Orchids have always been appreciated for their beauty, their scent and their delicate and sensual charm at the same time. For a long time a symbol of elegance and refinement, they are nevertheless very difficult to cultivate, as they constantly require care and attention. They have particular needs regarding their habitat: if you want to make them grow in your own home, or in your garden, you have to be very careful about humidity, temperature, light, fertilizer and all the operations and factors that can affect the their health. Orchids that are able to grow and, above all, to flourish, in an environment that is not very suitable for them are really rare. Generally, in these cases, they stop developing and no longer give flowers.
However, beyond the care they require, if in health orchids are able to repay all the hard work of the grower: their flowers with an original and artistic shape, their sweet scent and the texture of their petals, velvety and soft, make flower orchids highly appreciated both for their beauty and for their ornamental value: a small plant alone is able to decorate an otherwise lifeless corner of the house.
In ancient times, the very appearance of orchids meant that they were used in what they called "love filters", as they were believed to have aphrodisiac properties. Today, however, their beauty simply makes them one of the most loved and appreciated flowers in compositions or gifts, especially as a cut flower, a symbol of perfection and luxury.
Orchids are one of the largest families present in botany, divided into many genera and species. Cataloging such a family has been very difficult, due to the thousands of species in circulation that increase day by day due to the presence of hybrids, or rather the most present “orchids” on the market. However, the factors that allow us to recognize one orchid from another are various: first of all, its needs regarding light, temperature, humidity and soil. Then its leaves, its size and, of course, its inflorescence. Orchid flowers are varied and all different in size, colors and shapes. Certainly, orchids take on the beauty and artistry of the most elaborate compositions in a completely natural way, despite their simplicity. Particular flowers, striated, of a single color, multicolored .. these flowers are present in all shades of color, with many patterns.
The most common, but also among the most loved, are the typical “pink orchids”, whose soft colors give a delicate aspect to the environment in which they are placed or to the person who owns them.
This type of orchid belongs to the Cattleya genus and comes from Central-South America. They are mostly epiphytic plants, but there is also a lithophyte minority.
The flowers of the Cattleya occur in pairs or in groups, with a maximum of 10 components, all terminal to the stem. They have very large and wavy petals at the edges. Pollen is contained inside special rounded organs.
Generally, the Cattleya tends to grow vertically, ie it is placed from the center of the pot and goes outwards. Indeed, if more than one vegetative bud were to develop, the plant could take on several directions, each determined by a bud.
The cattleya is not among the most delicate orchids, but it still needs care and attention. If you want to recreate a habitat suitable for them, so that they can grow in complete health, you will need to be very careful with regard to temperature, light, watering and ventilation.
As for the temperature, this can vary from 13 to 23 ° C in winter, while in summer temperatures must be limited to a maximum of 30 ° C. The thermal shock must also be very limited: it must not exceed 6 ° C.
It is good to know that Cattleya loves light and air. However, it prefers a balance between the various factors: for this you will have to pay close attention to what light and temperature compensate for: when it is hot, it is good that there is good lighting, while a slightly dimmer light can be combined with a cooler environment. In addition, Cattleya greatly appreciates the morning light, but that of the "rush" hours is strongly discouraged because it is too strong.
Ventilation is also important: it is good to avoid drafts, but the plant must be in a well ventilated place.
The soil of the Cattleya must be constantly humid, but free from stagnant water. The same goes for the environment surrounding the plant: it must never be dry! To allow the plant to find an environment as close as possible to its natural habitat, it is possible to use a saucer filled with expanded clay, gravel and water.
As can be seen from all this, humidity is a key factor for orchids, as they come from tropical forests. Therefore, an optimal humidity situation is around 70%, but it must be proportionate to the temperatures: when it is too hot, the humidity level must necessarily be high.
Cattleya requires repotting when the substrate in which it grows is completely deteriorated. It is advisable to carry out this operation when the plant emits new roots. The optimal substrate for this type of orchid is certainly the Osmunda, or the Bark with sphagnum peat, which allow good ventilation and, therefore, avoid water stagnation, but do not allow the loss of humidity.
Fertilize the Cattleya every fortnight, making sure you give the plant everything it needs, therefore Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium and balance these elements according to the needs of the moment of the plant: when it is the flowering period, for example, Potassium must predominate over the other elements, while during the period of vegetative growth you have to administer more Nitrogen.
It is also important to know that Cattleya enter a "rest" period from October to April. In these months the plant will no longer need watering. In April, however, to favor the vegetative restart of the plant, watering will be performed directly by immersing the plant in water and resuming spraying and fertilizing!
Orchids are wonderful plants that can add color to our home and garden with their flowers. Grow orchids it is simple when you know the needs and correct needs for light and water of these plants.
We recommend that you choose the best varieties of orchids to grow at home or in the garden following the advice of your trusted nurseryman. We have good news for you: orchids can bloom again and during the summer you can move them outdoors.
Here are many useful tips for grow orchids indoors or in the garden.
Depending on the variety, modern roses tend to bloom periodically every 30-40 days, or they continually produce new flowers, roses that bloom periodically so they will have buds and flowers in bloom for a few weeks, then only foliage for at least 20-25 days, and then a new flowering, and so on until the cold of winter. The roses of the second type on the other hand, throughout the summer, have buds, blossoming flowers and withered flowers.
The Bletilla genus of orchids is a small group, with only nine species belonging to the genera. Named after 18th-century Spanish botanist Don Luis Blet, bletilla orchids are hardy and generally easy to grow, both indoors and out. The most common species is the Bletilla striata, which bears up to 12 pink colored flowers during the summer. There is also a rare white variety of Bletilla striata that has yellow on the lips and throat of the blooms.
Cattleya orchids feature large, spectacular blooms.
Cattleya orchids have long been prized by florists and orchid enthusiasts alike due to their large, dramatic blooms. Some Cattleya species have drawn top dollar due to their award-winning blooms. Cattleya intermedia bears 3-7 flowers that can reach 13 centimeters in diameter. The large flowers are bright white, and some varieties have pink or red inner lobes. The blooms of the Cattleya mossiae have ruffled edges with light rose petals and deep pink inner lips. Cattleya schilleriana flowers are smaller in size than most Cattleya varieties. The deep pink flowers are offset by the bright white of the inner lobes.
Phalaenopsis orchids resemble moths in flight.
Phalaenopsis orchids are also known as moth orchids because their large, flat flowers resemble the flying insect. Phalaenopsis orchids genus bloom once a year, and the flowers can last up to six months if the plant is properly cared for. Due to the numerous hybridized versions of Phalaenopsis, orchid varieties come in a wide variety of sizes, colors and patterns. Most nurseries and home garden centers carry Phalaenopsis orchids in various shades of pink and white.
Vanda orchids are fragrant and come in a wide range of colors.
Vanda orchids are known for their large, fragrant flowers that usually come in blue or purple hues. White and pink varieties of Vanda are available, such as Vanda coerulescens, a miniature version of an orchid that bears white flowers with blue inner lips. Vanda luzonica has white flowers lined with a pink border, and Vanda tricolor sports white flowers with deep red spots and bright fuchsia inner lobes.