All White Orchids With Burgundy At The Flower Tips Buying Your First Orchid – Things to Know Before Orchid Fever Turns Into Orchid Panic

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Buying Your First Orchid – Things to Know Before Orchid Fever Turns Into Orchid Panic

Try walking past a florist’s shop window full of orchids without turning your head. Go, I dare you! How can you not wait to see something so exquisite in beauty and complexity? Orchids have an undeniable star quality that sets them apart from the geraniums and pansies of the garden. Many wallflowers have lagged behind orchids in popularity over the years to their current status as one of the most popular flowering plants sold worldwide.

Now, before you rush out and buy your first orchid of choice, you may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself better. For starters, you should ask how long the flowers last. Will it bloom again and should you do anything to help it? Are you planning to keep this plant for a few years, or will you discard it once it blooms?

Most orchid flowers should last two to six weeks indoors. For longer blooms, choose Phalaenopsis orchids, which can last one to four months or longer in bright, indirect light. Most of the orchids sold each year are Phalaenopsis orchids, commonly called moth orchids, chances are this is the variety you are most familiar with.

Moth orchid blooms can measure anywhere from 2-4″ in diameter and are mostly found in white or purple. For an interesting variation, look for striped or spotted moth orchids. Among my personal favorites are varieties with white harlequin-style spots in shades of burgundy and purple. It’s worth noting that Hard to find, but varieties of yellow moth orchids with red stripes.Color.

If your situation is a little on the shady side, try the very exotic-looking Paphiopedilum, also known as the Lady Slipper Orchid. You may find success with Ludisia discolor, the jewel orchid, which has striking dark-brown leaves with reddish-brown stripes and small columnar clusters of white flowers.

For a sunny window try oncidiums, a large group of orchids commonly known as ‘dancing ladies’, because their large sprays of flowers seem to dance in the wind. You can also see the herds, especially the clusters of attractive, colorful and often deliciously scented orchids.

Some other things to look for when shopping for orchids are an even mix of buds and open flowers, healthy-looking green leaves without spots or scratches, and a vigorous root system. Buying orchids that have already opened by about three-quarters of the blooms will ensure longevity and enjoyment of your orchid blooms.

Black, brown, or yellow spots on orchid leaves or roots can be a sign of improper watering, extreme temperatures, or a fungal problem, and it’s best to avoid these plants altogether.

The roots of healthy orchids are thick and white or greenish-white and should be growing so vigorously that they have completely escaped from their container and are hanging over the sides. This is an indicator of good health, as orchids grown in their native rainforest environment like to hang their roots from the tree canopy to keep them away from moisture and nutrients. All orchid roots should be saturated with each watering to avoid damaging the roots or foliage.

Following these steps will keep your new orchid happy for months or even years, as well as a refreshing taste of the indoor tropics to enjoy year-round.

Top 10 Windowsill Orchids

Botanical Name Common Name Increase it because…

Brassia Spider Orchid Eotic, elongated flowers.

Cattleya Cattleya Large, colorful, very exotic flowers are often strongly scented — miniature varieties bloom more often.

Dendrobium Spray Orchid A tall orchid with lots of flowers in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes.

Encyclia cochleata Octopus Orchid The unusual flower shape is striking.

Ludisia jewel orchid foliage is so attractive that the plants look great even when not in bloom. Flowers open slowly.

Miltonia Pansy Orchid Large flowers in attractive colors.

Oncidium dancing ladies are covered in tall bloom spikes, often fragrant, like chocolate-scented.

“Sherry Baby” Paphiopedilum Lady Slipper In low light, attractive flowers.

Phalaenopsis moth orchid blooms last longer than any other orchid, 4 mos.+.

Phragmipedium frags Long flowering period, hardier than water.

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