Here you have it: everything you need to know about orchids, from buying and blooming plants, to descriptions of the five most popular orchids.
Orchids are not especially difficult to grow, but they do have some specialized requirements. You want to find the right balance of temperature, water, humidity, air flow and fertilizer. Once you've found that, you can expect healthy plants and blooms year after year.
Success with orchids begins in the nursery—buy the healthiest plants possible and ease them into your growing environment. Even gift orchids should be vibrant plants capable of long-term survival.
Improper watering is probably the single most common cause of orchid death -- either too much or too little. The trick with watering your orchid is to replicate, as closely as possible, its natural environment. This means finding just the right balance between air flow and water.
Even though they are often epiphytic plants in nature, most orchids are adaptable to growing in pots, as long as you use the right potting media and follow some basic pointers.
Phalaenopsis are the world's most popular orchid, and with good reason. These plants feature dramatic sprays of long-lasting flowers in a variety of colors, and they are well-suited to indoor growing.
Cattleya are among the most popular orchids for collectors and breeders—there are thousands upon thousands of registered cattleya hybrids, with flowers in a mind-boggling array of colors, shapes and even scents. These orchids can do very well inside.
Cane dendrobiums are both popular household and florist orchids. Widely available in white and purple, dendrobiums produce large sprays of small, elegant flowers on tall stalks. These are considered warm-house orchids that love lots of light, food and water.
Cymbidiums have been making a major comeback in recent years. These orchids are perfect for colder environments—they can withstand colder temperatures than many of the tropical orchids. And their large, showy flowers are beautiful centerpieces.