Orchid

Orchids are plants that belong to the family Orchidaceae, a diverse and widespread group of flowering plants with blooms that are often colourful and fragrant. Along with the Asteraceae, they are one of the two largest families of flowering plants. The word orchid is derived from the Greek word (orchis) for testicle because of the shape of the roottubers in some species of the genus Orchis. Orchids are native to North America, South America, Central America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and Caribbean. These nonwoody perennial plants are generally terrestrial or epiphytic herbs (i.e., growing on other plants rather than rooted in soil). Those attached to other plants often are vine like and have a spongy root covering called the velamen that absorbs water from the surrounding air. Most species manufacture their own food, but some live on dead organic material (saprophytic) or are helped to obtain nourishment by a fungus living in their roots.



As a group, the orchids are different from other plants but only in the morphological (structural) characteristics associated with the flower and its organization. Even the special characteristics of orchid flowers, such as the masses of pollen called pollinia, the joining of the stamens and pistil to form a column, and the tiny seeds without endosperm are found individually in other groups of flowering plants. Orchids are primarily herbaceous (nonwoody), although some species may be vines, vine like, or somewhat shrubby. They may be terrestrial or epiphytic. Orchid flowers vary tremendously in size from the minute flowers of some species of the genus Pleurothallis, which are no more than about 2 mm (0.1 inch) in diameter, to the large ones of Brassia, which may be more than 38 cm (15 inches) from the tips of the lateral sepals (petallike structures) to the tip of the dorsal sepal.


Table of Contents


Height(Avg)

1 - 3 feet


Width-Circumference (Avg)

6 - 12 inches


Approximate pH

5.5 - 6.5


Growth Nutrition of Orchid


Orchids thrive when they are fed the proper balance of Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P) and Potassium (K), preferably given in a water-soluble formula. These 3 nutrients are known as macro-nutrients (N-P-K). For boosting blooms next year, use a fertilizer with high phosphorus like 10-30-20 in the fall.

  • Nitrogen is for foliage, stem and shoot growth.

  • Phosphorous aids healthy root growth.

  • Potassium promotes flowering.


Types of Orchid


Miltonia Orchids (Miltonia)



Miltonia orchids are often called pansy orchids – except among the most experienced orchid enthusiasts. However, the term pansy orchid actually refers to Miltoniopsis orchids that closely resemble pansies. Although they don’t look like pansies, Miltonia orchids have large, attractive flowers that are worth the effort if you can coax yours to bloom.


Venus Slipper (Paphiopedilum)



The Paphiopedilum genus of orchids contains about 80 species and numerous hybrids of orchids that are commonly called venus slippers. Venus slipper orchids bloom with a single white flower that features attractive purple and/or green markings on its petals. These flowers are exceedingly difficult to propagate without seeds, which makes every Venus slipper unique.


Tiger Orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum)



With blossoms featuring an array of yellowish-orange petals dappled in tiger-like spots and stripes of brown, the tiger orchid is stunningly beautiful. This species is also sometimes commonly referred to as the giant orchid because of its size. In fact, a tiger orchid that measured in at a towering 25 feet actually holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for the world’s tallest orchid.


The Black-Lipped Orchid (Coelogyne pandurata)



The Coelogyne pandurata is commonly called the black-lipped orchid because its flowers have ghostly greenish-white petals with a striking black-striped center. These large beauties bloom with up to 15 flowers per raceme. At several inches in diameter, each blossom lasts about a week. Plus, these gorgeous orchids smell strongly of honey.


Vanilla Orchids (Vanilla)



With their alluring, creamy-white, tubular blossoms, the 110 species of orchids from the Vanilla genus are quite attractive. However, these plants are most widely prized for their use in vanilla flavoring, fragrance, and aromatherapy. The most popular species is the Vanilla planifolia, the seed pods of which are used to produce the popular commercial vanilla flavoring that everyone uses in baking.

Monkey Orchid (Dracula simia)


These are just about the cutest flowers you will ever see. The way the petals, lip, and column are arranged on these blossoms strongly resembles miniature monkeys – hence the common name “monkey orchid.” These orchid flowers come complete with smiling monkey faces, furry-looking scruff, lanky arms, and tails in the perfect shades of brown and creamy-white. If the adorable look of these flowers wasn’t enough to allure you, they also smell of fragrant oranges.


Cat’s Tail Orchids (Aerides)


The genus of orchids, Aerides, gets its name from the Greek for “child of the air.” It’s an epiphytic orchid which means that its root system acts more like an anchor than a source of nutrients and moisture. These orchids are absolutely beautiful with tall racemes that simply burst with brightly colored flowers in shades of pink, purple, yellow, and white.


Jewel Orchid (Ludisia)



The Ludisia genus of orchis was long thought to contain just one species, Ludisia discolor. However, in 2013, a second species the Ludisia ravanii from the Philippines was also added. Jewel orchids have very attractive foliage with ovate leaves in either deep green or a velvety red that are finely marked with yellow or light-green pinstripes. They produce delicate racemes of white flowers.


Lady’s Slipper Orchids (Cypripedium calceolus)


The Cypripedium calceolus gets its common name “lady’s slipper” from its blossoms’ striking resemblance to tiny, little, yellow slippers surrounded by an array of spindly reddish-black petals. These orchids grow across Europe and Asia in woodlands, and they are a protected species in Europe. In Russian folklore, lady’s slippers are said to drive away evil spirits.


Epidendrum Orchids (Epidendrum)


This genus of orchids contains about 1,500 species. Most of these have clusters of small to medium-sized brightly colored flowers in fiery hues. With three-lobed blossoms that resemble little crosses, epidendrum orchids are sometimes commonly referred to as crucifix orchids. These orchids are more easily grown indoors, but they can grow in gardens in the United States that have just the right temperature and humidity range.


Philippine Ground Orchid (Spathoglottis plicata)



The Philippine ground orchid is an evergreen terrestrial orchid which means, as its common name suggests, that it grows in the ground, drawing nutrients and moisture up through its roots. It features clusters of delicate flowers in shades of vibrant violet, pale mauve, and the rarest snowy white.


Vanda Orchids (Vanda)



About 80 species of orchids make up the Vanda genus, and they are all popular and easy to purchase from garden centers everywhere. Vanda orchid flowers blossom several times throughout the year. They are showy, long-lasting, fragrant, and feature a variety of vibrant hues and color combinations that make them a joy to grow inside and out in the right conditions.


Fox Tail Orchid (Rhynchostylis gigantea)



The Rhynchostylis gigantea is a species of orchid that features a long inflorescence of blossoms that reaches about 15 inches in length and when in full bloom, it can resemble a fluffy fox tail. Due to this orchid’s wide distribution around the Asia continent, its flowers come in a range of colors and patterns. They can be solid magenta, red, or even spotted with white.


Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza)


The genus Dactylorhiza contains about 30 species of terrestrial orchids commonly called marsh orchids. These orchids hybridize easily, so the actual number of cultivars is numerous and not clearly known. Marsh orchids tend to grow in cooler regions in damp, forested areas. They feature pink, white, and purple cones of flowers with beautiful markings and attractive color combinations.


Nun’s Hood Orchid (Phaius tankervilleae)



Sometimes called the swamp lily, swamp orchid, veiled orchid, or nun’s hood orchid, the Phaius tankervilleae gets its scientific name from Lady Tankerville who was a British heiress who owned the greenhouse in which the first tropical orchid (and the first nun’s hood) bloomed in England.

Mokara Orchids (X Mokara spp.)



Mokara orchids cannot be found growing natively anywhere in the wild because mokaras are strictly hybrids cultivated by the human botanist’s hand. However, the species commonly crossed to produce mokara orchids are mostly native to Asia and include the cymbidium, cattleya, paphiopedilum, and the oncidium orchid. They feature large clusters of starfish-shaped blossoms in vibrant colors like red, orange, purple, pink, yellow, and white.


Dove Orchid (Peristeria elata)


Peristeria elata is an elegant species of orchid that produces a central cone-shaped raceme of flowers. This orchid is commonly referred to as the dove orchid because at the center of an alabaster circle of petals rests a single petal that’s distinctly shaped like a dove. With the association of the Holy Spirit with doves in Christianity, this orchid is also commonly called the flower of the Holy Spirit or the Holy Ghost orchid.

Tolumnia (Equitant oncidium)



These petite orchids do not usually reach more than 6 or 8 inches in height, and a 4-inch pot will usually accommodate one for life. Tolumnia orchids produce 12 to 15-inch tall inflorescences with exotic flowers. This orchid species’ scientific name “equitant” is Latin for “riding a horse,” and it refers to the way the plant’s dual leaves grow one on top of another, seeming to straddle the lower leaves as if riding a horse.


Purple Orchids (Spathoglottis)



The Spathoglottis genus contains about 50 herbaceous, evergreen orchids. Commonly, they’re often referred to as garden orchids or even purple orchids. Although, Spathoglottis orchids bloom with flowers of pink, white, and yellow in addition to purple. All species of purple orchids are terrestrial, which means that they grow in the ground instead of on trees like their epiphytic cousins. As a result, you’ll often see these beauties sprouting up along the roads in tropical locales.


Catasetum Orchids (Catasetum)



166 species of epiphytic orchids comprise the Catasetum genus. These exceptional orchid plants are unisex, meaning they produce either showy and colorful male flowers or less-impressive, greenish-white female flowers. The sex of flowers produced depends on the conditions in which the plant matures. Sometimes a plant living in moderate conditions will produce both male and female flowers. This unique trait of Catasetum orchids resulted in many being classified as completely different plants until Charles Darwin resolved the issue in his studies.


Spider Orchid (Brassia)



Plants from the Brassia genus of orchids are commonly referred to as spider orchids because their petals are lined with long, spindly tepals that often give the flowers a spidery look. These orchids primarily grow in warm rainforests with high humidity from Mexico to Brazil. However, one species of spider orchid does grow natively as far north as Florida. Also, only spider-hunter wasps can pollinate spider orchids, so don’t try to pollinate them yourself.


Bulbophyllum Orchids (Bulbophyllum)



With 2,000 species of orchids, Bulbophyllum is the largest genus in the orchid plant family, and it’s the second-largest genera of all flowering plants. While these plants can be found in a variety of warm habitats around the world, the center of their diversity rests in Papua New Guinea where a staggering 600 species can be found growing natively.


Brassavola Orchids (Brassavola)



This genus of 21 orchids contains plants that flower with individual flowers or bunches of white or whitish-green, spade-shaped blossoms that seem to hang from the primary plant. These orchids emit a very strong fragrance at night, and their pleasantly citrusy aroma attracts a specialized moth pollinator.


Upside-Down Orchids (Stanhopea)


These unusual orchids are well-known for the strikingly strong fragrance of their blossoms and the unusual nature in which their flower racemes burst through their potting medium – rather than from the center of the plant’s foliage. This unusual flowering has led them to be referred to commonly as upside-down orchids. Stanhopea blossoms can be spectacularly complex and intricate, but they are usually short-lived.


Ebine (Calanthe discolor)


The Calanthe discolor is a species of woodland orchid that is most commonly found growing in Japan. Its common Japanese name “ebine” translates to shrimp root and describes the shape of the plant’s root system and pseudobulbs. There are two varieties of this species, and each features charming flowers that bloom in white to brownish mauve.


Bamboo Orchid (Arundina graminifolia)



The bamboo orchid (Arundina gaminifolia) is the only species that has currently been accepted as a member of the Arundina genus of orchids. These orchids have strong, reedy stems that resemble bamboo, and they grow to be about 2 to 7 feet tall. Bamboo orchids bloom with up to 10 flowers per raceme. The showy, trumpet-shaped blossoms are a rosy white hue with a vibrant purple-colored inner lip.


Eggleaf Twayblade (Listera ovata)


This orchid grows wild in habitats across much of the moderately cooler climates of Europe and Asia. It can be found sprouting up in meadows, moorlands, woods, and dune slacks. Unlike most of its cousins, the eggleaf twayblade keeps a fairly low profile with slender racemes and modest greenish-yellow blossoms that tend to blend into the surrounding scenery.


White Egret Flower (Pecteilis radiata)



The Pecteilis radiata is perhaps one of the most elegantly beautiful orchids you can find. Its snowy white flowers spread out with two pinnate petals on either side of a central white body. The blossoms of these terrestrial orchids strongly resemble a snowy egret taking flight – hence the flower’s common name, white egret flower.


Christmas Orchids (Calanthe)



Calanthe is a genus of flowering terrestrial orchids that grow into large, leafy clumps with prominent foliage. The broad, ovate leaves are sometimes ruffled, wrinkled, or corrugated giving these deciduous or evergreen plants a lush appearance. They produce tall racemes of white, pink, orange, or yellow flowers.


Masdevallia Orchids (Masdevallia)


The Masdevallia genus contains about 350 orchids. They are best recognized for their uniquely alluring flowers which feature long, skinny sepals that fuse into a larger tube-shaped flower structure. Additionally, their flowers feature brilliant colors and pretty markings to give them added appeal.


Cockleshell Orchids (Encyclia)


Encyclia is a genus of epiphytic orchids that are commonly called cockleshell orchids. Their pretty blossoms have petals that seem to droop around the center similar to an octopus’s tentacles. These orchids don’t produce a strong fragrance, and they are usually pollinated by both birds and bees.


Scorpion Orchids (Arachnis annamensis)



Commonly called scorpion orchids, flowers of the Arachnis annamensis have a menacing appearance with brownish-red and yellow-striped petals that resemble the legs, body, and stinger of a scorpion. These orchids are a climbing species that vines through the trees in tropical rainforests.


Pleione Orchids (Pleione)


Named for the mother of the Pleiades (7 sisters) in Greek mythology, the Pleione genus contains about 20 species of mostly epiphytic orchids. Reaching only about 6 to 12 inches in diameter, these petite beauties have attractive bell-shaped or tubular flowers in delicate shades of pink, purple, and white. An elegant ring of petals surrounds each blossom’s central cup.


Broad-Leaved Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza majalis)


The Dactylorhiza majalis is a species of terrestrial orchid that springs up in marshy, nutrient-poor areas like wet meadows and heaths across Europe from Spain to Russia. When in bloom during June and July, these attractive orchids feature tall, cone-shaped racemes that are heavily laden with white, purple, or pink flowers.


Lycaste Orchids (Lycaste)



The Lycaste genus contains about 30 species of orchids that produce thin, pleated foliage and several spikes of flowers. Lycaste orchids bloom with flowers that have a unique, triangular silhouette comprised of three petals and three sepals in yellow, white orange, brown, or green. Some species of Lycaste orchids also have an unusual scent, smelling faintly of clove or cinnamon.


Ghost Orchids (Epipogium)


It is one of the rarest to find growing in nature, and it’s truly ghostly. Epipogium is a genus of just 4 orchid species. They have no leaves or chlorophyll and must rely on fungi in the soil for nutrients (for more, see our essential guide to the best orchid plant soil considerations). Ghost orchids produce short-lived flowers with a drooping, ghost-shaped silhouette in a pale, almost translucent-looking shade of white.


Cattleya Orchid


The genus of orchids got its name in 1824 by John Lindley after horticulturalist William Cattley. These beauties are loved for their exotic charm and boast over 50 different varieties covering numerous color palettes.


Phalaenopsis Orchids (Moth Orchids)



Phalaenopsis is a very popular genus of orchids comprising over 70 species of plants in the family Orchidaceae. These are prized for their long-lasting flowers which under appropriate growing conditions can sometimes last the full year.


Planting Orchid


Most store-bought orchids come packaged in cheap plastic pots with the roots packed in soaked sphagnum moss. This is a problem, as they need air flow to avoid root rot. Once you bring yours home, you should consider repotting it.


Repotting Orchids:


General Potting Tips

  • Do not repot while a plant is flowering, as the blooms may suffer. Enjoy the flowers, then cut off the spent flower spike with sterile snippers and repot the orchid.

  • When an orchid spills out of its pot, the roots trail down the sides of the pot, or the growing medium is reduced to crumbs, it’s time for repotting. Repot at the beginning of the next growth cycle (typically in the spring).

  • Orchids should be so snug in their pots that you can pick up the plant by its leaves and not shake out the roots.


How to Repot an Orchid

  1. Carefully remove the orchid from its existing pot. New orchids are typically sold in thin plastic containers, which can be cut away.

  2. Dispose of the old potting medium, especially if it looks like it’s breaking down or rotting.

  3. Inspect the orchid’s roots, cutting off any that are blackened, hollow, spongy, or otherwise damaged. Healthy roots look white or green.

  4. Hold the plant upright in the new pot and fill in around it with new potting media, tamping down gently, to about an inch from the top of the pot.

  5. Water the orchid well to settle the media around its roots. Add more media if necessary.

  6. If the plant doesn’t stay in place, consider staking it until its roots take hold of the new media. Green bamboo and curly willow make for attractive stakes.


Orchid Growing Medium

  • Never plant an orchid in standard potting soil. All orchids—especially epiphytic species—need a lot of air around their roots. The best medium is one that is very light, porous, and fast-draining.

  • Large plants with older roots do better in coarser growing media.

  • Most garden stores sell special orchid potting mixes:

  • Orchid potting mixes are made of fine, medium, or coarse fir bark chunks, which are usually combined with perlite, peat, or sphagnum moss, and horticultural charcoal. (You can mix up your own, using four to six parts bark to one part each of the other components.)


Orchid Pots

  • Orchids are commonly grown in terra cotta pots because they allow for extra airflow. There are even special orchid pots which have wide drainage slits around the sides of the pot. These “peep holes” allow for air movement and also make it easier to check on the health of the roots.

  • Select a pot large enough to allow at least an inch of growing space around the roots.


How to Get Orchids to Bloom


Your orchid should bloom at least once a year if not more, though species vary in blooming cycles. And the flowers generally last two to four months on average.


It can be disheartening to see a flowerless orchid that once beautifully bloomed. Some orchids can be stimulated to bloom if the temperature goes down for a few nights, such as the phalaenopsis orchid, which is luckily one of the most popular plants sold as houseplants. But otherwise, ensuring a bloom from your orchid is generally all about providing the proper light, moisture, temperature, humidity, food, and growing medium.


Orchid Care


Lighting

  • Without adequate light, expect lush growth but no flowers. Insufficient light is the most common reason for failure to bloom.

  • These plants thrive in strong light, but direct sunlight can burn orchids. Bright, indirect light from an eastern or southern window is ideal.

  • Leaf color is a good indicator of the amount of light an orchid is getting:

  • Bright green leaves indicate a happy, healthy plant.

  • Dark green leaves signal that a plant is not getting enough light.

  • Yellowish-green or red leaves indicate that a plant is getting too much light.

  • If you suspect that your orchid is exposed to too much light, feel the leaves. If they feel noticeably warmer than the surrounding air, move the plant to a location with less intense brightness.


Air Circulation

  • Orchids must also have fresh, circulating air. In the wild, continual gentle breezes are vital for their survival. Air in motion helps to evaporate stagnant water, which is a breeding ground for fungi and bacteria that are trapped during watering.

  • Ventilation also helps orchids to tolerate intense light that would otherwise burn the leaves. Create gentle breezes: Open windows in the summer and use an oscillating fan in winter. Without ventilation, orchids may eventually die from rot, lack of carbon dioxide, or disease.


Watering

  • Experts say that more orchids are killed by incorrect watering than from any other cause. Orchids should be watered just as they dry out. Over-watering may lead to rot, which kills orchid roots.

  • Do not water orchids with ice cubes! Most orchid houseplants are tropical species and will not appreciate the direct chill of an ice cube. (Consider how you would feel if someone dumped a bucket of ice on you at the beach!)

  • To know when to water, pick up the potted orchid and examine it: Is the potting mix dry? Does the pot feel light? This means that it probably needs a drink.

  • Another way to tell if an orchid is thirsty is to look at its roots:

  • Plump white roots indicate a healthy orchid that’s being watered correctly. When watered, healthy roots should turn bright green.

  • Shriveled gray roots signal that the orchid needs more water.

  • Shriveled or spongy brown and black roots are a sign of rot, so cut down on watering.

  • In general, douse plants early in the day with tepid water once a week in winter and twice a week in warmer weather. Water until the water runs out of the pot freely; this also flushes out any naturally occurring salts. When indoor air is dry, spray orchids with tepid water to keep the humidity up. Terrestrials prefer to be kept slightly more damp than epiphytes.


Fertilizing

  • As a general rule, fertilize orchids every 2 weeks during peak growth (spring and summer) and once a month during dormancy (fall and winter). Use a 30-10-10 fertilizer or orchid food, diluted to half strength.

  • Approaching bloom, play it safe with a balanced fertilizer, such as 20-20-20.

  • Many experienced growers fertilize “weekly, weakly.”


Dormancy

  • Many orchids need a period of dormancy—or rest—generally in winter. During this time, when you should reduce or stop fertilizing, plants strengthen their root systems, grow leaves, and stockpile energy for their next growth spurt and bloom. Typically, an orchid can rebloom every 8 to 12 months.


Pruning and Propagating Orchids


Pruning


Proper pruning of old wood will make way for new blooms. However, different orchids require different pruning methods. When pruning an orchid, make sure your tool is sharp and sterilized. A clean cut will help to keep an orchid healthy.


In general, remove faded orchid blooms to keep the plant from spending energy on old growth. After flowering is complete, you typically can cut off the flower spike. However, certain orchid varieties are known to rebloom on the same spike. In that case, you can remove the faded blooms but not the spike.


Propagating Orchids


Propagating orchids by seed is notoriously difficult because the minuscule seeds need extremely specific conditions that are hard to duplicate. The most common way to propagate an orchid is by division. If you already have a somewhat mature or large orchid and you'd like to divide it into two stand-alone plants, take these steps:

  1. Moisten the growing medium to make it easier to remove the plant from the container.

  2. Examine the roots of the orchid, and remove damaged or dead parts that appear black, mushy, or paper thin. Healthy roots are firm and plump.

  3. Try teasing apart some of the roots and stems. If they can't tease apart by hand, use a sharp, sterile cutting tool.

  4. Repot each plant in new medium, stake if necessary, and water.


Pests and Plant Diseases


Orchids are relatively pest-free plants but here are some possible pests. All of these can be addressed first with non-chemical options.

Wash off with warm water and insecticidal soap OR use a cotton swab and Isopropyl alcohol OR use Neem Oil OR Superior Horticultural Oils.

  • Aphids: Look for clear sticky droplets anywhere on your plant.

  • Scale: Check on the undersides of the leaves near the middle vein of the leaf or on the edges of the leaf. Note, when rub off these pests, note that they have hard scaly shell that must be penetrated or broken).

  • Mealybugs: Look for a white cottony mass on the top right petal and column. Multiple insecticide treatments are usually necessary to get rid of it. Use the natural treatments suggested above. Or, turn to Orthene (Acephate) for most severe infestations.

  • Thrips: These tiny gnat-like creatures that look like light streaks on the flowers or stippling on the leaves. The flower buds are also usually deformed. Neem is usually effective.

  • Spider mites: These tiny guys show up as fine webbing on the leaves or a stippling effect. Wash off with strong stream of warm soapy water. Then spray with Insecticidal Soap.

  • Snails and Slugs come out at night and leave a slimy trail so if you suspect them, take a flashlight in the evening to search for these culprits. Look under your pots, too. Use (safe) Sluggo® baits, or try the old beer trick. Put out a shallow plate (1/2-inch deep) of beer and they will be in the liquid the next morning.


Orchids rarely suffer from disease but we’ve listed some common ones:

  • Root rot may occur when roots are kept too wet. Provide adequate airflow and water according to the tips above and your orchid shouldn’t have any issues.

  • Crown rot causes the center growing poit to turn black or rot. Don’t leave water in the crown of the plant or this invite disease. It’s usually not salvagable.

  • Leaf Spot is the damage that most fungal and bacterial diseases leave behind are circular or oblong spots on the foliage or flowers. You could remove diseased leaves by cutting the leaf off about 1/2 inch to 1 inch into healthy leaf tissue that shows no signs of the disease. Be careful not to cut into the diseased tissue and then into healthy tissue, or you’ll spread the disease.


Common Problems With Orchids


Once an orchid finds a suitable spot and falls into a routine, the plant should produce healthy growth and eventually reward you with a beautiful bloom. But subpar conditions can result in some common problems.


Leaves Shriveled and Wrinkled


Shriveled and wrinkled leaves indicate that the orchid is not getting enough water. The culprit is often unhealthy roots. Roots should appear plump and white or green. If the roots appear healthy, that likely means the plant is being underwatered. But if roots are black and mushy, use a sterile cutting tool to eliminate the bad roots, and repot the orchid in new growing medium. Then, make sure you're allowing the plant to dry out between waterings.


Leaves Turning Yellow


Overwatering and consequently root rot are often the cause of yellowing leaves. Make sure you're giving your orchid time to dry out between waterings. If that doesn't work, repot the plant and remove any unhealthy roots.


Buds Dropping


If you see buds dropping from the plant before they bloom, the plant is stressed for any number of reasons. This is when you will need to investigate the orchid's environment and potentially move it to a better spot. Look for the following possible issues:

  • The plant is being underwatered or overwatered.

  • The orchid is experiencing swings in temperature because it is near a heating vent, air conditioner, or some other draft.

  • The plant is sensitive to nearby chemical fumes (paint or gas, for example).

  • The orchid is sensitive to nearby plants or fruits producing ethylene gas.

  • The orchid is in a low-humidity spot.

  • There's a possible pest infestation.


Benefits of Orchid


Stress Busters


Among many, Orchids are those flowers that can help in easing out stress. Over the years, many studies have confirmed that Orchids spread a positive aura around us. They are happy flowers that look good and make us feel good by lowering our stress levels significantly. During the frenzy times, Orchids offer a much-needed dose of tranquillity and calmness.


Enhances Eyesight


If you happen to have weak eyesight, Orchids hit the bull’s eye on improving that. The leaves and flowers of Orchids are rich in Vitamin C and E. Consuming them on a daily basis can enhance your vision and keep eye-related diseases at bay. You may consume orchid leaves and flowers by cooking them with vegetables or grinding them into the juice.


Improves Sleep Quality


Another boon of having orchid plants in your space is that they give out healthy oxygen even at night. This beneficial flow of oxygen results in an effective and relaxing effect. This, in turn, lowers the risks of insomnia, panic attacks and anxiety. So, if you are someone who has trouble calming yourself during bedtime, place an orchid plant in your bedroom.


Increases Immunity


Orchids are enriched with vitamin C and fibre. Consuming a juice that has orchid flowers will be beneficial for your immune system.


Helps Raise Humidity


Among the many benefits of Orchids, the most significant one is that they maintain a good level of humidity to prevent conditions like asthma. Also, when you are exposed to too much dry air, it can harm your skin. Orchids play a significant role in maintaining the moisture inside our home. When this plant absorbs water, it releases excess moisture via its leaves to avoid the air being too dry.


Cures Ulcers & Indigestion


You may find this fact a little hard to digest, but the benefits of orchids also include treating indigestion, especially among children. The fibre and fluid content found in orchid flowers are suitable for curing and preventing the condition of constipation, diarrhoea and bowel movements. Also, it is found to be highly effective in treating stomach ulcers and providing relaxation to the muscles. Take a juice or soup made from orchids and feel the problem disappear magically.


Cures Menstrual Problems


With the help of orchid flowers, we can prepare medicine for menstrual problems. A few orchid flowers boiled with brown sugar and water for some time, filter it and drink it every day that cures menstrual irregulating and uterus problems. It also dilates the chest cold and expels it out.


Cures Thyroid Problems


Decreased thyroxin will result in body weight gain, irregular periods, skin toughening, hair loss, constipation, body pain, anxiety. If increased thyroxin results in weight loss, high heart rate, angry, depression, sleeplessness, menstruation problem. But orchids plant has lots of thyroid activating and regulating property thus it helps to maintain the hormone balance in the body.


Stimulates The Cell Activity


Orchid leaves contain quercetin, astragalin, isoquercetin, amphoral glucono oxide, amino acids and alkaloids present in the seeds and these chemical compounds that stimulate cell activity. Anthocyanin, nutin, apigenin also present in the plant and it cures the blood clots.


Aids in Skin Health


Since orchid is a rich source of vitamin A and antioxidants, it helps regenerate and replenish your skin. Its frequent use keeps skin problems like wrinkles, blemishes and pigmentation at bay, making your skin young and healthy. The orchid extract works wonders for the skin when used as a face mist or face pack.


Brilliant for Feng Shui


As per Feng Shui practices, orchids represent beauty, purity and fertility. They even represent joy and new beginnings. Since orchids are available in a wide range of vibrant hues, specific colours have a specific meaning in feng shui. For example, green represents wealth and prosperity, while purple orchids convey feelings of respect, royalty and admiration. More so, putting different coloured orchids could help maximize positive chi.


Uses

  • The dried seed pods of one orchid genus, Vanilla (especially Vanilla planifolia), are commercially important as a flavouring in baking, for perfume manufacture and aromatherapy.

  • Various other orchids are used for a variety of folk medicines and cures.

  • In Malaysia, women take a drink made from the boiled leaves of Nervilia aragoana to prevent sickness after childbirth.

  • In Malaysia, the leaves of one species of Anoectochilus are sold as a vegetable, and the leaves of Dendrobium salaccense are cooked as a seasoning with rice.

  • The scent of orchids is frequently analysed by perfumers (using headspace technology and gas-liquid chromatography/mass spectrometry) to identify potential fragrance chemicals.

  • The underground tubers of terrestrial orchids [mainly Orchis mascula (early purple orchid)] are ground to a powder and used for cooking, such as in the hot beverage salep or in the Turkish mastic ice cream dondurma.


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