Close up of pink orchids

About Orchids: Care & Tips

Orchids come in all sizes and colors, making them a favorite at home and at NYBG. This year our horticulturists put together Spotlight on Orchids, a display of some of our favorite orchids from our world-renowned collection—which includes over 2,000 varieties. Explore orchid care tips and videos and learn more about the diverse world of orchids from home.

Orchid Care Tips

Potted orchids at NYBG Shop.

Where to purchase
Plant nurseries tend to have a wider variety, and the orchids are generally in better condition than those found at big box stores.

Getting the orchid home
Orchids are sensitive to changes in temperature. If it is a cold day, request the that vendor wrap the plant for your trip home, or keep the orchid in a bag.

Once home
The orchid needs time to adjust to its new environment. Establish a regular watering routine, keep it away from other plants for three weeks, and check regularly for signs of pests or disease.

Photo of someone spritzing an orchid

Watering starts with the right pot
Orchids need water, but it is easy to overwater if you’re not careful. Make sure your plant’s pot has good drainage.

Orchids love humidity
This can be achieved at home through misting the leaves, setting up a humidifier near the plant, or placing its pot atop a tray of pebbles in water.

The amount of water an orchid needs depends on the type of orchid and the potting medium. Here is a good place to start.

A person putting an orchid in a pot

Orchids should be repotted every one to two years. Look for roots growing out of the pot, or potting medium that is compacted or rotting.

Wait until after the orchid has finished flowering, otherwise the flowers will wilt and fall off from the shock of repotting.

Keep it clean. Orchids are at their most vulnerable when being repotted. Before starting, soak the new potting medium and thoroughly clean all tools and pots.

How to Repot an Orchid

Learn the simple steps to keeping your own orchid thriving at home.

About Orchids

Orchids are one of the largest and most highly evolved flowering plant families. An estimated 30,000 wild species grow worldwide in habitats ranging from rain forest to desert. Orchid breeders have augmented this remarkable natural diversity by hybridizing and naming more than 100,000 horticultural varieties.

#NYBGFacts: Vanilla Orchid

Did you know vanilla comes from an orchid? Check out this video to learn more about this amazing flower.