Growing and caring for orchids
Orchids can be grown outdoors in a shadehouse or under a verandah, or indoors under bright filtered sunlight. Because orchids need to be well drained, standard potting mix is too dense so you’re better off using a specially formulated orchid potting mix.
When it comes to watering orchids, less is more. If the potting mix looks damp, wait for a day and give it another water the next morning.
A lot of people think orchids are hard to grow, but that’s not actually the case. Given the right level of care and attention, they can bloom for months at a time. Orchids thrive in warm, humid conditions so if you live in our southern states, you may need to pay particular attention to where your orchid is located.
Types of orchids
There are over 30,000 orchid varieties inhabiting almost every corner of the world. Despite being one of the most prolific plant varieties, every orchid species has a unique look.
The Phalaenopsis orchid is easy to care for and is available in a wide range of colours. They're a very popular variety due to their elegant appearance and are ideally suited to life indoors.
Cymbidiumis one of the prettiest flowering orchids and therefore one of the most popular. They're perfect for a sheltered area like an outdoor patio or timber deck.
The Blue orchid is a rare variety that requires plenty of attention and plenty of sunlight. However, their striking appearance will make all the hard work worthwhile.
Thai orchids come in many colours and thrive when kept in a warm environment with regular watering. Remember, orchids hate cold, wet conditions so try to make sure they’re always getting the right amount of sunlight.
Black orchids need a generous amount of shade otherwise they can be burnt by the sun. Be careful not to over-water black orchids—a good rule is “if in doubt, they can go without”.
White orchids can be grown easily if you take the time to fertilise them once a week using good quality orchid food. Always water in the morning to avoid the onset of fungal diseases.
Wild orchids come in a variety of colours and can be planted indoors or outside as long as they receive the right amount of sun and any excess water can drain away easily.