Darin Engh, from Engh Gardens has some advice for anyone wanting to grow the delicate flowers.
Orchids can also be grown in greenhouses or heated conservatories. Wherever you grow them, their delicate, intricate, colorful, and often wax-like nature will enthrall you. The orchid family is one of the largest in the plant kingdom, including nearly 800 different genera, more than 25,000 species, and in excess of 100,000 man-made hybrids, with many further ones being introduced each year. There are orchids to please just about everyone’s taste.
Essential Tips for Indoor Orchids
-Create humidity around plants by placing them on gravel in a tray; keep them moist but make sure base of pot is not continually wet. Mist-spray when air is dry, best done in morning
-Do not position plants in drafts, in direct sunlight, or near hot fires.
-Do not place orchids in unshaded window sills.
-Check plants daily to ensure that the compost is moist.
Five different orchid groups for indoors
Large group of evergreen orchids, native to American subtropics. They are ideal for indoors. Grow in pots or in bark. Provide good light throughout the year. Keep dry through winter when growth stops: water throughout the year, but slightly less during winter. Winter and spring-flowering.
Most are deciduous, but those from warm areas are evergreen. Many are easily grown indoors. Grow in pots. Provide good light in winter, but shade in summer to prevent leaves from being scorched. During winter plants need a rest, water should be withheld until growth begins in early spring. Water well during summer.
Evergreen orchids, native to a wide area from India and Indonesia to the Philippines and northern Australia. Often known as Moth Orchids, these epiphytic orchids are widely grown and well suited to life indoors. Grow in pots. Indirect light is essential. Light shading especially at the height of summer. Water plants throughout the year, you should keep the compost moist, make sure not to waterlog the compost. Phalaenopsis need a moist atmosphere. Stand the pot on moist gravel. Mist-spray plants if the air is dry; this is best done in the morning. The flowers are long-lasting, often for up to three months. Once the flowers fade, cut the flowered stem back to just above a joint, leaving a stem about 12 inches. Flowers may then produce within 2-3 months. Plants do not have a yearly cycle and may produce flowers at any time.
Popular orchids, native to a wide area from Mexico to Brazil. They are widely grown in greenhouses, as well as indoors. Grow in pots or baskets. Shade plants in summer, but give good light in winter. However, do not let strong sunlight fall on the plants. Although evergreen, plants need a rest following flowering: withhold water slightly (but still keep the compost slightly moist) and when new growth appears resume normal watering. Water well during summer.
Cattelya George King ‘Southern Cross’ Vigorous plants with fragrant flowers in winter and into spring.
Easy to grow-they are ideal for gardeners new to orchids. Grow in greenhouses or indoors. There are both “miniature” and “standard” cymbidiums. However, these terms can be misleading, with the miniature types growing to 18 inches high and bearing flowers that are about 2 inches wide. Also known as large-flowered cymbidiums, “standard” types are taller than the miniature cymbidiums and they also produce larger flowers. They flower from early winter to late spring, with the flowering period lasting for around 8-12 weeks. Grow in pots. Place in good light in winter, but provide light shading in summer. Strong and direct sunlight will cause scorching on the leaves. Check plant daily, and keep soil evenly moist. Severe drying will cause leaves to yellow.
Ways to display orchids indoors
-groups of pots
Orchid flowers, when cut and displayed indoors, will captivate you for many weeks. The flowers when cut will last just as long off the plant as they would have if left on it. After cutting the stem of an orchid, immediately place it in clean water.
For more information, you can contact Darin at Engh Gardens in Sandy or on their website at www.enghgardens.com.