For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Orchid Show - Part 5 Final

Phalaenopsis
Phalaenopsis orchid is a super popular orchid because of its big, colorful and long-lasting flowers. Some of them are fragrant and some of them are miniature or compact. Its growing requirements are quite simple and they can live comfortably at home with you as long as you provide some tender-loving care. (Don’t get carried away; they don’t like you like that.) People also love them because they grow relatively quickly and could flower up to twice or more per year. They require more patience than your typical garden plants that flower in a few weeks, but for orchids, they’re pretty fast. Flower spikes tend to re-flower if you cut them back to an old node, so your Phalaenopsis can brighten up your indoors for several seasons.

Origins

Because of its appearance, Phalaenopsis is also called a moth orchid. In fact, phalaina means “moth” and opsis means “appearance” in Greek (now you can show this knowledge off to your friends). The homelands of these mostly epiphytic orchids are tropical places like India, southern Nepal, Papua New Guinea, southern China, Taiwan and tropical Australia. But chances are that the moth orchid you have at home was imported from Taiwan, which has quite a successful orchid industry. You can see that even China Airlines (an airline from Taiwan, not from mainland China) have moth orchids on their planes. Phalaenopsis Orchid Care (How not to be a Phalure!)As you may guess, coming from tropical places, Phalaenopsis orchids love a warm environment. During the day, they like to stay in the 70-86 °F (21-30 °C) range, while during the night, they like to be in low to mid 60s (16-20 °C). The day and night temperature difference is essential to set flower spikes, so the constant temperature typical in office buildings does not work for them. And because these orchids don’t have water storage organs, they like to be kept lightly moist at all times (but not drowning in water either!). Even though their light requirement is low, they do not do well in dark rooms. The best indoor place for them is by the window with morning sun or indirect sun all day. VANDA

Vanda orchids produce some of the most magnificent flowers in the world. As a result, they are ranked among the top five genera in horticulture. Native to India, Himalaya, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Southern China and Northern Australia, these plants produce large (1 to 4 inches in diameter) flowers in a wide variety of colors. The plants bloom every few months and the flowers can last for up to three weeks. There is a lot of diversity within the genus. Leaves of the Vanda orchids are usually flat, broad and ovoid, by many have cylindrical, fleshy leaves. Stems sprout from the base of the leaves and can range from miniature in size to several yards tall. Spikes usually produce 8 to 10 yellow-brown blossoms with brown markings, but it is not uncommon to see burgundy, orange, red, green or white blooms. Many species within this genus hold special status. For example, Vanda Miss Joaquim is the national flower of Singapore and Vanda coerulea has blue flowers, which are very rare. Vanda orchids like daytime temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and night time temperatures around 65-75 degrees. These plants like full morning sun but need to be shaded at noon and in the early afternoon. If your plant’s leaves are light green, they are in the right amount of sun. Dark green leaves, however, mean you need to move the plant to a sunnier location.


Vanda orchids are mostly epiphytes and produce a lot of aerial roots. You can grow these beauties in a pot or in a hanging basket with medium or coarse fir bark. Potted orchids can be watered once or twice a week. Hanging basket orchids will need to be watered more often, but let the roots dry a little between waterings. Also, water your plants early in the morning, so the leaves will be dry by nightfall.

Humidity should be maintained at 80%. In the home, place the Vanda orchids in a tray of pebbles filled with water. Feed these plants all year round with a high nitrogen fertilizer. Mix one teaspoon in a gallon of water and feed once a month.


Unfortunately, many Vanda orchids are endangered, because their natural habitat has been destroyed. Vanda coerulea are in particular trouble, and it is against the law to export any Blue Orchid that has been collected from the wild.Information from Everything Orchids.

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