As long as your household temperatures stay in this range, you shouldn’t need to move your orchid. Use humidifiers or pebble trays to maintain the right humidity levels around your orchid while you’re away.
If you’re using a pebble tray beneath your orchid potting vessel and are taking a long vacation, enlist someone to top up the tray weekly. If you’re using a humidifier, setting it on a timer can help keep your orchids happy, however long you’re away.
Orchids usually need watering every 5 to 10 days from spring until fall. If you’re just going away for a week or so, water your orchid thoroughly before you leave. It should have enough water to last until you get back.
However, if you’re going away for more than 10 days, you’ll need someone to come in and water your orchid. Once a week should be sufficient. Leave instructions for them to only use filtered water when watering your orchids (we generally recommend not watering orchids with ice cubes).
For week-long vacations, water your orchid just before you leave. Ensure your plant gets plenty of bright, indirect light and suitable household temperatures. Use pebble trays or humidifiers to maintain humidity. For more extended vacations, ask someone to come in and water your orchid once a week until you return.
For more, see our essential guide to orchid plant care after they finish blooming.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.
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