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Orchids – Powerfully Beautiful and Utterly Unique

Posted on Friday, April 16, 2021
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by AMAC, D.J. Wilson
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1 Comments
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orchids

Majestic, colorful, and fragrant orchids belong to one of the two largest families of flowering plants, the other being Asteraceae. People tend to love orchids because they are breathtakingly beautiful and are generally effortless to grow compared to most other flowers. A moth orchid, or Phalaenopsis, can rebloom with ease and minimal care. In nature, orchids tend to grow visibly on the surface of trees or rocks. Though they adapt well as house plants, they are a tropical plant that thrives in a consistent and warm environment. They grow best in special orchid potting soil featuring wood chips and bark rather than in thick dark soil.

Orchids, whose scientific name is Orchidaceae, were once a symbol of virility within the Ancient Greek culture. Some Greeks believed that the gender of a baby could be determined by eating orchid tubers. To other cultures, orchids became symbols of love, rare beauty, and strength. In the Victorian era, they symbolized luxury and high societal standing. Today, the exotic-looking plant is well-loved for its beautiful magazine-cover-worthy blooms. And, they are widely available on the market.

Orchids grow well in room temperature environments and favor east to south-facing windows. They thrive in bright indirect sunlight with minimal watering requirements. Though the plants must be watered adequately, the “soil” (compost bark mix) must be well-drained and somewhat dry between watering intervals. There is some debate as to whether 3 or 4 ice cubes should be placed at the base of the plant weekly and be allowed to melt in lieu of watering. While many people have reported luck using this method, Gardenista.com explains that “…experts warn against this practice. For one thing, orchids are tropical plants that love warmth – and ice cubes are cold.” To ensure the plant’s wellbeing, most experts recommend watering with small amounts of room temperature water and keeping the plant in a well-drained pot.

Pruning an orchid may become necessary after the last bloom fades to help form new shoots. Different types of orchids require different pruning methods. Generally, snip off the flower stem above a mature plant’s growth node using sterile cutting blades and a clean cut. Additionally, the plant should be fertilized at least once a month with a balanced fertilizer, such as 20-20-20, that can provide necessary trace elements the plant needs. The American Orchid Society (AOS) states, “Orchids will do far better with too little fertilizer than too much. Many growers recommend the “weakly, weekly” approach, applying a dilute (¼ strength) fertilizer each time they water,” rather than dousing the plant once a month. People who grow orchids may at some point face plant ailments, such as aphids or mites. To learn more about specific orchid problems, visit aos.org for troubleshooting.

Even someone with minimal gardening or horticultural skills can enjoy owning and caring for orchids. With over 25,000 species in the orchid family, elegant plants are available in an abundant variety of colors and types (genera). There is much to admire of the plant’s extensive beauty. Farmer’s Almanac unequivocally gives high praises, “Orchids have no equal: They are breathtakingly beautiful, delicate, long-blooming, long-lived, fascinating in fragrance and form, and extremely varied. Few pleasures in gardening surpass the thrill of seeing orchids thrive and bloom.” From this description alone, one can truly sense that orchids are incredibly special plants.

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Mariaisabel Verrier
Mariaisabel Verrier
3 years ago

love your info about orchids they are my favorite flowers they are always at home i touch them and talk to them because they are alive and understand the treatment

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