Orchids and existing species
Under this name there is a large quantity of very beautiful flowering species. Some are typical of tropical countries, others of Asia, America and South America, others still present in temperate top zones. In Italy there are around 29 different species of orchids. Belonging to the Orchidales family, orchids are perennial herbaceous plants and grow mainly on tree trunks, especially those of tropical origin. They are generally considered to be delicate botanical species, but in reality this is not the case. They adapt easily to living in any environment except glaciers and desert areas.
Soil and fertilization
Orchids have aerial roots and feed mainly on decomposing substances and microorganisms. The substances necessary for the life and growth of the flower are absorbed through the roots. We find them on the market sold in small pots often with the roots covered with a light substrate mixed with wood chips and bark. For this reason, large pots or very frequent repotting are not necessary. The soil for growing orchids must be light, peaty and well loose. Stagnation of water which could cause the roots to rot should be avoided. The plant needs a good level of constant humidity which can also be guaranteed with daily nebulisations. In general, however, the cultivation standards for orchids vary depending on the species and place of origin. Some species love direct light, others partial shade. Watering is also variable, some species require frequent watering and constant humidity, others require less water. These plants need good lighting to vegetate and flower. Avoid direct sun which can damage both the leaves and flowers, especially in the summer season, a period in which the sun's rays can cause burns to the plants. In relation to the species, dose the required brightness level by exposing them appropriately.
How to grow orchids
Orchids can be grown both indoors and in the garden or on the balcony. Some species require high temperatures to live (20-30°), which is why, during the winter period, it is advisable to store them indoors. Other species, however, planted in the garden or kept in pots in areas with a temperate Mediterranean climate, can remain outdoors even in winter. In the summer period, watering must be frequent, avoiding the soil mixture from drying out too much. After the winter period, however, the plants must be irrigated with fertilizer in order to stimulate flowering. Some species give winter blooms. The flowering of orchids gives life to small, medium and large flowers, with the most disparate colors and variegations. The flowers have a very typical winged structure, characterized by the presence of three upper sepals and three lower petals. Each flower has both male and female organs gathered in a single columnar body called the gynostemium. Thanks to the insects that land on the flowering corollas, pollination occurs which can be both asexual and sexual. The leaves of orchids have a linear and elongated structure, present in large numbers in some species, and scarce in others. Fertilization promotes flowering as happens in all flowering plants.
Easy to grow orchids
There are about ten orchids that are easiest to grow both indoors and outdoors, in this guide we will only examine a few types. This does not mean that if you are a true enthusiast you will also be able to try your hand at cultivating more difficult and demanding species in terms of cultivation and factors such as light and temperature. Phalaenopsis : medium in size, and with various colours, such as deep purple, pink, white, red, orange, etc. we find the phalaenopsis orchid. It requires an average temperature of 27° to 30° but can also tolerate lower temperatures and short temperature changes which, in some cases, can accelerate flowering, which can last for up to four months. It requires monthly fertilization to be carried out with specific fertilizer for orchids. Does not like direct sun. Dendrobium : the dendrobium orchid, on the other hand, unlike the species examined previously, loves the sun's rays and gives blooms that last up to a month. It requires weekly watering and sometimes in winter, even biweekly. They keep their foliage green all year round and have beautiful white blooms. Oncidium : characterized by flowers of very particular size and shape, it gives rich blooms in clusters composed of small flowers in bright colors such as bright yellow. It should be watered every fortnight, it loves temperatures around 25/30 degrees. The flowers of this species are characterized by an intense odor. Cymbidiun : one of the species that is very easily found in florists' shops. It has dark foliage and variegated flowers with an almost velvety consistency. It requires weekly watering and high humidity. in summer it can be placed outdoors in a shaded place. Unlike the species seen previously, cymbidium grows well even at temperatures below 25 degrees and blooms even in the winter period. Cattleya : golden yellow in color and with stems that reach a maximum of 50 centimetres, this species likes a temperate climate with temperatures between 20 and 27 degrees. requires monthly fertilization and fears water stagnation.
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