Orchids are very popular as indoor flowering plants. Some, such as moth orchids, can spend their days indoors while others such as dendrobiums, can be brought inside to a brightly lit position while they flower but need to spend most of their time outside in a sheltered spot. Orchids also do well in conservatories and glasshouses. Miniature orchids may be grown in terrariums.
They come in all shapes, sizes and colours and are grown for their bold and usually long-lasting flowers. Check out local orchid shows for advice on choosing and growing orchids or visit your local hardware or garden centre. Use these plants to brighten indoor and outdoor spaces and add an exotic touch. Orchids also appeal to plant collectors and make excellent gift plants.
Most orchids are grown in containers with drainage holes in the base. Orchids can also be grown in hanging baskets. Upside down orchids (Stanhopea spp.) are grown in a hanging basket that allows the flowers to grow from the base of the plant. Some can also be grown mounted on boards or trunks.
Popular orchids include moth orchids (Phalaenopsis), cattleya orchids (Cattleya), cymbidium orchids (Cymbidium), rock lilies (Dendrobium speciosum) and other dendrobiums (Dendrobium spp.) and dancing lady orchids (Oncidium).
Aspect Most orchids that are grown or displayed indoors need a bright location out of direct sunlight. Orchids that grow in positions that are too poorly lit (for example away from windows) will fail to thrive or flower. Provide a spot that’s warm in winter, sheltered from drafts and brightly lit all year such as a room with large north-facing windows, glasshouse, conservatory or fernery.
Soil Orchids grow in specially formulated bark mixes that provide excellent drainage. Use specialist mixes to grow orchids.
Climate There are orchids for all climates but the best choice indoors is the moth orchid. Most other orchids should be treated as temporary indoor plants.