It may be hard to imagine, but even with the most diligent care of your most favorite Phalaenopsis orchids, unwanted insect invaders can easily appear at any moment in time. Although typical household plant pests can attack orchids, the most common insect Phalaenopsis orchid invaders are scale insects and mealy bugs.
Scale insects are tiny insects that do not have visible legs or antennae. Scale will press tightly against the Phalaenopsis orchid that they are feeding upon. You will find the scale insects hiding on the undersides of the leaves, feeding upon the plant. Scale insects have long stylets, which are much longer than the insect itself. This invasive insect will feed slowly upon a plant reducing its vigor and, if not treated, its lifespan. Evidence of scale can be recognized when a plant begins to grow poorly or when leaves or spikes begin to die. On Phalaenopsis orchids, scale insects are often confused with mealy bugs because of the cotton-like appearance that they create.
Outdoors, scale is controlled by natural predators such as ladybugs and parasitic wasps, but indoors, they must be carefully treated by focusing on the scale insect nymphs or crawlers rather than the adults. Once scale insects reach adulthood, they are difficult to kill. Like mealy bugs, scale insects in their infancy can easily crawl from plant to plant, or accidentally be blown from place to place. Their tiny size makes hiding and infestation quite easy.
Mealy bugs are another common threat to Phalaenopsis orchids. There are approximately 300 species of mealy bugs that are known in the United States and Canada, but reports state only 39 species of the pests tend to attack orchids. Like scale insects, mealy bugs are a serious threat to Phalaenopsis orchids. Failure to address a mealy bug infestation will result in a serious infestation of the pests.
Please check back for Part 2 on Insects That Can Be Attacking Your Orchids
Words that describe a “veil” are: a mask, a disguise, and something that covers, separates, screens, or conceals. The tradition of a bride wearing a wedding veil is believed to be introduced as far back as ancient Rome. The bridal veil covered the brides face so that her features would be confused by evil spirits that were attracted to the bride. In Medieval times, the veil was used as a symbol of modesty, purity, and chastity. Another idea of where the bride’s veil came from was for those who would partake in arranged marriages. Many believe that the veil was used as a way of hiding what the bride looked like from the groom so that he would not back out before the I do’s were complete.
Getting with the Modern Times
Fast forward to 2013 and many women are saying goodbye to ancient traditions of the past and some are giving up the veil completely once they decide to marry. Not wanting to have hair without decoration on their wedding day, many women are turning to other types of fun hair pieces to show off their lovely locks.
Brides are finding that you don’t need to have a tropical themed wedding to use beautiful orchid flowers in their hair. Plastic flowers, of course, are a bit taboo, but brides can choose from a variety of elegant flowers that will make them look spectacular.
The Phalaenopsis orchid is a splendid choice for brides that are looking for something chic and elegant to decorate their hair. Orchids will lend an artistic and classy flair for day and nighttime wedding events. When Phalaenopsis orchids are in full bloom, the colorful flowers can easily be snipped at the stem and clipped into the hair. These smaller flowers can be placed in clusters or alone just inches apart for an exquisite wedding day look.
As a special gift for the bride, the Phalaenopsis orchid that is used for her wedding day should be given as a special gift of remembrance. Each year as new buds and flowers form, the bride will be reminded of her wedding day and the people who helped make it special.
Many people who are new to owning orchids are astounded by their amazing beauty. The flowers of a Phalaenopsis orchid look elegant regardless if they are a deep and vibrant fuchsia pink or a hint of color in the blushing pink orchid. The beautiful Phalaenopsis orchid lasts longer than many other types of flowers, but for those who have never owned an orchid, having a once flourishing plant suddenly look empty as it loses its gorgeous flowers can be alarming.
The question is often asked to orchid experts…Did I do something to make the Phalaenopsis orchid lose its flowers or is my orchid dying?
The great news is that in most instances, there is actually nothing wrong with the Phalaenopsis orchid plant that loses its flowers after months of blooming!
What is Actually Happening with Your Orchid
As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end…which includes the lovely blooms of an orchid. The flowering of an orchid will last anywhere from one month to three months depending on a few different factors. After an orchid has finished its flowering cycle, the Phalaenopsis orchid plant will go into a period of dormancy. During the dormancy time, the plant will conserve and build up its energy reserves as it readies itself for the next flowering season.
Once the Phalaenopsis orchid loses its blooms, it is time to give the plant a trim. New orchid buds will never grow on a stem that is brown or yellow so snipping the stem is required to help in the regrowth process. You can also choose to help the re-blooming process of the Phalaenopsis orchid by trimming healthy green stems back to a node, or by removing the entire flower spike one inch from the base of the plant so that important energy is returned to the roots and leaves for a stronger plant base.
If someone you love is having a baby girl, you’re probably on the lookout for a meaningful, pink-themed gift. Want to wow the mother-to-be with a one-of-a-kind present? Take a tip from the Ancient Greeks: get her an orchid!
Here’s why: In Ancient Greece, it was believed that orchids had the power to determine a baby’s gender. Fathers would eat a large tuber if a male child was desired or mothers would eat a smaller tuber in hopes of a daughter. Pink orchids, in particular, were associated with affection.
More Than the Greeks
It wasn’t just the Ancient Greeks that looked to orchids as a symbol and sign of fertility. The Chinese believed orchids encouraged couples in producing more than one offspring. If you go with the gift of orchids, you might consider attaching a note that explains the details of the either culture’s beliefs; wishing the expectant parents well in building their family!
Check out other uses and symbol of the orchid in a related article.
Many people love cats. Many people love orchids. To paraphrase the late Rodney King, “Can’t they all get along?”
Short answer: If you have Phalaenopsis Orchids, yes they can!
Many people still believe that nibbling on a beautiful orchid is toxic to Kitty. While it’s never a good idea for your cat to nibble on most plants, these orchids (which are also known as Moth Orchids) are non-toxic to both cats and dogs.
Most Houseplants Aren’t Toxic
Some houseplants definitely are dangerous to your family pet, but most are not. Common houseplants or cut flowers we use to beautify our homes can be dangerous to pets should they eat them. Daffodils, aloe vera and baby’s breath are three.
But most houseplants pose no danger to your pets. Safe plants commonly seen in homes include (according to ASPCA.com) the Christmas cactus, bamboo, areca or golden palm, the button fern, and more.
For a searchable list of toxic and non-toxic houseplants, check out the ASPCA’s searchable database.
Still, it’s wise to keep your cat and dog away from all plants, including your orchids. Pesticides and fertilizers may have been used on the plant even if you make every effort to keep the fertilizer/pesticide as far away from the leaves as possible (the leaves generally are what cats go for; try misting the leaves and sprinkling them with either cinnamon or cayenne pepper).
Either keep your orchid in a spot that’s inaccessible to your pets, or keep a sharp eye out on your four-legged family members and shoo them away when they draw near.
Are you thinking of adding orchids to your home? Phalaenopsis Orchids are easy to care for, are non-toxic and can warm a room with their beauty for months at a time (they can bloom for several weeks). In fact, if your orchid’s blooms have fallen, we offer a free guide to orchid reblooming that can help you get them quickly back to blooming. Download it now!
Orchids are known for their aesthetic qualities, and they are often used as decorative items in homes, offices, and public places. While most people admire them for their good looks, others have found practical uses for them. Since a long time ago, people from various parts of the world have used orchids for medicinal purposes. However, the use of orchids in medicine has declined over the years because not enough research has been done to determine their effectiveness and adverse effects.
Orchids in Chinese Medicine
The medicinal properties of orchids were first discovered by the Chinese. Emperor Shen Nung, the “Father of Chinese Medicine”, mentioned a dendrobium species and bletilla striata in his medical writings in the 28th century BC. The Chinese continues to use orchids for medicinal purposes until today, most commonly in the form of medicinal tea. Dried dendrobium is believed to possess medicinal properties that can help treat cancer, strengthen the immune system, and improve eyesight.
Orchid Beverage in Turkey
In Turkey, orchids are used for making a traditional beverage called Salep. Salep is a type of flour that is produced by grinding tubers of orchis militaris, orchis mascula, and other kinds of orchids with ovoid tubers. This beverage is also consumed in Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran, and it was popular during the time of the Ottoman Empire. It is said to be effective in curing sore throat, digestive problems, diarrhea, and gum disease.
Orchids with Medicinal Properties
Other types of orchids that may possess medicinal properties include orchis latifolia, eulophia campestris, vanda tessellate, and vanda roxburghii. It is believed that these orchids have certain antibacterial substances and phytochemicals that can help in the treatment of certain illnesses.
Read other articles in our website to learn more about the history of orchids.
As spring approaches, orchids are at greater risk of developing a virus-like condition called mesophyll cell collapse. This condition results from the collapse of the leaves’ mesophyll cells due to exposure to overly low temperatures, and it is more likely to occur in early spring or late autumn.
Mesophyll Cell Collapse in Phalaenopsis Orchids
Mesophyll cell collapse usually affects developing leaves, especially those in Phalaenopsis orchids. Damage may occur after just two hours of exposure to 45 degrees Fahrenheit, and it may be more severe if the temperature is lower. However, Phals with mature leaves can withstand a maximum of 8 hours of exposure to 35 degrees.
What Causes Mesophyll Cell Collapse?
Mesophyll refers to a soft tissue that is located between the upper and lower epidermis in a leaf, and it functions to facilitate photosynthesis. Also known as green parenchyma, it consists of unspecialized thin-walled cells separated by air spaces. When orchids are exposed to temperatures that are too low, their mesophyll cells may collapse. This usually happens on nights with the lowest temperatures. Symptoms of mesophyll collapse may not appear until weeks after the condition has developed.
How to Prevent Mesophyll Collapse?
Once mesophyll cell collapse has occurred, the damage is irreversible. As such, you should take the necessary precautions to prevent the problem. You can reduce the risk of mesophyll collapse in your Phalaenopsis orchids by making sure that the temperatures around them are at least 50 degrees. Using heaters and providing protection against cold winds can also help prevent the condition. If one of your orchids is affected by mesophyll cell collapse, you should segregate it from other plants.
Check out our orchid care section to learn more about orchid diseases.
In our previous post, we discussed how orchids are constantly growing in popularity in the United States, found in homes, offices, and public places throughout the country.
Dendrobium orchids are a preferred choice among orchid growers because they do not require much maintenance. They are considered “all-purpose” orchids, and they are capable of producing some of the most beautiful flowers despite receiving little care. These orchids come in an extensive variety of colors and shapes.
Cattleya orchids are characterized by large, flamboyant flowers, which can range in size from 2 to 6 inches. The flowers can be of any color, except black and true blue. These orchids are suitable for you if you live in an area where there is an abundance of natural light.
Laelia orchids usually have short stems, and they produce star-shaped flowers that are pink or purple in color. They bloom in spring or fall, and their preferred growing conditions can range from dry and cool to warm and humid conditions, depending on their species. They are close relatives of cattleya orchids.
Oncidium orchids are sometimes called spray orchids because their branches look like they are “spraying out”. Their flowers have a large lip and frilly edges, and they come in different shades of yellow, red, pink, and white.
Miltonias are easily identifiable by their large, splendorous flowers. Their flowers are long-lasting, and they emit an exotic fragrance that is somewhat similar to that of roses. Due to their pleasant scent, they are excellent plants for growing indoors.
Odontoglossums are relatively easy to maintain, and they produce large beautiful flowers. However, they need high levels of humidity in order to flourish.
Watch our Orchid Care Videos to learn how to provide the best care for your orchids.
Orchids are enjoying tremendous popularity in the United States, and they can be found in numerous homes, offices, and public places throughout the country. Some types of orchids are more sought after than others, either because of their attractive appearances, blooming capabilities, or ease of growth.
Here is a list of the 10 most popular orchids:
Phalaenopsis orchids are presently the most commonly grown orchids, mainly because they can easily flourish in a home environment. They are characterized by long stems, thick leaves, and delicate moth-like flowers, and they come in a wide range of colors and shades. They are a popular choice among beginner growers, because they are hardy enough to withstand mistakes that are commonly made by beginners.
Also known as boat orchids, cymbidium orchids have long and thin leaves that can grow to a length of four feet. Due to their long leaves, they never fail to impress whether they are blooming or not. The flowers of these orchids can come in many different colors, and they can last for about ten weeks.
These orchids are also referred to as lady slipper orchids, and they are widely hybridized because of their stunning flowers. They usually produce only one flower, but the flower is very unique and elegant. It is this special characteristic that makes them endearing to orchid growers.
Some types of orchids grow better in hanging baskets than pots, and vandas are one of them. All orchids need some air circulation around their roots, but these orchids need it even more.
We will talk about several other popular orchids in our next post. If you have any questions about orchids, feel free to visit our Facebook page.
Orchids are known for their incredible diversity, and they collectively display almost all the traits found in flowering plants. Due to their great diversity, they have many different ways to reproduce. While most orchid pollination is acheived the same way as other plants, some orchids use deceptive strategies to lure pollinators into helping them reproduce without giving them anything in return.
Purveyors of Empty Promises
Plants use certain features to attract the attention of pollinators, and most of them give nectar, pollen, or other rewards to the pollinators for their efforts. However, approximately one-third of orchid species are able to achieve pollination without giving any reward. These orchids use odors, color patterns, or other perceptual cues to suggest the availability of food or mating opportunities to their pollinators in an attempt to draw them to their flowers. Once the pollinators are at the flowers, they will realize that they have been deceived, but they have nonetheless become a part of the pollination process.
Food deception is one of the most common deceptive pollination strategies used by orchids. Orchids that employ this strategy release or display a perceptual cue that is associated with food. For instance, the orchid Anacamptis morio releases a nectar-like scent to attract queen bumblebees, which are its foremost pollinators. In reality, it has no nectar, and the bumblebees are not rewarded for their pollination services.
If you’re interested in learning other interesting orchid facts, be sure to check out this related post.