Orchid: Meaning And Care
Belonging to the family of monocotyledons, perennial grasses with simple leaves with parallel veins, the orchid is well known for its beauty and floral structure. Most orchids have inflorescences with multiple flowers arranged around a stem, however, there are also species that have single flowers.
The flowers are pollinated by insects, in some cases by birds, and it is normal that the flowers have petals modified into pollinators or guides for their pollinators.
Orchids live in almost all ecosystems around the world except glaciers.
Most grow as epiphytes on other plants or rocks, and extract nutrients and water from the atmosphere and debris, but many species grow in the soil in forest areas.
Some, such as the Vanilloideae subfamily species, grow as lianas that can grow up to 20 m. or more in length; the tiny Bulbophyllum is only 3-4 mm high.
The orchids have a dizzying series of pollination syndromes, some incredibly complex. About one third of orchid species mimic one aspect of their pollinator biology to fool the pollinator when visiting the flower without providing nectar or other reward.
For example, bee orchids accurately mimic a female bee, right down to the smell, to attract the male visitor.
The taxonomy of the family of the orchids is difficult and dynamic, because it is so big and many new species are described every year; many morphological and molecular studies subdivide the family in five monophyletic subfamilies: Apostasioideae, Cypripedioideae, Epidendroideae, Orchidoideae and Vanilloideae, of which the Epidendroideae is by far the biggest, containing about 3/5 of species of orchids.
All orchids have lower ovaries which develop in a capsule with compartments containing up to millions of tiny seeds. One plant typically produces 74 million seeds. In order to germinate, orchid seeds require a symbiotic interaction with the species-specific basidiomycetes fungus, which enters the seed.
This allows the orchid seed, which has no nutrient reserves, to obtain the necessary nutrients directly from the fungi and to form a proto corm, an embryonic structure is unique, consisting of a mass of cells that are not found in other flowering plants.
After facilitating germination, the colonizing fungal symbiont subsequently nourishes the seedling and especially in the case of epiphytic and parasitic non-photosynthetic orchids, the fungal interaction often persists in transferring nutrients and minerals to the fully developed orchid.
It is not clear how the fungi benefit from this interaction. The orchid apparently controls and regulates the time and degree of fungal association, presumably providing sufficient reason you have fungi to colonize and re-associate to the plant often over a seasonal cycle.
The charisma of orchids and their biology have fascinated many botanists as well as the general public, and many hybrid varieties are widely cultivated.
This passion has inspired intrepid harvests and generated hundreds of orchid societies and clubs around the world, generating a global growing sector worth $9 billion a year.
Every year 3000-4000 new hybrid names are entered into the International Orchid Register. Most cultivars are tropical or sub-tropical.
Many orchid species are threatened in the wild due to overharvesting and habitat degradation.
In addition to providing considerable botanical interest, some orchids have food uses. Vanilla, for example, is a commercially important and widely used aroma extracted from dried pods of several species of the genus Vanilla; commercially grown vanilla requires manual pollination of the flower, making it one of the most expensive spices in the world.
Some orchids produce edible tubers; Australian desert and forest orchids, for example, are historically eaten by aborigines. Orchids also have ancient origins in traditional medicine in many cultures, including Chinese medicine.
How To Care For Orchids: General Indications
First place the orchid plant in a sunny room facing south, taking care to avoid direct exposure to sunlight.
Take great care not to expose them to direct heat sources, as the roots may dry out, as they are generally exposed to air.
We recommend not to water the plant too much, but to water it little and often otherwise the roots could easily rot. To know if it needs water, it is sufficient to touch the soil and see if it is humid, if it is already humid, as it often happens in winter, it is not necessary to water it.
For proper watering spray water with a diffuser around the pot; ideally use rainwater as the chlorine contained in tap water is the worst enemy of orchids.
To water the orchid avoid using hard water (i.e. with limescale, such as tap water), better to use neutral water (pH 7 reaction) or slightly acidic water.
Orchid, Yellow Leaves: Causes And Remedies
A very important aspect for this splendid plant is watering, in fact a scarce supply of water or worse a too much abundant and frequent watering of the plant can cause serious damage to it. The first symptoms that we see appear on our orchid are the yellow leaves, in case of too much water supply can rot the roots and lead the plant to death.
Therefore a correct and regular watering, being particularly careful to water the plant only when the soil or potting soil is well dry and to absolutely avoid water stagnation, can certainly avoid that our beautiful orchid has yellow leaves and grows strong luxuriant.
Orchid, Yellow Leaves Due To Poor Or Excessive Irrigation
If the cause of the yellow leaves is due to poor or too abundant watering, we can remedy it quite simply, provided the situation is not completely compromised (as in the case of root rot in an advanced state).
In case of poor watering, just start watering the plant regularly and maybe if the environment is very dry vaporize the plant frequently for at least 15 days.
In case the yellow leaves of the orchid are due to too much water given to the plant, you will also notice some small black spots, in this case let the soil dry well, and if it is too soaked with water better change it by decanting the plant, before watering the plant again.
Orchid, Yellow Leaves Due To Parasites
In addition to a wrong watering of the plant there are also some parasites and fungi that can yellow the leaves of the orchid, such as cochineal. Let’s see together which pests and fungi can infest your orchid.
Check and make sure that the plant is not attacked by pests: to keep the situation under control, clean the leaves thoroughly every day, dust clogs the leaves slowing down photosynthesis and exposes the orchid to a large number of diseases.
How To Treat The Orchid From Diseases And Parasites?
Are you facing an annoying fungus or bacterial infection?
We give you some information on how to fight these parasites.
Treatment Of The Orchid Fungus With Cinnamon
Believe it or not many natural remedies such as herbs or spices are great for any evil. Cinnamon not only tastes great but also smells good, cinnamon is a natural fungicide, which makes it useful to protect your plant from orchid fungi and bacteria.
How To Use It?
After cutting the leaves, stem or roots of the orchid, lightly sprinkle the parts with a sprinkling of cinnamon. You can sprinkle it over the area you wish to treat or dip the area directly into a little cinnamon. Make sure that the areas you are spraying have been moistened to help the dust assimilation.
Killing Orchid Insects With Alcohol
This common sterilizer is useful for disinfecting things or cleaning wounds and can help to free the plant from scale insects. These little white creatures can infest your orchid, hatch and hide in little nooks and crannies, leaving a sticky substance behind and chewing on your plant. Horticultural oil or insecticidal soaps are often recommended to treat a cochineal infestation, but if you don’t have any on hand, try isopropyl alcohol.
How To Use It?
Dip a cotton ball into the alcohol and remove any cochineals you see. Continue the treatment by spraying the alcohol on the plant and removing any dotted cochineals that look like small yellow spots. To make sure you get all the pests, pay particular attention to any cracks or creases on your plant or pot.
Fight orchid infections with antiseptic mouthwash
Exactly the common mouthwash you use for the health of your mouth can help fight bacterial infections of the orchid and prevent insects from invading it.
How To Use It?
Spray directly on the affected area of the orchid and let it rest for five minutes. You can also spray the orchid once a week to prevent insect infestation. Make sure to use only the unflavoured version of the mouthwash as the flavored versions contain additives that can be harmful to the health of your orchid.
Prevent Orchid Fungus And Infections
The fungus, infections, and parasitic infestations of orchids are no fun, but fortunately they are easy to treat even with natural remedies like these that we have shown you
Orchid Meaning In The Language Of Flowers
The orchid is a flower of extreme beauty, with petals of different shapes depending on the variety. Precisely because of its beauty the orchid has meant since its discovery something related to love and eroticism.
Popular legends tell, since ancient times, of sorcerers and sorcerers who prepared elixirs of love and youth with this splendid flower.
The meaning of the orchid, in time, has undergone a mutation, and takes on different characteristics depending on the place. We know that the orchid grows, apart from in extremely cold places, in all the way so its meaning has variations.
In the West the orchid has taken on a meaning that has become a bit detached from eroticism and is given to a person for their beauty or to their loved one.
In the East, because of its symmetry in structure, it takes on a meaning of purity and innocence, not surprisingly many times the orchid is given to children.
Its meaning, however, thanks to its many different shades, takes on different nuances.
For example, the pink orchid is a symbol of love and affection, the black orchids that mythologically were thought to have a magical power, are the symbol of authority or the beautiful and fragrant Cattleya orchids perfect to give to mature women.