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Orchid FAQ - Orchid Care Frequently Asked Questions

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Vanda Orchids in RainforestWhere in the world are Orchids from?

Orchids are very adaptable to various growing conditions, and can be found on every continent except Antartica.

Also see: The Best Websites to Buy Orchids as Gifts

Do Orchids pull nutrients from the items they live on?

They don't. Orchids often use trees, roots and rocks for support, but do not pull nutrients from them.

How much do Orchids cost?

Nowadays, Orchids are affordable. It was in the old days when they were often expensive. You can find Orchids starting at $10 that go up to $10,000. I've taken care of Orchids of all price ranges. Price doesn't mean an Orchid will be more difficult to care for.

Do I need a greenhouse to grow Orchids?

And yes, depending on which group you fit more closely below!

It really depends on how serious you are about Orchid care.

Do you want to grow many varieties where you need a number of growing climates? Do you want to grow Orchids that need very high humidity? Do you want to grow very strange, difficult varieties? Then a greenhouse may be for you. Or you may just want to get a small indoor greenhouse unit as they are affordable and can have many microclimates.

Do you want to just grow a few Orchids? Or do you want to grow lots of easier kinds of Orchids such as Phalaenopsis Orchids, Dendrobium Orchids, and Paphiopedilum Orchids at home? Then no, you won't need a greenhouse.

How long will my Orchid live?

Orchids can live for a long time. They can live longer than a person if cared for well.

Can I hybridize Orchids from seed at home?

Yes, you can hybridize Orchids at home. The seed pod will take about one year to mature. The question is do you really want to go through what it takes to grow Orchids from seed?

I've hybridized thousands of Orchids, leading to hundreds of thousands of Orchid seedlings in labs and greenhouses.

An Orchid seed pod can often have hundreds of thousands of seeds since they are the size of dust with no life support mechanism. That is why when the seed pod matures they need to be planted in a sterile agar jelly in a laboratory or careful home setup. Orchids from seed to plant take 4-6 years to bloom. Orchids will need to be repotted a number of times to nurture them to the point of blooming. Only a fraction of the seeds from the original seed pod will become mature blooming plants.

Waterfall in rainforestHow are Orchids hybridized in nature?

In nature, insects and animals often pollinate Orchids, and when the seed pod matures, the seeds blow with the wind. Only some seeds ever make it to just the right growing condition to thrive.

Where can I buy Orchids?

You can buy Orchids carefully at a good plant nursery or even a department store. Much better though, I recommend buying Orchids online as you will know exactly what you will get. The best thing about getting plants online is that they are packed very carefully and shipped in a constant temperature. This is very important.

Oncidium Orchid
What is the difference between buying Orchids at department stores versus on the web?

I can't tell you how often there have been instances where I see people buy Orchids at a cheap price locally at a big store and don't realize they came in on a truck that got too cold for the plants. Or, the store left the doors or windows open and either the plant over time got sunburned, too cold, or too dry. Then, a number of days later the buds fell off after the Orchid plant is purchased. And, the buyer has no way to prove it wasn't their Orchid care that was the problem. Orchids don't react to things instantly - especially problems with the flowers or leaves may take days to start to show.

The Orchids I've listed on this page will be delivered with guaranteed quality the growers will stand behind - I've ordered, and seen many orders from these growers, and I haven't ever noticed one problem.

Be careful, if you shop for just price, as the cheaper Orchids get at local department stores, that doesn't mean you'll necessarily get a well grown plant.

As an Orchid should be with you for a very long time, it is worth initially getting a good plant!

Where can I learn more about Orchids?

Learn more about Orchid care from the Orchid Care Expert Practical Guide To Orchid Care.

Learn secrets of growing amazing Orchids.

You're already doing it. You can find a ton of insightful information on this website. You can also get a couple or Orchid Books. Also, starting with easier Orchids to grow is always good. The Phalaenopsis Orchids at the top of this page are strong, easy Orchids to grow. And don't forget our message boards!

Orchid Tips Recommends these Orchids and Orchid Books...

Phalaenopsis Mistral's Sunrise Flame 'Mendenhall'
Miltoniopsis Andrea West yellow orchid seedling
Understanding Orchids: An Uncomplicated Guide to Growing the World's Most Exotic Plants
The Cattleyas and Their Relatives, Vol. 1: The Cattleyas (6 Parts)

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