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Orchids:Everything youneed to know

In cultures across the world and throughout history, orchids have held a special place in people’s hearts. Whether it’s due to their romantic symbolism, how easy they are to grow and care for, or simply because they’re so pretty, there are few flowers more popular for statement bouquets that stand out from the crowd.

Discover everything you need to know about these fantastic and unique flowers, including the many different types of orchids and how to care for them.

Orchid Meaning

Orchids are some of the most beautiful and decorative flowers in the world. But they also carry symbolic meaning in many cultures around the world. Most commonly seen as a symbol of fertility, they’re a great gift for newlyweds or that special someone in your life.

From Ancient Greeks, who believed that eating orchids would determine the sex of a baby, to Victorians who collected orchids as a symbol of elegance and fine taste, getting an orchid as a gift has always represented something special.

The specific colour of an orchid determines its symbolic representation:

  • White orchids symbolise purity and innocence.
  • Pink orchids symbolise happiness, grace and femininity.
  • Yellow orchids symbolise new chapters and friendship.
  • Purple orchids symbolise respect and admiration.
  • Orange orchids symbolise enthusiasm, excitement, and pride.

Popular Types of Orchids

Orchid flowers come in many sizes, colours, and shapes, so there’s bound to be an orchid that you fall in love with no matter the occasion you’re buying for. Whether you want an easy-to-grow orchid that still packs a punch, or one that pops with colour and elegance, discover your new favourite flower in the diverse orchid range.

Phalenopsis-orchid

Phalaenopsis

If you’re a beginner when it comes to orchid care, you can’t go far wrong with a phalaenopsis. Also known as moth orchids, these flowers are the most common variety you’ll see. Available in a variety of colours, including beautiful shades of pink, purple and white, they make the perfect present for a special anniversary, birthday, or even as part of a bridal bouquet.

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Cattleya

The dramatic and flamboyant cousin of the moth orchid, cattleya orchid flowers are the most exotic of all. Native to South America, these dazzlers are among the most popular on the market, thanks to their fragrant flowers, crazy colour combinations and extravagant petals. Their unique beauty makes them ideal as showstopping corsages and vibrant hair accessories. You might even choose cattleya to be part of a bunch of exotic flowers for a fun centrepiece.

Vanda-orchid

Vanda

Vanda flowers are another type of orchid that loves a tropical climate. Boasting big, bold, and beautiful flowers in a spectrum of bright colours, vanda orchid flowers are as easy to grow as they are stunning to look at. If you’re giving vanda flowers as a gift, they look fantastic on their own in a simple pot, where the petals can speak for themselves, or as part of an exotic flower basket. Keep vandas well-watered. In fact, they’ll thrive in just a vase of room temperature water.

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Cymbidium

Perfect for newcomers, cymbidium orchids might be the perfect option if you’re not as green-thumbed as you’d like to be. Not only are these orchids gorgeous, they’re also very forgiving. They can last for months if you treat them right. The flowers of a cymbidium are exactly what you imagine when you think of orchids, coming in a host of chic colours from pink-tinged ivory to deep, passionate red.

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Paphiopedilum

Paphiopedilum, also known as slipper orchids, are easier to grow and care for than they are to pronounce. With a pouch-shaped flower that helps attract bees and other pollinators, slipper orchid flowers are among the most unusual and popular orchids in the world. And, like a lot of their other orchid brothers and sisters, they love humidity. Paphs make the perfect house plant – just water them when the top of the soil and moss feels dry. As a low-light orchid, they also don’t need as much sun.

How To Care For Orchids

Orchid care can be a challenge for newcomers, because there are so many different varieties, each with their own requirements. However, a good rule of thumb for orchid care is that they generally thrive on bright, but indirect, sunlight. This helps them blossom at their best and last their longest, without scorching their leaves.

There are only a few types of orchid that can withstand direct sunlight, so make sure to double-check what your chosen orchid prefers. Most orchids also don’t like to be overwatered as it can cause their roots to rot. If you’re uncertain, wait an extra day to water.

To make sure your flowering house plant lives a long and beautiful life, it’s best to cater to their individual needs. For instance, vanda orchids love to live in a vase of warm water and can live for months after flowering, while moth orchids may struggle in the same conditions.

As long as you offer the right amount of care for your new plant baby, it should reward you with breath-taking bursts of colour and beautiful blossoms for months.

How To Water Orchids

Watering orchids is another part of orchid care that can vary for different types of orchid.

Some, like the moth orchid, prefer bark to soil in the pot. As a result, they need to be watered more regularly than types like the slipper orchid.

Most orchids will feel at home in humid conditions, so a mist of water might be a better choice than directly watering the soil or bark. If you’re keeping your orchid somewhere particularly steamy like the bathroom, they may not require as much water.

Be careful not to spray too much water directly on the orchid flower, though, as this can cause damage to their delicate petals.

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Where to put an orchid in the home

Deciding where your new orchid is going to live is the best part about receiving or treating yourself to a new flower. Types of orchid that thrive in humid conditions, like the cattleya, the vanda and the paphiopedilum, will have a happier and longer life in rooms such as the bathroom or kitchen. Why not plant them in a pot that matches your bath towels to give yourself something beautiful to look at while you’re in the tub?

Cymbidium orchid flowers are the perfect choice if you don’t want the hassle of potting, but you still want the beauty of an orchid in the home. Choose an elegant ceramic or crystal glass vase to display your new orchid in, and let it blossom in full view of the dining table to wow your guests.

Other top orchid care tips

To get the most out of your orchid, it’s best to re-pot it once every two or three years. Orchids, unlike a lot of other flowers, are happy without being re-potted too often as they like to get their roots down. Just make sure not to put them in any terracotta pots, as their roots can easily stick to the surface, making the next re-potting a real hassle.

As long as they’re kept warm, sheltered, and moist, you should be able to enjoy your beautiful new orchid for a long time.

No one can pigeonhole the orchid. From the fabulously flamboyant to the dainty and delicate, there’s an orchid to suit every style and every room of the house. Find your dream orchid from our range of gorgeous house plants and add some floral flair to your home today.