Are Orchids a part of your life?
Would you like Orchids to be part of your life?
Outlandish, enigmatic and exceptional, few flowers are able to compete with the beauty of an orchid.
Is it surprising that orchids are the de facto choice for corsages by beautiful women and powerful men, or for any important person during an official function?
Orchids' beauty is greatly cherished all over the world.
Botanists have discovered that there are more than twenty thousand known species. In addition, there are more than a hundred thousand hybrid species! Some of the more commonly known natural species include Cattleya, Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Oncidium, and Vanda.
Some folks consider Cattleya orchids as the most beautiful among all the orchids and that explains why Cattleya orchids are in demand for decorative purposes. The flowers come in many colors especially red, orange and even green. The variations may come in interesting names such as "Lemon Chiffon", and "Hawaii Peach". They grow well naturally in South America jungles. They are so popular that there had been a widespread harvesting from their natural habitat that the species had to be protected.
The Dendrobium genus has about a thousand species of orchids. The flowers come in different shapes, and colors, with white, purple and yellow being the most common. Dendrobium orchids bloom well in warm tropical climate in places like South East Asia, Southern India, Northern Australia and Polynesia. Although these orchids grow well they do not bloom frequently.
The Cymbidium orchids are popular used in floral decorations. They come in several colors, including white and green. They are hardy, easy to grow, and flower frequently. These flowers are popularly grown at home. These orchids grow in abundance in places such as Japan, Australia, and China.
Vanda blooms have striking colors like red and yellow and the flowers last for weeks. These orchids grow easily. A single flower can have more than ten spikes. The flowers are flat and all petals are of similar size, unlike other orchids.
Another orchid species, the Phalaenopsis - commonly found in the Philippines - come in rich hues of pink and yellow. Their varieties come in a combination of colors like white with red dots, orange with pink and so on. They grow easily and find widespread use in wedding bouquets and decorations.
A unique orchid species is Paphiopedilum. It resembles a delicate slipper. The petals are of different hues with stripes or dots on them, giving the flower a distinct appearance. Oncidium orchids are slipper shaped as well and some varieties have a sweet smell. Other varieties of this genus come in vivacious shades like yellow and maroon, white and brown and so on. This variety needs about six hours of sunlight each day and two months to bloom.
Perhaps you are the lucky recipient of an orchid plant. Do you know how to care for it? Cattleya, Dendrobium and Oncidium need less water, while Vanda can grow well with little watering. Paphiopedilum and cymbidium need constant watering throughout the year. As you have seen, there are different care instructions depending on the species and variety.
As delicate as they are, growing orchids isn't that difficult if you have the proper instruction. In fact, turning an orchid growing hobby into a business endeavor isn't all that impossible either, if you know how.
Enter "Understanding Orchids" The Gardener's Complete Guide to Growing, Drying and Selling Orchids.
If you have any questions whatsoever about orchids, you'll find the answer in "Understanding Orchids."
"Buying Tips for Orchid Plants" below is Chapter 8 from the book "Understanding Orchids."
Buying Tips for Orchid Plants
It is important to examine all parts of an orchid plant carefully before making a purchase. Never compromise on the quality or look for a bargain when buying orchids. Discounted orchid plants may be of poor quality or damaged in transit, so never buy them. Remember that money spent on a good plant ensures you enjoy the plantís beauty for years to come while a cheap plant from a bargain store may die in a few days. Stay away from online stores that promise to deliver orchids to your doorstep. Such plants are over-watered and may be badly damaged by the time you receive them. So preferably, choose a reputable neighborhood nursery or orchid grower to get a good orchid.
It is important to know how an orchid reaches a store near you. Orchid cultivators select the top quality plants and mass-produce them for the market. They remove apical cells from the crown and then culture other plants under controlled conditions. Orchid growers buy developing plants and nurture them to flowering stage. Again, nurseries buy semi-blooming orchids and then sell them to you in your neighborhood.
Buy fresh orchids from the orchid grower and ask how long they have been at the store. Keep away from withered plants or plants in full bloom. Buy an orchid with a few buds on its stem and a few flowers so that you know the color of the orchid you are buying. The flowers must look healthy and free of fungal growth. The leaves should be spongy and healthy green, without spots. The plant should be free of insects that are harmful to its health and growth.
The roots should be healthy white with green tips. You can easily check the roots as most orchids have aerial roots. The plant must sit securely in the potting material. Remove any paper wrapping in the store and check to ensure that the roots are not brown or rotting due to excess water. Ask the nursery staff to guide on proper care of the plant, including guidance about the light, temperature and humidity conditions. Ask about the fertilizer required and the frequency of watering. Learn about the humidity required and how to provide the optimum humidity. This will ensure optimum growth and conditions that ensure proper flowering of the exotic plant. You can read up tips on helpful websites and share the experiences of other orchid owners.
Keep the following tips in mind to get healthy plants. Buy mature plants rather than young plants to ensure survival. Talk to the orchid grower about conditions in your home and ask him to suggest an orchid that will grow in that environment. You cannot modify light or humidity conditions beyond a point to suit the plant and this is detrimental to the orchidís health. So, choose the right variety keeping in mind conditions you can provide for the plant to thrive.
The potting mix that comes with the plant is to retain moisture over the long shipping period and is not suitable for growth of the plant. Once you buy an orchid plant, take care to transfer it to a proper container with the right potting mixture. Take care not to break the roots as this can damage the plant. In general, keep the orchid plant in a well-lit area with proper air circulation. Water it only as required and add fertilizer once a fortnight for optimum results.
Take a look at the what you can learn from reading the book.
1. What is An Orchid?
2. What Makes An Orchid An Orchid?
3. Orchid Species - Common Types of Orchids
4. Basic Culture of Orchids
5. Growing Orchids Ė Beginnerís Advice
6. Most Popular Orchids for Beginners
7. Selecting the Right Orchid for You
8. Buying Tips for Orchid Plants
9. The Easiest Orchids to Grow?
10. Tips for Growing Orchids Successfully
11. Provide the Perfect Environment
Environmental Factors for Growing Orchids
Humidity and Fertilizers
12. Growing Orchid at Home
Where to Buy Orchids
13. Growing Orchids in a Greenhouse
14. Grow Orchids on Trees
How to Propagate
How to Attach
Caring for Orchids Growing on Trees
15.The Easy Way to Pot Orchids
Tools for Potting Plants
Ideal Pots for Potting Orchids
The Potting Process
16. When and How to Repot Orchids
When to Repot Orchids?
How to Repot
17. Choosing the Right Potting Medium
18. Caring Tips for Popular Orchids Species
19. Why Your Orchid Did Not Bloom
20. Pruning Your Orchid Plants
21. Orchid Stem Propagation
Tools for Stem Propagation
22. Food, Fertilizers and Nutrition
23. Pests, Problems and Pesticides
24. Orchid Ailments Ė What the Flowers, Leaves, and Roots can Tell You
Symptoms in Orchid Flowers
Symptoms in Orchid Leaves
Symptoms in Orchid Roots
25. Care of Winter Orchids
26. Maintaining Orchid Health
Protection from Insects
Protection from Viruses
27. How to Dry and Preserve Orchids
How to Dry Orchids
Growing and Harvesting Flowers for Drying
Preservation of Orchids
28. Selling Orchid Flowers
29. Build a Collection to Have Flowers All Year
Tips for Building an Orchid Collection
30. Florists Marketing Tips
31. Frequently Asked Questions
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Brought to you by Jacob Gan, PhD (Michigan)