Cut Flower Orchids

Cut flower orchid course, to learn to grow orchid plants or farm orchid flowers by studying at home by Distance Education.

Course CodeVHT240
Fee CodeS3
Duration (approx)100 hours
QualificationStatement of Attainment

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Learn to Grow Orchids as Cut Flowers

Orchids can be grown in temperate or tropical climates. In cooler climates, you may require a greenhouse; and a more careful selection of what types you grow; but commercial orchid farms have been, and can be, successful in places such as southern Australia and Europe; -not only in the tropics.

Lesson Structure

There are 10 lessons in this course:

  1. Introduction.
    • Covers plant names
    • Basic plant classification
    • Information on plant flower structure
  2. Culture.
    • Looks at soil cultivation
    • Container growing
    • Hydroponics
    • Baskets
    • Epiphytes
    • Potting mixes
    • Pruning orchids
  3. Propagation A.
    • Propagation materials and equipment
    • Seed
    • Miscellaneous propagation techniques
  4. Propagation B. (Tissue Culture).
    • Materials necessary for tissue culture
    • Types of tissue culture
    • Plant hormones
    • Diseases
    • Plant nutrients
  5. Greenhouse Management A.
    • Greenhouses and other growing structures
    • Environmental controls
    • Benches and beds
    • Effects of carbon dioxide
    • Yields
  6. Greenhouse Management B.
    • Growing plants in greenhouses
    • Plant needs
    • Temperature control
    • Greenhouse irrigation
    • Cooling
  7. Pest and Disease Control.
    • Horticultural Management in greenhouses
    • Sterilisation
    • Pests and diseases
  8. Management, Harvest and Post Harvest.
    • Harvest and post-harvest
    • Managing a market garden
    • Crop scheduling
    • Standards
    • Farm layout
    • Nursery costs
  9. Marketing.
    • Marketing your produce
    • Economically valuable orchids
    • International flower markets
  10. Special Project.
    • An in depth study of a specific group of orchids.

Each lesson culminates in an assignment which is submitted to the school, marked by the school's tutors and returned to you with any relevant suggestions, comments, and if necessary, extra reading.


  • Explain the plant naming system, identify flower parts and compile resources
  • Describe cultural techniques applicable to orchid growing.
  • Describe propagation techniques used for orchids.
  • Explain tissue culture propagation techniques.
  • Describe protected plant production facilities suited to orchids.
  • Explain the day to day management of a greenhouse.
  • Manage Pests and diseases on an orchid flower crop
  • Explain management of an orchid enterprise and the harvest and post harvest of an orchid crop.
  • Explain marketing techniques used for cut flower orchids.
  • Describe a major orchid group

Where Do You Grow Orchids?

In general growing media for orchids focus on two main groups, these are epiphytic (and lithophytes) and terrestrial (also known as geophytic) orchids. Epiphytic orchids grow on living and fallen trees, and the trunks of tree ferns. Lithophytes naturally grow on rocky outcrops. Terrestrial orchids are those that grow in the ground, although some of these actually grow in leaf litter, rather than in the mineral soil beneath. Some terrestrial orchids will also grow quite readily in soilless mixes.

Lithophytic orchids include many of those that are grown for cut flowers. They are usually grown in pots containing a mixture of rocks and bark material. Many lithophytic orchids will adapt to the same cultural techniques used for epiphytic orchids.

The majority of terrestrial orchids can generally be grown in media made up of composted bush debris, peat moss, medium sized to coarse grade sand, and small amounts of soil (generally only 15-20% of mix). If the soil you are using is quite sandy then reduce the amount of the sand component. Overall about 50% of the mix should consist of sand. Good aeration is important with the mix being allowed to nearly dry out before watering. Materials such as small gravel, charcoal, and perlite are sometimes added to help improve drainage. 

Epiphytic orchids can be grown on bark, cork or timber slabs.
Many epiphytic orchids can also be successfully grown in pots. Both plastic and unglazed terracotta pots are commonly used. The unglazed terracotta pots are especially suited to orchids that require good drainage as they are fairly porous, however, they are also expensive, and can be fairly heavy to lift.


You may already have a passion for orchid growing and want to take it to the next step and start a business.
You may be working in the industry but need more knowledge or a course to back-up your experience.

With the help of our knowledgeable tutors - this course will help you to attain your goals in the orchid growing industry.

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