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How to care for Poinsettias at home

Poinsettia Winter Rose

Location & Temperature - The poinsettias thrive on indirect, natural daylight. Exposure to at least six hours daily is recommended. If direct sun cannot be avoided, diffuse with a light shade or sheer curtain. To prolong the bright colour of the poinsettia bracts, daytime temperatures should not exceed 70 F. Avoid placing the plants near drafts, excess heat or the dry air from appliances, fireplaces or ventilating ducts.

Water & Fertilizer - Poinsettias require moderately moist soil. Water the plants thoroughly when the soil surface feels dry to the touch. Remove the plant from decorative pots or covers, and water enough to completely saturate the soil. Do not allow the poinsettia to sit in any standing water; root rot could result which could kill the plant. It is not necessary to fertilize the poinsettia when it is in bloom.

Source: Paul Ecke Ranch

Edible Orchids Make Poor Meal

Can you eat orchids? Well, no. Most orchid plants and flowers themselves are not poisonous, but they would make a poor meal. However, there are some significant food products that come from orchid parts and their derivatives.

Number one on the hit parade is, of course, vanilla. Yes, vanilla comes from an orchid, Vanilla planifolia, a long, vining plant that is cultivated on plantations throughout the tropics. It wanders freely through trees, into which workers must climb daily to hand pollinate the short-lived flowers to produce the "beans" (actually, seed capsules) in which the coveted vanilla oil is found. As the beans ripen, they are harvested and tattooed with the worker’s mark to ensure that full pay credit is given. They are then cured in the sun before being shipped off to epicures around the world. If you wonder what those little black specks in really fine vanilla ice cream, or a crème brulee, we can clear up the mystery -- They are orchid seeds.

Paphiopedilum Red

 

The ground-up bulbs of Turkish terrestrial orchids make a mucilaginous compound known as salep. This material is often used to make a particularly sweet and distinctive ice cream in Turkey and throughout the Middle East. Unlike the harvest of vanilla, this is not a sustainable crop, as it results in the destruction of millions of orchid plants each year.

Locals use another South American orchid as a curdling agent to make cheese. What is it called? Why, the cheese orchid, of course.

Source: American Orchid Society

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