Orchids (family orchidaceae) are epiphytes that originated from all over the world. Epiphytes are parasitic in nature: they cling to crevices in trees and rocks to collect moisture and necessary nutrients for the process of photosynthesis. This is important to remember when considering proper orchid potting, lighting, and watering needs. Most orchids will not thrive in soil; they require bark or sphagnum moss in a snug area (as they prefer in nature) for best results, and they require bright indirect light (picture a higher canopy in a rain forest, where light would be indirectly intense, but not scorching). Just as orchids accumulate droplets of humidity from the air in nature, they do not need excessive amounts of water. 8 or 12 ounces a week (or even every other week) will suffice, but it is mandatory to check moisture amounts with your finger. If the orchid is still wet whatsoever, don’t water it! Let the orchid dry out or it will get black rot (exactly how it sounds) and quickly diminish into mush. Some prefer to place an ice-cube on the surface of the orchid’s container once a week. This method can be successful, but it is important to note that extremely cold or hot temperatures can put any plant or flower into shock. When orchids are done with their blooming cycle, and the flowers dry up or fall off, try cutting the spike diagonally one inch above the plumpest node before it turns yellow (nodes are typically easy to spot as they are beige patterned striations on the spike). This forces an additional spike outward from the node before the next blooming cycle (this is especially useful for phalaenopsis, or ‘moth orchid’).