If there is one species of flower that so often seems to be more highly prized than any other the orchid has to be a serious contender for that top spot.
This tropical flower enjoys an enviable reputation as a beautiful gift to receive or simply as a great way to enhance the look and feel of your home.
Here is a look at some interesting facts about the orchid flower and some useful tips on how to keep them looking their best and healthier for longer so that you can enjoy them for the greatest amount of time.
Many different versions of this stunning species
You only have to visit a site like With Our Aloha to instantly appreciate the captivating allure of orchids and to get a sense of the different varieties available of this tropical flower.
What you might not know is that there are actually well over 25,000 different documented species of orchid in the world today.
The Orchidaceae is prolific in tropical regions of the world and there are a number of scientists and horticulturists who believe that there are still plenty more varieties of orchid waiting to be discovered.
In addition to the orchids found naturally in the wild, orchids are a popular choice for horticulturists to hybridize the flower, creating versions that wouldn’t necessarily occur in nature but have become universally popular and a firm favorite for flower lovers everywhere.
At one with your orchid
It might seem strange to even suggest that we have any sort of meaningful connection with orchids, other than appreciating their beauty.
However, its seems that one of the reasons why we have such a strong affinity with orchids could be due to the fact that they have bilateral symmetry, which is a trait shared with humans.
A human face with a line drawn down the middle will result in a mirror image of both sides and that is the same result you get with orchids. Maybe the reason why you love orchids so much is that it reminds you of a human face and you might feel that the plant is looking right back at you.
Not just a pretty face
Another interesting fact about orchids aside from their symmetry is their ability to fool insects into pollinating them.
The reproductive components of many orchid flowers are strikingly similar in shape and color to the insects they are trying to attract.
The orchid pulls in the insect by attracting it with its looks and then sticks its pollen to the bug before it flies off to make the same mistake with another orchid, completing the pollination process.
Let there be light
There is no disputing the love and fascination we have for orchids but some people think that they are really tricky to keep, which isn’t the case when you follow a few simple steps to keeping your flower as healthy and vibrant as possible.
One of the biggest points to remember about enjoying success with keeping orchids is that they need to be kept in a well-lit area.
Don’t place the flowers in direct sunlight or where it is cold and drafty as that will soon have a detrimental impact on the condition of your orchid. As long as you give it the right amount of light your orchid will bloom nicely, but also be mindful that the larger the leaf, the less light it will need.
It is not as complicated as it might seem but if you give your orchid the right amount of light it will reward you handsomely.
Easy on the watering
It’s always tempting to give your orchid a bit of regular attention and keep it well watered but you have to be patient and disciplined with your watering ritual if you are going to get the best results.
The majority or orchids require watering only once a week. Keep an eye on its condition and wait until the bark or moss is looking almost parched before watering. It can be hard to resist the temptation to apply some water when it looks to be in need of it, but the best way is to wait until it is almost completely dry before watering.
Apply water until it starts to pour out of the drainage holes before draining any excess water immediately. Never leave your orchid in standing water if you don’t want to drown it.
Orchids are an amazing flower and understandably popular, they are also easy to keep with a little bit of know-how.
Frank MacMillan owns and manages With Our Aloha and Alii Hawaiian Tropical Flowers. His mission is to share the spirit of ‘Aloha’ through Hawaii’s most beautiful flowers, leis and local cookies and candies. After 20 years in high tech he moved to Hawaii to create a business of his own. Frank has a BA from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from Duke.