If you have had the opportunity to visit almost any tropical country or for that matter your local botanical gardens, I am sure that you have seen one of their most common plants, the orchids. Orchids are beautiful but they are sensitive to growing conditions. They are simply exceptional plants and flowers. Beginner orchid growers must learn the general information about orchid growing and some rules of thumb in growing orchids if you want to have success in learning how to grow orchids.
Get to know orchids.
1. Orchid seeds are considered special because they are so tiny that they barely carry with them enough nutrients to help them survive and grow. Due to this condition, orchids rely on the supply of nutrients through mycorrhiza, their parasitic symbiosis mechanism. Orchids consume as parasites the tissues of fungi for nutrient absorption.
2. Orchids are categorized into two kinds of growth habits: monopodial and sympodial. Monopodial orchids have a single stem that grows in an upright position. Their leaves grow opposite each other. Meanwhile, sympodial orchids grow horizontally. A common characteristic of sympodial orchids is the formation of water and nutrient storage swollen shoots called seudobulbs.
3. The natural habitats of orchids are on the bark of trees and on the surface of other plants, depending on their species. Most are rarely terrestrial.
4. Orchids are sensitive. Repotting orchid flowers is challenging because some do not bloom for a year after they have been disturbed, so beginner orchid growers are advised to purchase orchid flowers in pots already.
5. Orchids are natives of tropical regions and are called epiphytes, which means plants and flowers that grow best in the air rather than in soil. This is due to their growing requirements of good air circulation and all year round sufficient sunlight.
6. Orchid species like oncidiums and cattleyas that have few leatherlike leaves require high-intensity sunlight while phalaenopis and paphlopedilum are light sensitive.
Rules of thumb on how to grow orchids
1. Based on the general information mentioned above, research deeply about the species of orchid that you intend to grow. Note that each specie has different growing medium requirements so it’s better to be better informed than sorry.
2. Orchids are light-hungry plants. An average of 12 to 14 hours of daylight a day is needed by the orchids. For those who grow indoors, orchids happily accept artificial light provided that the light is 4 inches away from the plant offers full spectrum and doesn’t get hot enough to burn the flower.
3. Orchids’ roots must be secure and clingy. The most common growing medium is using fir bark nuggets.
4. Avoid over watering because they may drown and die.
5. Use organic and worm casting fertilizers to enhance the growth of orchids.
With these tips in mind you can learn how to grow orchids and eventually become a premier orchid grower. There is a serious following of orchid growers and orchid hobbyists. It might just become something that you love.