Orchid Flowers

Posts Tagged ‘Orchid Tips

Drying orchids is a challenging task as these flowers are considered difficult to be preserved. Dried orchids can be used for different purposes such as the dried orchids can be used in vases and baskets and sometimes in shadow boxes. Here are some instructions about drying orchid flowers for the people who are orchid lovers and want to preserve them for a long time.

Selection of Flowers

The first step is to select the flowers for drying purpose. Always select those flowers having bright colors because most of the orchid flowers loose their color after drying. The selection of the flowers depends on the way the flowers would be used for.

Cutting the Flowers

Flowers should be cut very carefully from the stems and near to the base of flowers.

Putting Silica Gel

The next step is to put silica gel in the bottom of a microwave-safe dish making a layer of almost two inches thick.

Placing the Flowers in Silica Gel

Now place the flowers stem down in a dish. It should be kept in mind that distance among the flowers should be far enough so that they can’t touch each other.

Covering the Orchids

In this step, orchids are covered with silica gel. You should perform this step carefully otherwise the blossoms would be crushed. Each orchid should be covered completely.

Putting the Dish in Microwave

Now the dish containing gel and flowers is put in the center of microwave after putting a cup of water in back of microwave.

Setting the Time

Time of microwave should be set very carefully as it depends on the type of microwave and nature of orchid flowers. The standard time recommended is 2 to 3 minutes.

Cooling the Silica Gel

Now take the dish out of microwave and wait until the gel becomes cool.

Removing Orchids

After cooling the gel, your dried orchids are ready to be removed from the gel. After removing don’t forget to brush them off.

I hope that the above instructions will proved to be very useful and help you a lot to preserve your favorite orchid flowers for a long time.

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A greenhouse can proved to be a good and ideal place to grow many plants including orchids. Light, temperature and humidity are some of the conditions which can be maintained very easily in a greenhouse. Greenhouses are of different types and sizes so before purchasing a greenhouse, you should be sure that you understand the conditions which you are going to provide to your orchids.

Light

First element which needs special consideration is light. You will have to control light conditions in your greenhouse according to the type of orchid you have grown. For example, Cattleya orchids like sunlight while Phalaenopsis orchids require bright light but not direct sunlight. They like to be placed in west. In general, orchids should be placed in an area where they can get six hours of light but not direct sunlight.

Temperature

Since orchids are tropical plants, they need heat and humidity to thrive and both of these elements are present in a greenhouse. To make orchids bloom, you will have to make sure that temperature in greenhouse varies. Orchids will bloom only if there would be a difference of 10 degree F between day and night temperatures. For maintaining such temperatures, you need to have a thermometer in your greenhouse so that you can take readings and adjust temperature accordingly.

Humidity and Ventilation

Orchids like to stay in humid conditions but they do not like to sit in water at all. Water should not pool up in leaves or in soil as it may result in diseases like rot and fungi. Moreover orchids need good air circulation so place a fan near your plants. But fan should be kept clean to avoid spread of diseases from one plant to others.

Fertilization

Orchids need to be fertilized one time a month whether orchids are grown in gardens, greenhouses or in the house. Orchids should be fertilized by a fertilizer having equal amounts of Potassium, Nitrogen and Phosphorus.

These are some necessary requirements or conditions which need to be fulfilled to grow orchids in greenhouse. Growing orchids in greenhouse is beneficial as it allows you to grow plants throughout the year. So control above given conditions in greenhouse and have a healthy orchid greenhouse to provide you pleasure in your leisure time.

It may happen that in spite of taking good care of your orchid plants, they may get attacked by several diseases. So it is necessary to know about different common diseases of orchid plants so that you can identify them as well as cure them in case they attack your beautiful orchids. Here are some of the most common types of orchid plant diseases.

Bacterial Root Rot

As the name suggests, this disease shrivel lower parts of leaves. This is one of the most common orchid diseases and can be caused by over-watering and the only way to cure this disease is to repot the orchid plant. When you will repot your orchid plant, you will see that roots have become dark and soft. Using the remedy of repotting orchids, you will remove bad roots along with the media around these suffered roots. Roots will be easy to remove as they are soft. For repotting orchid plant, use smaller pot and do not water for a number of days.

Crown Rot

Crown rot makes upper part of the leaf damaged so it is named as Crown Rot. The remedy for this disease is to remove upper leaves or upper part of leaves which will be soft enough to be removed easily. While doing this reedy, make sure that all the diseased area has been removed. You can also do this by digging into crown of plant with help of a sterile knife or blade. After removing suffered area, treat the open area with bactericidal solution or sprinkle area with cinnamon.

Leaf Rot

The main indication of this disease is discoloration of orchid leaves. It will not discolor the whole leaf but a spot will be appeared on leaf. If this disease is caught later, Spot may become bigger and darker and infected part will become gray and soft. The remedy is to use a sterile knife or other instrument to cut the leaf back to healthy tissue. If you are using a razor to remove infected area of your plant then discard it after use. After doing this treat healthy and good edge of the leaf with bactericidal solution or cinnamon. Also ensure that plant is located in a place where there is good air circulation.

Bud Blast

When orchid plants suffer from this disease, their buds start withering and falling off. This disease may be caused by some sudden and drastic changes in either temperature or light. It may also be caused by excessive drying of plant so to prevent this disease, don’t place plants near heater vents.

Leaf Burn

Leaf Burn is a disease that attacks orchid plants when they are over exposed to sunlight. In this disease, you will find some gray or white areas on leaves. There is no special remedy to treat this disease. All you need to do is to keep an eye on the plant because these spots may get infected.

Black Spots/Black Leaf

This disease is usually found in Oncidium and Paphiopedilum plants and is caused by too much of fertilizing or not providing orchid plant with fresh water. Initially the spots on leaves are not visible but with the passage of time these spots become black in color. These spots may appear either on body or tips of leaf. To avoid this disease, check air circulation in area where you have placed your plant.

These were some most common orchid diseases. Keep these in mind while growing orchid plants in your home and take necessary precautionary measures to avoid them.

Tropical orchids are actually uncommon plants whose structure distinguishes them from other plants. Tropical orchids are actually ornamental plants that are considered hard to care of. But you can make the process of taking care of orchids easy if you try to understand their nutritional requirements and habitat. Here I am going to provide you with some basic instructions that will help you take care of tropical orchids:

  • Most common tropical orchids are usually Dendrobiums, Cattleyas, Oncidiums and Vandas. Some of the species belonging to the above types are terrestrial but you will find that the majority of these are either epiphytic or lithophytic. Here I feel necessary to describe that epiphytic grow on tress while lithophytic grow on rocks while terrestrial grow on normal soil. Taking care of terrestrial tropical orchids is easy but to take care of epiphytic and lithophytic orchids is difficult. Most of these plants come from damp tropical rainforests of Asia, Australia and South America. You will have to keep in mind the natural habitats of tropical orchids before making a plan of their proper care.
  • Tropical orchids need bright light but too much exposure to sunlight may be harmful for them. Tropical orchids mostly grow under the shade of trees in rainforests so they don’t like direct sunlight. Vanda orchids require strong sunlight because they have small leaves. They can tolerate south-facing exposure with 30% shade while Dendrobiums, Cattleyas and Oncidiums require shadier conditions or morning sun.
  • Water and humidity is also required by tropical orchids but you should avoid wet conditions. Orchids like high humidity but they don’t want to be constantly wet. The ideal humidity level for tropical orchids is 50 to 75%. The best time to water tropical orchids is when you feel that the soil or growing medium has become dry. Only Vanda orchids require a humidity level up to 80% but other epiphytic and lithophytic orchids like to be dry in between watering. If you will leave your tropical orchids constantly soaked, it will be harmful for them as roots will rot and plants will suffer from various fungal diseases.
  • Tropical orchids should be protected from wind chills and at the same time, they should be provided with warm temperatures. Daytime temperature should be between 75 to 90 degrees F while night temperature should be not lower than 55 degrees F. If you are expecting that temperature will drop below 50 degrees, bring your tropical orchids indoors.
  • Air circulation is also a basic requirement of tropical orchids. Ventilation is necessary to keep the plants roots dry. Tropical orchids naturally grow among tree branches where there is much air circulation so you will be required to provide them the same conditions. So hang orchids in well-ventilated areas keeping in mind that too mush of wind can also lead to dryness.
  • Tropical orchids will need to be fertilized often but at the same time, in moderation. Use those fertilizers that are specific for tropical orchids but if you are using all-purpose fertilizers then dilute it to half the strength and apply it weekly instead of every two weeks.

These were some basic requirements which you should fulfill if you really want to take care of your tropical orchids in the best possible way.

I am an orchid lover and I have grown different types of orchids in my home garden among which there is a beautiful type of orchid named spider orchid. Doesn’t it sound strange? Actually spider orchid is another name of Brassia. This orchid have an appearance that resembles to a corn stalk as it has green leaves and a stem that comes out of stalks with yellow flowers. People love to grow this flower in their gardens but do not know the exact tips to take its care in good manners. Are you facing the same problem? Then read tips given below as they are related to taking care of spider orchids.

Temperature

Spider orchids should be placed in a location where temperature remains between 75 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit during day time and night temperature should be between 60 and 65 degrees.

Light Requirements

When I grew these orchids for the first time, I was completely unaware of its light requirements therefore I lost my orchids. Then I consulted a nursery and came to know that spider orchids like subdued lighting.  In order to know whether orchids are getting enough light or not, there is a simple tip. If spider orchid leaves become reddish green, it means they are getting too much light. On the other hand, if leaves become dark green, it will indicate that plant is not getting the right amount of light. Leaves of spider orchids should have bright green color which shows that lighting conditions are adequate.

Watering

While watering plants, make sure that soil is moderately dry. Don’t wait for watering until soil becomes fully dry and hard. Spider orchids don’t need much water when new shoots are not sprouting but when a new flower blooms, it requires more amount of water. When watering, place gravel under the container where there are drainage holes. It will prevent plant from sitting in water on the tray. Another thing which needs to be mentioned here is that always water plants at their base. Water should not get inside the new bloom.

Fertilizers

Spider orchids need to be fertilized only once a month as over-fertilizing may harm plants. I have gone through all these experiences so I want you not to make any mistake. As far as getting fertilizers is concerned, you can consult a nursery for that purpose.

Humidity

In lower temperatures, humidity level of the location should be between 40% and 50% whereas in higher temperatures, there should be 55% to 75% humidity.

Repotting

After every two years, repot plant in a new medium fir bark. The best time to repot spider orchids is when a new shoot is about 3 inches in length or when you see new roots.

You can follow any of the tips mentioned above with confidence because I have experienced all these and got same results as I expected.

Orchid family is a vast flowering family having more than 25000 species and a wide variety of colors like blue pink, purple etc. Moreover they come in different patterns of colors like spotted or sectioned in color blocks. There are some varieties of orchids that are known and loved for their beautiful purple color. Purple orchids have further different types. Here I am going to describe types of purple orchids which you can grow in your home and consequently add to the beauty and elegance of your house.

Cattleya Orchids

Cattleya orchids are one of the purple orchids. In the center of the flower, these orchids have distinctive gullet having deep magenta or intense purple color. Cattleya plants and cut flowers that are found for sale have light lavender to deep violet color.

Dendrobiums

These orchids produce numerous blooms on long and curved stems. These flowers are found in violet purple color or pale lavender color. Dendrobiums come in a variety of colors including soft lavender, lilac purple and deep blue black purple.  Deep blue black purple can be in solid purple petals or it can have white blooms with deep purple tips.

Vanda Orchids

The vanda orchids are also a type of purple orchids having different shades of purple. The vanda orchids which are available for sale have bright purple color having blue tinges. A pale white pattern of the petals give a much textured appearance to vanda orchid. This textured appearance is sometimes giving a very hard look to flowers on some plants while on some other plants it gives a softer look.

Moth Orchids

Moth orchid is a type of orchid flowers that are commonly found in florist shops and grocery stores. They bloom in different shades of purple color from pale lavender-pink to deep violet having white freckled spots. As compared to the cool bluish purple touch of vanda orchids, they give somewhat warmer look with purple color mixed with pink.

Lady Slippers

These orchids are very stylish, sophisticated and exotic looking plants that have a single bloom on a long and hairy stem. These flowers have deep reddish purple color and black purple gullet while the lower petal has lighter color in the center.

Blue orchids are somewhat rare flowers even some of its species are in danger of extinction. The reason is that their natural environment is being destroyed. Growing blue orchids is quite challenging but following some instructions and tips can make it easy to grow blue orchids. And when proper care is taken, blue orchids produce flowers three times in a year and last for almost one month.

Important Tips

  • Blue orchids usually grow beside trees and their above-ground roots hang freely. If you want to grow them in your home you will have to select the appropriate pot. The best method is to grow blue orchids in baskets. Another option is to grow them along a big piece of cork bark with their roots hanging down. In this way, roots will be able to absorb moisture from air. The best tip for growing blue orchids is to allow their roots to grow without controlling them.
  • The other factor that demands consideration is the medium in which you are going to grow blue orchids. These are unique and rare plants and they can not be grown in common potting soil. They grow best in the medium which contains a mixture of pine bark, fir bark and osmunda fiber. If you are a new grower then the best option for you will be to purchase pre-made orchid mixture from a garden center.
  • Blue orchids require a plenty of water as it is important for flowering of blue orchids. The blue orchids should be watered everyday during their growing season (from June to September). And during the rest of the months, keeping them moist would be sufficient. After the blue orchids bloom, don’t water them for two weeks and allow them to get dry and then water them again.
  • As other orchid plants, blue orchids also require a proper amount of light. Place them in such an area where they can receive a plenty of light as they grow best in intense sunlight. If you are growing them in green house then hang them from the roof near to the glass so that it can receive the required amount of sunlight.
  • Feeding the blue orchids with proper fertilizers is also necessary. A good plant food should be given to blue orchids from June to mid October after every two weeks. That plant food should be high in potash at half potency. Feed the plants at quarter strength once a month from November until June.
  • Re-potting is another factor that should be considered. Re-potting should be done with special care. When orchids have grown and start producing flowers, they are required to be re-potted after every one or two years. If you will do that, your blue orchids will continue producing flowers.

These were some tips regarding the growth and care of very rare blue orchids. Follow these tips and have beautiful blue orchids in your home.