OrchidsThere are many varieties of these exotic plants that can be grown quite easily at home
Grown for their beautiful, long lasting flowers, orchids have long been considered the domain of the expert gardener. This however is not necessarily the case. There are many varieties of these exotic plants that can be grown quite easily at home, given the right conditions and usually no more care than you would give an ordinary house plant, although there are exceptions.
Epiphytic orchids are the type grown most often as a houseplant; they grow naturally in trees and on rocks. In addition to having roots at their base epiphytic orchids have aerial roots and require a special orchid container for proper growing conditions. Terrestrial orchids have their roots wholly underground and are less common as houseplants.
When selecting an orchid there are a few factors that you should consider. First you should decide what variety of orchid you prefer. There are many flower shapes, sizes and colours. Many people also consider when the flowering period occurs when selecting a variety, often for certain events or holidays. The second thing that you should consider is the area you wish the orchid to grow. Light, temperature and air circulation are all-important factors to consider. Lastly, what level of care do you want to provide? Orchid care ranges from simple and undemanding to complicated and finicky. greengate has a superior selection of orchids and our experienced staff can help you with plant selection, requirements, fertilization or even a pot.
Cattleya orchids have the large flowers that are often used for corsages. They come in many colours and several sizes. Older varieties bloomed once a year, but newer hybrids bloom several times a year. Cattleyas require a bright window and watering when quite dry in the summer, and very little water but bright light during the winter dormant period.
CYMBIDIUM orchids have grass-like leaves and the flowers grow on a tall spike in the winter and early spring. They like a sunny, warm place in the summer and can grow outdoors in a container. In the fall they should be left outdoors until they have had a degree or two of frost, as the difference in temperature between night and day is what stimulates blooming.
DENDROBIUM orchids have clusters of smaller, long-lasting flowers on long stalks in spring or summer. They need a dormant period in the fall and winter, with little water but direct sun, until new flower buds form. In spring and summer they need a moist growing medium and good drainage.
They like a warm, humid atmosphere, which is not exactly what our homes are in the winter, but seem to adapt to less than the best conditions and bloom for a long time several times a year. When all the flowers have died, do not remove the stem. It could grow more flower buds on the same stem. When the stem turns yellow, remove it and a new stem will grow.