4 Facts About How Orchids Grow in the Wild

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to find out how orchids grow in the wild. Countless greens enthusiasts out there consider the orchid as one of the most sophisticated plants that have ever existed. After all, it’s easy to fall in love with the vibrant colors of those delicate orchid blooms.

 

Orchids Around the World

In case you’re not aware, there are around 25,000 to 30,000 orchid species around the world and you can find them practically anywhere except Antarctica. These plants thrive well in tropical areas such as the forests of New Guinea, Southeast Asia, and equatorial South America.

Although orchids are native to a tropical environment where the weather is mostly humid, they’ve also managed to adapt to colder temperatures. For this reason, don’t be surprised to see them growing in the Northern parts of Alaska.

The largest orchid species is called the tiger orchid (Grammatophyllum speciosum). This could grow up to 25-feet and is usually found in the wilderness of Southeast Asian countries that include Malaysia, Philippines, and Myanmar. Meanwhile, the smallest orchid species called the Platystele jungermannioides, which only measures 2.1mm wide, can be found in the forests of Ecuador.

Although these plants are able to adapt to their environment over time, they don’t handle drastic changes well. For instance, the effects of climate change have led to the loss of their habitat. As a result, orchids in the wild are being confronted with extinction both in the United States and abroad.

 

Facts About How Orchids Grow in the Wild

The next time you go on a wilderness adventure in another tropical country, don’t be surprised to see various types of orchids in the wild. Before you go, get a load of these orchid facts that you should know:

 

Fact #1. Not all orchids grow in soil

If there’s one thing you need to know about orchids, it’s the fact that not all of them grow in soil. The ones that do are called terrestrial orchids and a few examples of these include paphiopedilums and other cymbidiums. These terrestrial varieties grow well in humus-rich soil.

Most tropical orchids are epiphytic because rather than growing in soil, they attach themselves to tree bark and grow in the air. Moreover, they develop roots that are covered with a white substance called velamen, which works to absorb and store water. The orchid’s velamen also protects the roots from losing heat and moisture.

Attempting to grow epiphytes in the ground will only cause you to kill the plant. Furthermore, some orchids are aquatic while others are lithophytic, which means that they only grow on rocks.

 

Fact #2. They don’t need planting media when they’re placed under a tree

Did you know that most orchid species tend to attach themselves to a tree? This explains why they don’t need to have a special kind of planting media in order to thrive well in the wild. Once they’re attached to a tree, they get the nutrients that they need from the air, sunlight, as well as from natural rainwater.

If you want nothing more than to plant a prize orchid, you can either place it under a tree or plant it in special bark mixes that are specifically made for these types of plants.

 

Fact #3. Some orchids rely on insect pollinators

Orchids that grow in the wild reproduce in the same manner that other common garden varieties do – they rely on insect pollinators that include birds, moths, flies, bees, and butterflies. As these pollinators move from one orchid to another, they come in contact with the orchid’s pollinia or those waxy pollen sacs. The pollinia that were attached to the pollinator’s body are then transferred to the female reproductive organs of other orchids where seeds are produced.

 

Fact #4. Orchids can grow in two ways

Did you know that orchids can either grow as a monopodial or a sympodial? The monopodial orchid grows upward while the sympodial orchid grows horizontally. It’s important to note that different kinds of orchids have their own sets of unique needs in terms of sunlight, temperature, and water.

Most orchid species prefer to grow in denser and more humid areas where the light is not too intense. Furthermore, those that are native to tropical areas usually grow well when the temperature level is between 73˚F to 85˚, and when the humidity level is at 80% or 90%.

 

Benefits of Growing Plants in Greenhouses

Don’t let anything stop you from growing your orchids or any other plant in a hobby greenhouse. Aside from providing your plants with the protection that they need from harsh weather conditions such as heavy rains, blizzards, snow, sleet, hail, or high winds, having your own hobby greenhouse will also keep those pesky bugs and vermin at bay.

However, the best part of setting up a hobby greenhouse is the freedom to tend to your tender plants regardless of the weather and the season. Greenhouse gardening allows you to extend your plant’s growing period and grow plants that aren’t even native to your region!

Since greenhouse gardening allows you to manipulate the growing conditions that your plants are subjected to, you can have more control over the temperature, moisture, and light that you expose them to. In other words, you can create an ideal growing environment for your plant babies!

 

Take Away on Growing Orchids

Now that you finally figured out how orchids grow in the wild, you’re probably thinking about growing them in your very own hobby greenhouse. Embark on your greenhouse gardening journey today!

 

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How To Prevent Root Rot In Hydroponics: 3 Useful Tips

If you’re a newbie gardener who’s looking to find ways to hone your skills, you’d want to learn how to prevent root rot in hydroponics even before this problem affects your plants.

Hydroponics can be advantageous to crops in more ways than one. However, it also comes with risks of diseases, such as root rot, which can be destructive or even lethal to your plants.

Unfortunately, there are no effective methods to recover the wilted parts that were affected by the root rot once it hits your plants. The only thing you can do if you do not want this catastrophe to befall your crops is to prevent it before it happens. Read on to learn more about this subject.

 

What is Root Rot?

Root rot is a disease that attacks the plant roots and causes them to suffer decay. This usually happens when a lack of oxygen supply occurs in the substrate.

To give you an idea, think about plant roots that are submerged in water that only has a little oxygen in it. Over time, the plant suffocates and dies.

Aside from rot and decay, this disease also leads to the proliferation of fungi that are naturally present in the soil. These include Rhizoctonia, Alternaria, Pythium, Botrytis, Fusarium, or Phytophthora. As soon as fungi colonies start to grow, they tend to target the weakened roots and infect your precious plant babies.

Once the plant becomes infected, they won’t be able to take in what they need to grow – water, oxygen, and other nutrients. When this happens, it won’t be long before the plant dies.

 

What is Hydroponics?

In case you’re not aware, the term hydroponic is derived from a Latin word that means “working water”. To put it simply, hydroponics is an art that involves growing various types of plants without soil. If you’re like most people, the first thing that comes to mind when somebody talks about hydroponics would be a picture of plants with roots suspended into the water without using any type of growing medium.

 

Avoiding Root Rot in Hydroponic Systems

Detecting and identifying root rot can be tricky. When your plants get infected, their leaves and roots gradually wither until the whole crop itself dies from the lack of nutrients, which is a common symptom of many diseases.

 

What causes root rot in hydroponics?

One of the requirements in hydroponics systems is oxygen. Without it, your plants are basically on the road to death. On the other hand, lack of such is one of the major triggers for root rot, and it must be avoided at all costs.

Just like when planting in soil, you loosen up the ground so that your plants’ roots can have their required intake of oxygen. That is the case for crops grown in aqueous solutions as well. If they cannot breathe, they would not be able to grow.

Another agent for root rot is the temperature. The last thing you would want in your system are parasites that leech nutrients intended for your plants and infect the water during the process. In common terms, these fungi are called molds.

One of the best breeding grounds for these is warm and moist areas. For this reason, if the water temperature inside your reservoir is high, then you are susceptible to it. Something as minor as letting the solutions exposed to sunlight can already be a risk factor.

 

3 Useful Tips on How to prevent root rot in hydroponics

There is good news! Root rot in hydroponics can be prevented! Just follow these tips:

Tip#1: Use the right air pump

If you do not want root rot to affect your plants, you merely have to avoid its causes. If you need oxygen, keep the water bubbling by providing an air pump of appropriate size, and also give importance to proper ventilation in the room.

 

Tip #2: Maintain the temperature

The temperature should be maintained within the 70 to 80 degrees F range. Get rid of any materials that can make your system vulnerable to infections, and make sure not to disturb your crops while they are trying to grow.

 

Tip #3: Get rid of the rotten parts

However, if you failed in preventing the disease, then the rotten parts should be removed immediately. Cut them off as there is no chance of reviving them, and focus on the potential new growth instead. Fix your hydroponics system and eliminate the risks.

 

Why Give Greenhouse Gardening a Try?

Greenhouse gardening offers numerous benefits to greens aficionados who dare to take their gardening experience to the next level. Aside from acting as a shield against the effects of inclement weather, a mini, hobby, or semi-pro greenhouse can also serve as a protective layer that keeps harmful bugs and critters at bay.

What’s more, its enclosed structure allows you to control your plants’ growing conditions including the temperature, light, moisture, and ventilation of the greenhouse’s internal environment. With a controlled environment, you’ll be able to extend growing seasons and grow plants that aren’t native to your area.

 

Conclusion

No matter how well-informed you are about how to prevent root rot in hydroponics, you cannot completely eradicate the risks. Therefore, to avoid the worst-case scenario, you should be prepared to sacrifice the infected for the sake of others. While you’re at it, consider trying your hand at greenhouse gardening as well.

 

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