Orchids belong to the 'Orchidaceae' family of flowering plants (Angiospermae), and is named after the genus called 'Orchis'. Orchids are mostly found in tropical zones like Asia, Central America, and South America. They are also found in Southern Patagonia, Macquarie Island, above the Arctic Circle, and close to Antarctica. Orchids are the group of plants with over 880 genera, and it is estimated that there are about 28,000 species of this beautiful flower.
Some orchid species may bloom twice or thrice a year, while few others bloom annually. These blooms often last for almost a month. Depending on the type of species, these exotic houseplants vary in size, color, shape, and scent. They are divided into two different basic growth types:
Orchid gardening is usually considered very difficult. But once the requirements of these beautiful plants are understood, they are very simple and easy to grow. Orchids bloom regularly for years in proper climatic conditions and growing them can be a deeply satisfying hobby.
Orchids should be watered periodically, normally once a week. Many times, orchids are watered more than necessary. Most orchids have a very effective root system to store water and hence, do not need as much water as other plants. While watering orchids remember two points, firstly, water needs of the particular species should be taken into account and secondly, watering should be done only when the soil is dry. Usually, orchids planted in a clay pot with bark mix needs frequent watering.
Providing proper humidity is another factor while growing orchids. Orchids require a humid environment for its foliage to absorb water from the air, instead of watering, too much of which may affect the roots. When the climate is less humid, then either misting the plant occasionally or using a humidity tray to artificially increase the humidity level helps. While misting the plants is a good practice, one should be careful not to soak them, as it can cause bacterial or fungal diseases.
The next factor to be taken into consideration while growing orchids is the use of fertilizers. A proper quantity of fertilizer needs to be used at least once a month in order to provide essential nutrients to the orchids. Their growth may be obstructed, if right amount of fertilizer is not provided.
Orchids normally require medium light to grow. Placing these plants near a window, to get at least four hours of sunlight a day, is ideal. The color of the leaves indicates, if sufficient light is being provided to the plant. When the leaves on the plants are dark green, they are not getting sufficient light; and if they are reddish green, they are receiving too much light. The ideal color of the leaves should be bright green.
If you are planning to plant orchids at home, these tips for growing orchids will be really helpful. One can easily nourish orchids at home and be rewarded with years and years of beautiful blooms.