My favorite flowers in the world are orchids, and if you’re a lady who loves orchids, chances are there are things you didn't know about orchids that can give you a new appreciation for this exotic flower. I used to work as a florist and was amazed by how many orchids I used to sell. Apparently, I wasn’t the only one with the infatuation. Orchids are one of the most common flowers associated with love outside of roses, and more commonly associated with sex and romance than any other flower besides roses due to their aphrodisiac properties. Check out these things you didn't know about orchids so you can take care of them properly and appreciate their exotic, unique qualities.
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There Are Plenty to Choose from
Most orchids sold here in the U.S. are one certain breed of orchids, yet there are actually 25,000 documented species of orchids and new ones are being discovered daily. These orchids originate and grow in tropical areas of the world and many horticulturalists hybridize the flower to create a new species that wouldn’t exist in nature. I sure would love to get my hands on some of these gems, wouldn't you?
They Love the Right Light
If you get an orchid and it dies too quickly, one of the first things you should do is make sure it is in the right sunlight. Orchids do not like direct light or heat. They like indirect light in a window that gets Eastern morning sunlight. This can be tricky, but your orchid will thrive in the right sunlight, so be sure to pay this close attention if bringing one home. When placed in the right spot, they will thrive and be effortless to care for.
They Don’t like Too Much Water
One common complaint I got from customers as a florist was that their orchid died on them the same week they bought it. I always asked them first how much water they were giving it and usually they were dousing it with water, practically drowning the poor thing! On a general basis, my advice for watering orchids is a creative one, but one that works. DO NOT pour water directly on your orchid and do not water it everyday. Instead, fill a spray bottle with water and spritz water onto the roots of the leaves, not on the leaves, of the orchid. A good, even round of five to six spritzes should do. Then leave it alone for a week in the recommended area above for light. It will thrive and last for months this way. You can also place 4 ice cubes right under the leaves as another method, once a week. This gives it a slow watering and doesn't drown it either.
Their Blooms Die and Come Back
Orchids usually have a bloom life of six month spurts. When all the leaves have fallen off, simply cut the flower back all the way to the part of the stem where the first bloom started. This looks like a little piece sticking off the limb that is known as the “node.” Then place the orchids back in a pot with drainage holes, and they will regrow within a year and get even bigger with time. Orchids can live up to 100 years when properly taken care of this way.
They Vary in Size
Orchids can be as big as several hundred pounds (yes, I know!), or as small as the size of a dime. It all depends on the breed, the climate, and the overall environment they are brought up in.
They Produce Vanilla Beans
Did you know the commercial orchid breed, the vanilla orchid, is also the breed that produces the exotic vanilla bean? I always knew I loved vanilla for a reason! When I found out the orchid produced it, I wasn’t surprised, seeing as how I’m in love with both of them and, as a bonus, vanilla and orchids are both aphrodisiacs. The popular version of orchids sold here in the United States, known as the Phalaenopsis, will not produce vanilla beans if you're wondering, which is such a shame, I know!
They Are the Smallest Seeds
Of all flowers, orchids have the tiniest seeds in the world, with 3 million seeds in one single orchid pod. What an amazing flower! This fact makes them harder to grow and cultivate than many other flowers in a variety of environments.
For Valentine’s Day, orchids were consistently the number one plant sold above all other plants, only being surpassed by bouquets of roses. I suppose even men who know nothing about flowers, or know tons about flowers, all recognize that orchids are one beautiful, exotic plant to be loved and adored. Do you like orchids or know any fun tips for caring for them?
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