ORCHIDS are the largest and most diverse of the flowering plant families.
Their exotic beauty, complexity and rainbow of colours are unrivalled in the plant world.
They are among the most popular species of plants anywhere in the world. They are used to brighten up many places from walkways to posh restaurants and airports.
It isn’t difficult to learn how to take care of orchid plants. They require very little care once all their basic needs, such as the amount of sun light, humidity and water they get, are met.
Most orchids require moist, well-draining conditions. You can use clay or terracotta pots with several types of growing media like fir bark, rocks, charcoal, sand or potting soil.
You can grow orchids on trees too. Growing them on trees saves not only space but also money as you don’t have to buy pots and re-pot every few months.
In fact, those who love this exotic flowering plant prefer to plant them on trees as they grow better and healthier than in pots.
Orchids originate in diverse habitats, from treetops in full sun to shaded swamps.
The first thing you would need to do is to evaluate your garden’s exposure, and select the appropriate species and hybrids. Many varieties are suitable for intermediate conditions. A local orchid nursery can help make selections for you after you briefly tell them the conditions of your garden.
Choose a tree that receives adequate light to plant the orchids you have selected.
Next, start attaching the orchids to the tree with a string when root activity of the orchids starts. Many orchids produce roots year round, so they can be established on trees at any time. Tie the orchids as high up as possible, but not in the area where it will be shaded by the branches of the tree as this could deter their growth.
Set the plants directly on the trunk to increase their ability to cling to the host. Do not add a pad of sphagnum moss, or other medium as this would keep the surface too wet and induce rot.
Fertilise the orchids weekly or bi-weekly when they are producing new growth and decrease it to monthly or bi-monthly intervals once they mature.
Provide adequate care, especially during the first few months after the orchids are attached to a tree.
Keep an eye out for signs of pests or diseases. They may come occasionally because of the moist conditions.
Also, mist with a hose, or run a sprinkler line-up in the tree to keep the orchids cool especially during hot weather conditions. Some species may require higher humidity and more frequent mistings.
Remove the string once the roots have attached to the tree. Keeping the strings on may prevent the orchids’ growth and they could eventually die.
Once established and well cared for, orchids last for many years and produce flowers multiple times. It will give your garden a new feel.