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Orchids, Plants Of Pure Beauty

A timely orchid post below from our intrepid plant expert Jack, currently having a hard life in his new role in...Hawaii. Come home soon Jack! Some lovely pictures below the post - not often you get to see orchids growing in the wild!
Hi - I'm Jack Shilley! In August 2014 I left the Longacres Garden Centre plant team to head out on an amazing adventure to the island of Kauai, Hawaii to study tropical plants in their native environments with the National Tropical Botanical Garden. When you think of tropical plants (at least here in the UK) you will immediately think of indoor plants or house plants - and while these plants can't live a happy life outdoors, kept inside with a bit of TLC every now and then can add beauty, colour and fragrance to just about any room you like. One of the very common houseplants available (and arguably one of the most stunning to own) are orchids. Orchids traditionally come from tropical regions of the world where they grow on the branches of trees (Epiphytes) or on rocks (Lithophytes) without any soil at all. There are millions of varieties of orchids found all over the world. Below is an example a common house plant orchid (found for sale in the UK) and a couple of different orchids, only likely to be found in their native regions. Phalaenopsis species. (Moth Orchids) This is quite possibly the most common orchid found for sale in the UK but this doesn't keen they aren't beautiful - in fact they are really stunning and come in a huge variety of colours and sizes suitable for anyones need. Care Tips - Moth orchids can be grown in a wide variety of light levels, make sure they aren't in direct sunlight. Moth orchids can tolerate shade but make sure its not too dark. - Keep your orchid in a humid place if possible, a kitchen windowsill, a bathroom etc… with temperatures no lower than 16ºC - Don't cut off the flower stalk until it turns brown. So long as its green it may still produce flowers! Ascocenda species These orchids can sometimes be found for sale in garden centres in the UK but more often than not you can find them from specialist orchid nurseries. This entire species of orchids are man-made hybrids crossing two species together to create a stunning result! Care Tips - Ascocenda love warmer areas - don't let the temperature drop below 18ºC. - These orchids have strong root systems and they should be encouraged to produce these adventitious roots to help the plant keep ample air circulation and to allow it to dry out quickly. - Keep your Ascocenda in an well light, sunny position. Dracula species (Monkey Face Orchid) These orchids are hard to find so an orchid specialist would be best to source these funny looking orchids. The clue is in the common name for this species as the flowers (particularly those of Dracula simia’) look like little monkey faces! Cute! Care Tips - Dracula species are very fussy, temperatures must not go above 25ºc or below 12ºc, with ample air movement and high humidity levels. - These orchids must not dry out at any time! Keep well watered. - These orchids tend to have trailing flowers so hanging baskets or orchid baskets are advised. I hope that this has given you a small insight in to the huge world of orchids - many of which reside here in Hawaii - and how you can add some tropical orchid flare to your home! Ascocenda Orchid Ascocenda Orchid Phaelenopsis Orchid Phaelenopsis Orchid Orhcids growing naturally in Hawaii Orchids growing naturally