It is always fascinating to see orchids blooming. Their flowers are very striking and colourful! They come in all sorts of colours from elegant white to furious red and yellow. But most orchids do not bloom all year round, they only bloom during a certain period where the conditions are just right. When they are not blooming, they grow leaves and roots, therefore this period is also known as photo period.
Personally, my family and I enjoy orchid flowers. So I only have a small collection of orchids which will bloom all year round, or at least most of the time. Dendrobium orchids are orchids with short photo period and long flowering period. Their flowers are of medium size and you can find these flowers in almost every florist in Singapore.
They are relatively easy to grow as they are very hardy and forgiving. Dendrobiums develop pseudobulbs, which are stem-like structures where the leaves grow in alternate directions. A mature Dendrobium can grow to a height of 50cm.
I also own other species of orchids like the Renthera Singaporeanis. They are sun-loving plants and they can grow more than a metre tall. Although they have smaller flowers, but their flower spikes will bear more than twenty flowers! They don’t bloom as often as Dendrobiums but their flowers last for a longer time.
My colleagues also gave me a Phalaenopsis orchid, which is commonly known as ‘Moth Orchid’. They bloom annually, when the temperature is low and humid, which is extremely hard in SIngapore climate. After 3 years, my Phalaenopsis did not bloom for me at all. They are best grown in air conditioned rooms like orchids or cool room, where the temperature is ideal for them.
Phalaenopsis blooms are magnificent! They have a pair of enlarged petals on the sides which resemble the wings the moth. Their flowers are huge and can class for a long time! What a sight to behold, but getting them to bloom in our climate is not an easy task.
Some orchid species are very rare and expensive. If you like to try growing orchids, get some easy ones like Dendrobiums. They will flower regularly when they acclimatised themselves to the growing conditions. They will grow more roots and leaves when you first bought it. When they start to flower, don’t turn the orchid around! The flowers grow towards the sunlight, turning them will make their blooms look messy.