House Plants

How Long Does An Orchid Live Inside?

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How long does an orchid live inside? it would vary depending on the orchid species and the care treatments you provide. Orchid species like Phalaenopsis can thrive for several years to even several decades. However, what is important here is to provide the right care. 

In fact, orchids can perform well indoors if you ensure that you provide the right care tips. Literally, they can do better than outdoors. Sp, let’s begin to discover more on this subject.

How Long Does An Orchid Live Inside

How long do orchids live outdoors?

Orchids can live for a number of years when they grow outdoors. If they get the perfect conditions to grow, chances are that they can bloom twice a year too. However, one might think, when orchids drop their flowers that the plants are dying, but it is not. That is how they have naturally structured and they could rebloom within six months’ time.

If I briefly explain on the orchid blooms, they are so spectacular to look at and they could last for 6-8 weeks as well. Again, it could vary on the orchid species though. Further orchid stems such as dendrobium and Phalaenopsis can stay alive for two to three weeks if you manage to look after them well. Additionally, a healthy vigorous Phalaenopsis can retain their flowers up to four months too

How to keep orchids alive indoors?

You need to think on several factors to consider when looking after these plants. So, first and foremost, it is very important that you select the right potting medium to grow them. Orchids are susceptible to root rot. As such it is very important that you provide a pot which has sufficient drainage so that excess water could move out. Additionally, your potting soil needs to have excellent drainage as well. 

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Furthermore, if you have grown the plants in bark, you need to water the plants more often as it has an excellent drainage when you compare them with the other potting mediums. Further keep in mind that you have to water the plants only if their soil is dry. Besides watering, exposing them for sufficient sunlight is also a vital factor when it comes to looking after the plants well when you plant them indoors. 

Moreover, they would prefer to have indirect sunlight and not direct sunlight. So, if you had placed them by a bright sunny windowsill and the sunrise is too intense, you could consider placing a sheer or a gauzy curtain so that you could diffuse the sunlight. In terms of the right temperatures, they would prefer to have warmer temperatures right throughout the year. 

Ideally a temperature range of 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit would work well with the plants. further a humidity level of 40 % to 60% would be optimal conditions for the orchids. I recommend not to expose the plants to humidity levels below 40 %.

If that happens, best is to mist the orchids with plain water. Not only that but also, you could place the orchids near the bathroom when you have a shower so that it would help to enhance the humidity levels.

In fact, they would prefer to be around a hot shower when the heat and the steam is around. Apart from these factors, you could consider feeding the plants once a week preferably in the growing season. You could choose a liquid 20-20-20 complete fertilizer to do this task. These fertilizers consist of trace elements which are at quarter strength. 

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Ideally you need to apply these fertilizers from spring through fall. You can be tactful in skipping feeding the plants every fourth week and just use water in that week. That will allow you to remove the salt build ups in the plants. Further refrain from fertilizing the plants when they are blooming. Further avoid feeding them when they are going through stress and seem to be unhealthy.

How Long Does An Orchid Live Inside

Is it hard to keep the plants alive?

To answer the question whether it is difficult to keep the plants alive, yes it would be somewhat difficult to keep them alive. If you are a forgetful gardener, you better go ahead with succulents like snake plants, as orchids need care on a consistent level. 

Having said that, if you are dying to have an orchid in your indoor set up and if you are all set to look after them well, orchids would flourish and grow to their fullest potential.

Do orchids need sunlight?

Orchids need sunlight as explained in the above. Thus, ensure that you keep them in a brightly lit area but not exposed to direct extreme sunlight. The exposure for direct sunlight would badly affect the flowering of the plants. Further keep in mind that if your orchid leaves are larger, you need to expose them for less sunlight. So, I recommend keeping the plants closer to a bright sunny windowsill so that they can gain adequate sunlight.

If you think the sunlight would be too intense there, you could place a curtain to filter the sunlight. On the other hand, if the plants are lacking sufficient sunlight, you could consider placing sun lamps or any other artificial lights.

How often should orchids be watered?

To briefly answer the question of the watering frequency , it would depend on the orchid species and on the environment as well. However, in a general context you could water the orchids just once a week or it could even be once every ten days. That said, ensure that you do not make the plant soil saturated and waterlogged.

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Usually, orchids would perform well with minimal water when you compare them with the rest of other plants. For example, orchids such as Phalaenopsis plants would thrive on larger plants, trees and absorb water from the air and from their roots. Thus, you can water them with just 1/16 cup of water weekly.

On the other hand, if there is ample drainage in your container, you can water them once every two to three weeks. Besides, you may also use ice cubes to water them too. You may simply place them on the soil layer. If you spot the orchids looking wrinkled, that literally means the plants need water.

How long can orchids live without water?

Majority of the orchids can thrive without water for two to three weeks. Further chances are that they can thrive without water for one month too. For example, orchids such as Cattleyas, Dendrobiums and Phalaenopsis would survive well without water for three weeks. However, they could thrive only if they have a moistened soil mix.


One might think, taking care of the orchids would be challenging. However, if you provide the right conditions, they will grow well and reward you with attractive flowers too. So, I hope now you are all set to start cultivating them indoors.

Credit to : MissOrchidGirl

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I'm Dr. Chamika and I'm a Researcher in Water quality, Aquatic organisms, and Environmental chemistry. Our highly qualified team is trying to educate you in various aspects of the day to day life in many ways. Their mission is to help others to enjoy their life to the fullest.