Orchids - A Guide to Orchid Flowers

"Have you ever seen an orchid; how it floats in the water[...]? When a woman gets an orchid; it's, well she feels like she's floating on a cloud of infinite possibility."-- The Perfect Man [2005]
Purple Orchid

The orchid flowers are on the ascending trend worldwide, as there can hardly be any home found to lack one. Extremely elegant and daring, orchids have a strange effect on the beholder. As they are fundamentally different from any other flower, they seduce their public by winning their every sense. Some compare them to exquisite wines: they induce contradictory emotions and the overall mark is left only after intriguing as well as delighting the taster.

The Orchid Flower

Legend has it that the orchid flower is the reincarnation of Orchis, the child of a nymph and a satyr, the combination of two opposing symbols: the delicacy of the mother and father's brutality. After having attempted to abuse a Bacchante, Orchis was angrily torn to pieces by the servants of the god of wine and pleasure, but afterwards the gods mercifully revived him into the form of a feeble flower: the orchid; a flower to carry on the legend throughout millennia.

Hence, orchids tell the story of the never-ending existential struggle between opposing natures: passion and virtue, strength and feebleness, destruction and renewal, deceit and hope. They come in an unimaginable number of species and subspecies and they distinguish themselves through special characteristics, such as perfect symmetry, unusual combination of colors, patterns and forms, their ability to blend in every type of environment.

Although they are commonly perceived as exotic or tropical flowers, one ought not to be surprised to learn that they grow in almost every corner of the world. They are easy to grow and require a lot less attention than others, whilst catching the eye and making a good impression. They ask for little and give exponentially more. They are generally used for all kinds of events, be it anniversaries, formal meetings, wedding arrangements or home arrangements.

No garden can be conceived as being more impressive and delightful as a garden of orchids. It is true that orchids grown outdoors are more vulnerable and require more care, but the outcome of such an effort is priceless. When planting and designing the garden, one must take into account the diversity of types of orchids and the fact that these flowers' business card is singularity, uniqueness and individuality. Therefore, an area abundant of orchids may have the reverse result of looking too crowded and creating visual noise.

Here are some tips for growing orchids in your garden:

  • First, draft a plan of how the garden should look like, combining orchids with greenery, small bushes, trees, stones and other garden decorative elements. Each orchid flower must be singularized.
  • Soil and climate: Not every orchid grows and blooms in every type of soil and/or climate. One needs to match the species of orchids to the geographical area they live in. They are particularly sensitive to salty air, if you live by the sea, to heavy winters, if you live in a cold area. During the cold seasons it is proper to either cover the plants or bring them indoors.
  • Water and humidity: Orchids are highly dependent upon proper watering as well as air humidity. You must pay attention to the variations in humidity and water the plants accordingly. A frequent mistake in this respect is, in the case of outdoor as well as indoor growing, overwatering orchids.
  • Try to use chemical aids as little as possible, and carefully check the plants yourself instead, to treat the disease and keep pests away.

A warm environment, sunlight and a little bit of water make every house, flat or office the ideal place for an orchid. As the inside environment is much easier to control, one can grow all sorts of orchid flowers irrespective of the geographical position. Orchids are easy to find in flower shops, and easy to grow at home. However, there are a few tips that you must take into account, should you wish for your flower to bloom healthy and beautifully.

Furthermore, some tips that should be considered when growing orchids indoor:

  • Re-pot: These plants do not grow in soil, but in bark. Consequently they need light from the sun even for the roots. You normally buy orchids in transparent or translucent plastic pots. In most of the cases it is strongly advisable to keep the plant in a glass pot, and not in that cheap plastic. However, given that humidity is a very important issue, depending on how dry or moist the air in your house is, plastic pots may still prove to be the better choice, due to their capacity to preserve humidity. An important not-to is using dark, matte pots that don't allow light to pierce and that keep the bark and the roots very dry.
  • Watering: As they need a lot of water, you have to be very careful not to drown them with too much liquid. You can either water the plant from the top and make sure the pot has holes in order to drain the excess, or plunge the pot into a larger vase filled with water, so that it only takes as much as necessary.
  • Feeding: Orchids do not need as many fertilizers as other plants do; however it is to their benefit, from time to time, to use such substances. Nevertheless, try to avoid the use of chemical fertilizers for they are likely to harm the delicate plant. Always feed the pant only after watering it.
  • Hibernation: It is true that orchids bloom all throughout the year, still during the cooler seasons or months (depending on how the climate works) it is better to water and feed them less often.
  • In warmer months you can take your orchid(s) outside of the house, and let it/them enjoy the natural environment. A little bit of warmth from the sun, together with rain will revive any orchid.

Orchids express uniqueness and singularity, thus one may find it difficult to obtain an elegant arrangement of bouquet of orchids. However, nothing is impossible in nature, as you will soon discover.

When offering orchids, one wants to show their utmost feelings of appreciation towards the recipient. Offering one single orchid is very often a good idea, for the gesture entails respect, admiration as well as firmness.

Should you also want to impress by quantity, you must be very careful because orchid flowers are pretentious and hardly accept any other flowers in their vicinity. It is more advisable to use you imagination when designing orchid arrangements on how to put the orchids in a vase or a pot, rather than on how to mix them with other flowers. Even too much greenery can alter their effect.

Should you use orchids with smaller flowers, you can bundle more into one bouquet, but not adding any other types of flowers. When mixing different colors, you must also pay a great fare of attention, not to influence the chromatic equilibrium of each orchid flower.

Orchids look best if they are contrasted towards a white or otherwise pale background, but some white or light colored species need to be put onto a dark, pattern-less background.

Given the dual nature that these flowers are created upon, weddings sound like the best places to adorn with. Orchids offer a vast palette of characteristics, and, depending on how you want you wedding to look like, you can always rely on these flowers.

If you want a classical, majestic wedding party, you can easily pick white, light pink or light purple orchids, and match them with the color of the ribbons, china, balloons, the bridesmaids' dresses, so on and so forth. If you have always dreamt to have a romantic wedding, red or purple orchids can help to make your dream come true. They are daring and elegant, and delight the viewer. If your wedding is supposed to be very formal, orchids bring an air of freshness and professionalism, and are, again, the best option. Even if you are a rebel at heart, you can use orchids to give your wedding party the air of a revolution. The wild beauty of nature, together with the delicacy of the orchid flowers, expresses your youth and your free spirit.

It would be practically impossible to put down on a list the types of orchids that are most appropriate to use as wedding flower, in bouquets or arrangements, because they come in thousands of forms, colors, types, giving you the possibility to choose the perfect ones. Weddings should be truly majestic moments, and they stand out in one's collection of moments, just as orchid flowers stand out in any environment. This need for singularity is what makes them a perfect match.

Orchid flowers come in a wide variety of colors. Here are some orchids types:

  • White Orchid

    As any other white flower, the white orchid is a symbol of purity, while as an orchid, this flower expresses delicate beauty. Offer a bouquet composed of these white flowers when you want to say: "I care about you" or "I am thinking of you".

  • Pink Orchid

    Pink orchids are the perfect choice if you want a long-lasting flower arrangement or vase bouquet. Offering these splendid pink flowers is a sign of pure affection towards the receiver. If you want to grow them in your garden or home, you will be surprised at how easily it is to take care of them.

  • Red Orchid

    These red flowers usually grow in the Amazonian jungle, Thailand or Singapore. Among the most popular varieties of red orchids one can mention: the Dendrobium "Red Bull" and the Cymbidium Red Orchid.

  • Blue Orchid

    Blue orchids are very rare, thus offering these wonderful blue flowers will definitely bring a smile on the receiver's face. Despite the fact that actual blue orchids are a rarity, you can get the perfect surrogate from Dendronium blue dyed orchids.

  • Purple Orchid

    Regarded as tropical and exotic flowers, the purple orchids come in a large variety of colors and shapes, the most common being Orchis mascula. Being used especially in Ikebana, these purple flowers stay in bloom for almost a month.

  • Yellow Orchid

    Symbol of delicacy and distinction, the yellow orchids comprise over 330 species of yellow flowers, the most popular of these being: the Florida orchid, the Dancing-Lady orchid and the Butterfly orchid.

  • Black Orchid

    Black orchids vary in color from dark burgundy, to maroon and deep purple, comprising hundreds of species, although they are the rarest varieties of orchids. These black flowers suggest elegance and sophistication, usually having a discrete and soft scent.