So many orchids, so little room....



This is only a part of the anguish that many fans of orchids loose sleep over. The other, more easy question to answer is "what orchids can I grow now, without costing an arm and leg?"

Be of good cheer, in reality you cannot create a collection of orchids consisting of one of each of the 30,000 types of orchids. However with planning, and determining your own skills (which improve over time) along with existing conditions you can establish a collection of orchids that represent your personal preferrance.

It is the goal of this section tor provide general information, including conditions that different orchids will react positively to, as well as maintaining those orchids with proper water, feeding and light conditions. Some of the included presentations also describe orchids based on color of the flower, and if it is scented or not.

If you have questions regarding any presentation, feel free to use the comment section that accompanies each presentation. Your questions will be answered as soon as possible. Answers will appear along with your original question under the appropriate presentation.

Should the brief introduction of a presentation here entice you to desire to know more about that topic, click the text to the right of the "Read More" image (example image on the right) and you will be able to read the full and complete presentation of interest.

All material in this web site is tagged. This is another advantage of this web site. Click on any tag, and you will be able to review every item (articles, web links, and more) that shares the same tag. This makes searching for specific information (for example - Cymbidiums) much easier. Tags appear on the left hand side just underneath the "read more" image.

If you know of a web site that is not included here, but should be, just let me know by sending word to



Top Image: Orchids from Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden in Belmont, North Carolina. For mre information, including a photo identifying each orchid in the display, follow this link.

Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:16

Insect Control: Soaps and Detergents

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Soaps have been used to control insects for more than 200 years. Recently, there has been increased interest in and use of these products. This change is due to a better understanding of how to use soaps most effectively and a desire to try insecticides that are easier and safer to use than many currently available alternatives.

How soaps and detergents kill insects is still poorly understood. In most cases, control results from disruption of the cell membranes of the insect. Soaps and detergents may also remove the protective waxes that cover the insect, causing death through excess loss of water

Sunday, 01 February 2015 01:06

Insect Control: Horticultural Oils

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Various oils have been used for centuries to control insect and mite pests. Oils remain an important tool to manage certain pest problems (e.g., scales, aphids, mites) on fruit trees, shade trees and woody ornamental plants. Several recently developed oils extend this usefulness to flowers, vegetables and other herbaceous plants. Oils also can control some plant diseases, such as powdery mildew. Oils used to protect plants have been called by many names, but perhaps horticultural oils best describes them.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 21:55

Orchid Care Calendar

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The cycle of orchid growth and bloom is fascinating to watch. Keeping in sync with these cycles by actively fertilizing and repotting at the optimal times leads to greater success in orchid growing.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 19:47

The Ten (or So) Easiest Orchids to Grow

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Throughout this topic, I let you know about orchids that are not temperamental or especially demanding, but the orchids in this topic are some of the most satisfying to grow because of their high performance and low maintenance.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 19:35

The Ten Most Frequently Asked Questions about Orchids

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This entire topic covers everything you need to know about orchids, but in this topic, I answer some of the most common questions that beginning orchid growers have.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 19:20

The Ten Most Common Ways Orchids Are Killed

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Sooner or later, everyone loses a few orchids to the Grim Reaper, but some causes of death take more orchid lives than they should. Being on the lookout to prevent these problems will save many of your orchids.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 18:50

The Ten Most Common Reasons Why Orchids Don’t Bloom

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Nothing is more frustrating than having your orchid plants look good and healthy but still not bloom. This is a common problem that can be easily remedied, and in this topic, I show you how.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 16:54

Keeping Your Orchids Pest- and Disease-Free

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Although orchids are relatively pest-free plants, if you have them long enough, you’ll eventually have to deal with an invasion of some bug or disease. Fortunately, there aren’t many pests to contend with and they aren’t that difficult to identify. In this topic, I stress the safest and most effective ways to control these problems.

Always start with the least toxic solution. If you are careful and inspect your orchids on a regular basis and detect the problems before they progress too far, you will rarely have to resort to more poisonous materials. The more poisonous materials should be your last line of defense.

Because orchids are slower growing than most other plants, the process of multiplying them takes more time. To rear an orchid from seed to bloom can take as long as five to seven years! The other methods I show you in this topic are much quicker, but they’re still not as speedy as reproducing common garden plants. Multiplying your orchids is worth the effort, however, because orchids are valuable plants that will keep growing forever.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 15:19

The ABCs of Potting Materials, Containers, and Repotting

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If you’re just starting out with orchids, the process of choosing containers and potting materials and then repotting orchids can be daunting. Orchids do have special requirements, unlike most other houseplants. But have no fear — in this topic, I walk you through all the steps so you have the information you need. When you repot a few orchids, you’ll realize that this is a very fun and rewarding part of orchid growing.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 12:29

Watering and Fertilizing Orchids

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Probably more orchids are killed by improper watering, usually V by overwatering, than by any other cultural practice. Discovering how to properly water orchids is one of the more challenging aspects of growing orchids. In this topic, I explain some simple but very effective methods that will turn you into a watering pro.

In addition to mastering the art of watering, the fertilizing game can be very confusing — so many different types and formulations! In this topic, I show you how to wade through the maze of fertilizer terms to get to the important information — you’ll be able to choose the fertilizer that will give you healthy orchids with the best blooming.

Saturday, 31 January 2015 00:04

Providing the Right Growing Environment

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Orchids are not difficult to grow. But, like all plants, they have certain needs that have to be met so they can perform their best. In this topic, I detail orchids’ most fundamental requirements and the simplest, most effective ways to provide them, based on my 40 years of experience growing orchids on my windowsills, under lights, and in a greenhouse.

If you put a little effort into modifying your growing environment to help your orchids feel at home, it’ll pay off in healthy plants that provide plenty of flowers.

Friday, 30 January 2015 23:31

How I Love Thy Orchid: Enjoying the Orchid’s Beauty

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The main purpose for growing orchids is to enjoy their unmatched beauty in your home. In this topic, I walk you through tips that will make your experiences with orchids more successful and pleasurable.

Friday, 30 January 2015 21:08

Having the Right Tools on Hand

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Every hobby has its tools. And just as you need the right saws and sanders if you’re building a cabinet, you need the right tools for growing orchids. The amount of tools you need will depend on how serious you are about orchids and haw many of them you have to care for. In this topic, I fill you in on the tools I use.

Friday, 30 January 2015 16:48

Choosing the Right Orchid for You

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One of the main reasons some people fail with orchids is that they simply choose the wrong ones. Considering that there are thousands of different kinds of orchids, it’s easy to see how people may not know which one to buy. To be successful, you need to choose a dependable supplier, healthy plants, and the type of orchid that fits your growing area. In this topic, I walk you through the important questions to ask yourself and your supplier so you end up with the orchid that will be just right in your growing spot.


Friday, 30 January 2015 03:09

Getting the Lowdown on Orchids

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You’re about to enter the wonderful world of orchids. You’re in store for an exciting adventure! This is the largest plant family on our planet with an estimated 30,000 wild types (species) and many more man-made varieties. No other plants can compete with orchids for their power to seduce and bedazzle the most jaded plant lover with their fantastically beautiful flower colors, shapes, and textures, and heady and sensuous perfumes.

Thursday, 29 January 2015 21:42

Significant Others

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In the previous topics, I present you with some of the largest orchid groups that are most suitable for home orchid growing. But, as you can imagine, with tens of thousands of different orchids out there, some additional ones in other groups are also prime candidates. In this topic, I give you a glimpse at some of them.

Thursday, 29 January 2015 20:48

LED Grow Lights

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Whether you own a greenhouse or are doing your indoor growing right at home, LED lights are the best grow lighting solution for your plants. The electricity usage can be up to 80% less than your traditional methods such as metal halides or high pressure sodium lights. LEDs promote a faster seed to flowering stage and produce larger buds, blooms and flowers than other types of grow lights. Plants can benefit from nearly all of the light given off from LEDs instead of a low percentage. LEDs are warm to the touch and due to their lack of heat there is no need for special ventilation and air conditioning around your plants. The lights are more natural in color (with an exception to the red/blue combination LEDs) and plants/bloom colors appear true-to-life.


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Information here may be used by other orchid societies as long as they credit the original creator and at least mention the Napa Valley Orchid Website as a courtesy.