Everyone gets sick once in a while, but what happens to your orchids when you are unable to get up to care for them? With every change in the season comes a host of fevers to put you to bed. So it needs a careful thought about managing the orchids in case you fall sick. As these are the plants which require constant attention, how do you do that when it gets near impossible to get out of bed. Get help? What if there is no one to help?
Though, you can ask someone in your family or the neighbours or even friends to help. You can also hire help, but what if any of the above options are not possible? There are some things that you can do before-hand to prepare your orchids for such a situation.
1. Arranging the orchids according to the different requirements, like water and light. Those which require more water can be placed together in a place which can be shaded. This will reduce the metabolism of the orchids and lead to less consumption of water.
2. You can also maintain a higher level of humidity around the orchids by covering them up with plastic sheets/bags with holes punctured in to allow flow of air, to prevent loss of moisture by evaporation. Or by reducing the air flow around the plants by shifting these to a less airy place. You can also install a humidifier and maintain a higher level of humidity during the time you are sick.
3. Another option is keep in handy the growth media covers. I know about two types, plastic covers or coconut fiber cover, which will prevent rapid loss of moisture from the medium. Best would be the coconut fiber ones, if you can get them. Idea is to retain the moisture around the root for a longer period so that you can take the much needed rest. But please do not over water as advised on internet. This might cause more harm than good. In other words, rotting might set in.
4. Drip irrigation is one option that can be explored. Here a DIY: attach a water pipe (hose) to the orchids such that it lies above the roots. Puncture tiny holes on the pipe which are big enough for just a drop of water to escape. Have a maximum of two holes on each orchid plant. The hose/pipe can be attached to a water pump. This way you can water all your orchids in one go.
These are the tips that I have followed myself, minus the humidifier. These have helped, though I have been getting hired help sometimes. If there are any other tricks that you think can help, then please share in the Orchid Forum. And get well soon.