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Orchids

Orchids

Orchids, one of the most fascinating, beautiful and peculiar variety among the flowering plants, have always been considered difficult to grow. But given the right climatic and cultural conditions, they can thrive anywhere and will flower regularly.

These plants belongs to the Orchidacae family, with all the difference in size, shape, colour, scent or lack of it. They are the most rapidly changing group of plants on earth with over 880 genera and 28,000 species.

Once the cultural needs of these fascinating plants are understood, growing orchids is relatively simple. It becomes a deeply satisfying and therapeutic activity. If given the right climatic and cultural conditions, they can thrive anywhere and will flower regularly. Some species of orchids may flower two or three times a year and some flower annually.

Orchids are divided into two basic growth types, namely monopodial and sympodial. Monopodial orchids have a central stem which grows continuously from the tip. They have no pseudobulbs, but produce new growth from the crown of the plant. Flowers are produced from the stem between the leaves, usually alternately from side to side. Sympodial orchids possess a rhizome which sends out a shoot. This develops into a stem and leaves and eventually produces flowers. In time, from the base of this growth, a new shoot develops and so on in a continuous cycle. The buds are often, though not always, protected by a sheath.

According to their different growth habits, orchids are generally divided into three main categories namely epiphytes, lithophytes and terrestrials. Epiphytes are suited for home culture and are grown perched high in the trees clinging to branches or in the trunk apex of the tree. They derive their nutrients from the air, rain, and any decaying vegetation which the roots can contact. They have specialised aerial roots which have a white spongy layer of cells called velamen. This protects the inner root tissues and absorbs water. These roots will also often dangle free in the atmosphere. Lithophytes can be seen covering the bases and forks of trees or filling crevices in rocks. They can absorb a maximum supply of nutrients from decaying mosses, humus and washed down soil. Terrestrials are soil loving plants growing in the ground, having a symbiotic relation with a special fungus. This fungus invades the cells of the root's outer layer, providing the plants with the nutrients and is essential for the seed germination of most orchids. It is the lack of this fungus that prevents many terrestrial orchids from surviving when removed from their natural environment to an alien one.

Varieties

Hobby growers should try growing hybrids of Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Dendrobium, Oncidium, Vanda and Epidendrum. 

Orchid Gallery



Questions of
 Questions & Answers
 1.  Posted on : 2.9.2013  By  :  Shaleen Chikara , Gurgaon, NCR View Answer (0) Post Answer
 

I am growing an Orchid in a small pot filled with charcoal (that's how it came). It was flowering when it came, and now I see 3 new shoots emerging from the sides. How should I care for it and how much should I water it? Also, what is a good potting medium? I am living in Delhi, and currently it is monsoon season, but soon dry winters will set in.

 
 2.  Posted on : 24.1.2011  By  :  shruthi , bangalore View Answer (2) Post Answer
 

few of my phaelanopsis orchids started to loose the topmost leaf(the blooms were present) and eventually all the leaves fell off.The roots are fine,not dry totally but will the plant grow back? what could be the problem and what do i do?

 
A1: 

As long as the bulbs are still there and not rotten, it will still grow but takes time to wait for new leaves.

  Posted By :grace de la pena , Cagayan de Oro City, Mindanao | On 9.5.2013
A2: 

water got into the center of the plant and rotted must water from the bottom and keep tops dry and no it wont grow back

  Posted By :kevin , las vegas | On 22.2.2011
 3.  Posted on : 5.9.2010  By  :  Maxine , Spring Hill. Fl, Spring Hill. Fl View Answer (1) Post Answer
 

I separated my ground orchid, Spathoglottis plicata this spring as it was over crowed and it has not shown any sige of blooming, What so I need to do to encourage blooming?

 
A1: 

Hi. I had the same problem. However, I solved it with a bi-weekly watering of a small orchid fertilizer (literally 1/8 of a teaspoon). The water itself was taken from my patio pond. I placed the plant in a high humidity area near other plants. Let the plants drain out completely between waterings. The soil mix comprised real, finely chopped coconut bark, crushed egg shells, charcoal, phosphorus, lumus soil - basically nothing compact. Watch out for mealy bugs as they love these plants.

  Posted By :Paulos , Trinidad | On 15.7.2016
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