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Orchids

Flowers make you smile when hopes end, Flowers make you cry when the new world begins,
The charm makes you surrender to innocence, Such is orchid's true essence.

Since time immemorial, flowers have been associated with life, beauty, happiness and innocence and orchids have spread their vivacious charms all around ever since the world has begun. One of the most fascinating , beautiful and adorable flowers, Orchids belong to the largest familiy of flowers, Orchidacae which consists of as many as 28, 000 species which have decorated nature with their everlasting charms. the orchid flowers are available in various colours and shapes. With different petal and sepal schemes the vivacious flowers are an amazing delight for the onlookers.

Parts of a Flower
A flower primarily comprises of the petals, the sepal, the carpel and the stamen. The stigma, style, and the ovule are collectively knows as the carpel, whereas, the filament and the anthers are referred to as the stamen. The carpel is the female part of the flower, and the stamen is the male part of a flower.
 

A Fact File Into The History Of Orchids

It has been discovered lately that the origin of orchids dates back into an ancient past. The fossils of an extinct species of bee(Proplebeia dominicana), that carried a pollen of a previously known orchid, Meliorchis caribea, was discovered to be more than 15-20 million years old. Interestingly that led to strengthen the belief that orchids are one of the oldest flowering families on this earth.

Uses
The most important role that orchid play is to show the profound love of a lover, used in bouquets,

decorational purposes, orchids have a distinct place demarcated for itself
Orchids gives the garden a paradise like vibrancy and the beautiful colours add attractive finish to the perfection of any beautiful botanical place
The vanilla flavor that we relish in ice-creams and various other foods is extracted and prepared through orchids
The tuberous roots of the terrestrial orchids are dried, powdered and then used for cooking
The sweet smelling orchids also lends its sent to many famous perfumes and it also helps the perfumists identify various fragrant chemicals
As time is progressing it has been traced that orchids demanded on a worldwide base and their popularity is no less than tulips, roses and lilies
Taiwan has fetched itself the title of the biggest orchid exporter in the world, particularly famous for the production of Phalaenopsis, it is expanding its orchid plantations day by day.
The National Orchid Garden in the Singapore Botanic Gardens is considered by some to be among the finest collections of orchids in cultivation open to the public.
 

The most commonly known orchids are:

  • Anguloa
  • Cattleya
  • Cymbidium
  • Laelia
  • Dendrobium
  • Phalaenopsis
  • Paphiopedilum
  • Vanda
  • Epidendrum
  • Brassia
  • Bulbophyllum
  • Catasetum
  • Sophronitis
  • Miltonia
  • Phaius
 

Growing Orchids
It is said that its tough to cultivate this beautiful species of flowers however once the essential needs of these fascinating plants are understood, growing orchids is relatively simple. It becomes a deeply satisfying and therapeutic activity. If given the right climatic and cultural conditions, they can thrive anywhere and will flower regularly. Some species of orchids may flower two or three times a year and some flower annually.

Originally orchids grow in two different ways, which we scientifically refer to as monopodial and sympodial. Monopodial orchids have a distinguishable central stem which keeps growing from the tip. In the absence of Pseudobulbs they catch up on to the new life from the crown of the plant.

Flowers are borne on the stem in between the leaves sprouting from both the alternative side.

However sympodial orchids possess a rhizome which produces new shoots. The shoot grows into a stem that bears leaves and finally the flowers as well. In this case the buds are covered by a protecting sheath

On the basis of different growth habits, orchids are categorised into three types as following:

Epiphytes
Best suited for home culture, are grown perched high in the trees clinging to branches or in the trunk apex of the tree. These orchids derive their nutrients from the air, rain and various decaying vegetation. Their specialised aerial root enables them to survive with the help of a whitish spongy layer of cells known as velamen. It also helps them protect the inner root tissues and absorb needed water.
   

Lithophytes
These kinds of orchids cover the bases and forks of the trees and extracting life from the filling crevices in the rocks. With the ability to absorb a high amount of nutrients decaying mosses, humus and washed down soils.

Terrestrials
These orchids grow in soils and survive on the banks of the relationship with a special fungus. Now this fungus is the lifeline of these soil lover orchids as it provides the plant with all the essential nutrients and plays a major role in its seed germination.

Care for your Orchids
Apart from love, adore your orchids with the following essential careful therapies and the orchids will bloom as refreshing and smiling as you would want them to be.

Light: The most important factor that determines the growth of orchids. Avoid direct sunlight connection. preferably shade your plant with a cloth piece that lets 60% light inside. In winters remove the cloth and provide better sunlight and the orchids will thrive in the best conditions.

Temperature: Another major factor, it should range from 48 degrees in the winter to over 95 in the summer. The orchid plants are open to the environment and thus are tolerable to the varying temperature range.

Water: Over watering is a strict no-no. Its not lack of water that kills orchids but plenty of it. Use a bamboo skewer if you can to ensure if your plant needs water or not. Watering twice a week is enough for the plant.

Fertilizers: Little essential nutrients enhance the power and growth of the plant and helps it to survive anyway. Epson salts provide needed magnesium to the orchids.

Follow this and see the results. Orchids in full bloom, not a bad deal.

 
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