Orchid - a diversified flower crop

L.C. De, R.P. Medhi
Orchids comprise the largest family of flowering plants with 25,000 to 35,000 species belonging to 600-800 genera and covers 10% of the flowering plants. They are prized for their incredible diversity in the size, shape and colour and attractiveness of their flowers and high keeping qualities even up to 10 weeks. Orchid scaping, i.e., the use of orchids of one type or one colour into the permanent beds or attached to trees, shrubs or rocks creates some of the most interesting and beautiful gardens imaginable depending upon the cost involvement and micro-climate factors. Almost all spider orchids, terete and semi-terete Vanda, Phaius, Calanthe and Lady's Slippers perform well if they are grown on the ground in bright sunlight with liberal watering and fertilization. Tall growing monopodial orchids are best grown in large clay or plastic pots; Vanda, Rhyncostylis, Arachnis with pendent flower spikes in basket whereas slabs or logs of tree are effective for cool growing orchids. Cattleyas grow well in rockeries. To develop an orchidscape, a gardener should be aware of the flowering period of each orchid to enjoy seasonal burst of flower. Cymbidium and Dendrobium which flower from winter to spring should be first choice to develop a colour scheme. In balcony gardens, shade loving orchids such as Bulbophyllum, Coelogyne, Eria, Masxillaria can be grown by attaching them in free standing rocks or to the masonry wall. An 'Orchid Tree' can easily be established outdoors by mounting a large number of orchids requiring similar light, temperature and humidity to get different colours on the tree throughout the year. Fragrant orchids are delightful in outdoor living areas and Brassovola, Aerides, Dendrobium, Coelogyne, Oncidium, Rhyncostylis and Zygopetalum are the best choices to perfume those areas.
De, L.C. and Medhi, R.P. (2017). Orchid - a diversified flower crop. Acta Hortic. 1181, 107-111
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.2017.1181.14
orchids, diversity, orchidscape