Flowering orchids

When does orchid bloom and how long does it last?

The orchid comes from the tropical areas of America and Asia, regions where the climate is hot and humid. It is important to know this because the secret to having orchids grow healthy and robust and give frequent and luxuriant blooms is to recreate an environment as similar as possible to their original one. In general, in nature the flowering of orchids occurs in autumn, with even considerable differences from species to species, but thanks to the manipulations of man we can admire orchids in bloom at any time of the year. The duration of flowering is very variable and depends mainly on the type of orchid, ranging from plants that bloom several times in a year such as Phalaenopsis, to plants that bloom only once, but for the most part the average period is between 14 days and a month. Since they are not equipped with powdery pollen, able to exploit the wind for its diffusion, orchids need the intervention of flies, bees, butterflies to reproduce. And that is why the flowers are so colorful and of such particular shapes. Furthermore, the flower often takes on an original appearance precisely because it is “designed” for a specific insect.

Appearance, structure and peculiarities of the orchid flower

The orchid flower has a very original structure, it is made up of six elements called tepals, three external ones (they can be called sepals for convenience), and three internal ones (petals) one of which, very different from the others in size and shape, it takes the name of labellum, and has the function of attracting pollinating insects. In the bud it is located at the top, but during the opening phase the flower rotates 180 ° (resupination process) so that the lip at the end is at the bottom. The reproductive organs are fused together and are contained in a structure located in the center of the flower called the column, inside which is the anther that contains the pollen. Under the anther is the stigma filled with sticky liquid which holds pollen. Under the stigma is the ovary, female reproductive organ from which the fruit (capsule or berry) containing thousands of microscopic seeds will be formed. However, these seeds will need certain fungi to germinate, which is why plants grown indoors do not reproduce.

How to help our orchid to have lush and lasting blooms

Orchids love light and humidity, therefore the most suitable room in the house is the bathroom. To create a humid environment, water at room temperature, preferably rainy, can be sprayed on the leaves. Most orchids need little water, so it’s best to water them once a week, or when the roots are dry. Excess water is in fact the main cause of the problems of these plants. Watering should then be reduced in winter when the plant is usually in a state of rest. To see your orchid bloom it is however advisable to know the specific needs of light, temperature and water, as each genus has its own needs. We can help the plant with periodic fertilizations based on nitrogen and potassium. Generally, after the flowering of orchids, the stem must be cut, but not in remontant orchids, such as Phalaenopsis, in which several blooms can occur on a stem and therefore it is cut only if it dries up. However, some still prefer to cut the stem at the base because flowering on a new stem is often more flourishing.

Blooming orchids: How long does the orchid flower last?

The fragile and delicate-looking orchid flower actually lasts a long time, both on the plant and as a cut flower. The average duration, under optimal culture conditions, is 4-6 weeks, but there are great differences between the various species. For example, that of Phalaenopsis lasts about three months, while that of Cattleya 10-15 days. The orchid has always fascinated us and symbolizes beauty, elegance but also passion and sensuality. While in the East it is a symbol of perfection and purity and is often given to children, in the West it represents a pledge of love and dedication for the person most important to us and who reciprocates our passion. Each orchid is then suitable for a particular occasion, the Cattleya, for example, majestic and elegant is suitable for the charm of mature age and is often given as a gift on Mother’s Day.

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