Orchid Plant: Tips for Growing & Caring

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Orchid is a beautiful indoor plant. It is used to decorate and beautify the house. Its flowers are colorful and long-lasting.Orchids are plants that are members of the Orchidaceae family. This plant has clusters of flowers, which are beautiful, bright, and fragrant. Orchids have unique and derived characteristics compared to other plants.

In which plants have tiny seeds and bilateral symmetry (zygomorphism) of flowers. Orchids are best grown in the humid tropics. Orchidaceae is a member of Asparagales.

History

 According to scientists, orchids originated on Earth 120 million years ago. It is believed to have originated in Japan and China 3000 to 4000 years ago. It was invented in China, Greece, and Rome around 500 BC.

In the 18th century, explorers of the New World discovered a wide variety of orchids, including , around 28,000 species and over 300,000 cultivars in approximately 880 genera.

The first reference to orchids comes from the Chinese King Sheng Nang, who gave some advice about the use of dendrobium in medicinal applications. Confucius, 551-479 BC, also mentioned the beautiful fragrance of orchids.

The beauty of the orchid plant and its colorful flowers have fascinated plant enthusiasts for centuries. This magnificent flowering plant was first observed about 200 million years ago. Orchids were first mentioned in Inquiry into Plants, written around 300 BC.

Known as Orchidaceae in English. This plant was known as Orchis by the Greeks 2000 years ago. Dioscorides, a Greek medical botanist, and physician, was the first to identify an “orchid” in the first century clearly. Collecting all species of orchids is prohibited.

Orchid Plant Overview

  • Botanical Name: Orchidaceae
  • Common Name: Orchid
  • Family: Orchidaceae
  • Plant Type: Perennial, herbaceous
  • Bloom Time: Varies
  • Soil Type: Well-drained
  • Soil pH: Citric Acidic ( 5.5 and 6.5 pH)
  • Sun Exposure: Partial
  • Height: 1 to 3 ft
  • Width: 6 to 12 inches
  • Plant Flowers Color: Red, pink, white, blue, green, purple, orange, and yellow
  • Special features:  Three sepals, three petals, and a three-chambered ovary
  • Native Area: North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, Caribbean

Types of Orchid Plants

Aerangis Orchids

Aerangis orchids must have the proper nutrients to grow successfully. They need plenty of moisture in the air, an air-free environment, and sunlight. These plants should be fed regularly for good growth. It bears beautiful white flowers.

  • Native Area: Tropical Africa, Madagascar
  • Height: 6–24 inches, varies by species
  • Sun Exposure: Bright filtered light

 Brassavola Orchids (Brassavola spp.)

Brasavola orchids have white or green flowers with narrow petals and are fragrant. It emits a perfume, especially in the evening. White flowers that depend on moths for pollination. There are about 20 species in the genus Brassavola, of which the easiest to grow is B. Nodosa is commonly called ‘Lady of the Night.’

  • Native Area: Central and South America, West Indies
  • Height: Depends on the species
  • Sun Exposure: Bright light

Catasetum Orchid (Catasetum spp.)

Species of the genus Catasetum are commonly known for their reddish waxy flowers. Plants produce either male or female flowers, which resemble each other. The trigger-like anatomy of male flowers causes visiting bees to to expel pollen forcefully. This plant loses its leaves during the autumn season.

  • Native Area: Central America and Northern South America
  • Height: Depends on the species
  • Sun Exposure: Bright diffused indoor light

 Dendrobium Orchids (dendrobium spp.)

Dendrobium orchids have heavy blooms. The genus Orchid includes more than 2000 species. Although there are many types of orchids, common varieties have white, purple, or yellow flowers.

  • Native Area: Asia, Australia, Pacific islands
  • Height: 6 inches to 4 feet, depending on the species
  • Sun Exposure: Bright diffused indoor light

Encyclia Orchids (Encyclia spp.)

Encyclia orchid, also known as cockleshell orchid. Orchids are planted across the mountain to simulate epiphytic growth conditions in the forest. Some horticulturists say this orchid looks like an octopus due to its drooping petals and sepals.

  • Native Area: Florida, Mexico, Caribbean
  • Height: 3 inches to 2 feet, depending on the species
  • Sun Exposure: Medium to bright diffused indoor light

How to Grow Orchid  Flower Plant

Orchid is a delicate-looking plant, but this plant is tiny and needs a lot of care. Orchids grow everywhere except Antarctica, where the plant has glossy, green foliage and white to dark pink flowers. Growing this plant at home is not very difficult.

Many others are grown as houseplants, such as the African violet, but the most popular is the Phalaenopsis orchid, also known as the moth orchid. Most orchids are tropical. Their thick and white roots are adapted to moisture and essential dissolved nutrients.

These plants need slow air and bright light. They need 12 hours of sunlight daily. This plant thrives in moist and well-lit environments. Orchid flowers have three petals and a three-chambered ovary. Their petals are often parallel to each other. As the orchid flower develops, it turns 180°.

Orchid Plant Care

Orchid is a plant with very few leaves and thick layered leaves. Since this plant needs more light, it is best to place it in a north or south window at home orchids like a moist environment.

Light

In general, orchids need a lot of light, so they are called light-hungry plants. For best results, 12 to 14 hours of daylight should be provided. They require a tropical climate, in which the duration and intensity of natural light are temperate.

If, for some reason, the orchid is not getting enough light, it needs to be moved around. During the winter months, artificial lighting may be required due to a lack of light. South and east-facing windows with ample light are generally the best places for orchids.

While west windows are warm due to more light, and north windows are usually too dark. If you don’t have a good window location, you can also grow it with artificial light. Venda and Cymbidium, which require more light, may require discharge lighting if produced artificially.

 Watering

In general, orchids should be watered once a week. After planting, the plant should be allowed to dry out and not allow excess water to contact its roots. The most common cause of orchid death is overwatering.

In addition to watering the orchid plant once a week, one should also be aware of how much water the orchid needs. The answer to when to water most orchids (including Phalaenopsis and Cattleya) is before their moisture dries up.

How much to water depends on its environment. Place the orchid in a container with drainage holes. Watering containers without drainage are harmful because excess water will pool at the bottom and cannot be removed, stunting plant growth. For that, it is necessary to have a hole in the drainage container.

Fertilizer

Although there are many ways to grow orchids, fertile soil is essential to provide the necessary nutrients, so every time you water your plants, add a soluble fertilizer along with it to create fertile soil.

Many growers prefer a 30-10-10 fertilizer for orchid growth, others 10-10-10 or 10-10-30, with no urea used in these plants, and misted with fish emulsion or seaweed extract to obtain orchid micronutrients.

Soil

Orchid soil does not come in any particular type. It is usually a mixture of several elements, such as peat moss, fir bark, dried fern roots, sphagnum moss, rock wool, perlite, cork nuggets, stones, coconut fiber, and lava rock. Apart from that, commercial orchid potting mix can be bought from the market. For orchids, the pH should be between 5.5 and 6.0.

Temperature and Humidity

A temperature range between 50 degrees and 90 degrees Fahrenheit is optimal for orchids. The humidity level for them should be between about 40% to 70%. Orchids bloom longer if you can provide a warm and somewhat humid environment. They are choosing a location for the orchid that experiences cool drafts from heating vents, direct sunlight, or dry air.

Pruning Orchids

Proper pruning of the old growth of the orchid plant is necessary to provide the nutrients needed for the new blooms. When pruning an orchid, ensure your tool is sharp so as not to damage the plant too much. A clean cut keeps the orchid healthy. Different pruning methods are used for various species of orchids. Remove old leaves, faded orchid blooms to prevent energy loss on old plant growth.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases

Many authors have written about what popular orchid diseases are, how to identify them, and how to treat them to grow healthy plants. Orchid diseases such as Botrytis, Aphids, Bud blast, Black rot, Botrytis, Coming in from the cold, Cold damage, Caterpillars, Growing under lights, Fertilizer burn, Fungus Gnats, Lubber grasshoppers, Mealybugs, Mesophyll cell collapse, Moth eye, Domestic Treatments are heat stress, handling damage, fungicides, orchid blossom midges, phyllosticta leaf spot, roaches, bugs and pill bugs, thrips, viruses, weeds, whitefly, white phalaenopsis ringspots.

Orchids generally do not have insect problems. But it is a center of attraction for some insects such as spider mites, mealybugs, cigar thrips and whiteflies. Now wash the plant with soapy water or you can spray alcohol to prevent these leaves from falling.

Question

 What is the Indian name of orchid plant?

The orchid plant known as “Vanda” in old Indian Vedic texts is one of the most beautiful of its kind.

What is special about orchids?

A structure of the male part (stamen) and female part (pistil) of an orchid flower acts as a column.

How long do orchids live?

Orchids live a long time if treated properly. This plant can last for about 15 years.

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchid

 

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