There are over 25,000 types of orchids and, in fact, the Orchidaceae family is the most numerous in the plant world! These beautiful plants have been around for over 100 million years, and plants can range from microscopic to reaching several feet in height. The flowers have a distinctive look with three inner petals surrounded by three outer petals and a cupped petal that is distinct from the others. Some orchids even resemble other creatures like bees, moths, and lizards!
Although we think of orchids as a tropical flower, they can grow in almost any climate. They can grow on the ground or trees and even rocks. Orchids are classified depending on their water requirements. Paphiopedilum, Cymbidium, and Odontoglossum need a moist environment all year long.
Cattleya, Oncidium, and Dendrobium only need water when they are actively growing and the Vanda Ascend doesn’t really need water at all.
Cymbidium orchids are some of the most popular having 40 species and thousands of hybrids. These are one of the oldest cultivated orchids and can grow on the ground, on trees or rocks. They can be found growing naturally in Japan, China, South East Asia and Australia. These are one of the easiest orchids for beginners and will flower every year if cared for properly.
Perhaps the most exotic of all orchids is the Cattleya which hails from South America. These are the orchids most typically chosen for corsages, however, they have been over-collected, and many of these types of orchids are now endangered.
The Dendrobiums are the second largest orchid genus and have over a thousand species. These flowers can be found in Northern India, South East Asia, Australia, and Polynesia. They typically grow near the equator in tropical conditions, although some grow in climates with dry winters. While these are easy to grow, it is rather difficult to get them to bloom regularly.
Phalaenopsis orchids have long lasting flower and are rather easy to grow. These flowers are favorites at weddings and can be colorful in pinks, yellows, and stripes. These are native to the Philippines and are quickly becoming a popular house plant.
Vanda orchids are another plant that is rather easy to grow. These plants produce flowers in vibrant colors such as blue, red, yellow and orange. Flower spikes can have as much as 10 blooms that last for several weeks.
Orchids are a bit finicky to grow, but these delicate plants will reward you with a soothing fragrance and beautiful distinct flowers. When growing orchids in your home, you need to remember to give them enough light, enough water and proper temperatures and fertilization. Orchids will need to be repotted every 2 or 3 years.
Orchids are a unique family of flowers; they are the largest family of flowering plants. The orchid has evolved so successfully that there is only one continent in the world where they do not grow Antarctica naturally. The evolutions of the orchids mean that they have learned to adapt to each environment. During this process of adaptation, the orchid has drawn on arachnids, insects, birds and butterflies to ensure its successful pollination. We all have an idea that orchids are a beautiful flower some are not. However, their achievements of survival still make them worthy of admiration.
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