Orchids are always among the popular flowering houseplants, which makes them an easy choice for houseplant of the month for November.
Orchids make up one of the largest plant families. There are more than 20,000 known species, and new ones are still being discovered regularly. In the warmer regions such as the tropical rainforest orchids often grow on trees, branches or twigs with their roots in the air. These are called epiphytic orchids. Epiphytes are plants that grow on something without drawing nutrients from it. For cultivated specimens this means that they need little water and are grown on special airy potting mixtures. This replicates nature as closely as possible.
Care tips for orchids
- The care depends on the place of origin and growing style. However, most Speciality orchid species prefer room temperatures and need a light spot out of direct sunlight.
- Orchids cannot cope with wet feet, and are often supplied in some bark as a support rather than soil. In both cases the plant should be immersed in tepid water with some orchid food for half an hour once every 10 to 14 days and left to drain thoroughly.
- When the plant has finished flowering, the exhausted stems can be cut off just above the soil. If the plant is left in a cool spot during the rest period, some patience can result in new shoots from which new stems will emerge. Re-flowering varies according to species. Hence a Zygopetalum can flower up to 3 times a year, whilst Oncidium will only re-flower after 9 to 12 months.