How to choose an orchid

The beauty of orchids

With their exotic appearance and bright colours, orchids are one of the most popular houseplants in the UK. Plus if it’s a unique look you’re after, they’re ideal because there are over 25,000 different varieties to choose from. That’s why, this month, we’re celebrating orchids with our Orchid Days and talks by orchid expert, Peter White. See below for more information.

Orchid trivia 

– Orchids are found on every continent except Antarctica

– The flavour vanilla is extracted from a species of orchid

– Phalaenopsis, or ‘moth’ orchids, are one of the most popular orchid varieties because they’re sturdy, resilient and one of the easiest to keep looking their best

– Orchid enthusiast Tom Hart-Dyke, who has given inspirational talks at Millbrook as part of our Millbrook Growers programme, was held captive for 9 months in the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia while hunting for rare orchids.

Things to consider when buying an orchid

– Buy a plant that’s already in flower. Then you’ll know exactly what colour and shape the flower is. Plus, it can take up to 5 years for an orchid to bloom from a seedling.

– Different orchids need different temperatures, so think about where you will be keeping your orchid and choose a variety that suits that environment.

– How good are you at watering plants? Some orchids like to be moist at all times, while others prefer almost dry soil between waterings.

– Choose a pot that fits the orchid because most actually like being pot-bound.