Orchids

Orchids have a unique aura about them and originate from all parts of the world. Orchids have a great diversity in colours, shapes, sizes, and scents, although not all have agreeable fragrances. They grow in in tropical, temperate and some in near freezing conditions.

Many people consider orchids to be difficult to grow and bloom. Actuality, most orchids are easy to grow and to get to flower but with all planets the correct conditions are required. A number are virtually indestructible and with a few basic tips most people can grow orchids so they not only thrive, but bloom.

Orchids have a unique aura about them and originate from all parts of the world. Orchids have a great diversity in colours, shapes, sizes, and scents, although not all have agreeable fragrances. They grow in tropical, temperate and some in near freezing conditions.

Many people consider orchids to be difficult to grow and bloom. Actuality, most orchids are easy to grow and to get to flower but with all planets the correct conditions are required. A number are virtually indestructible and with a few basic tips most people can grow orchids so they not only thrive, but bloom.

Among the easiest types of orchids to grow are:

 

  • Phalaenopsis (pronounced - Fal-en-op-sis)

  • Dendrobium (pronounced – Den-droh-bee-um)

  • Cattleya (pronounced - Kat-lee-ya).

  • Cymbidium (pronounced - Sim-bid-ee-um)

  • Coelogyne (pronounced - See-loj-in-ee), Coelogyne Alba has a great fragrance.

Diversity

Although over 35,000 species of orchids inhabit our planet, humans have hybridised these species to create over 200,000 hybrids. Many are grown for their attractive flowers, but the seedpods of the Vanilla orchid provide the popular flavouring.

Unlike most plants, orchids can grow in the air. Their roots attach to trees or rocks where they can capture moisture and nutrients.

 

Ancient lineage

Evidence indicates that orchids originate from when dinosaurs roamed the planet, some 120 million years ago and many have an association with particular types of insects or birds in order for them to pollinate their flowers. 

Orchids are a sizeable, diverse, and unique family of plants. Orchids or Orchidaceae are monocot flowering plants in the superorder Liliiflorae.

Monocots are possibly the most important plants on earth and stem from our four most important foods, such as rice, corn, wheat, and barley.

Others, such as bamboo and palms are a primary source of building materials in many countries, and sugar cane, pineapples, dates, and bananas come from monocots.

The orchid family contains more species than any other family of plants - some botanists estimate the

family to contain some 25,000 to 35,000 species.

Orchids bloom in a vast range of colours and shapes and they live in a variety of habitats, from:

  • Live in direct sunlight, shade, cool and cold climates

  • Climb on rocks, trees

  • Grow on the ground

Another feature about orchids is that they have several distinguishing features, like:

  • Pistils (female part)

  • Stamens (male part)

Orchids come characteristically in two main forms, Monopodial, and Sympodial orchids.

 

Monopodial orchids have stems that grow indefinitely. This type of orchid leaf always grows from the end of a stem and Monopodial orchids frequently produce aerial roots along their stems.

Monopodial Orchids have no pseudobulbs, they produce new growth from the crown of the plant and the roots can be particularly adventitious. It’s not uncommon to have aerial roots at regular intervals along the stem, particularly on species such as Vandas.

The flower spikes, or inflorescence, grow from the side of the stem, not from the end.

Popular monopodial orchids include:

  • Vanda

  • Phalaenopsis

 

Sympodial orchids are categorised by having a succession of shoots or bulb-like stems, known as pseudobulbs. Pseudobulbs rise from the base of the one before it and each pseudobulb has limited growth. Roots normally form from the base of pseudobulbs or along the rhizome.

The flower spike of Sympodial orchids rise from the base of the pseudobulb or even from a rhizome.

Tropical orchids are often Sympodial and popular Sympodial orchids include:

  • Cattleyas

  • Dendrobiums

  • Oncidiums

  • Spathoglottis


Sympodial orchids have pseudobulbs that grow on a rhizome. These can appear short that the bulbs appear attached to each other or long enough to put some inches between them. It’s necessary to re-pot these orchids on a regular basis because of the extensive lateral growth pattern.

Vanda
coelogyne orchid white with pink spots and orange lip
white dedrobium orchid
peach colour slipper orchid
large pink vanda orchid
orange and yellow cymbidium orchid