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The Truth About Orchids

Orchids have the unearned reputation for being difficult to grow, maintain, and are expensive. This is not the case. you do not have to spend a lot of money to obtain beautiful orchids.

Orchids can be one of the easiest of house plants to grow, if basic requirements are met. Orchids are survivors of the jungles, and they like shirt sleeve temperatures, average humidity, adequate watering, bright light without direct sunlight, and occasional fertilizer. Repot most orchids in appropriate sized pots every few years in a special mix, not garden soil.

Video, courtesy of the American Orchid Society "Divide or repot?" follows:

Most orchids are epiphytes, but don’t let that scare you. That just means that they don’t grow in soil, in the ground. Instead they typically grow in trees, in cracks in rocks, or other seemingly inhospitable places. They receive their nutrients from these sources and since they draw most of their moisture from the air, they are sometimes called air plants. These plants can be found on every continent except Antarctica. They are plentiful in the tropics, but also grow on mountaintops and in other much colder areas.

What this means for the orchid grower is that we need to provide something other than soil to keep our plants happy. There are many different views on what material (called medium) or combination of materials orchids like to grow in best. These can be as varied as the orchids themselves. The main thing to remember is that orchids from different areas will prefer different temperatures, light, humidity, and water. For this reason, choosing an orchid that will grow and bloom under the conditions that you can provide is the most important first step.

We are happy to provide information on our website and you are also welcome to come to our meetings.

Tip: You must click on the beige "Security Alert" bar at the top of this web page and select
"Allow Blocked Content" and then click the "Yes" button in order to view the video. Click the white triangle in center to begin; pause by clicking the double bar in the bottom left corner.

Links to informative sites:

Amercian Orchid Society
AOS Orchid Basics
AOS Orchids A to Z
AOS Culture Sheets
AOS Video Library

NC Piedmont Orchid Society