Get the broad picture of what orchids are all about and learn how to improve your results and grow flowers which will be the envy of all who see them. This comprehensive eight lesson course covers the following:
1. Introduction - Classification, identification, plant structure.
2. Culture - potting mixes, watering, feeding, temperature, light, etc.
3. Propagation - seed, division, cuttings, tissue culture.
4. Cymbidiums And Dendrobiums.
5. Cattleyas, Vandas And Other Commonly Grown Orchids.
6. Australian Native Orchids.
7. Growing Orchids As Cut Flowers, Baskets, Epiphytes, Greenhouse Culture, etc.
8. Special Project On One Group Of Orchids.

Fee Code: S2
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If you choose the appropriate orchids for your locality, they are very easy plants to grow, often requiring very little attention once established in a suitable position. This doesn't mean they will grow better if neglected, but they will often survive neglect better than many other types of plants.

The best way to know how to grow a particular orchid is to look at it's natural habitat, and try to recreate similar conditions.

In cool areas most species will need protection from extreme cold, and in hot climates protection from direct sunlight is essential. For this reason, shade houses and well ventilated greenhouses are frequently used for orchid growing.

In cooler climates Cymbidiums, Dendrobiums, Pleonies and some of the Australian native orchids will grow easily. In warmer climates Dendrobiums and Cattleyas are good orchids for the beginner.

General Guidelines for Growing Orchids

*Most orchids require a very loose open potting mix made from mainly bark or tree fern fibre.
*In cool climates never water orchids until the bark on the surface of a pot feels dry. Never let the entire pot dry out though!
*When watering with a hose, keep the water jet soft and don't wash bark away from any roots.
*Don't water any orchids with icy cold water. Generally make sure water is at least 15 degrees celsius.
*Overwatering is more likely to kill an orchid than underwatering.
*Avoid potting up orchids into too large a pot. (Pot up a pot bound plant one or two pot sizes at a time, no more).
*Keep a look out for aphis, scale or mealy bug insects, and spray as soon as they appear.
*Keep orchids in places where conditions are not likely to be changeable.
-In cool climates, don't place inside near an open window.
-Keep them away from gas heaters or stoves.
-Avoid an inside windowsill or bench where they will get direct, hot sunlight.

Recommended Reading:

Orchids: A Beginners Guide  1st edition by John Mason -printed book
Orchids 2nd edition by John Mason (ebook)