Orchids are plants that fall in love with their complexity and beauty. Unlike other simple and round flowers, orchids have exotic and strange shapes; which is why many call them “the complex flower”. They are present in all climates of the world and it is one of the genera with the greatest variety.
Among the oldest floral species we have the orchids, their antiquity dates back to 65 million years; the oldest remains were found near Verona, Italy. Their name was given by Theophrastus (disciple of Aristotle), who related them to the word “Orchis”, which means “testicle; given the shape of its pseudobulbs.
The needs of orchids
These plants require moist soil rich in organic matter, especially if they are in a pot. Likewise, orchids need to be in loose and aerated soil; One option to achieve this is to insert drum sticks into the ground, since in addition to promoting drainage, they would also support the plant.
As for the orchid substrate, it is best to take special care with these substrates and regulate them progressively throughout the year. On the other hand, its irrigation needs should be met preferably using a sprayer controlling humidity; since they can tolerate more the lack of water than the excess.
Regarding its flowering, knowing when orchids bloom is a topic that lovers of these flowers are passionate about. Many offer their flowers once a year, especially the pure species; which can last from a few hours to a maximum of 3 months. Hybrid species, on the other hand, can flower 2 or more times during the year.
Classification according to their growth habitat
In general, orchids are classified into three large groups according to their place and mode of growth.
First of all, we have the epiphytic orchids; species that need to take root in another plant for their development and growth. However, unlike parasites, these plants do not feed on their host, since they can obtain their own nutrients from the humidity of the environment and the humus found in the bark. They can grow on the trunk or on the top of the trees, a place that provides them with shade.
Next, there are the terrestrial orchids. It is a species similar to the rest of the plants, since they form and develop their roots inside the soil; with the peculiarity that they are left protruding to better absorb moisture and nutrients.
The last genus in the classification is the semiterrestrial or lithophytic orchids. They are plants that take root on decomposing leaves found on the ground; or, they can be found on mossy rocks. They belong to a small group and are the most used as ornamental indoor plants.
best known orchids
In the plant kingdom, the botanical family Orchidaceae (Orchids) is the one that includes the largest number of species. Here are some of the best known orchid varieties.
The cambria orchid has been developed through crosses and hybridizations with other orchid species. Its reproduction is through pseudobulbs from which its leaves and flowers emerge. It belongs to the group of epiphytes, its care is not complex and it is found in Central and South America.
The oncidium is a species known as “Golden Rain Orchid”, given the intense yellow color offered by its flowers; some may have brown or red streaks or dots. It is a plant native to South America and branches out in panicles.
They are large orchid flowers that stand out for their varied colors and bright shades, which range from bluish to orange tones. Vanda has an abundant flowering and its growth is monopodial; reason why it lives suspended in the branches or trunks of the trees. It is native to the Philippines and Northern Australia.
The phalaenopsis orchid is one of the most commercialized. It is known as a butterfly orchid because of the shape of its flowers. It is an ideal plant for beginner gardeners, as it is easy to grow and care for. Its reproduction is by cuttings and it offers more than 50 different species. It is native to Southeast Asia.
This variety is native to Central America and the Caribbean. Its main feature is its large flowers with intense colors, which is why some can measure up to 30 cm in diameter. The cattleya owes its name to the first European who successfully cultivated it.
The cymbidium is highly valued in florists, as it not only provides wax-like flowers, but is a very durable species; For this reason, it is also one of the favorites by interior and exterior designers. It is native to Australia and tropical Asia.
Its scientific name is dendrobium nobile, it is characterized by offering usually white flowers with pink edges and given its beauty, it is used in decoration. It is an epiphytic variety that prefers temperate and cool climates. The dendrobium is native to Australia and its flowers alternate between each leaf.
The paphiopedilum orchid is known as the Venus slipper, Venus sandal, or lady’s slipper. This is due to the particular shape of its flowers, which resemble a slipper. They are plants native to Southeast Asia, especially Burma, China, the Philippines, New Guinea and the islands of the Pacific Ocean.
This plant is known as a comet orchid, since its striking and tiny flowers with elongated leaves develop in a kind of thread. Unlike outdoor orchids that thrive in the wild, this species is suitable for growing indoors. It prefers cold weather and is native to Mexico and the Caribbean.
Miltonia comes from Brazil, Peru and Colombia. It is a plant that produces a flower of great beauty, making it a real gift for all lovers of this species. Although they require lighting, this orchid does not support direct sunlight.
Around the world it is estimated about 35,000 species belonging to 750 different genera. In addition, there are still orchids to be discovered in the forests and jungles and thousands of new hybrids are registered every year.