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1.ORCHID FLOWER PRODUCTION
( Written by Raveendran Chennilode, rights reserved)

2.Orchid growing for cut flower production is entirely different from ordinary way of orchid growing. Now it is an industry.All parameters for a lucrative commercial venture are applicable for cut flower production. the success of the industry depends on the quality of the product,rate of production, profit from it, developmental scope, availabilty of inputs, marketing etc .etc. aall are very important. So is the case with Orchid Flower production.

The major factors for a successful orchid flower producing farm will be pointed out here.Any way it differ from place ,environment, variety of plant etc. 

 3.Selection of plants 

        All orchid varieties are not suitable for cut flower production though they produce attractive flowers. Here the flowers are those wanted by the florists, professional, and other end users as customers. Quality of the flower is the major factor. The selected plants should be most suited for the growing area. Or suitable environment should be provided for good growth. Plants should be floriferous, ie free flowering or regular flowering. Economically the plant cost should be feasible. It shoukld give maximum number of flowers per year. the flower should have long case life of minimum 7days from the day of harvesting.  Plants should be self  productive and having long life. In Indian conditions,the varieties still used and most suitable are:

(1). ARANTHERAS:-

         Hybrid of Arachnis and Renantheras. arachnis are cut flower orchids for a pretty long period with long flower spikes . Usually arantheras have red flowers on long spikes like that of Arachnis. The shelf life of flowers are very good. some times they are called Red spiders. The common varieties cultivated are Aranthera Annie Black, Aranthera Mohammed hannif, Aranthera James Storeii. and new varieties are being introduced even now.

 

(2). ARACHNIS:- 

They are the famous spider orchids sometimes called scorpion orchids with brespect to the shape of flowers. It is called a spider may be beacause thearrangements of flowers on the erect spike resembles a spider crawling up. The commonly cultivated plants are Arachnis Maggie Oei. They have different shades. mainly "Red Ribbon" and "Yellow Ribbon". Some closely related to the species Arachnis flos aeris is " Black ribbon". Its flowers are fragrant like the original species. Arachnis are early varieties but still used as thay are comaparitively cheap to produce and easy growing varieties. The spikes will be 80 cm to 100 cms or more in length with more tha a dozen flowers. Related plants are Arachnis Ishabel, Arachnis Kapama etcf/. kapama has fleshy flowers arranged all facing a single side, making it good for many kinds of arrangements

 

(3). ARANDAS:-

        Arandas are hybrids made crossing Arachnis and Vandas. Since so many vandas are used in hybridisation work a lot of Aranda varieties of different colours and sizes are made. Aranda flowers are having wider petals than Arachnis and Arantheras, erect spikes, bright coloured flowers, and easy growing. Popular items are aranda Christene, Aranda Noorah blue, Aranda Golden sands, a\Aranda Majula etc. new varietiers include Aranda green tiger, Aranda

 

(4). VANDAS:-

       Vandas are used from early period for cut flower production. The first cut flower Vanda is Vanda Miss Jua Quim, the National Flower of Singapore. Vandas are of various types according to the leaf types. Strap leaf vandas are common. There are Pencil vandas with pencil like cylindrical leaves which can tolerate bright sunlight EG. vanda miss Jua Quim, Vanda Poe Poe Diana, Vanda Ruby Prince etc. Crossed with strap leaf type there are semi terete vandas and majority of commercial vandas come under this category. A lot of semi terete vandas are used in large scale cultivation. Vanda John Clubbs,Vanda TMA,  Vanda Josephine van Brero,Vanda Velthuis,  V. Emma Van devender,Vanda Hilo blue, vanda crosses with other plants like Ascocentrum, Vandopsis, and many hybrids are used for cut flower production.
 
(5). MOKARAS
      Mokaras are trigeneric hybrids involving, Ascocentrum, Arachnis and Vanda. All the qualities of these generas are dominant in Mokaras, especially the flourescent colours of flowers. All colours are available. It is a major cut flower orchid now. popular varieties are Mokara Singapore red, M. chakuan pink, M.Chakuan orange,Mokara sayan, Mokara boonchoo gold, Moakara madam panni etc.
 
(6). DENDROBIUMS
Among the Asian orchids the most cultivated and marketed orchid flowers are Dendrobiums. thailand and other ASEAN countries grow maximum dendrobiums. Regularly new varieties are being released from the various Orchid Companies. The4y can be grown successfully under controlled conditions, ie under shade net and are easy for growing them. They give flowers early compared to vanda plants. because of their light weight the flowers can be packed and transported easily. papery flowers are long lasting also. there are hundreds of hybrid varieties. But the early varieties are still good in respect of their plant life.All colours are available now.
Whites: Dendrobium Emma White, Den.Thailand White, Den. kassem white, Den.Snow shite Den.Nappon  White diamond etc.
Reds:   Den.lady charm, Den. Pathum red, Den.Bobby masena, Den. Sabine Red,  Den.Cyarak Red,Den.Cleopatra Beauty x Udomsri , Den.Stripo Stripe (Red) ,Den.Morning  Sun etc.       
Pink:     Den.Chingmayi pink, Den. Sakura Pink, Den.nagoya Pink, Den.KB Pink, Den.pink lady, Etc.
Green: Den. Burana green, Den. Burana Jade, Den. Aeridang green etc.
Yellow: Den. Kassem gold, Den.sherifa fathima, Den. thongchai gold, Den.Boonchoo gold,Den.Yellow manta, Den.Thonchai X Lubang, Den. Give by God ,Den Beanana royal.Etc.
Dark colours: Den.Blue violetta x Poyck, Den. Bermis Ruby , Den.New Blue Charm, Den. Blue Charm x burana dark blue, Den.genting fragrance, Etc.
Multi Colours: Majority of dendrobiums are double colours with lip differently coloured and the beauty is with the contrasting lip colour. Pink and White, White and violet, white and Red, Yellow and Red, greenish white and maroon, light blue and dark,  Etc.Etc. Popular varieties are: Den.Yellow butterfly and yellow bomb,
Den. nappon star bright, Den.Ekapol panda, Den. Sonia varieties, Den.PopEye, Den.heang beauty, Den.Madam Vipar, Den.rinnappa, Den.Burana Jade Red Lip. Etc.
Striped:   Den.strippo stripe, Den.candy strip and its numerous crosses, Den.Compactum pink strip, Den. burana strip, Den.aeridang green x Burana strip, Etc.
And many new colour combinations are coming regularly.
 
(7). ONCIDUMS:
Many varieties of oncidiums are cultivated for Cut flowers especially Yellow and red varieties. free flowering varieties like. Onc. Goldiana, Onc.Aloha, Onc. sweet sugar, Onc.Sharry baby and intergeneric hybrids like Brassidium, Brassias, Colmanara etc can be grown as their flowers are good.

Method of Cultivation

                      According to the growing environment, open beds or semishaded structures can be prepared for growing vandaceous orchids. Trellies to support the plants, irrigation facilities, space between beds for human interaction, etc are to  be considered. Dendrobiums and oncidiums are to be grown under shade net or hreen houses, in pots and pots arranged over elevated shelves is the usual practice. here again sufficient space should be provided between shelves. If the shelves are cistly. Strong roof studture can be made and all the pots can be hung from the top. this will ensure sufficient aeration also. fertilising the plants regularly is amust and provisions for spraying  on the plants and to apply insecticide and fungicide etc should be made. It is better to have sorting and packing shed nearby. IT ALL DEPENDS ON THE VARIETY YOU ARE PLANNING TO PLANT AND THE AREA OF CULTIVATION AND THE SIZE OF THE FARM.
 
For further details pl contact:
Raveendran.N
Aarshasree Orchids, Chennilode, Medical college.P.O., Trivandrum,  Kerala, India.Pin code 696011. website:-    www.aarshasree.com
Phones: 91-471-3054617, mobiles: 09387813212,  09388116245, 09495968212. E.mail:   chennilode@gmail.com,   info@aarshasree.comaarshasree@yahoo.co.in