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  • How to Grow: Grammatophyllum Orchid Care

    General Information The generic name Grammatophyllum is derived from the Greek words gramma, meaning "a mark or character," and phyllum, "a leaf." This probably refers to the varied markings on the petals and sepals of the flowers, which resulted in Grammatophyllum frequently being called the "Letter Plants." The species produce several racemes, arising from the base of the pseudobulb, with many yellow-green to olive-green, waxy flowers with dark purplish-red marks. This epiphytic genus occurs in the dence rainforest from Indo-China to Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, and the Southwest Pacific Islands. There are two distinct growth forms in this genus. The first has very long pseudobulbs, resembling sugar cane, bearing many leaves, arranged distichous. The second has rather short thick pseudobulbs which are not covered leaf bases and bear a few leaves around the top of the pseudobulbs. The pseudobulbs are sympodial in growth, with each new growth arising from the previous growth. The flowers of most Grammatophyllum Species are generally yellow and brown. Grammatophyllum Orchids are not only the biggest Orchids in the world, they’re the Fastest-Growing Orchids Light Requirements Grammatophyllum grows well in moderate light intensity. Morning sun is best, until about noon. Observation of the leaf structure can be your best guide to the correct light conditions for which a type is particularly suited. The conditions are similar to Dendrobium and Cattleya, which means that 60-80% of sunlight. Lime green-coloured foliage is an indication of proper light. Dark green foliage, while very attractive, is not conducive to the plant reaching its full blooming potential. Yellow-coloured foliage indicates too much light. In very mild climates, most members of this can be grown out of doors, with protection from the hot summer sun, and the colder nights of winter. A light green leaf with just a hint of yellow indicates the maximum amount of sun the plant can take, and a dark green leaf indicates not enough sun. Temperature Requirements Grammatophyllum will tolerate considerable summer heat as long as they get cool, mild night temperatures between 10-18 °C. Cold weather, even down to minus 2°C for a few hours each night, will not damage an acclimatised plant, but once the plant spikes or flowers, it should be protected from such low temperatures. Regardless, plants should always be kept free of frost. The ideal annual temperature range for most members of the genus Grammatophyllum are 24 to 30°C during the day and 13 to 16°C at night. At higher temperatures, air circulations and humidity must be increased, or damage can occur. "The Higher the Temperature, the Greater the Plant's need for Humidity" Water Requirements Grammatophyllums enjoy frequent watering, during their growing period, but will not tolerate wet feet for extended periods. However, when growth is completed, a 2 or 3 week rest period should follow to allow the growths to mature. Generally speaking, the growing season extends from March to October. The frequency of watering is relative to the container, the temperature, air circulation, and the amount of water retained in the medium in the container. Watering should be done, so the roots are approaching dryness before re-watering. In the warmer periods, several watering a week can be done, without worry, if the roots can dry quickly. Require plenty of water and high humidity during the growing season. All species come from distinct wet/dry habitats. Less water is required during the cooler months. "The roots are sensitive to fertilizer salt build-up, so clear water flushes are necessary for good growth" We suggest watering every third day or twice a week during the hot summer months(not suitable for mounted plants). They should not be allowed to go completely dry, yet they don't care for a soggy environment either. We suggest watering once a week in the winter and early spring months when the weather is colder. Lesser the media, more frequent should be the watering. After you have watered your orchid, it is really important to make sure that the plant is well-drained on regular intervals and to ensure that the roots are not left standing in water for long. The roots won’t tolerate this and can result in root rot if you do. Humidity Requirements Grammatophyllum love warm and very humid weather. The humidity level should be at least 50% or higher. Increase the amount of humidity in the summer months. This can be done by misting on the surrounding area or letting stagnant water far below the plants (in its natural habitat it gets morning dew that gathers in a pool on the branches of trees and if you notice the roots are tiny light-colored but multiple, it absorbs the water and stores it in the large bulbs for dry spells). Make sure the plants have good air circulation. This will help prevent fungus, insect problems, and mold from forming on the leaves. In humid climates, as in greenhouses, it is imperative that the humid air is moving. Leaves should be dry as soon as possible, always by nightfall. Many people advise spraying your orchids with a mist of water to increase the humidity levels in the air in the direct vicinity of the orchid. This is generally not a good idea, as it is an inefficient way of increasing local humidity levels, and water will gather on the leaves and flowers. This can lead to mold spots developing on the leaves, or more commonly on the petals of the flowers. Simply put, you can use misting to raise the humidity but its not recommended for watering your orchid plants. Fertilizer Requirements Grammatophyllum plants should be fed consistently. The fertilizer formula should match the potting medium. We suggest using a balance type fertilizer 20-20-20 or 15-15-15. From Spring through early Fall, fertilising every seven days, with several clear watering in between. In the late Fall through Winter, a light feeding once every other week. As with most Orchids, Grammatophyllum roots are sensitive to fertilizer salt build-up. Grammatophyllum are particularly fond of organic fertilizers, such as fish emulsion and manure teas. The organic fertilizers eliminate the concern of salt build-up in the medium, at the same time organic fertilizers decompose much, thus, one should constantly check for fungus and pests. Before fertilizing, you should water the plants soaked, about 10 minutes later, then fertilize the fertilizer, so the plant absorbs better fertilizer. Recommended Fertilizers: Balanced Fertilizer for Growth: 20-20-20 (NPK) – 2 grams per litre of water – Spray once in every alternative weeks (14 Days) High-Phosphorus Fertilizer for Blooming: 0-52-34 (MPK) – 1 gram per litre of water – Spray on every alternative weeks (14 Days) - Use only on its Vegetative Phase Blooming Grammatophyllum are one of the longest blooming orchid genera, producing flowers that last from 2 to 6 months before dropping. Normally, Grammatophyllum orchids need to have a lot of mature pseudobulbs to flowering. If the plant is too young, you should not promote its flowering by using more fertilizer phosphate, because the plant will grow slowly and can not flower. And the plant also needs time to adapt to the living environment in your home. Pruning for Re-Bloom Grammatophyllum orchids rebloom on old spikes with a new stalk emerging from a triangular node along the stalk. To trigger re-blooming, your orchid will need a little more attention than what you usually give it. The thrill when your orchid blooms for a second time, however, makes the small investment in time and effort required to trigger orchid reblooming well worth the effort. Steps to Trigger Re-blooming: Reduce irrigation for about two weeks to create a dry period for the plant. If you regularly irrigate the plants once a day, then now take, 1-2 days to water once. Only irrigate the roots, do not irrigate the leaves. Then fertilize 0-52-34 (MPK) to stimulate flowering for 3-4 consecutive weeks. After a drought, the plant will absorb the fertilizer very well. Pseudobulbs will quickly get old enough to accumulate energy to prepare flowers. Continue to reduce irrigation for about 2 weeks. After this fertilizer application, if you don't see any spikes coming, start watering as usual and prepare the plant for next vegetative phase. Potting, Media and Propagation There are two main reasons why a Grammatophyllum orchid may need re-potted. The first is when the growing media starts to break down and decompose. The second is when the roots outgrow the pot the orchid is growing in. Grammatophyllum do not resent being disturbed, so repotting should be undertaken whenever necessary. The best time is, after all, flowering has ceased, and new growth is just beginning. To minimize root damage, warm water soaks for 10 minutes, which will make most very pliable and easier to remove from the container. When dividing Grammatophyllum plants, always divide into parts with at least four pseudobulbs. Remove any dead roots from the divisions, then lay the divisions aside until new root growth begins. When planted in small pots, the plants will produce better flowers, and the roots of the plant tend to grow opposite to the gravity dimension and will spread out into a sphere. After that, dry out, reduce irrigation for the first 7-10 days to help the plant heal wounds. "Newly Re-potted plants should be placed in slightly lower light for few weeks" Orchids generally prefer to be root constrained, so don’t change to a larger pot than necessary. The roots of orchids contribute to photosynthesis and energy generation, so giving the roots access to light enables them to contribute to the overall health and strength of the plant. As the roots gain a lot of moisture and nutrients directly from the air, having plenty of ventilation and drainage holes will enable good air circulation to the roots of your orchid. The most common growing media to use is a tree bark-based mix, although any fast-draining medium such as Coconut husk chips could be a viable alternative. The plant will thrive much better with a smaller volume of healthy roots, than a larger volume of roots with a diseased or unhealthy section. Pests and Other Grammatophyllum Related Problems *External Link

  • How to Grow: Catasetum Orchid care

    General Overview: The Catasetum Orchid is a beautiful vivid orchid species that is prized by growers for its versatility and beauty. This orchid is fairly easy to grow if you can replicate the correct conditions. Almost always deciduous, the pseudobulbous plants have strict growing and resting periods that they cycle through each year. These vivid plants originate in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South America, and Central America where they can grow in sand, rocky conditions, and near ant colonies. This orchid develops fleshy waxy flowers, and the plants are unisex, which is rare in orchids. The male plants are identified by their bright colours and large size while the female plants are a yellow-green colour and have a smaller stature. Another distinguishing trait that sets this species apart is its ability to eject its pollen directly onto its pollinators. This care guide can be related to all Catasetums, Cycnodes and Clowesetums. Growth Cycle: Understanding the Catasetinae growth cycle is the key to successful culture. When the plants are in active growth, maintain a fairly constant root zone moisture and fertilise regularly to optimize new growth. When the plants are dormant little or no water is needed as the pseudobulbs store sufficient water and nutrients to survive their winter rest. Early Season: Catasetums begin their new growth cycle in winter to early spring. Once you see new growth, re-pot your plants into new medium. Last year's roots seem to deteriorate during dormancy and are not as effective as the new roots at taking water and nutrients. Whether or not you repot, do not water your plant until the new growth has well developed new roots. Your roots should be 8 to 12 cms long, so for the sake of simplicity, do not water until your new top growth is 8 to 12 cms tall. This cannot be emphasised enough. Do not water until the new growth has become well established. Mid-Season: New roots are established and the plants are rapidly developing their new pseudobulbs. The growth spurt during this 3 to 4 month period is surprising, often the plants will double in size. To keep pace with their growth rate, the plants require constant moisture and regular fertilization. Normally you will water 2 or 3 times a week. A balanced fertilizer at full strength is suitable for this rapid growth or you can top dress with a controlled release fertilizer and apply water soluble fertilizers at a dilute rate, say 2 grams per Litre. Light levels at or above those suggested for Cattleyas will help insure strong good growth and flowering. The fruits of your labor will begin to pay off as the flowering season begins. Late Season: In the late autumn the plants will begin to enter the dormancy phase, caused by the maturity of the pseudobulb, shorter day length, cooler day/night temperatures and a reduction of root zone moisture. The first signals you will observe on your plants are yellowing and browning off of the leaves. As a general rule, this will happen by mid-November, at which time you will stop fertilizing them and reduce watering by half. When all the leaves have dropped or by the end of December, stop watering the plants. Watering during dormancy should only be done it the plant bulbs shrivel severely. Usually a single irrigation is sufficient to restore the bulbs. Light Requirements: Catasetum orchids are sun-loving plants, and in their natural habitats many species grow prolifically in full sunlight. Unless the strong air movement as found in the natural habitat is available, the grower should provide some shade as well. For the surge of new growth in the springtime, Catasetum plants should be positioned to receive all the sunlight that they can tolerate, depending on their origin, but as their pseudobulbs mature, thought should be given to whether male or female flowers are desired. Catasetums are known to produce male or female flowers based on the amount of light and humidity they are subject to.  High light and low moisture tend to induce production of female flowers while low light and high humidity produce male flowers. A few species, such as Catasetum Cernuum, Catasetum Hookeri, Catasetum Longifolium, and Catasetum Rooseveltianum, should be grown in moderate to deep shade. Temperature Requirements: These orchids are native to hot tropical areas and grow during the rainy summer months. During this growing period, day temperatures of 27°C to 38° C and night temperatures of 16° to 18° C are beneficial. After growths mature, temperatures can be reduced to 12° C at night, with day temperatures of 21° to 30° C. In general for all but a few species, the grower can regard 18°C as the ideal minimum night temperature and not to be overly concerned about daytime highs as long as they stay below 39°C. Water Requirements : Catasetums require plenty of water during their growth phase.  This starts when new growths appear with the onset of the pre-monsoon showers.  Watering should be gradually increased as they mature by the end of the monsoon.  Once the pseudobulbs are mature, watering should be reduced and tapered down until they start dropping their leaves which is an indication that water should be withheld completely except occasionally to prevent shrinking of their pseudobulbs.  It is at this time that they will come into bloom. All mounted, basket-grown, and unconventionally potted Catasetums may be watered every sunny day during the growing season, provided conditions are such that they dry off relatively quickly. In the case of conventionally potted adult plants, it should not be necessary to water more than once or, at most, twice a week. These species like to dry out at least slightly between waterings. When you water, do so thoroughly, allowing the water to flow freely from the bottom of the pot after saturating the entire contents or penetrating the entire root mass of mounted and basket-grown plants. "A good rule of thumb is that the more leaf surface and root system a plant has, the more water it requires" Humidity Requirements : Catasetum orchid tolerate an environment with 40 - 60 % relative humidity during their growing season, but for optimal development of new growth and flowering, 70 % is recommended. This can be provided in the home by placing the plants on trays of gravel, only partially filled with water so that the plants do not sit in the water. Air should always be moving around the plants to prevent fungal or bacterial disease, especially if high humidity or cool temperatures exist. Higher humidity increases the plants' ability to withstand and benefit from their quota of light, and it also slows the evaporation of moisture from the potting medium in which they grow. Higher humidity also reduces the likelihood of spider mite attacks, since the little critters prefer warm and dry conditions. Fertilizer Requirements : Catasetum orchids have a reputation of being heavy feeders while actively growing, and the concept of heavy feeding should be applied both to the strength of the fertilizer and to the frequency of fertilizing. The standing goal should be to push the plants to the limit, to make them as strong, healthy, and dynamic as possible. Fertilize with an appropriate formulation at least every week during the growing season, or fertilize with a weak formula every time the plants are watered. Use a high nitrogen formulation (such as 30-10-10) with a full range of trace elements while plants are in active growth, slowly tapering off as pseudobulbs form. As the leaves begin to unfurl, and well before flowering, add a high-phosphorus formula to develop big, strong pseudobulbs capable of producing robust inflorescences. Any of the soluble products with a large second-digit number of N:P:K constitute a good source of phosphorus. A blossom- booster formulation should be used in the autumn, except for plants that normally bloom in the spring. Recommended Fertilizers: Balanced Fertilizer for Growth: 20-20-20 (NPK) – 2 grams per litre of water – Spray once in every alternative weeks (14 Days) - Only on Mid Season High-Phosphorus Fertilizer for Blooming: 0-52-34 (MPK) – 1 gram per litre of water – Spray on every alternative weeks (14 Days) - Towards the end of Mid Season Potting , Media and Propagation : Potting should be timed to coincide with the initiation of new growth, usually in the spring. New roots will be produced quickly at that time, and plants will experience minimal setback. These plants have vigorous root systems and require a rich, moist potting medium such as coconut husk chips during the growing season. Many growers bare-root their plants during the resting period to ensure dryness at that time. Fine-grade media are common for smaller pots; medium-grade media are used only in larger pots. Sphagnum moss is used successfully for plants in many areas, as it provides tremendous water- and fertilizer-holding capacities. When well grown, these orchids can be divided down to one mature pseudobulb and will then flower on the next mature growth. Hanging the pots or mounts is best because it provides good air movement around the plants. Remember that mounted, plants will require more frequent watering - two or more time per day in the hottest season. A good compromise is to place the plants in pots that are suspended. This offers advantages of both pots and mounts.  Some people prefer to re-pot their plants every year at the beginning of the growth period for best results. "Most plants have a dormant period and, when it occurs, it must be recognised and respected" Pests and Other Catasetum Related Problems : Fungal and Bacterial Diseases of Catasetum are common because of the levels of humidity and substrate they need to survive. Fungal agents cause problems like root rot, leaf spots, leaf blights and spots on flowers. *External Link

  • How to Grow: Oncidium Orchid Care

    General Information The Oncidium family is very large and includes many flower varieties. The most common flower variety is often referred to as the "Dancing Lady". Oncidiums are popular indoor and florist orchids for a very good reason, their large sprays of flowers often sag with dozens of blooms. They have been freely hybridized. There are actually several hundred recognized oncidium species, but the naming is not stable, so there is considerable flux as experts reclassify plants. Oncidium orchids are among the most diverse orchids in the world. One of the most famous cultivars is Oncidium kramerianum, originally from Colombia and Ecuador. This one is called the “butterfly orchid” because of its golden-yellow flowers with brown freckles. Another popular cultivar is Oncidium known as “Sharry Baby.” Oncidiums may originate anywhere from sea level in the tropics to the high elevations of the Andes. This makes cultural generalizations hard. So it is prime to know the Natural Habitat of your Oncidium. They are often described as temperamental and difficult to grow. However, with proper care, it’s possible to grow them relatively easily. It’s important to know what to do and what NOT to do in order to successfully grow these beautiful orchids. This instruction sheet deals with Oncidium types that have thin leaves, pseudobulbs, and branching sprays of bloom. Light Requirements Oncidium orchids are specific when it comes to light requirements. It depends on their growth stage as well as the time of day and season. When they are first starting to grow and blossom, they need direct sunlight for several hours per day. Once they start to blossom and give flowers, it’s important to move your orchid to a cooler place without direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight can actually burn blossoms. Generally speaking, it’s best to keep your orchid in a semi-shady to semi-sunny environment. At home, east or west windows are ideal. South windows will work but one should be careful of the brilliant sun that will come in during the fall through spring months. If you have miniblinds or sheer curtains, you can break the light so that it is more diffused. Many types of oncidiums will grow under artificial light, Four fluorescent tubes supplemented with incandescent bulbs and placed 6 to 12 inches over the plants are necessary for proper growth. Metalhalide and sodium-vapor bulbs also provide sufficient light without needing to be so close to the plants. One of the best types of artificial light you can provide for your orchids is by using L.E.D Grow Lights. If the leaves are turning much darker, check whether your plant is getting enough Sunlight. Temperature Requirements Oncidiums can be found in many habitats, from semiarid subtropical lowlands to cool and misty cloud forests. Generally, the most popular oncidiums, which feature small yellow flowers, large pseudobulbs, and strappy leaves, are intermediate to warm orchids. Thus ideal requirement are, Day temperature at 26-30° C and Night temperature at 13-16° C. Temperatures up to 35-38° C are tolerated if humidity and air movement are increased as the temperatures rise, a good general rule in any case. Do not expose them to cold drafts or temperatures below about 10° C as that may cause the plant to slow its growth if exposed long. Water Requirements It’s important to know how to water your Oncidium orchid. Overwatering as well as underwatering are common mistakes. Oncidiums generally have different water requirements during different stages of their growth, but a rule of thumb is that they should never be overwatered. Oncidiums store water in their pseudobulbs, making them more tolerant of dry media than wet. Generally speaking, Oncidium orchids require the most water when they are starting to grow and beginning to blossom. This is the only stage in which they require relatively lots of water that should be provided. After this stage, it’s best to provide less water. Oncidiums actually love water, but the trick is to provide adequate drainage. If not, the roots will drown, lose oxygen and rot. This will make the orchid die. For this reason, overwatering is not a good idea for these orchids. On the other hand, if you notice that the top compost is completely dry, it’s usually a sign you should water your orchid again. The frequency of watering varies with respect to the media used , surrounding temperature and the ventilation provided. A way to check the mix for moisture is by sticking a wooden pencil into the mix about 3-4 inch. When you pull the pencil out, check the wooden end. If it has turned dark in color, the mix is still wet and you should wait a day or two. Oncidiums prefer clean water without a lot of mineral content. In the winter, reduce watering to bimonthly or less. They can withstand considerable drought because of their large pseudobulbs. Wrinkled pseudobulbs generally indicate a lack of water. Humidity Requirements Oncidiums need specific humidity levels, at least between 40% and 50%. However, these plants love humidity, so the ideal is actually between 55% and 75%. If you can’t provide that, make sure that humidity levels never drop below 40%. The higher temperature rises, the higher must be the humidity of the air, and the higher the humidity of the air, the more often and longer it is necessary to ventilate the room where the orchids are kept, otherwise there is a high probability of decay and appearance on the leaves of various fungal diseases. Using a Humidity Tray is one of the best ways to achieve any humidity level. These trays are nothing more than a water-holding tray filled with gravel. The gravel-filled trays are filled with water to a level just below the surface. To prevent plants sitting on constantly wet gravel the plants are placed on small saucers or pieces of plastic or metal grid placed on top of the trays. A plump lead pseudobulb indicates a well-hydrated plant. Blooming Oncidiums are magnificent in bloom. A large, well-grown plant might yield six or seven-branched sprays of yellow flowers. The effect is very much like a cloud of buttery butterflies. The most popular species include O. Leucochilum, O. Longipes, O. Sarcodes, O. Pulchellum, as well as many hybrids. Although oncidiums are known for their yellow flowers, other varieties are available. The O. Sharry Baby is sometimes called the chocolate orchid for its sprays of brownish flowers with a rich cocoa scent. Depending on the variety the flowering season can be at any time of year, but is generally heaviest in the fall and spring. Many hybrids can bloom 2-3 times per year. In order to initiate the flower spikes, it is important to grow the plant in an area where the night temperatures fall below 18° C. Usually plants growing by a window are a couple of degrees cooler than the rest of the house. The flower spikes on Oncidiums generally grow to a medium or tall length and branch out in several directions. "Keep a close eye on the spike when it begins to produce flower buds for aphids" Fertilizer Requirements These types of orchids need enough food to thrive. It’s therefore important to fertilize them regularly or they will be unhealthy. However, over fertilization is bad for your plant. If skies are cloudy, applications once a month are sufficient. Make sure to clean any salt deposits on monthly basis in order to avoid burning the Oncidium orchid’s roots. On its growing phase, avoid excess usage of high phosphorous based Fertilizers. Recommended Fertilizers: Balanced Fertilizer for Growth: 20-20-20 (NPK) – 2 grams per litre of water – Spray once in every alternative weeks (14 Days) - On Blooming Periods (Once in a Month) High-Phosphorus Fertilizer for Blooming: 0-52-34 (MPK) – 1 gram per litre of water – Spray on every alternative weeks (14 Days) - Except on Blooming Period. Potting , Media and Propagation Oncidiums like to be slightly underpotted in a very free-draining bark-based potting media. Many oncidiums will form large clumps of pseudobulbs and develop into rather large plants. They can be easily divided into clumps when repotting. Just make sure you have at least three pseudobulbs in each division. In general, only repot when necessary. Aggressive repotting can kill an orchid. Oncidium orchids have thin roots so repotting is a very delicate job. They should be repotted about once in every two years. Like many orchids, once an oncidium has adjusted to its conditions, it should not be difficult to grow. A wrong potting medium can be very dangerous for your Oncidium orchid. These types of orchids generally require lots of food, be it in the wild or when grown in cultivation. For these reasons, the type of potting medium is very important. They can usually survive in leafmold compost but using this medium is not advisable. It’s important to use the best medium for epiphytes, such as charcoal and cocopeat or pine bark. The fibers in cocopeat will provide adequate drainage for your orchid, which is important for its growth. Choosing a correct pot is also important. Never pick a too large pot for your oncidium. These orchids are best kept in small, confined pots. The smaller pot, the better. Large pots will often make the compost moist and very damp, which can harm the roots and make them rot. Plants potted in a bark mixture should be carefully pulled out of the pot. Clean off the roots of the old mix, being careful not to break the good roots. However, breaking roots when repotting is inevitable. Roots that are bad and should be cut off are those that are brown and mushy or papery. Those roots that are white or tan and are firm to the touch should be left alone. Simply place the plant into a new pot, placing the oldest growth towards the back of the pot so there is room for the newer growths to develop for about 1-2 years. Oncidiums can be divided when there are 6 or more pseudobulbs. Divide, leaving 3 growths per each division. “ After repotting, Keep humidity high and the potting medium dry until new roots form.” Pests and Other Oncidium Related Problems Fungal and Bacterial Diseases of Oncidiums are common because of the levels of humidity and substrate they need to survive. Fungal agents cause problems like root rot, leaf spots, leaf blights and spots on flowers. *External Link

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  • Privacy policy

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  • Orchid Species Online | Guna Orchids

    < Shop All ORCHID SPECIES A Species is a plant that is either found in nature or a varietal of the natural plant. There are also a few "primary hybrids", which are crosses of two Species Dendrobium Species SHOP NOW Special Orchids SHOP NOW Phalaenopsis Species SHOP NOW

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