Growing Orchids Indoors

This page is about growing orchids indoors on a windowsill, not under lights in a specially-designed orchid habitat.

For indoor orchid care, as with growing orchids anywhere else, you need to figure out how to provide the right light, temperatures, and humidity. Below, you'll learn how to get these right.

Orchids generally grow best in a south- or east-facing window. North-facing windows generally get insufficient light (in the northern hemisphere) and west-facing windows often get too hot in the afternoon. East windows get most of their light early in the morning, so the light intensity is usually less than south windows. If you have a choice between an east-facing and a south-facing window, base it on how much light your types of orchids need.

In temperate climates in the winter, the area near a window often gets cold. Adjust the plants' distance from the glass until they get the temperatures they appreciate (which depends on the type of orchid.) Note that this also affects the amount of light the plant gets (as does how high the sun is over the horizon), so you'll have to balance those factors appropriately for each plant.

As typical homes have low humidity, your orchids will appreciate daily misting with a spray bottle, especially on any aerial roots they might have growing up out of the pot. You also might want to make a humidity tray: fill a tray with gravel, then add water to just below the level of the gravel and set the plants on top. The gravel should keep the plants from sitting in water while evaporation raises the humidity.

Show Me YOUR Orchid Growing Area!

Show off where you grow your orchids, with pictures and descriptions! Whether it's a window, a greenhouse, an area outdoors, an orchidarium, or a special climate-controlled room in the basement, I'd like to know how you've set up your space for growing orchids. What were some of your main considerations in setting it up? Other readers will appreciate your story! (And many orchid growers enjoy boasting about their setups.)

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