The orchid is one of the most popular flowers in the world. They come in a wide variety of colours and are known for their exotic beauty. Today, we are going to answer some questions about these beautiful plants!
The most popular genus in this family is Cymbidium with around 80 different types! There are also many other genera that you may not have heard of including Dendrobium, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis, Cephalanthera, Laelia, and Oncidium just to name a few.
1. What are Orchids?
Orchids are a type of perennial plant that belongs to the Orchidaceae family. These beautiful plants grow all around the world and are one of the most popular flowers because they come in an endless variety. Orchids range from small to tall with an array of colours and shapes and there are over 20,000 different species and hybrids of these beautiful plants.
The orchid is a plant that has been cultivated by humans for hundreds of years. They first originated in tropical areas like India and Southeast Asia but now grow around the world due to their popularity as ornamental plants for both indoor and outdoor use.
The word orchid comes from the Greek word “orchis” which means testicle. In ancient times, it was believed that certain types of orchids grew out of dead animal testicles, hence its name.
These days, we know better than to believe this theory but there is still no real answer as to why these plants were originally given their moniker (we can only guess).
2. What is the Scientific Name of an Orchid?
The scientific name for an orchid is “Orchis” and they are members of the Orchidaceae family. The Orchidaceae family is divided into six sub-sections: Cypripedioideae (about 600 species), Cyrtidinae (about 1,200), Dendrobiinae (about 250), Epidendroideae (over 10,000 species), Laeliinae (over 2,600), and Pleurothallidinae (1).
3. How Much Do Orchids Cost?
Orchids are one of the most popular flowers in the world, and there is a wide variety to choose from. They can be found in many garden centres for only £5-£10 apiece. In addition, they will grow as well with little care or water as any other houseplant, and they have an exceptionally long lifespan and can live for years if cared for properly.
There are also rare types that you might not find at all local garden centres which will cost more. These plants can cost anywhere from £10-£50 per plant depending on where you buy them from and what type of orchid it is.
4. Where Can I Buy an Orchid for My Home?
If you are looking for a place to buy an orchid, we recommend visiting your local garden centre. They can help you find the right type of plant and they will have different varieties available so that you can make sure that it matches what you need.
You may also want to consider shopping online as there are many reputable sites out there with high-quality products at reasonable prices.
5. Which Type of Orchid is Best for Beginners?
There are many types of orchids that you can choose from like the Vanda, Paphiopedilum, and Cymbidium but for beginners, we recommend you consider the understated yet elegant Phalaenopsis as they are easy to care for and look great.
This particular type of orchid has a very distinctive appearance with leaves that are green and strap-like and flowers that come in shades of white to pink. The plants typically grow up to 30 cm tall with blooms ranging from 3 inches to 8 inches wide.
The different types of orchid flowers also have different care requirements such as temperature and humidity levels, so it is important to do your research before purchasing one for yourself.
6. What do Orchids Symbolise?
The answer to this question is a little complex. It is difficult to give one single definition for all the different meanings that exist with regard to orchids. The meaning of an orchid can depend on where it comes from, who it was given by, and how it will be used in the near future.
Orchids are typically used as a symbol of appreciation and admiration. They are also said to represent love, beauty, refinement, and elegance.
The orchid is the national flower of both Singapore and South Korea. In ancient Greece, they were symbols of male beauty and erotic love. In India, they are seen as a representation of female fertility and life cycles and in China, they represent “perfect happiness” because their name sounds like “double joy.”
In many cultures around the world, an orchid signifies royalty because they were once only available to kings in Europe who would send them to their lovers as gifts.
7. Are Orchids Poisonous to Cats and Dogs?
If you have pets, you may be wondering if orchids are poisonous to your furry little friends.
According to the ASPCA, orchids are non-toxic for cats and dogs although we do not recommend your furry friend eat them as they may still end up with an upset tummy.
One thing that must be considered is that although orchids are deemed safe for cats and dogs, they are poisonous to other animals such as rats or birds.
In the event that your pet ingests a large amount of orchid, it is important to call a veterinarian immediately! The ASPCA recommends taking them in for treatment if you can tell that their stomach is bloated from eating one too many of these pretty plants.
8. Do Orchids Smell?
There are over 20 thousand types of orchid species, but only about 15% have an identifiable fragrance or scent that humans can detect. This means that with almost 85% chance, your precious flower will not be smelling anything like you expected it to!
Of the 15% that do have a scent, some of them are extremely sweet and give off a vanilla-like fragrance whilst others smell simply awful.
9. Should Orchids be Pruned?
It is a common misconception that orchids should be pruned.
Orchids grow by the growth of their roots, not from cutting off any excess leaves or flowers. The only time when it is necessary to trim an orchid’s stem is if it has been damaged and needs to be stabilized for healing.
Prune your plant with care!
10. What Type of Fertiliser Should I use on my Orchids?
Fertilizer is an important part of orchid care. Without it, the plant will struggle to produce fresh, new leaves and flowers. There are different types of fertilizer that can be used on your orchids depending on the type of plant you have as well as what your individual needs are.
The two most common types of fertiliser for orchids are liquid and granular fertilizers. Liquid fertilizers typically provide nutrients more quickly than a granular product would because they are already in a solution form rather than mixed together with soil like a granular product is.
This is our favourite Orchid food (amazon link – opens in a new tab).
11. How Many Types of Orchids are There?
There are more than 20,000 types of orchid plants worldwide. If you include variations within those plants (e.g., different colour varieties) there are over 25,000 options!
In any given area, like your home region or country, there may be only a few dozen types available to purchase locally – but if you want something really unusual it is best to order online from an international marketplace that carries rarer species from around the world.
12. What is the Difference Between a Phalaenopsis and a Cymbidium Orchid?
Phalaenopsis have relatively long stems with multiple leaves at each node along their length while cymbidiums have relatively short stems with few leaves at each node.
Phalaenopsis also has a tubular-shaped flower that hangs downward, while cymbidiums have more open flowers on their long spikes.
13. What is the Difference Between a Cymbidium and an Oncidium Orchid?
Oncidium orchids generally grow in clusters of many plants from one original stem while Cymbidium often grows by themselves. The blooms are typically smaller for oncidiums, but they do feature large petals surrounding their column compared to the small petals found in cymbidium flowers.
14. Why Do Some People Say That You Should Never Water your Orchids with Tap Water?
I am sure you are all wondering, “Why can’t I water my orchids with tap water?” Well, the answer is simple. Tap water is usually treated with chlorine, fluoride, and other chemicals to kill bacteria that may be present in the water. These chemicals are not good for your orchid’s health as they will damage the leaves of your plant.
We recommend using collected rainwater or distilled water but if this is not possible, you can use freshly boiled water once you have let it cool to room temperature.
15. How Often do I Need to Water my Orchid?
Although it depends on what type it is, it is important to regularly water orchids that are blooming, and growing new roots, and/or leaves.
Some orchid varieties (like Cattleyas) prefer it when their soil dries out between watering sessions; others such as Paphiopedilums and Phalaenopsis need evenly moist soil so they can thrive.
You will also want to make sure that when you do add new water it is room temperature – water that is too cold can damage your orchid.
16. Why Isn’t my Phalaenopsis Blooming Yet After a Year?
Phalaenopsis, despite their common name “moth” orchids, love bright light! They do not thrive well indoors without at least three hours per day of sunlight.
If you are unable to provide them with that much natural sunlight, then make sure they have plenty of artificial light as well.
Remember not to keep plants too close to the light – the best results come from about 18 inches away.
17. How Long Does It Take for a Phalaenopsis Orchid to Bloom?
When you are growing a Phalaenopsis orchid, it is important to know how long it takes for them to bloom. In general, phalaenopsis orchids take about six months from the time they are planted until their first blooming period.
Of course, this can vary depending on a plant’s individual needs and care during that time span. This is because the flowers are made up of tiny buds, and it takes time for these buds to grow large enough to produce a flower. Plants need plenty of water and light in order to grow at their optimum rate; if they are not getting enough light, they may not bloom altogether.
18. What is the White Dot on my Flowering Orchid Plant and What Should I Do About It?
If you notice a white dot forming at the base of your flower stem it could be root rot, which means that there’s not enough airflow around the roots as well as too much moisture where they are sitting.
To fix this issue try transplanting them to a pot with good drainage and keep them on the dry side.
19. What Are Some Pests That Can Harm Orchids?
One common pest orchid growers might experience is aphids, which will suck out sap from your leaves and stem in order to survive – causing yellowing of the plant. Alternatively, spider mites are another type of bug that can affect plants by sucking out liquids too.
To get rid of these pests, it is recommended that you spray them with an easy-to-make insecticidal soap.
20. Why are my Orchid Leaves Turning Yellow?
There are many reasons why orchid leaves turn yellow and it is important to know the cause before you attempt to fix it.
The most common reason for a plant’s leaves turning yellow is because of a lack of sunlight exposure, but there could be other causes such as over-fertilizing, not enough water, nutrient deficiency, root rot, pest infestation or disease.
21. Why are my Orchid Leaves Turning Brown?
Orchid leaves turn brown due to a few different problems, the most common being sunburn, dehydration, or bacterial brown spot. If you find that your orchids are quickly turning from green into dark brown, it is likely because of one of these three things.
The moulting process for healthy foliage can take up to 3 months and many people do not realise why this happens until they research more about their plants’ needs in terms of humidity levels and light exposure among other factors which affect colouration change.
22. When Should I Repot my Orchid?
If you have an orchid that is getting too big for its pot, it may be time to repot. Repotting usually involves removing the plant from its current pot and placing it in a new one with fresh soil.
In general, orchids should be re-potted every two years when they are actively growing as this will prevent them from becoming root bound.
You need to find out if your orchid requires high humidity levels before deciding on what type of potting mix to use because not all plants thrive in moist environments.
Whether you are a novice orchid grower looking for general information, an expert orchid hobbyist with specific questions about fertilising and watering needs, or someone who has never grown the plant before but is interested in trying it out as their next gardening adventure – we hope this blog post was helpful.
We know that there are many other details to consider when growing these beautiful flowers so please feel free to explore our website or send us an email if you have more questions!
Garden Doctor Tips
“If you decide to grow your Orchid indoors, make sure to place it on a well-lit windowsill!”
“Make sure to check what type of Orchid is best suited to your location!”
“No need to prune Orchids, just let them be unless they are damaged and need a helping hand!”
“Phalaenopsis make ideal Orchids for beginners, they require little care and they are beautiful!”
Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.