Are Orchids difficult to grow?
Not really, If you grow other plants, then you are already aware that plants need water, light, fertilizer, and air to grow. Orchids have the same requirements as all plants. If you are new to growing plants, Orchids are a good choice as they are very hardy, and thrive on "benign neglect".
What do you mean "benign neglect"?
The 25,000+ Orchid species have survived millions of years in mainly harsh environments. They live in the tops of trees, fertilized when a bird goes by, and watered when it rained or from the early morning mists. This is of course a slight exageration. But Orchids are not found in pots nor do they get watered and fertilizered regularly in the wild. They thrive on less than ideal care. More Orchids succumb to overwatering, overfertilizing, and low light, than those which are underwatered, underfertilized, and given morning light.
When is the best time to repot?
When new rooting activity or the beginning of new growth is seen. New growth activity is usually preceeded by nice green root tips on new plump white roots. In Phalaenopsis, the new rooting rooting will come from the base of the plant. In the orchids with psuedobulbs the new rooting will come from the new growth. If in doubt, repot in the spring.
Are Orchids Parasites?
No, Of the 25,000+ species of orchids that grow around the world, not one receives any benefit other than support. In their natural environment, many orchids cling to trees and bushes as a growth habit;Orchids that grow on trees are called epiphytes or, more commonly, air plants. In Spanish speaking countries many air plants, including Orchids, are referred to as "parasitos"; hence the mistaken belief.
Do I need a greenhouse?
Probably not. Many Orchids can actually be grown in a east or southern facing window. Some are able to withstand a light frost and very cool temperature.
Are all Orchids the same?
No, there is not a more diverse plant family. The size and shape of orchids varies from minute plants and flowers to a species which stands 20 feet tall and weighs a ton or more. There is a size, shape, and color to satisfy every taste in plants.
Don't Most Orchids come from the Jungles?
Yes, some do. But most come from the temperate areas of the world. Orchids are found on all contienents, except Antartica. They are even found on the Arctic Circle.
Do all Orchids smell?
Some Orchids are very fragrant, many others less so. Some orchid fragrances defy description, while others resemble familiar fragrances - raspberry, coconut, lilacs and citrus. Others have no scent, but rely on shape and color to attract insects or birds for pollination. Then there are a few Orchids, which have an odor, not a fragrance, which are terrible. Fortunately, only a few are in this category.
How long will it stay in flower?
It depends on the specific type of Orchid, plus factors of culture and care of the blooming plant. For example, bringing a blooming plant inside the house, from a greenhouse, will shorten the life of the bloom. Blooms of members of the Cattleya family may last from one to four weeks on the plant. Those of the Phalaenopsis and Vandas usually last several months.
What Type of Soil do Orchids need?
The majority of Orchids require no soil. They are air plants requiring a loose, easily drained substrata for support. In nature, orchids can be divided into four distinct types according to their growing substrata.Those growing on trees are classified as epiphytes, or air plants. Those Orchids which cling to the surfaces of rocks are called lithophytes, or rock growers. The third group is the Orchids grwoing in the leaf litter on the forest floor or the Saprophytes. Finally, there are the terrestrialswhich do actually support themselves in soil or sand.
Well if you don't use soil, what do you use?
As most orchids are epiphytes, they can be grown in fir bark chips, coconut chips, rocks, lava rock, crumbled charcoal, or wooden baskets or cork plaques. Actually, Orchids can grow in about anything you want, just have to adjust watering and fertilizing accordingly.
Aren't Orchids very expensive?
No. Modern methods have made it possible to reproduce thousands of similiar plants at the same time. As the supply goes up, the cost comes down. You can spend as much or as little as you like on your hobby.
How often do Orchids bloom?
Again, it depends on the plant. Some bloom once a year; others bloom several times a year;some bloom continuously.
When do Orchids Bloom
The bulk of Orchids bloom in winter, spring and fall. It is possible to find an Orchid in bloom for every month of the year.
Will Orchids rebloom from the same growth?
Usually Not in the same year. Some Dendrobiums will rebloom from previous bloomed "canes" in their next cycle. However, the phalaenopsis -- the moth orchid -- can be induced to rebloom from its old spike. If you cut the flower spike just below the old spent flowers and above the last node (covered with a small triangular brown sheath), you may get a reblooming from one of the lower nodes. Always cut with a very hot instrument, to seal the cut, and cover the cut with a fungicide.
How long do Orchids live ?
If given good care, most Orchids are virtually immortal. There are plants alive today, which were brough into England in the early 1800s.
Can You move Orchids long distances?
Yes. Orchids are very portable. Because Orchids are usually grown in pots or baskets, they can be easily carried anywhere as other plants can. Many hobby growers use blooming plants as living centerpieces in their homes. Orchids are routinely mailed and shipped across country and around the world. Many of the people, who journey to the warmer parts, in the winter, carry their prize Orchids with them, sort of "snowbird Orchids".
Where Can I find out More
Right here, Camp Lot A Noise Tropicals has lots of free information about Orchids, Orchid Photos, and our ever present email answer center. Drop us an email and we will do our best to find you an answer.
Camp Lot A Noise Tropicals has a bookstore online, with several excellent books to help a grower learn more about Orchids. The bookstore also has listings of Orchid books available through Amazon. com.
Joining a local Orchid Society is great way to meet local Orchid growers.
Do all the bulbophyllums have the "objectionable"odors indicated by the books as typical of that genus? (i.e. "urine, blood, dung, rotting meat, a herd of dead elephants", etc.)
NO, only about 10% of the 2800 Bulbophyllums actually have a bad smell. However, the 10% give the other 90% a bad name. Most Bulbos are scentless or have a typical flowery fragrance. With the exception of a very few Bulbos, you must have your nose nearly in the flower to experience the fragrance, including the bad smelling Bulbos.
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