How To Grow Orchids

How To Grow Orchids

Orchids are among the most beautiful flowers of the entire plant kingdom, combining exotic looks with a diverse set of characteristics. Orchids are exquisite plants, compromising over 30,000 different species and over 200,000 hybrid varieties–making orchids the largest family of plants in the world. Capable of growing indoors and outdoors, orchids are no doubt unique and, unfortunately for some potential green-thumbs, difficult to grow successfully. Someone who hopes to grow orchids should prepare themselves for both the failures and triumphs that breeding this lovely plant variety bring.

1. Select a species of orchid

Some orchids are easier to grow than others. Cattleya, Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum orchids are amongst the easiest to grow and are recommended for most beginner gardeners and orchid growers. There are, however, believed to be over 20,000 species of orchid species — that’s 2 times the amount of existing bird species and 4 times the amount of existing mammalian species. There’s almost literally an orchid for any type of person.

Perhaps the most common genera of orchids found for sale include Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium and Oncidium. Phalaenopsis is known as the “moth orchid” and is extremely popular among beginning growers; the genus Dendrobium contains about 1,200 species of orchids and is the classic epiphyte of orchids; Oncidiums are characterized by column wings and a callus at the lip of the flower.

Different genera of orchids have different ideal humidity, growing temperatures, watering schedules, and light requirements. Talk with your local nursery or visit the local chapter of your orchid society to find out what makes your genus of orchid grow best.

2. Choose the right kind of soil for your orchids

Some first-time orchid growers make the mistake of assuming that orchids need to be potted in soil like other blooming flowers, choosing potting soil as a conduit. That would be a grave mistake. Most orchid roots need far more air than potting soil would give them, and so benefit from a looser, more porous mix.
Many people use bark chips, spaghnum moss, coconut husks, charcoal, perlite, and even styrofoam pellets as potting mix, often in combination. Experiment with porous, breathable mixes that you have on hand, or ask an expert for his or her special recipe.

 3. Try a potting mix, or combination of several different mediums

For simplicity’s sake, you can make two basic kinds of potting mixes that will work for most kinds of orchids.

Make a fine potting mix, suitable for slipper orchids, most oncidiums, miltonias, and orchids with small roots that enjoy moisture more than most:
4 parts fine (grain) fir bark or fine (grain) coco husk
1 part fine (grain) charcoal
1 part perlite
Make a medium potting mix, suitable for cattleyas, phalaenopsis, and other mature orchids. If you’re unsure of which mix to use, try the medium-grade potting mix before the fine-grade mix:
4 parts medium (grain) fir bark or medium (grain) coco husk
1 part medium (grain) charcoal
1 part perlite

4. Unless your orchid is a big plant, choose a snug pot for your orchid

Many orchids are comfortable being root-bound. Choose a smaller pot to place your orchid in, making sure that there are plenty of holes in the pot itself for drainage. Remember, the enemy of orchids is often over-watering. Some orchids, such as cymbidiums, will require longer pots to accommodate very long root systems. The following types of pots offer a break from the traditional clay pot (which is perfectly acceptable):

Net pots, which have wire mesh and allow for a breathable environment. These can be hung in advantageous locations for better sunlight.
Clear plastic pots, which get better sunlight to the roots. These allow the grower to inspect the root systems without disturbing the orchid.
Wooden pots, which are constructed of rot-resistant wood. Line any wooden pots with sheet moss before adding your potting mixture.

5. If propagating seeds, be patient

Make sure your hands and your environment are sterile. Scatter just a few seeds immediately beneath the surface of each pot. Add environmentally-friendly fertilizer, if necessary. Again, use the best soil available.

6. Pot your orchid

Remove the orchid from its original pot, making sure to cut off any dead or rotting roots. Divide the root matter into several different sections, if needed, before placing the plant in its pot. The most mature section of growth should be positioned against the wall of the pot. Lightly add the potting mix, barely covering the root system.

 7. Know when to re-pot your orchids

Different orchids benefit from being re-potted accordingly:

Yearly: Dendrobium, Miltonia, Paphiopedilum and Phalaenopsis (and hybrids)
Bi-annually: Cattleya, Dendrobium, Oncidium, Odontoglossum (and hybrids)
Once every three years: Vanda, Cymbidium

Nurturing Your Orchids

Create the right temperature for your orchid. Most orchids originate from a tropical climate, meaning good air, plenty of light, and 12-hour days (365 days a year). The temperature (depending on the species of orchid) should range between 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 23.8 degrees Celsius).
Make sure that there’s about a 20 degree F (6.66 degree C) difference between day and night temperatures. This must be implemented as soon as you begin.
Make sure your orchids get enough sunlight, but not too much. Many orchids enjoy indirect sunlight: direct sunlight cases them to burn, while not enough creates a plant that doesn’t flower.

Check your orchid’s leaves if you want to diagnose whether it’s getting too much light or not enough. Orchid leaves should be a light, even green if healthy. If the leaves are dark green, it means that the orchid isn’t getting enough light. If the leaves are yellow, brown, or reddish, it means they’re getting too much.

Low-light orchids ( Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis, and Oncidium) do best if they get northerly or easterly light. Moderate to high-light orchids (Cattleya, Dendrobium, and Vanda) prefer getting westerly or southerly light.
Orchids love being behind curtains or window blinds. This way, they get plenty of light, but the light that they do get is indirect.
Water your orchid once every 5 to 12 days. It’s easier to kill an orchid by watering it too frequently than by watering it too seldom. During the summer months, longer days and more heat might necessitate a shorter watering period.
Keep the following genera moist (although not soggy) at all times: Paphiopedilum, Miltonia, Cymbidium, and Odontoglossum.
Keep the following genera moist during active growth, but allow to dry in between waterings otherwise: Cattleya, Oncidium, Brassia, and Dendrobium.
Allow the following genera to dry out in between waterings: Phalaenopsis, Vanda, and Ascocenda.
Care for the orchids diligently. Orchids require much more attention than your average plant or flower. The thicker your leaves are, the more likely your plant requires a larger dose of water. If your plant has bulky faux-bulbs, less water is better. Orchids are not resilient in most occasions, but are when it comes to their water intake. Again, they actually deal with a lack of water better than a superfluous amount of water.
Do not over-fertilize your orchids. Typically, expect to fertilize your orchid once a month, but rarely more. Fertilize too often and you’ll chance burning the roots and hampering flowering; fertilize not often enough and you’ll chance hampering the flowering process.
Keep the humidity level up. Because of orchids’ natural affinity for humidity, keep the humidity of your growing room — wherever it may be — at about 60% to 80% at all times.
Understand that each orchid is different. Each strand of orchid has different caretaking needs and rules. No one orchid is the same; all require a different temperature, lighting situation and watering schedule. So when you choose an orchid plant to grow, you must be flexible when growing orchids.
Article got from web links and cross checked by our Horticulturist.
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Flower Rangoli

Floral Rangoli

Rangoli is a folk art from India. Rangoli is made in living rooms and courtyards floors during Hindu festivals and ceremonies like wedding and events. Rangoli is sacred and used for welcoming Hindu deities. The art has been passed down through ages, from each generation to next generation keeping the art and tradition alive. Rangoli design is created by using colors, dry flour, colored rice or flower petals.

Rangoli is generally practiced by women as means of decoration. The design varies reflecting the traditions, folklore and practices which are customary to that part of area. It goes by name of Kolam in Tamil Nadu, ChowkPurna/Chowk Puja in Central & Northen States of India, Ossa in Orissa, Alpana in West Bengal and many more.

Rangoli design can be simple geometric shapes, flower petals shaped, impressions of deities, or birds, but the design mostly depends on the occasion. Like “Swastika” which is sacred symbol of auspiciousness can be used during any occasion whereas impression of impression of Goddess Saraswati is used in functions related to academics, music and arts as she is Goddess of learning or lamps which are used for decorations during Diwali.

Rangoli is a decorative and colourful design made on the floors especially during festive occasions. These are considered sacred and are meant to serve as welcoming areas to Gods. Rangolis are usually colourful (though you can find monochrome designs too) and are made using several materials like flower petals, rice, flour etc. In Eastern and Southern regions, Rangolis are made using a mixture made of grounded rice mixed with water, and are specially called Kolams (in Tamil Nadu).  So each region has its own ways of doing their rangolis.

The most common flowers used in Flower rangolis are:

Daisies, roses and marigolds. Not just flowers but leaves are used in flower Rangoli too

Before making a rangoli design one needs to understand the concept of rangoli, its evolution, types and importance. Rangolis hold a unique stand in our society. It is an art and is often used in collaboration with welcoming a particular festival or a special event.
Rangoli is a creative decorative design made in the grounds or entrance of your houses during festivals or special events. Rangoli is an Indian tradition which is followed since ages. People belonging to different creed, castes and religions follow this tradition.
Rangoli Designs are of different types. They are classified into free hand rangoli design, Dots Rangoli Design, Flower Rangoli Design, Ganesh Rangoli and much more. All of these are full of colors and life!
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How to Prolong Life Of Your Flowers

Prolong life of your flowers

Cut flowers, whether purchased from the florist or cut from your own garden, will last much longer in the vase if you follow the simple guidelines below.

Use a clean vase
Start with vases that have been cleaned with hot soapy water to eliminate bacteria and fungi and then rinsed thoroughly.

Prepare the flowers properly

Cut just-opening flowers early in the morning and place in water immediately. The vase life of flowers that ooze a milky “sap” (poinsettias, poppies) may be improved by immersing the bottom 2 inches of their stems in boiling water for 10 seconds before using them in an arrangement.
Gently remove lower leaves from the stem so there will be none in the vase water.
Before you put any flowers in the vase, recut the stems, removing 1 to 2 inches at an angle under water. You can do this in a basin full of water, or even by holding the stem and the blades of the shears (or kitchen scissors) under running tap water.
Don’t crush or burn flower stems. In our experience these practices are of little value.

Water for Flowers

Flowers in most arrangements collapse early because they are unable to obtain enough water to keep them looking crisp and fresh. There are a number of ways to ensure that your flowers get enough water:
(1) Re cut them under water to ensure that no air gets into the stems.
(2) If you live in a hard water area (you find white deposits in teakettles and on faucets), use demineralized water sold in supermarkets for filling steam irons, to make your vase solutions.
(3) Use a vase solution which is hot but not uncomfortable (100 degree F).
(4) Use one of the following suggested vase “preservatives.”
Never use softened water in a vase solution as it contains sodium, which is bad for cut flowers.

Food for Flowers

Flowers are living things, and like us they need food for proper growth and healthy color. Amazingly, you can provide much of what a cut flower needs with one of the following simple vase solutions. They contain acid to improve water flow in flower stems, sugar to help buds open and last longer, and a preservative to reduce growth of bacteria and fungi.
(1) Mix one part of any of the common lemon-lime sodas with three parts of water. Do not use diet drinks or colas. Diet drinks have no sugar and the colas contain too much acid for flowers. Adding 1/4 teaspoon of household bleach (Clorox or similar) per quart will keep the solution clear.
(2) Put 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or bottled “Real Lemon,” 1 tablespoon of sugar, and 1/4 teaspoon of bleach in a quart of warm water. Add another 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to the vase every 4 days.
(3) Use a commercial flower preservative. These are sold in florist shops and supermarkets but may not be as effective as the above recipes for improving flower vase life. However, they are inexpensive and very convenient to use; simply follow the directions on the packet.
Don’t use aspirin or vinegar in vase solutions; they are rarely effective in increasing vase life of flowers.
Use arranging aids properly
If you are using florist foam as an arranging aid, let it soak in the vase solution until it sinks. Do not push it down into the container as air bubbles will remain inside the foam and cause early flower death. Insert stems carefully.

Keep flowers cool

The higher the temperature, the faster flowers will deteriorate, so it is advisable to cut them early in the morning, when temperatures are cool, and to avoid exposure to heat. Don’t place arrangements in sunny locations, near heaters or fireplaces, or on top of television sets. Do put arrangements in a cool place overnight if you possibly can.
Even flowers require plant food in order to maintain optimal health. Fresh flower food is an excellent source of nutrition for flowers, especially cut flowers. Using food for cut flowers can increase their vase life, sometimes up to fifty percent according to many florists. This percentage can be even greater when other cut flower care tips are implemented as well. Cut flower food also provides numerous benefits in addition to prolonging vase life.
The sugary substances included in plant food solutions provide flowers with nutrients not only to keep cut flowers healthy, but to allow them to continually develop and maintain color as well. Additional ingredients help control pH levels, or acidity. There are even additives aimed at controlling microorganisms, which can lead to the buildup of harmful bacteria.
While there are many types of cut flower food products on the market, some of them can be quite costly. However, as an alternative to using these commercial brands of plant food, many people choose to make their own. In fact, homemade flower food can be just as effective at only a fraction of the cost. All it takes is a teaspoon of sugar added to a pint of water. An additional teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar will help control pH, levels while a teaspoon of bleach will help reduce bacteria.
In addition to flower food, cut flowers have specific needs both prior to harvesting as well as after. For instance, to ensure that flower stems are adequately filled with water prior to cutting, they should be harvested in the morning or evening, at least an hour after watering them. Cut flowers also absorb water more easily when they are cut at an angle. Freshly harvested flowers should always be placed in water immediately to avoid wilting.
Other cut flower tips that can help prolong vase life along with flower food include choosing unopened buds rather than fully developed flowers. Water should be changed at least every few days and cut flowers should be located out of direct sunlight to keep them cooler. Plant stems with milky sap should be dipped in boiling water to seal the ends while those with woody stem should be crushed prior to placing in water. It also helps to recut and crush these stems every other day.

To prolong the life of fresh-cut flowers, florists recommend you use commercial flower preservatives

The additives work by providing food in the form of sugar, fighting the growth of harmful microorganisms and allowing the plant to take in nutrients more efficiently by raising the acidity of the water (lowering its pH).
You may have heard that numerous homemade vase solutions — including water mixtures containing copper pennies, aspirin, vodka, sugar, 7-UP or bleach — mimic the effects of commercial preservatives. But do these home remedies actually work?
To start, pennies don’t extend the life of your flowers. Though copper is a well-known fungicide, the copper in pennies isn’t soluble, University of Florida horticulturalist Terril Nell wrote in a June 2004 article in Florists’ Review Magazine.
Whether aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) can effectively lower the pH of water and extend the life of fresh-cut flowers is up in the air. Some studies have found a positive benefit to using ground-up aspirin, while others have not.
Other home ingredients can help keep flowers fresh if used in conjunction with one another, according to experts from the University of Massachusetts Amherst (UMA).
A sugar solution can provide food for the flower, but it will also promote the growth of microbes. You can add bleach to the solution to control microbial populations, and citric acid to lower the water’s pH.
Citrus soda, such as 7 Up and Sprite, can effectively make flower water both acidic and sugary, Susan Han, a UMA plant physiologist, told Scientific American. Han recommends concocting a solution of one part soda and three parts water, along with a few drops of microbe-killing bleach.
Vodka may also help preserve fresh-cut flower blooms. Vodka is often claimed to help flowers due to antimicrobial properties, but the spirit likely has a different effect, according to John Dole, a horticulturalist at North Carolina State University.
When you add a few drops of vodka to vase water, it probably delays wilting by inhibiting a flower’s production of ethylene, a ripening gas that plants emit, Dole told Scientific American.
Hence these are some tips that are recommended by most Senior Horticulturists and Scientists in the field and can have your blooms last longer.
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Mothers Day Flowers Delivery

Mother’s Day Flowers – Same Day Delivery

Mother’s day was first celebrated in 1908 by Anna Jarvis in remembrance of her own mother in Virginia. She campaigned to make it an official holiday in the United States. Thus, through her efforts it officially started to be celebrated in 1914. Different countries celebrate it in different months and different dates. For example, it is celebrated in the month of February in Norway, in March in Myanmar, Afghanistan, Albania, Kosovo, Gregoria, Solvania, Serbia, Tajikistan etc., in May in most countries and in the rest of the year in  the rest of the world. But the aim is the same to make our mothers feel loved!

Gifts have always been a way of expressing care and love towards one another. Thus, on the day of expressing love to mother’s nothing could be better than a gift to express your love for your mother. Gifts usually given on mother’s day comprise of flowers, chocolates, handbags, clothes, perfumes and cakes. They are either sent through couriers, mail or given personally. Cakes can be personalized or any chosen from the ones made. Similar is the case with flowers, you can get your bouquet made yourself or choose from the ones displayed.Other gifts can consist of almost anything according to the likes of each one’s mother. A nice quiet family dinner, lunch or tea made by you especially for your mother can be a delight for any mother surely!

Another idea could be watching a movie with your mother in a cinema or even at home on your DVD player. It could be an old movie you both always love watching together bringing back nice memories or even a new movie just for the sake of spending some nice time together. These days salons have come up with a great idea to pamper mothers, be they old or young ones! They present deals which include facials, pedicures, manicures, cuts, and dyes. It is a great opportunity to pamper your mother and pay the bill yourself making her feel loved and special.If you are a daughter you can always take two deals, one for your mother and one for yourself and spend a nice time together getting pampered. You can also take your mother to a nice, classy restaurant for dinner or lunch. It could be her favorite place or even both your favorite place. You can enjoy a nice trip down the memory lane over a nice meal with your mother!For little children who like being creative can always make nice cards decorated by themselves and ask their father’s to buy a nice cake of their mother’s choice and present it to her. I am sure nothing could be more precious and surprising for a mother than to get a card made for her especially by her children. Children can also help her with her daily chores on this special day and make her feel loved.

Even flowers picked by the children by themselves from the garden can be a surprise for their mother!You can come up with many ideas according to affordability, you just need to give it a nice thought or maybe discuss it with your father or your siblings. In the end, it all comes down to making your mother happy and feeling loved!

Flowers pose a soft and natural image when gifted. The colors represent the beauty of the nature and thus are considered to be a good idea when it comes to gifts. Roses, lilies, tulips, white, pink, red, orange, purple they all represent an emotion appropriate to the event and occasion.Flowers associated with Mother’s day are Red carnations but you can gift any flowers to your mother.

Mother’s Day in Australia

Chrysanthemum: is associated with Mother’s Day in Australia as the flower’s name ends with the word ‘mum’. Choosing flowers is not the difficult part, the difficult part is getting them couriered to your mother, especially for the ones who live abroad or in other cities. It is a great hassle to get them delivered at the right date. Usually all courier services say that they will deliver the order at the right date and time, but lets face it, it’s never true. There are so many orders to be delivered how can they possibly deliver all of them at the same time? And even if they manage to deliver it the same day there is always a chance of the wrong flowers being delivered or the flowers could be delivered to the wrong address! These problems arise at such days when all the services are jam packed with orders. In my opinion to get them delivered on the right day you should be a little efficient and place your order a couple of days before and not in the nick of time.

This way you have a 99 % chance of getting them delivered on the right date and time, because of certain services being given on, first come first serve basis. There could always be a cancellation or you may not be able to place your order if you order at the last moment.In today’s busy life we have many options. The internet is a very reliable one. You can always place your order online through a renowned website. They require the delivery country or city, the flowers you want to send and the delivery date. Payments are made through credit cards. This procedure is simple and reliable. It is not at all time consuming. Especially for people with jobs who hardly find time for family, this is the ultimate solution! Web sites offer discounts and deals for their customers. You are bound to find a good deal at a good price on a good website. The options are unlimited due to the variety of websites available over the internet.

Even if you live in the same city and you completely forgot to buy something for your mom you will be lucky and could also find packages which are available to be sent overnight to the address you want to send it to! Yes, it is that easy! Just a click away! You can also find sites which offer personalized cupcakes and cakes to be sent with the flowers. You can choose the perfect flowers for your mother and send an extra something along with it to make your mother’s day perfect!If your order is placed at the right time there is a rare chance of your order not being delivered the same day, so hurry up and don’t keep your mother waiting. Make her feel special this Mother’s day!

To order flowers online for your dearest MOM!!! visit: Mayflower.in