Few plants evoke more attention than an orchid; once so rare and costly, their exclusive reputation still renders them precious. Orchids in a living room immediately seem to lift the area into another dimension of luxury and ease of living.
Many orchids will only have one bloom open at a time, yet people can gaze and appear mesmerized for several minutes whilst absorbing the intricate details of the bloom.
It is only fairly recently that people have thought about growing their own orchids, yet already ‘orchid societies’ have grown up all over North America to give advice, to offer orchid ‘swaps’ and encourage the growth of them.
If you have ever thought of growing and displaying your own orchids, then it is advisable to put them in an east or north window as they prefer bright, filtered sunlight. South windows are best shaded for orchids.
Orchids do not grow in soil, but rather in charcoal, fir bark, cork or stones. In the Tropics where they are quite common, it is not unusual to see an orchid growing proudly out of a tree trunk! Most of the mixes (i.e. stones, cork etc) for growing orchids are available in garden centers.
The room temperatures for the best orchid growth are 59F to 81F during the day and dropping to around 52F to 59F at night. (This is 15 C-27 C and 11C-16 Centigrade).
Some orchids will bloom and last for weeks and others will bloom twice a year. Although orchids usually only need watering once a week, they are humid plants and like a spray spritz every day.
Many of the orchid societies run a newsletter andsome have monthly meetings with guest speakers, a yearly show and many will offer tips on how to obtain, and grow, orchids.
There are over 30,000 different species of orchids in the world, but only certain ones are suitable for the window sills of North America.
The color of orchids are mostly bright and contrasting, although the pure white orchid is equally arresting. Orchids come in many varied and intricate designs and waiting for a new bloom to unfold has been known to excite the most reserved of people!