Orchid plants are very popular and there are many varieties available. They have beautiful flowers which attract butterflies, bees and other insects. These orchids are native to tropical Asia, but they can grow anywhere in the world. There are different types of orchids, such as Phalaenopsis species (orchid) and Amorphophallus species (flowering dogwood). Most commonly known as the “dandelion” or “sweet potato” orchid, these plants bloom from spring until autumn. They are easy to grow and require little attention once established. However, it is important to take into consideration that their growth rate slows down during winter months. So if you live in cold climates where the temperature drops below freezing, then your plant will not survive well at all! If you want to enjoy these beautiful flowers year round, then you need to provide them with proper lighting.
The light intensity needed for orchids depends on the type of orchid. For example, Phalaenopsis orchid requires much less sunlight than Amorphophallus flower. You can use fluorescent bulbs to give your plants enough light.
The best way to get the most out of your bulb is to place it near the top of a pot so that its rays reach all parts of the plant.
Hi. I had a couple of orchids in boxes in the room I used as a bedroom. One was an old cattleya that I had grown from a mericlone years ago.
It flowered for several years and then I got it again as a gift, but it never did well. It still had cute blooms but it was never the same. I had a couple of vandas that did okay. I had a miltoniopsis that just never did well even with ABA. They were all in the same room and there was a window that faced north so they got good sunlight. I moved the orchids out to the living room at one point because I needed the space in my bedroom. That’s when they all started dying. I had them in here for maybe a year and nothing did well. I couldn’t figure out why. The miltoniopsis turned to mush, the vandas started getting strange light spots on them and the old cattleya got mold or something and started withering. I had them under a table lamp during the day but never saw any signs of mold. I tried all sorts of things and then finally gave up. Maybe the orchids needed more light than a table lamp could provide. I don’t know.
This is an Orchi, a hybrid between an Orchid and an Iris. It was abandoned in a garden and most of its leaves were smashed. It still lives though, but the person who owned it left it behind when they moved out.
It’s been almost a decade since then and it’s reached about 24 inches in height. It still hasn’t bloomed yet though.
Catasetum orchids, along with the other members of the Catasetum alliance, have big, thick pseudobulbs that resemble bamboo canes. These orchids are some of the very rare orchids that contain a non-photosynthetic tissue; some of them contain a sclerenchyma fiber that is specialized to be stronger than wood. It is believed that the orchid acquires cholorphyll from moss in the soil and that helps with the manufacturing of amino acids and henceforth (for the orchid, at least) protein.
If you love watering plants, this type of orchid is for you, because it can tolerate a lot of dampness and regular waterings. In fact, this orchid loves water so much it can even tolerate wet feet. The petals consist of little pouch-like shapes surrounded by a moustache, and it comes in colors that include light green, white, purple, and yellow.
The Orchideae tribe is the largest tribe within the Orchideae family. It has more than seventy species of orchids in six subfamilies. One of these subfamilies, the Epidendreae, features the cattleya alliance.
With the cattleya alliance, a variety of flowers are created. These orchids usually have a bold pattern with dark petals and light-colored sepals. Another subfamily of the Orchideae tribe is the Cymbidieae which features the cymbidium alliance. This tribe has more than twenty species of orchids in it. These orchids usually have long sprays that include a variety of colors. Some of them also have darker petals that include reds, oranges and greens. The autranium alliance includes more than twenty species of tropical orchids that bloom from winter to spring. During this time, the orchids bloom. They usually have a short-lived bloom which doesn’t allow them to flower for longer than one month. The fragrant orchids include more than four hundred species of exotic orchids. They are the smallest tribe within the Orchideae family.
The Coelogyne orchid genus gets a lot less attention than it deserves. The plants have beautiful, fragrant flowers, can tolerate partial shade, and once established, they’re virtually trouble-free. The best part is, there are more than a dozen species available at local nurseries, and they come in a range of colors and sizes.
The den-phal type are warm growing year round and do, just by the way, produce an awful lot of leggy growth. So if you store them for a while in a damp dark place they will probably do a lot better. Also they don’t mind sunlight in the least.
The flower stems often bend down and lie on the surface they grow on. And while they do need regular water you don’t want them to have too much water. Also if you can support the plant on a raised platform of some kind, and if the platform is transparent enough to let some light through while growing, and clear enough to see through when they flower that will help the plants keep their structure while growing.
Of course different plants have different cultural requirements, but these are basics.
It’s not a terrible idea to have some supporting structure even when you don’t think you need it. Structural, physical damage is the most common reason orchids don’t make it. Some people will buy a lovely potted orchid and bring it home, and then when it outgrows its pot they put it in a big pot and never get around to buying a new pot for it.
The plant gets so big and top heavy that one day it just falls over and the stem snaps in half. Or maybe you have a window sill you can put it on, but over time the orchid grows too heavy and tipped over and fell off the window sill and onto the floor one day.
Or you might have a bunch of beautiful potted orchids sitting on a shelf for years without repotting them. Again, they get too big, too heavy and fall off. When you have several pounds of orchid hitting the tile floor it makes a loud noise and shatters whatever pot it’s in into a bunch of pieces.
Even if they don’t break the pot they almost always fall out and then when they hit the floor they shatter.
Or maybe you give your orchid the best home you can think of, a wooden table for example. Over time the orchid grows too big and heavy and tips over pulling the pot off the table and shattering it on the floor.
Or you have a screened porch with an east facing window where you keep your orchid. You like to keep it out there so you can see it from wherever you happen to be in the house. And for years, that orchid hangs from the window frame, out over the porch steps.
One day some little kid who stumbles into it or maybe a pet cat walking along the porch balusters gets too close to the screen and the orchid comes crashing down on top of them.
Or maybe you have one of those spiral staircase with the slider wooden banister that curves along the wall. Over time the orchid gets so big and heavy that one day it just pulls itself out of the window box and falls down the stairs.
Or maybe you have a really big orchid with a really big pot. One day the kids are running in the living room and they hit the side of the orchid with their shoulder, or maybe an adult leans against it to reach for something on a high shelf and they push on it a little too hard and over it goes.
Or maybe you have a little two inch pot with a tiny orchid seedling in it. You keep it on the windowsill. One day you come into the room and see it on the floor.
The pot is shattered, but the orchid looks fine. It turns out some insect had flown in the window and decided to lay eggs in the orchid pot. The orchid fell because it was much too heavy due to the hundreds of eggs inside it.
Or maybe you just live in an old farmhouse where it always seems to be a little bit damp. Over time, this prevents the orchid from getting enough oxygen and it begins to rot. One day you notice a strange sweet smell and it turns out that the rot has spread so far that the entire orchid has become poisonous.
This is just a small sampling of some of the things that can go wrong. Obviously some are more likely than others. And you can probably think of many more possible disasters in the life of an orchid.
But no matter what happens, no matter how much your orchid suffers; as long as you continue to provide the basics of food, water and light, it will continue to grow and bloom for you. Each time it does so, it will give you a little happiness and pride.
And isn’t that what the orchid symbolizes?
I’m proof that orchids can make people happy no matter what. It doesn’t matter what else is going on in your life, if you have an orchid, and you take care of it; it will bloom for you.
That’s why I love orchids.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
The Orchid Man
P.S. Because I don’t have a mailing address I can only send this to the addresses on the form.
If you don’t mind putting my letter up on the bulletin board, or if you don’t mind giving me your e-mail address, I would love to correspond with any of you who are interested in more information.
Yes, I do realize that some of you may think I am a little odd for being so deeply attached to an orchid. If you are in this group, then I would love to correspond with you as well. No matter what else is going on in your life, an orchid will bloom for you if you take care of it properly. I know there are others out there just like me.”
Where do I sign??
When I got to that part of the letter, it was almost comical how quickly my arm shot into the air. Mrs. Waterston just looked at me and shook her head with a smile.
“Yes, Kyle,” she says. “I’ll be glad to give you his address.
Sources & references used in this article:
Orchids as house plants by RT Northen – 1970 – Van Nostrand Reinhold Co.
The best orchids for indoors by RT Northen – 1976 – books.google.com
Orchid growing basics by CM Fitch – 2004 – books.google.com
Understanding orchids: an uncomplicated guide to growing the world’s most exotic plants by G Schoser – 1993 – books.google.com
The gardener’s guide to growing orchids by W Cullina – 2004 – books.google.com