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Welcome to Orchid Care 101

Orchids and Their Natural Habitat

Wild Orchid at Jardin del Eden Cenote

Orchid growing in the wild

A wild orchid

Orchids are some of the most beautiful and widely available flowering plants. They are part of the Orchid family and can be found almost everywhere across the globe, in a huge variety of climates or ecosystems, with extensive variations, shapes, sizes and colors. Their popularity stems from their spectacular appearance, stunning colors, and relative ease of care. Understanding their natural habitat is essential when caring for these wonderful flowering plants.

Most of the orchid species are found mainly in tropical or other warm climates. They can grow in almost every type of ecosystem, whether it is dry, swampy, mountainous or on a sandy beach. However, the most spectacular and beautiful species grow in the tropical rain forests and swampy climates. They prefer mature forests and high humidity settings, with warm weather year round. Some of the regions with the highest variety of orchids are Central America, Central Africa, South East Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines and New Guinea.

The orchids are some of the most adaptable flowering plants in the world. For instance, certain species of orchids are found in dry savannas or grasslands. These orchids are usually smaller, have a smaller flower size and their life span is shorter. On the other hand, orchids growing on lush islands or in marshy areas usually have striking colors and are larger than their drier climate counterparts.

Orchid in Tree - This orchid has been 'planted' in the tree and is happily growing due to the climate there.

Orchid in Tree – This orchid has been ‘planted’ in the tree and is happily growing due to the climate there.

Some orchid species, typically the ones who are most sought after by flower enthusiasts and gardeners, grow on trees, specifically on high branches, where the air flow is high and the sunshine is constant. This means that people most often will not see them, and the soil they grow on is difficult to replicate in a controlled environment. Usually, orchids grow on a sphagnum moss soil or a special moist bark mix. Orchids enjoy moist, low Ph soils, and the roots require perfect water drainage, to ensure proper growth.