It’s orchid season, and today you’ll find them in almost any store that sells flowers, be it a garden center, a grocery store, a super store, a hardware big box or a department store. I’m sure somewhere there’s a gas station somewhere selling these exotic lovlies.
Last weekend my friend Julia Dingle and I hit some local malls to score some after season markdowns and Julia came away with a real treasure, a gorgeous Paphiopedilum Lady Slipper Orchid. Much to our surprise this stunning lady was bargained priced at just $20. I would have expected it to go for $50 bucks or more. But thanks new growing methods tropical orchids are now easy to come by and reasonably priced.
Even better news is orchids may look exotic, but most are easy to grow. They do well in a south or east facing window or under the 14 to 16 hour glow of one or two 40-watt florescent lights. Their bloom periods vary, so careful selection can result in flowering year around.
For those who are space challenged and/ or plantaholics, minature orchids are the perfect choice. In his new book Minature Orchids (Timber Press $29.95) orchaholic Steven Frowine profiles 300 miniature dwarf and compact orchids . For beginners who want to cut to the chase he includes a list of easy to grow varieties and cultivars.
These dainties range in size from under an inch or two in height to a maximium of 12 inches, so even if your growing space is limited you can still enjoy the exotic beauty of these captivating plants.
Frowine does an excellent job covering the cultivation of these fascinating plants. Along with the basics he includes advice garnered from years of growing experience. This book is a great book of anyone interested in growing orchids.
If you have friend that’s mad about orchids, the new Timber Press release Tropical Slipper Orchids: Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium Species and Hybrids by Harold Koopowitz ($59.95 www.timberpress.com) would make a great Valentine gift.