Orchid Information

Orchid Information – Orchid Basics

Orchids have quickly become one of the most popular house plants. But growing orchids is different from growing most other houseplants. You will most likely need some orchid information to grow them successfully.

There are many different types of orchids that grow  naturally worldwide and even more have been created by hybridizing these. Caring for orchids is not really difficult. With the proper information and the right amount of water, light, fertilizer and air your orchids will thrive.

While many species of orchids enjoy cooler conditions, there are several orchid species that do very well in temperatures that are around 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Orchid Information-Phalaenopsis-orchidOne of the easiest orchids to grow is the Phalaenopsis orchid plant. This species of orchid is well adapted to the home or office environment. This makes it a great choice for beginners. 

Depending on the species of your orchid, flowers will last for different amounts of time.  From the time that the first Phalaenopsis bud opens, the sprays will remain in bloom for the next two to three months.

The flowers on a Cattleyas orchid plant, for example, may last up to a month in bloom from the time that the bud opens. 

Orchid Information-Cattleya orchidSome species of orchids will bloom once a year, while other species will bloom several times a year and some even bloom continuously.

One of the things that makes orchids so popular is their fragrance.  Some orchids are wonderfully fragrant. The scents from fragrant orchid flowers are quite variable. 

Some orchid plants have a very subtle fragrance and other species are extremely strong.  The scents can range from fruity to flowery. 

One of the best things about orchid scents is the fact that many orchids have familiar aromas such as chocolate, raspberry, coconut, lilac or citrus.


Basic Orchid Information On Soil And Watering


Orchids should be planted in bark rather than potting soil. They can also be grown in New Zealand sphagnum moss.  Orchids need to be grown in pots that will supply them with good drainage. 

Using potting soil is bad for orchid plants because it cuts off air circulation at the roots and blocks the drainage of the water. This can cause rot and fungus diseases.

Orchids should also only be watered about once a week. During the summer your orchid plant may need to be watered more frequently, about every four to five days. 

A good rule of thumb to follow is the more heat, the more water you should give your orchid. Less heat, then lessen the amount of water. 

Orchid plants that are potted in New Zealand sphagnum moss should be watered less often than those planted in bark. These plants can be watered once every seven to ten days.

Many people mistakenly over water orchids, believing that because they come from tropical moist climates they need a lot of water. This really is not true and over watering  can do far more harm than under watering.


Basic Orchid Information On Lighting


Lighting requirements depend a lot on the species of orchid. Most orchids prefer a lot of light that is not too strong. They do very well sitting in an east facing window. 

Since many orchid species are found naturally in tropical conditions, often growing amongst and upon trees, they are used to receiving both shade and sun. 

Sun exposure that is too strong can harm most orchids. They prefer strong but diffuse light. Orchids that are suffering from either too much light or too little light will display yellowing leaves. 

If this occurs you should increase or decrease the shade that your orchid receives, accordingly. Yellowing of orchid leaves may also indicate insufficient feeding. 


Orchid Information On Fertilizing


Orchid plants should be fertilized on a regular basis about every other week.  You should also water your orchid plant before applying the diluted nutrient solution if the potting media is dry. Otherwise you might burn your plants.

It’s a good idea, for safety’s sake to start at half the strength recommended by the manufacturer. That way you will have a chance to see how your orchid reacts.

I hope this orchid information has helped. It is a brief overview but should be enough to get you started growing your own amazing orchids but there is plenty of more detailed orchid information available for those that want to dig deeper

Orchid Types

Orchid Types – Terrestrial and Epiphytic Orchids

There are many different species of orchids as well as many hybrid orchid types.

But there are actually only two different orchid types, terrestrial and epiphytic orchids.

One of these orchid types are the terrestrial orchids. This refers to orchid species that grow on the ground.

The other type of orchid are the epiphytic orchids or epiphytes, which grow in trees, rocks or on poles.The term epiphyte is actually not reserved only to a type of orchid. It merely refers to any plant that has a root system above ground.

Terrestrial orchid species are some of the most popular orchids. Terrestrial orchids have roots that grow beneath the surface of the soil just like most other kinds of plants.

There are some terrestrial orchids that are semi-terrestrial by nature. This means that they have both underground and aerial roots. Terrestrial orchids grow upon structures like trees and some also grow on rocks.

Terrestrial Orchid Types – Cymbidium Orchids

orchid types - cymbidium orchidCymbidium orchids are a terrestrial orchid that has 40 species and thousands of hybrids. Cymbidium orchids natural habitat extends from Southeast Asia to Japan and they are also found in Australia

They were one of the first species of orchids under cultivation. These orchids are a great example of terrestrials that not only grow on the ground but can also grow on trees and rocks. They grow extremely well in the loose humus of rotted wood or decayed leaves.

Cymbidium orchids are very popular with orchid growers. They are easy to grow and with the proper care they will provide beautiful flowers every year. This makes them a perfect choice for beginners.

Epiphytic Orchid Types – Dendrobiums

orchid types - dendrobium orchidDendrobiums are the best known epiphytic orchid. Although they are easy to grow, they require slightly more care than Cymbidiums and do not flower as readily or on as regular a basis.

There are over 1000 species of Dendrobiums. They can be found in Northern India, South East Asia, Australia and Polynesia. Dendrobiums thrive under warm, humid growing conditions and should be kept moist.

Epiphytic Orchid Types – Phalaenopsis

Orchid Types - Phalaenopsis orchidAnother popular epiphytic type of orchid is the Phalaenopsis.You probably are already familiar with these orchids. They are often seen at weddings and can be found in various colors including pinks, yellows, and even stripes. These orchids are easy to grow and have long-lasting flowers.

Epiphytic orchids grow upon structures like trees. Although they grow upon the tree, they do not receive its nourishment from the tree.

They establish themselves by their fleshy roots on branches or bark of trees. The organic matter that accumulates between the roots and branches is used as nutrients for the plant.

There are also some species of epiphytic orchids that cling to rocks.The roots of epiphytic orchids can also sustain the plant through wet and dry periods. The tough, stringy core of the root is surrounded by a spongy off-white covering that can absorb water easily.

When it rains, this cover soaks up water and once it is completely saturated, it turns light green. The orchid’s roots will retain the moisture and will release it gradually to the plant tissues.

Because  epiphytic orchids are suspended from trees or rocks, these orchid types thrive in filtered light and always in open, airy situations.

As you can see orchid care is largely dependent on their orchid types once we understand and meet their needs caring for orchids becomes easy

Watering Orchids

Watering Orchids Correctly

Although orchids have quickly become a favorite among houseplants there is a lot of confusion about watering orchids.

Like any other plant, orchids require the correct growing conditions in order to thrive.

But since the way they grow is so different from most other plants, it is important to learn the correct way of watering orchids.

watering orchidsA critical part of caring for orchids is learning to give your orchid the right amount of water. Since the amount of water required for your orchid can vary between different species of orchids, it is important to research your particular plant.

it is helpful to understand orchids in general and where they come from. Watering orchids successfully will try to emulate they way they are watered in their natural environment.

Orchid plants are typically found in tropical areas of the globe. The areas where many orchid plants are found receive a tremendous amount of rain. 

It can also be very humid in their native habitats. This leads many to assume orchids need a lot of water and they end up keeping their orchids way too wet.

 If one looks at how they grow naturally, one will quickly realize that orchids grow in very shallow mediums, which drain very quickly. The high humidity is a source of moisture for them and also greatly slows evaporation. Also the roots are able to store and gradually release water to the plants in many species.

Watering Orchids – Common Mistakes

 One of the most common mistakes people make when caring for their orchids is over watering. Many orchid growers think that because the growing media looks dry the plant needs to be watered. This may be true for regular house plants but it is not true when it comes to orchids. Although the potting bark may appear dry, the bark itself holds moisture.

Another critical factor often overlooked and closely related to watering orchids is providing high humidity. In fact, the ideal humidity level for most orchid plants is 80%.  Considering that a room that is kept at 80% humidity would be extremely uncomfortable for most human beings, you need to find other strategies in order to keep your orchids happy and healthy.

Sadly many people will not attempt to grow orchids because they mistakenly believe that you need a greenhouse to grow them. That’s really too bad because it is not necessary to have a greenhouse and they are missing out on growing some amazingly beautiful plants.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to raise the humidity for your orchids without having to live in a greenhouse! You can provide them with a constant high humidity by using a tray or a deep saucer and some pebbles. Place the pebbles into the saucer or tray. Set your orchid pot on top of the pebbles. Then add water to the pebbles making sure that the water never touches the actual orchid pot. This will enable you to create a micro climate with high humidity for your orchid. Problem solved!

A good general rule of thumb for watering orchids is to water your plant once a week or once every other week, sparingly.  When growing an orchid plant in your home, let the potting bark dry out completely before watering them again. Some species of orchids grow on the trunks and branches of trees. In their native habitats it is normal for their roots to dry out before being given water again.

Orchid plants also need to be fertilized but sparingly as well. You can buy orchid fertilizer at most garden shops within your area. Water your plants before you fertilize them. Also it’s a good idea to use all fertilizers at half strength until you have a chance to gauge your plants reaction to them. More is generally not better when it comes to caring for orchids. By creating a good routine for watering and fertilizing your orchid you will be able to enjoy these exotic plants for a long time.

Orchids will thrive in your home environment if they are given the proper care including the right amount of potting bark, the right amount of water, the proper amount of sunlight and if they are fertilized occasionally.

Although generally easy to grow, they can also sometimes be a bit temperamental. Watering orchids is more of an art than an exact science. But in time you will develop an intuitive feel for what your plants needs are. So don’t worry because it will come. By understanding how to care for them properly, watering orchids properly and following the basics, orchids are not that complicated and you can grow these exotic and amazing plants with great results.

Orchid Lighting

Getting Orchid Lighting Right

Proper orchid lighting is one of the most important elements of caring for orchids and can greatly affect the health of your orchid plant. The amount and kind of light that it receives will affect flowering and growth. The amount of light the orchid plant needs will also vary with the species that your orchid is.

Most orchids are found within the tropical areas of the globe. Both day and night are roughly equal near the equator. Orchids generally grow in wooded areas and often on trees or their branches. Orchid lighting in these areas is strong but diffuse. These areas are brightly lit but are a mixture of sun and shade throughout the day.

Taking a clue from nature, it can be seen that although orchids require bright light, they rarely get prolonged direct sun, which can harm them. They also need about 12 hours of light daily. Natural light can be a limiting factor in the home. In Northern climates there is much less light in the winter and definitely not 12 hours worth.

It is common to place orchids in an east window to provide weaker morning sun and avoid the damaging afternoon sun, but again the amount of light they receive can be a limiting factor. A combination of natural and supplemental orchid lighting may be the best solution.

Orchid Lighting Requirements Vary By Type

In order to figure out how much shade and sun your specific orchid species will need, you will need to find out about your particular orchid type. If you can purchase your orchid from a nursery or specialty store where the staff is knowledgeable about orchids, so much the better. This is a great way to get information on your orchid.

Research Your Orchid Lighting Requirements Before You Buy

You could also look up information about your orchid online. Even better is to do some research in advance of buying anything. This will help give you an idea which species of orchid would be best for your situation before you purchase it.

Some types of orchids do thrive on receiving a lot of sun. While other species of orchid plants will wilt if they don’t get mostly shade. Among orchid growers there are two different terms you will run across to distinguish which orchids like what kind of light. They are hard and soft. Soft growing orchids refers to the group that thrives in shady conditions. Hard growing orchids thrive in sunny conditions. 

Typically an orchid that requires soft or shady growing conditions will offer their owners the enjoyment of a healthy and thriving plant, but the blooms will be small and infrequent. On the other hand, orchids that are grown in hard or sunny conditions will produce many blooms, but not much plant. The leaves on such a plant may also be yellow and stunted.

Supplemental Orchid Lighting

As mentioned before, one way of ensuring that your orchid lighting needs are met is to use a grow light. You can purchase a grow light and a timer and give your orchids the correct amounts of both light and darkness. I need to clarify the term grow light. To some this is a fluorescent fixture with special plant bulbs in it. However in some circles, particularly with many greenhouse growers a grow light refers to metal halide lights.

Orchid LightingGrow lights or metal halides are expensive to buy and run compared to fluorescent. But the quality of light they produce is far superior. This is the closest we can come to natural sunlight. As such they are the choice of most serious orchid growers. However they may be too strong for some softies. Also they are probably too bright to use in some locations inside your home.

 It is also possible to use fluorescent light to offer your orchids a light source that is not too strong for them. Generally fluorescent orchid lights are cheaper to buy and run. There are many specialty plant lights available for them to simulate specific growing conditions but even standard white tubes will work fine. This type of lighting is probably best for soft orchids and for most home situations.

For years it was thought that orchids could only be successfully grown by experienced horticulturists in a greenhouse. But providing proper orchid lighting is really simple. Combining natural light with supplemental orchid lights will insure your orchids get their lighting needs met.

Orchids can now be grown by even the most inexperienced growers. Along with natural sunlight, a grow light or fluorescent lights and an  understanding of your orchid’s needs, you can have an amazing orchid plant that will give you gorgeous, full blooms throughout it’s blooming season by providing proper orchid lighting.

Wedding Orchids

Wedding Orchids – One Of  The Most Popular Wedding Flowers

Possibly the most important thing about a wedding next to the bride and groom is the wedding flowers. They not only add visual interest to the day but they add elegance and make a statement about the couple depending on the kind of flowers that are chosen for the day.

One of the most popular types of wedding flowers are wedding orchids. They come in so many different varieties and colors that any couple can find exactly what they are looking for their special day.

Wedding Orchids Are One Of The Most Versatile Of Wedding Flowers

 Wedding orchids can be used in several ways. One way of course, is in the bouquet. There are two things in particular that make the orchid a perfect flower for a wedding bouquet; color and scent.  A huge aspect to picking the right flower for the bouquet is the color of the flower. Most wedding bouquets feature a white or close to white colored flower. 

The other aspect of the bouquet is the scent. Since these flowers will be held close to one’s nose, a strong scented flower might be out of the question. Plus many people suffer from allergies creating a difficult situation when holding fresh flowers so close to one’s nose. Orchids come in a variety of scents from subtle to strong and some are basically unscented as well.

wedding orchids bouquet

Many people are not aware that flowers have meanings and stand for different things. For instance, roses embody love. Lilacs and daisies stand for innocence. Blue hydrangeas stand for loyalty and friendship. The flowers that are picked for a wedding send a message.

Orchids stand for beauty.That is something that every bride and groom want their wedding to stand for. Beauty goes beyond looks; it can further accentuate the beauty of one’s life, their relationship and the tradition and ceremonies themselves. With so many beautiful things about a wedding, wedding orchids are a wonderful choice for a flower.


wedding orchid centerpieceAnother way that orchids can be used is as wedding centerpieces in the middle of the table. Some of the concerns regarding allergies and strong scents should be taken into consideration when choosing the right flower for the centerpieces. There are several reasons why orchids would make the perfect wedding flower in these arrangements. One of the things that makes orchids great for centerpieces is their height. Some types of orchids grow very tall making the centerpiece truly the center of attention.

Wedding Orchids Are Durable

Also orchids are tough as nails, although they are sensitive to cold and may bruise or drop blooms with rough handling. They are however resistant to moisture loss and heat.  For someone that is having a summer wedding that is great news. Orchids are available year round depending upon their variety.

Finally, orchids can be bought in bulk. This means that you are able to cut costs. You can go right to the source, the growers, rather then paying extra for all the times that flowers have to change hands. If you are planning on doing things yourself and incorporating orchids into not only the bouquets and the centerpieces but other aspects of the decorating, then buying your wedding orchids in bulk is definitely the way to go