Orchids: maintenance and care
Orchids have long been the symbol of love. They generally have no scent, but their color and beauty make them among the most prized plants. They are relatively easy to care for if you follow a few simple rules. Here is a guide showing how to best care for your orchids.
The origin of the orchid
Orchids keep many secrets, no one knows exactly how old this huge plant family is. Until now no fossil remains of these plants have been found. Orchids are believed to have originated in the early Cretaceous period, approximately 120 million years ago. During this time the continents as we know them today broke free from the original large landmass. The first orchids were already there, and because the different parts of the world drifted apart, the orchids were also spread all over the world.
Types of orchids
Orchids are available for purchase at most garden centers. They can be found in two categories, namely the Cymbidium and the Phalaenopsis. Cymbidiums have huge waxy flowers and strap shaped leaves. They usually bloom in winter and spring, but there are also varieties that bloom in summer and fall. These orchids are best grown in a cool greenhouse and in the open air during the summer. This type of environment will help to re-stimulate flowering. When the plant has finished flowering, make sure you cut the stems to the root. The second kind is the Phalaenopis, also known as Month Orchids, it is the most popular orchid that is bought as a houseplant. This species owes its name to its large round flowers, they come in a wide range of colors and patterns. They bloom all year round and re-flower a few times on the same stem. As soon as this orchid has finished flowering, it is best to cut off the parts above the nodes so that other flowers can grow again afterwards.
Maintenance and care
When you buy an orchid from a garden center, it will usually be packed in a cellophane package. It is best to keep the orchid in this packaging until the plant is at its destination, as orchids are very sensitive to temperature changes. A remarkable difference between the two types of orchids is that the Cymbidiums are in an opaque pot, while the Phalaenopsis is placed in an opaque pot. This opaque pot is because fungi can form that way, these fungi help to feed the plant. The fungi need light to survive, so an opaque pot is always used to house the plant. Orchids need to be watered carefully. Put some water in a lid, take the plant out of the pot and put it on the damp lid, that way the plant can absorb the water well. Afterwards, put the plant back in the pot. Both types of orchids prefer a lot of light, but no direct sunlight.
Orchids can brighten up both your home and garden. You can simply plant the orchids in a planter, but it is best to leave the orchid in its original pot. Orchids are generally a bit more expensive than the regular average plant, but you have something in return. Orchids are also ideal as a gift for special occasions, such as Mother’s Day, birthdays, thanks, … When you take good care of your orchids, you are guaranteed to enjoy them!