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Some thoughts on orchid cultivation

Orchids are indisputably beautiful flowers with a worldwide reputation. Attractive colors, variety of structures, and long shelf life in vases and fragrances give orchids a classy look. That is why it is respected all over the world, writes Swami Vivekananda University, Assistant Professor of Agriculture. 

Many species of orchids can be found growing in different regions of the world. That is why its native habitat is not limited to one place. Orchids are found in the warm regions of Khasia Hills, Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Philippines, Mexico, South America, and Australia, east of the Himalayas. This flower is a member of the Orchidaceae family. According to information, there are more than 30 thousand species of orchids in the world. The popularity of orchid plants is increasing due to their attractive colors, variety of structures, medicinal properties, fragrance, and long shelf life. It is best used as a cut flower as it lasts longer in vases. Apart from this, its tree also increases its beauty when it is small.

Orchids can be mainly divided into two categories based on the method of cultivation. They are terrestrial and epiphytic orchids. Orchids that grow in the soil like other flowers and collect food and sap from it are called terrestrial orchids. E.g. Arundina, Calanthe etc. On the other hand, those orchids that grow on the branch or trunks of another tree are called sheltered orchids. This type of orchid produces adventitious roots. 

Orchids are arranged under several genera of the Orchidaceae family. The genera to which most orchids belong are Dendronium, Renenthera, Celogyne, Epidendrum, Vanda, Phalaenopsis, Aerides, Cymbidium, and Cattleya. 

All orchids should be cultivated in their natural habitat. It requires suitable temperature, humidity, and shade. Generally, warm and humid weather is best for orchid cultivation. Orchids grow best at temperatures between 10-30 degrees, depending on the species. A semi-shaded place should be selected for growing this flower. Orchids are being cultivated more and more in poly houses. Different species of orchids are successfully cultivated in cold and dry climates. Loamy soil is best used for terrestrial orchids. Apart from this, there must be proper ventilation and drainage. For sheltered orchids, balls are usually made of coconut husks and placed on them. All these orchids can grow well without soil.

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