Orchids – Where to Position Your Orchid Plants
Where to Position Your Orchid Plants
Orchids can be kept in various ways although some species will only flourish under certain very special conditions. Possibilities include: windowsills, an open or closed picture window, a conservatory or greenhouse. Each is particularly suitable for certain types of orchids.
Humidity for individual pots
Stand the pot on an upside-down dish in a larger, water-filled pot-holder. The inside of the bottom of the flowerpot should remain dry.
Purely from the point of view of the amount of available light, an east-or west-facing window is an ideal position for orchids. However, there may be a problem if a radiator is situated beneath the windowsill, as the warm, rising air may easily dry out the plants. Deft do-it-yourselfers may be able to widen the window ledge, build a protective screen for the orchids or stand a custom-built table in front of the window, which fits flush with the ledge. Raising the humidity here is essential.
In the case of cold, stone window ledges, insulation should be provided underneath any plants. The choice of orchids should depend on the conditions of light and temperature available on the relevant windowsill.
If you have french windows, stand your orchids on a shelf or stand made of glass. This will be visually pleasing and will offer the plants optimal lighting conditions.
On the one hand, pot-holders hinder the circulation of air around the roots of sensitive orchids; on the other hand, the beauty of the flowers will be set off well by an attractive vessel. Take the middle path, with an air-permeable pot-holder made of basket weave, rattan or bamboo. The warm natural shades of these containers will harmonize particularly well with orchids.
Six orchids that do well on windowsills:, MiniCymbidia, , , , .
Orchids in hanging containers
Plants with long, hanging flowering shoots look best grown in small wooden baskets. Grid containers are available in all sizes and can be hung in a window. This makes it possible to utilize the window space for other orchids.
Six orchids which look particularly good as hanging plants: Brassavola, Coelogyne,, Odontoglossum, Oncidium, Phalaenopsis.
An open bay window
You are very fortunate if you already have a bay window as this will enable you to create a colony of exotic orchids. It is also possible to build such a window if you wish to do so. Orchids, bromeliads or other tropical plants can be planted straight into a medium in a roomy plant pot or box which has been filled with gravel or sand as a bottom layer, with a layer of peat or Hortag on top. If you wish, you can even anchor one or two epiphyte trunks in the box and tie other plants to these or hang orchid baskets or pieces of bark with orchids in a bay window. This type of window will only be really successful if it is equipped with some means of shading on the outside, ventilation, an insulated window pane, additional lighting, base heating, humidity providers and room heating. All warmth-loving orchids can be kept here.
Six orchids for a built-out picture window: Dendrobium hybrids, Doritaenopsis, Doritus pulcherrima, Oncidium papilio, Paphiopedilum callosum, Phalaenopsis.
Closed picture windows and glass cases
This system creates and encloses its own micro-climate which allows the growing of the most difficult kinds of orchids. Humidity, ventilation, climate and light can all be exactly regulated by means of technology. To find out where you can obtain the equipment you need for this method of , consult a reputable nursery.
Indoor mini-greenhouses are really enclosed picture windows in miniature. If they are kept bright but not left standing in glaring sunlight, you can plant one or two orchids that require high amounts of humidity and warmth in them.
Six orchids suitable for enclosed picture windows or a glass case: Angraecum species, Doritis pulcherrima, Oncidium kramerianum, Paphiopedilum callosum, Phalaenopsis.
Conservatories provide a wonderful opportunity for cultivating orchids as they are usually built on to the house. This makes care considerably easier than would be the case in a free-standing greenhouse. If the conservatory is heatable, temperate to warm orchids can be cultivated there; if it is cool, like a bedroom, cool to temperate plants are better suited. Orchids for cool to temperate conservatories: Coelogyne, hybrids of ; cool Dendrobia, Disa uniflora, Masdevallia; cool , Odontocidium hybrids; Odontoglossum (Rossioglossum) grande, Odontoglossum hybrids; Oncidium hybrids; cool, green-leafed Paphiopedilum, Vuylstekeara Cambria, .
Orchids for temperate to warm conservatories: Ascocenda hybrids; Cattleya hybrids; warm Dendrobia, Dendrobium, hybrids; warm Oncidia, Paphiopedilum hybrids; Phalaenopsis hybrids; hybrids.
Many an impassioned orchid lover, faced with an ever-growing orchid collection, has resorted to building a greenhouse for his beloved plants out in the garden. It goes without saying, however, that, even in a greenhouse, you cannot manage without the aid of special gadgets for heating, humidity regulation, light, shade and ventilation. These are the ideal positions for greenhouses:
- near the house because of necessary power and water supplies
- if possible, near a tree with foliage which will provide shade in the summer and allow light to penetrate through its branches in the winter.
With the help of technology, you will be able to choose the temperature range. Depending on your choice of plants, you should then be able to cultivate many orchids of the same temperature range.
Orchids combined with other plants
Most orchid lovers are of the opinion that, just like at home, orchids in “exile” tend to flourish in the company of other plants. This is partly because neighbouring plants -particularly plants with many or large leaves – produce plenty of moisture through evaporation, thereby contributing to the general humidity.