Orchids, with up to 35,000 species available comprise the largest family of flowering plants on earth. The range of the orchid flower is huge and it is thought that up to one seventh of all plants are orchids. Though you can find orchids underground and others in water, most orchids are to be found in the tropics.
Many people believe that orchids are both expensive and difficult to cultivate. While it’s true that this is the case with some varieties, there are many others that are well within the average budget and no more difficult than any other flowering plant to cultivate.
Preparation for Orchids
Choosing a suitable orchid is actually a matter of taste since a Gabriel Ash greenhouse can be made to suit any environment. You have a choice of hundreds of colours and can never run out the right variety for your greenhouse.
There is no need to do any soil preparation to grow you own orchids. In fact, orchids do not need any soil to grow and it might actually be a good way to kill them. You will grow you orchids normally in a pot that is filled with loosely packed bark, stone or similar material. You need to allow for the roots to readily receive air and water.
Growing orchids from seeds is very difficult and it can take years from propagation until a plant bloom can occur. That is the reason why most orchids are grown through stem propagation. Know the parentage of the plants and only cross pure species or award wining hybrids. This means you may have to make a significant investment in purchasing the parent plants from reputable suppliers.
Continuing Care and Tips for Orchids
Try not to expose orchids to temperatures higher than ninety degrees Fahrenheit. A Gabriel Ash greenhouse can allow you to control the temperature in any season. The trick to get the most out of flowering orchids is to imitate their natural habitat.
You should water your orchids about once every week. Once the flower has dried out, water it again. Do not, however, over water your orchids.
You will want to expose your orchid to a minimum six hours of light per day. Generally the more light provided the better the orchid will perform. You can tell if your orchid is receiving adequate amounts of light by observing the colour of the leaves. If the leaves are a dark green colour, this indicates that the plant is not getting enough light. The ideal leaf colour for adequate light is about the colour of grass, which is light or medium green. The best windows are generally southern and eastern facing ones.
Fertilise your orchids once per week with a weak solution of 20-20-20 fertiliser. Don’t overdo the fertiliser however. In the autumn switch to a blossom-bloom fertiliser. Orchids really appreciate good humidity. If you have a humidifier in your home, place it near to your orchids. Otherwise you can place your orchid pots on a tray of flat pebbles to which water is added. Ensure sufficient air movement around your orchids to ward off infections and bacteria.
There is a lot to learn in growing your own orchids. However, persistence and patience is rewarded with beautiful flowers that can lighten up the dullest of rooms.