Exceptional orchids

There are an awful lot of orchids in different varieties and sizes. The orchid family is one of the largest families of plants on Earth. The number of species is estimated at around 20,000. They have been flowering on Earth for nearly 100 million years.

A number of species are grown for sale in the Netherlands.

Sometimes your quest for orchids brings you face to face with a very unusual variety. These exceptional orchids are grown in small quantities and have limited availability.

If as an orchid lover you want to add an unusual orchid to your collection, you will have to hunt hard for it. Those who find such an exceptional orchid will be delighted by the varied forms of growth and flowering. These are inexhaustible, and remarkably beautiful.

Examples of such exceptional orchids are: Epidendrum, Ludisia, Masdevallia, Erythraeum, Promenaea, Spathoglottis, Psychopsis, Angraecum, Encyclia cochleata (Octopussy orchid), Macodes and Maxillaria.

Another exceptional orchid is the garden orchid such as the hardy Cypripedium. This type of garden orchid is sold in the spring and in the autumn when the plant is hibernating.

You have the best chance of finding an exceptional orchid at the better florists and garden centres. 

Caring for orchids

Unlike other plants, orchids need very little water. A small amount (30-50 ml) of water every week is more than enough. Do not pour the water onto the plant, but onto the soil. Keep orchids dryer in the winter than in the summer. That is when they hibernate. You should only water them occasionally at that time of year.

Orchids like warm surroundings, preferably with a room temperature of 18 to 20 oC. Give your orchid as much light as possible, but avoid direct sunlight, a position above a heater and draughts.

Remove the old flower stems as soon as they have finished flowering.