João Hellman

Basic notions about cultivating orchids

The cultivation of orchids has greatly increased in the world. For an admirer to become a collector or a cultivator it is necessary to study the main requirements of each species of interest, and there is already a growing offer of means of acquiring information about the ways of cultivating them.
Today there are more than 30 thousand species with their different varieties and more than 100 thousand hybrids registered.
Until recently, in order to obtain a good plant it was necessary to penetrate the undergrowth and count upon luck to find one which stood out. Nowadays, it is easier to acquire plants with technical quality, given the dedication of the commercial producers in reproducing special plants and making them available in the market.
Each species has its own requirements as regards environment, substratum, structure, moisture and manuring, essential for the cultivation without which it is more difficult to grow them successfully.
Before the beginner orchid lover decides which species to start with, it is necessary to study a little about them. It is required to question where they come from, how they grow in nature, what is the environment where they live like, if the place which the person has is suitable for them, if the available time for talking care of the orchids is proportional to what they need and if the plant has any special requirement.
Besides the differences between each species, there arc requirements related to size of growth. Small plants, designated by seedlings, demand more nitrogen (N) to develop well, whereas plants of a flowering size need more phosphorous (P), which is responsible for the good flowering, and potassium (K), which is necessary for the vegetative aspect of the plant.
Some of the main queries when acquiring a plant are which environment it needs, if it requires more or less Sun, how many times a week it must be watered, when it must be manured and what is the right manure.
The clarification described is based on the experience of 12 years of study and cultivation of orchids in an amateur manner, as a hobby.