The orchid, otherwise known as an orchid, is one of the most popular potted plants. A wide variety of species and colors, as well as easy cultivation, make orchids a popular choice for gifts. Learn how to care for your orchid.
Orchid in the wild – where does it come from?
Orchids are plants in the cosmopolitan category, which means that they grow on every continent. The only exception is Antarctica. The largest number of species has been recorded in the tropics, where as many as 95% of the commonly known varieties come from. The area where the most diverse and beautiful orchid variants are found is South and CentralAmerica. The most beautiful specimens also come from Southeast Asia, more precisely from the section between the Himalayas and the Malay Archipelago.
What are the varieties of orchids?
There are many varieties of orchids on the market, so it is worth focusing on the most popular that you are sure to find in most florists and stores. Orchids Phalaenopsis are perhaps the most popular of all species. They are characterized by showy, colorful flowers and ease of cultivation.
Cymbidium variety Cymbidium has large, spreading flowers, and some of the specimens puff. It owes its popularity to its durability, so it can also sometimes be found in cutform. The orchid Dendrobium is characterized by thickened stems from which grow fine flowers, usually in various shades of white or pink color. Individual specimens may smell but it is more of an odorless variety.
Catlea is considered the most impressive variety of orchids. Compared to other species it tolerates sunny positions well, but it is worth watching out for direct sunlight which can cause burn on the plant. Currently, miniature orchids are gaining popularity. They are distinguished by their small, delicate flowers and multitude of colors.
How to care for orchids?
Cultivating an orchid seems complicated because it is somewhat different from caring for other potted plants. However, if you provide your orchid with the right conditions, taking care of it will be extremely easy. Learn, how to grow your orchid so that it blooms beautifully.
A well-lit stand is the key to successful cultivation. During the winter period, when the sun sets much faster behind the horizon, it is a good idea to put the orchid on the sill of a south-facing window. Starting in April, when it gets sunny outside, you should move the orchid to a place with diffused light. Direct contact with sunlight near a window can lead to burned leaves. Surrounding the window on the east or west side will be an ideal place to grow orchids in spring and summer.
Store orchids are usually found in simple plastic pots. A ceramic covering which you put a plastic container will provide stability for a heavy plant. If you prefer the look of a transparent pot, you can buy a cover made of glass. The glass pot will provide sunlight to the roots and allow you to check the water level and the condition of the rhizomes. Clay pots, into which you put the plant without a cover, allow the roots to circulate air and bring oxygen to them.
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Most orchids in nature grow on tree bark, so ordinary plant soil will not be a good choice for growing them. There are ready substrates for orchids available in stores, consisting of shredded bark of various trees, expanded clay or peat. Pine bark is also a good choice. A bark substrate provides an adequate level of air permeability and hydration.
The interval between successive watering of an orchid is usually from 3 to 16 days, depending on the material of the pot and its size. It is recommended to water only when the substrate is completely dry. Clay pots accelerate the drying of the soil, while plastic containers retain moisture for longer. A good way to water an orchid is to put the entire pot in a pot of water and leave the plant that way for a while. It can be removed from the water when the substrate is completely saturated. Orchids should be watered with filtered, distilled, boiled or rainwater from areas with low air pollution. Ideally, water should be room temperature.
The best choice for orchid nutrients will be special orchid fertilizers. These plants should be fertilized during the period of strong development, which is usually from April to September. During dormancy, i.e. in autumn and winter, the application of nutrients is not necessary. When fertilizing an orchid, remember that it must not have dry soil or be weakened. If the plant is damaged, it is recommended to use bottle preparations. Orchids should not be fed earlier than one month after transplanting.
The easiest way to obtain an orchid seedling isvegetative propagation and division by keiki (in Hawaiian, the word means “child”). Dividing the plant into parts should be done with sterile tools when repotting it. Propagation by keiki involves detaching the tuber or shoot from the mother plant and planting it.
Diseases and pests
Diseases in orchids are most often caused by bad care or pests. Parasites that you may observe on your plant are worms, earthworms, thrips or scale insects. You can find specialized preparations in stores that can easily help you fight them.
Yellowing leaves may seem like a cause for concern, but contrary to appearances, it’s a natural part of growing up a plant. The orchid, in order to produce new leaves, must shed the old ones, which turn yellow before falling off. Much more alarming are brown spots on the leaves which can be a sign of overbaking by too harsh a sun.
Wrinkled leaves or rotten roots are the result of overwatering the orchid. Water and nourish the orchid prudently, as it can easily lead to slow death of the plant. If you notice mold or algae near the roots, this could be a symptom of overwatering the orchid or lack of air circulation in the pot.
How to make an orchid bloom and delight with flowers for as long as possible?
What to do to make an orchid bloom again? After all the flowers have fallen off, you should reduce watering, as the plant requires much lower substrate moisture during the resting period. In addition, it is recommended to move the orchid to a cooler, shaded place and not to fertilize it. You should nurture the orchid in this way for 3 months. Then you can reinstall it in a bright, warm room, and water and fertilize it regularly. Soon after that it should bloom.
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What occasion can you give an orchid? Is it sometimes better to bet on an artificial orchid?
An orchid is a great gift idea regardless of the occasion. It will work well for both birthdays or name days and anniversaries. An orchid in a pot, unlike flowers in a bouquet, will please the recipient for years. It is worth betting on a live orchid, because its care will certainly give a lot of joy, and the beautiful cyclic flowering of the plant will not be experienced when buying the artificial one.
Orchids delight with beautiful flowers and unusual appearance. Contrary to popular belief, they are plants easy to care for. An orchid will make a unique gift no matter what the occasion. Let us know in the comments, whether you happen to give an orchid to a loved one.