Orchids are mysterious, breath taking and high maintenance. Grown by enthusiasts for their elegance and beauty, as well as for decoration. The most common type of orchid is probably the moth orchid, or the Phalaenopsis orchid. These orchids can be bought at most garden stores and are the easiest to take care of because they do well in most indoor environments. But even the easiest to grow orchids require special care.
What are orchids?
Orchids belong to the Orchidaceae family. It is a diverse and widespread flowering plant with colorful blooms and is often fragrant. There are so many orchid species it’s impossible to know them all. The number of orchid species is twice the number of bird species, and about four times the number of mammal species! Since the 19th century, horticulturists have produced more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars. Orchids can be found anywhere around the world except in freezing climates. The majority of orchids are found in humid, hot, tropic/sub tropic regions. Orchids are perennial epiphytes which grow anchored to trees or shrubs. Species such as Angraecum sororium are lithophytes growing on rocks or very rocky soil. Other orchids (including the majority) are terrestrial and can be found in habitat areas such as grasslands or forest.
Orchids can be found in a rainbow of colors, shapes and sizes. I happen to prefer the brightly colored larger species. Many different orchid vendors can be found online offering some rare and sometimes strange looking species and hybrids.
Can you grow orchids in a Sunglo?
Absolutely! Sunglo greenhouses are great for growing orchids due to the ability to manipulate the environment. You have a ventilation system for the summer months and heating for the winter. Orchids have many different preferred climates. Be sure to make yourself aware of the climate needs of each species. There are even climate controls available to help control humidity and moisture. Greenair products offer a wide variety of atmospheric controls and can be purchased through Sunglo.
Tips on maintenance:
Growing orchids from seed is something I really don’t want to get into. It can take years and years for a “seed orchid” to mature and we just don’t have time for that! But when you purchase an orchid and bring it home here are a few things to remember:
- Study the species you want to bring home. Make sure you can provide the needed light, temperature and feeding instructions.
- Understand the watering requirements. With a vast number of species there are some differences in the watering procedures. Most do not need much water. Click here for more orchid care tips.
- Feed your orchid. Orchid fertilizer can be bought at most home and garden stores. A fertilizer with high nitrogen is usually suggested. It is recommended to feed most orchids 1-2 times per month.
- Repot when needed. You must research your orchid to know what kind of media it likes. Most garden stores carry mixed media packages for the common species. Repotting is important to give the orchid fresh media – moss, bark, peat etc. And also give more room if it needs it.
- Know the diseases that can occur. If you can identify the disease right off the bat you will have a greater chance of saving your precious flowers. Some common diseases are leaf spots, petal blight, and fungi such as black rot.