Orchids come from the family of monocots which are characterized by simple leaves and parallel veins. Currently, there are more than 30,000 known species of orchids all over the world from 880 genera but only a handful can be recognized.

Most orchids are difficult to grow mainly because of prevailing weather conditions. They are endemic to the tropical regions of Asia, South America and Africa. This means they require lots and lots of sunlight in order to be at their best when in full bloom.

Their ability to adapt to different environmental conditions, however, makes the orchid one of the most successful flowering plant in terms of propagation. Today, thousands of hybrids have made their way to many home gardens thanks to modern breeding methods.

Recreating the Natural Habitat of Orchids

One needs to learn a few things about orchids if these are to be part of the general garden landscape. But the most important aspect of this flower’s nature deals with its natural habitat.

This helps any would-be orchid grower recreate an environment conducive for this flower to grow and bloom. There has to be a right amount of sunlight and moisture in the area where the orchid is to be planted in order to take benefit from its natural aesthetics and wonder.

Orchids that come from tropical places are accustomed to a very humid atmosphere. These require less exposure to sunlight or a garden location where the light is not too intense. There are warm-climate orchids that need steady source of

moisture and good air circulation.

Orchid Category by Growth

In order to successfully breed orchids at home, it is best to understand their growth habits and the nature of their native habitats. Growth habits or patterns take into account how the stems and leaves are arranged when the orchids grow.

Orchids are placed under two distinct categories of growth habits: monopodial and sympodial. The stem of a monopodial orchid are vertically with leaves that are arranged opposite one another along it. Popular varieties under this category are the phalaenopsis and vandas. These orchids have stems that can grow several meters in length.

On the other hand, sympodial orchids grow horizontally and much shorter than monopodials. Their rhizomes continue to sprout new buds after reaching a certain growth length. They have bulb-like shoots that store water which is vital to the plants survival during prolonged dry spells. Good examples of sympodials are cattleya and dendrobium.

Orchids for Starters

It is nearly impossible to breed all the orchid species even in their natural habitat let alone a home garden. But never fear because there are a few that survive general home conditions and even bloom when placed indoors.

Just always remember the orchid variety and what it basically needs in order to produce those beautiful flowers. This will minimize any frustration over the inability of the plant to grow flowers despite exercising the proper care.

The Cattleya is probably the most popular and easier orchid flower to grow. It can survive droughts because of its bulb-like feature and can adapt to weather changes. Alternating wet and dry seasons will not affect this variety’s ability to flower especially in an atmosphere with average humidity of 40 to 80 degrees.

Just place it on a coarse fir bark and it will grow with minimum attention. It can be placed in an area that receives a good amount of sunlight.

Phalaenopsis is another variety that beginners can try their hands on. Unlike the Cattleya, this one cannot tolerate dry spells. It should grow under a condition where it gets ample moisture and bright lights. A medium fir bark is just the right base for this orchid.

The Paphiopedilum variety should be planted on a mixture of bark or fluffy moss. This condition will enable it to retain a lot of moisture which it needs to grow. It can not tolerate humid temperatures of more than 60 degrees but requires exposure to bright light.

Care for Indoor Orchids

While orchids generally enjoy basking under the golden sun, these can also be grown indoors where they can add a more natural feel to the whole interior. But the basic elements still have to be there. These include a mist base and a good size tray or pot.

Place the orchids near a windowsill where they can get direct sunlight. Windows located on the south and west sides of the house are better for a growing a wide variety of orchids. Keep a spray bottle near the orchids for the moisture supply.

Many people are not sure how to grow orchids, and they believe that orchids are both expensive and difficult to cultivate. While it's true that this is the case with some varieties, there are many others that are well within the average budget and no more difficult than any other flowering plant to cultivate.

Orchids are an extremely popular flower. With up to 35,000 species available, they actually comprise the largest family of flowering plants on earth. One seventh of all plants are orchids.

The range within the orchid family is quite staggering.

Never seeing the light of day, 2wo varieties of orchid actually flower completely underground. Some are purely aquatic. Some varieties can be found in the Arctic. Most live in the tropics. There is also a wide variance in the size of the different species. The flower of the smallest variety is just 2 millimeters ( .08 inches) while the giant orchid has a flower that can measure up to 38 centimeters ( 15 inches).

The popularity of the orchid is no doubt partly due to the wide variety available. Take the colors available for example. According to your preference you can get your orchids in red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown and even a rare type of blue. Orchids are also wonderful mimics. Species resemble various objects that we are familiar with, including a lady's slipper, butterflies, kites and even birds in flight. So, how about beautifying your own environment with a display of orchids?

  • Orchids are different from your average houseplant in that they don't grow in soil.
  • Putting you lovely new orchid in soil is actually a good way to kill the plant.
  • Rather, grow your indoor plant in a pot that is filled with loosely packed bark, stone or similar material. You need to allow for the roots to readily receive air and water.
  • You should water your orchids about once every week. Once the flower has dried out rewater it.
  • Do not, however, over water them. A trick to get the most out of your flowering orchid is to adjust the day and night time temperatures to more closely simulate the temperature variation that occurs when the plant is grown in the wild.
  • If you are able to lower the temperature on your thermostat in the area where you have your orchids at night, do so by ten degrees Fahrenheit. This is especially important in the autumn and winter, which is when many species begin to bud.
  • Try not to expose your orchids to temperatures above ninety degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Fertilize your orchids once per week with a weak solution of 20-20-20 fertilizer. Don't overdo the fertilizer however. In the Autumn switch to a blossom-bloom fertilizer. They really appreciate good humidity. If you have a humidifier in your home palce it near to your plants. Otherwise you can place your orchid pots on a tray of flat pebbles to which water is added. Ensure sufficient air movement around your plants to ward off infections and bacteria.

If you want to know how to grow orchids, you need to know how they are classified. They are classified according to their ideal growing temperature. Thus there are warm growing, intermediate growing and cool growing ones. Be aware that the temperatures given refer to the minimum overnight temperature that the plant can withstand during the winter period. When choosing your plants be aware of what type of temperature classification it has. Warm growing orchids have a minimum winter temperature of sixty degrees Fahrenheit, intermediate growing orchids being fifty five degrees and cool growing orchids at fifty degrees.

They are also classified with regard to the amount of light they need to function optimally. The classifications are high, medium and low. You will want to expose your orchid to at least six hours of light per day, regardless of it's classification. Generally the more light provided the better the plant will perform. You can tell if your plants is receiving adequate amounts of light by observing the color of the leaves. If the leaves are a dark green color, this indicates that the plant is not getting enough light. The ideal leaf color for adequate light is about the color of grass, that is light or medium green. The best windows are generally southern and eastern facing ones.

Floow these tips, and you should have mnay beautiful flowers for many years to come.

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