20 facts about Orchids

OceanOrchids 20 Facts About Orchids

Beauty, shrouded in the mysterious leaves of orchids, has in itself many stories. Here we discover 20 interesting facts about orchids.

  1. Orchids are the most numerous family of plants on Earth, they contain over 27,000 different species, representing about 10% of all plants. The reasons for their incredible diversity in nature is still unknown. Even in the most inaccessible areas of tropical rainforests, botanists still efind and describe about 20 new species every year. Commercial growers around the world create an additional 150,000 registered hybrids every year by mating different orchids together. There are even more unregistered species.
  2. In 2007, in the Dominican Republic found and examined the first reliable fossil orchid, which is 20 million years old. Based on analyses, scientists have determined the age of the orchid family is 80 million years. Based on this, we like to joke that even dinosaurs enjoyed the beauty of orchids.
  3. Most orchids are found in the tropics, but also thrive in Slovenia, where he described more than 80 species and sub-species of orchids. Among the best known are “lepi čeveljc” and “Mura” orchids.
  4. Due to the development of biotechnological processes propagation (cloning) in the last 30 years orchids have become affordable for everyone as their price dropped drastically.
  5. The most popular is undoubtedly the Phalaenopsis orchid — since 1999 it is the most popular flowering pot plant in Europe. On the market it appears as cut flowers, and is also suitable for wedding bouquets and corsages.
  6. The name Phalaenopsis is derived from the Greek word for moth (Phalaina). When Phalaenopsis blooms in nature, high in the treetops they give the impression of moths flying around the plant. When the first researchers found that there are no moths flying but instead beautiful flowers, they named them Phalaenopsis orchids.
  7. You can buy Phalenopsis orchids as potted plants and cut flowers all year long. Producer in Europe annually produces about 90 million to 100 million flowering plants. The company Ocean Orchids produce around 2 million and thus represent approximately 2% of production.
  8. In professional productions, Phalaenopsis orchids are grown at temperatures between 26 and 30 C. When we want them to bloom we expose them to lower temperatures (between 18 and 20 C). Three months after this “cold phase” the first buds bloom. For the plant to open all of its buds on a branch it takes about 2 to 3 weeks.
  9. In the United States in addition to producing Phalaenopsis orchids for weddings, they also produce Cattleya orchids. In Europe, unfortunately we do not have enough production space to market cut flowers of this orchid genus, and consequently it is less popular.
  10. As cut flowers for wedding the most popular varieties are:  Vanda, Oncidium, Dendrobium, and Cymbidium. Due to their colourful flowers these have never become an important part of the wedding flower arrangements. Nevertheless, cymbidiums are the most common and cheapest staple orchid on the market.
  11. For a weddings, most florists use white Phalaenopsis orchids, because the choice and supply at any time of the year high. Less popular are pink and yellow as they are not widely produced as cut flowers. It would be interesting to also produce green and beige flowers, which are actually not yet found about hybrids phalaenopsis orchids.
  12. Cut Phalaenopsis branches can keep 10 and 14 days in a vase. Persistence of individual flowers, which were removed from the flower branch is a little shorter.
  13. We cannot dry orchid flowers by hanging them upside down like roses. The only way to preserve them is the process where we take individual flowers insert them between several layers of newsprint and weight them down for several days. In this process we lose the characteristic shape of flowers, but often it also changes the colors.
  14. Orchids are the official state symbol of the many, mostly tropical countries, including for example: Colombia (Cattleya trianae), Indonesia (Phalaenopsis amabilis), Costa Rica (Cattleya Skinner), Belize (Prosthechea cochleata), Panama (Peristeria elata), Venezuela (Cattleya mossiae), etc.
  15. White Phalaenopsis orchids do not smell, but there are a variety of small and colorful orchids that have a delicate scent. There are many other genera and species of orchids that smell for example:  Brassavola nodosa, Zygopetalum, Angraecum eburneum, Stanhopea …
  16. The flower of the orchid symbolises how exclusiveness  and exotic orchids are. This aura is complemented by a touch of sexuality – the family name is derived from the Greek word for men’s fashion (Orchis), as the drinking of the roots of certain species of orchids for a long time has been considered to be an aphrodisiac for men.
  17. For cultivation at home Phalaenopsis orchids are best, because it suits them to have some shade and they enjoy the temperature of our homes. We should water them once every 7 to 10 days, when the substrate in which they grow are somewhat dry. Fertilize them sparingly, only in the warm part of the year from March to October. They can not tolerate temperatures below 18 C and if they are exposed to this colds buds will appear and fall away before they are opened.
  18. Most orchids collapses due to over-watering. It is much easier for them to tolerate drought rather than excessive humidity. If you are unsure whether the plant has adequate watering, they prefer to wait a day or two.
  19. Phalaenopsis bloom again from the old flower stems, so these are not cut away until fully dried. Most of the other orchids can bloom again from the old stems and after a specified time from the base sprout new stems and buds.
  20. The flowers of orchids are unfortunately inedible because they contain too bitter alkaloids. However, they used in cooking, as a decoration of dishes, meats, cocktails, and of course the rooms themselves.