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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Orchids

For orchids’ lovers, here are some of its varieties and tips on how to care for the plant.

BULBOPHYLLUM (bull-bo-FILL-um) - This plant can be grown in wide spaces or windowsills. Requires low light, the wider the leaves, the less light is required. Plants grow more abundantly in South East Asian countries like the Philippines, where climates are tropical. Plants require 55 to 95 degrees temperature. Water twice a day, less water would result to smaller leaves. Humidity is 60 to 100 percent. Use high nitrogen fertilizer twice a month.

CATTLEYA (KAT-lee-a) – This plant is considered as the “queen” of the orchids and popularly used as corsages. Related genera includes, Sophrolaeliocattleya (Slc.), Brassolaeliocattleya (Blc.) Brassolaelia (Bl.) Sophrocattleya (Sc.), Laeliocattleya (Lc.) Brassocattleya (Bc.) and Epicattleya (Epc.) Some of the other related genera are - Brassavola, Epidendrum, Schomburgkia, Sophronitis, and Laelia. Temperature requirement ranges from 50-55 degrees at night, 70-100 degrees during the day. Cattleyas grow on trees and jungle forest. When planted on pots it has to be very dry before watering again. Fertilize twice a month but reduced fertilizing during winter months.

DENDROBIUM (den-DROH-bee-um) – This plant is commonly used for floral arrangements and leis. It requires temperature of 60 to 65 degrees at night, during the day 80 to 100 degrees. It requires good air movement and extra humidity. Water when vigorously growing, when matured, let it dry before re watering. A high phosphorous fertilizer will help to get the flowers to bloom.

MILTONIA (mil-TOH-nee-ah) – This plant is subdivided into two genera namely, Miltoniopsis and Miltonia. Miltoniopsis require lower temperature due to its soft grassy leaves that could burn easily when exposed to high temperature. Miltonias on the other hand require higher temperature but good humidity level should be provided. Both varieties should be watered regularly. Miltoniopsis should be watered regularly during the growing period. Miltonias should be dry before watering again. Fertilize twice a month but avoid high phosphorous fertilizer. Phosphorous fertilizer will cause the tips of the leaves of miltoniopsis leaves to turn black.

ONCIDIUM (on-SID-eeum) – This plan grow in very hot areas and mountain ranges. It requires temperature of 60 to 65 decrees at night and 80 to 90 decrees during the day. Should be watered thoroughly and allowed to dry before watering again if it is actively growing. Apply fertilizer during the growing period.

PHAIUS (Fay-us) – Known us the “nun” of the orchids due to its bronze and white color of the flowers. Blossoming season starts in the fall and ends in spring. Requires temperature of approximately 50 to 90 degrees, keep it evenly moist at all times. Leaves could turn yellow if not enough watering. Keep humidity at 60 percent or even more. Use water soluble fertilizer.

PHALAENOPSIS (fay-len-OP-sis) – This is a large well grown plant that can produce flowers several times all year round. It grows vigorously in warmer temperature but needs to be watered thoroughly. Let the water dry before watering again. Humidity of at least 60 to 80 percent is required. If home is humid, run an electric fan to keep the air moving. If home is too dry, sit the plants on a shallow tray filled with gravel and water. Note that plants should sit on the gravel not on the water. Fertilize during the growing period every other week. In winter, reduce fertilizing schedule.

VANDA (VAN-dah) – This plant is a sun loving plants that is grown outdoors or on trees. If grown indoors provide artificial lighting. Water regularly if grown in baskets. Growth rate increases in high humidity, 70 to 80 percent. Fertilize regularly.

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