Flowers of the Boat Orchid - Cymbiclium.

What You Need to Know About the Boat Orchid – Cymbiclium

These semi terrestrial orchids originate in countries from Asia to Australia and are among the easiest to cultivate, especially the miniature hybrids. They have a rhizomatous root system with short pseudobulbs and carry leathery, straplike leaves and upright stalks of waxy flowers in shades of white, yellow, green, pink, red, or maroon.

They open along the flower stem over a period of several weeks in winter or spring, each bloom lasting up to six weeks, and each plant, once mature, bearing up to six flowering stems per season. C. ‘Highland Canary’ has maroon-edged lips and speckled columns.

Size: Height 18 in. (45 cm).

Light: Indirect sunlight.

Temperature: Normal room. During the winter rest period, keep at about 60°F (15°C). In fall needs chilling at 40—45°F (5—7°C) to set buds.

Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply enough water to prevent the soil drying out.

Feeding: Give standard liquid fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer.

Propagation: Divide immediately after flowering by washing away the growing medium and cutting the rhizome with a clean, sharp knife. Each piece must have at least two pseudo bulbs and some roots.

Special: needs Increase the humidity by placing the pot on a tray of moist pebbles and misting regularly in high temperatures.

Flower of the Slipper Orchid - Paphiopedilum.

What You Need to Know About the Slipper Orchid – Paphiopedilum

These are stemless, terrestrial orchids from southeast Asia, which are commonly known as slipper orchids. They have thick, fleshy leaves arising from a short rhizome. The waxy flowers are borne, usually singly, at the top of a long, slender stalk, and are in shades of green, pink, maroon, orange, yellow, bronze, and purple.

The flowers have a pouch-shaped lip like the front of a slipper, hence the common name. Each lasts from 8 to 12 weeks, and the flowering season is between fall and spring.

Size: Height 18 in. (45 cm).

Light: Indirect sunlight.

Temperature: Keep below 55°F (13’’C).

Moisture: Keep moist all year, apart from a six-week period after flowering, when only enough water should be applied to stop the soil drying out.

Feeding: Give foliar feed once a month, except during the rest period after flowering.

Propagation: Divide at the end of the flowering season.

Special needs: The roots will rot if the plant is over-watered. If the flower is drooping, tie it to a thin cane inserted into the pot close to the plant.

Pink Orchid flower.

What You Need to Know About the Orchids

Orchids are widely recognized for their exotic and beautifully marked flowers, which last on the plant for a long time. They are also often regarded as being, if not diffi­cult to keep alive, then awkward to bring into flower.

Some varieties do need more specific condi­tions in which to thrive, but there are others that are easy to cultivate, and will reward a little care and attention with a regular display of dramatic blooms.

In their native habitat, orchids occur in both epiphytic (growing on another plant) and terrestrial forms, and this will affect their requirements indoors, in terms of the medium they are grown in and the amount of light they need to flower. None like cold drafts, but good air circulation is essential to avoid disease problems.