Society members, if you are missing a copy,
here are downloadable pdf files upto the last 12 months publications.
The society library is available to members, for details please take the
The British Orchid Council Year Book is now available electonically to
view please take the link below
These are now some of the most popular orchids
on sale as Houseplants, they have overtaken the
Cymbidium in recent years as easy to grow and
ready to flower pot plants.
This Orchid Genera has been the subject of many
years of hybridisation, both by specialist
orchid nurseries and those nurseries who market
to the massive demands or the House Plant
sellers such as the High Street Stores and
It comes in stripes, spots blushes and plain
colours, with many miniature varieties,
especially the white ones being introduced.
Providing the right conditions are maintained it
is not difficult, requiring watering around once
a week, and feeding very weakly about once a
month or so, it also does best in a temperature
which does not go below 58 deg at night, nor
climb above 85 deg during the day.
On sunny days it will not tolerate full exposure
to the heat and light of the sun, and requires a
shady but bright position to maintain it in a
healthy condition. Generally if you could sit
comfortably all day in the position where the
plant has been put, then the plant too will be
Like all orchids nature never intended it to be
contained within a pot, in the wild it grows on
trees as an epiphytic plant, its roots wandering
over the branches, where it will obtain
nutrients and water from the rain which runs
down the tree trunks and drips through the
foliage, which gives it the shade in needs from
the intense sunlight which would otherwise
scorch its fleshy leaves; to maintain a healthy
plant, we therefore must provide similar
conditions ourselves, and give it a potting
medium, which will encourage its roots to grow
healthily in the plant pot which we find easier
to maintain than a jungle tree!
The potting material must be capable of holding
water, yet be well aerated and drained so that
the root system does not rot, and most good
orchid nurseries will provide a ready mixed
suitable compost, usually comprising of perlite,
foam lumps, orchid quality bark chippings and
sometimes a little charcoal, which helps to keep
the compost “sweet” . Sometimes the roots can
become adventitious, and will grow above the
level of the compost, trying to emulate the
wandering nature of the roots in a natural
When the plant has nearly finished flowering, a
neat trick to encourage more flowers to be
produced quickly once again is to look down the
main stem of the flower spike, there you will
find a small leaf covered node, just below where
the first flower formed, if you remove the dying
spike above this node, the plant may well
produce another flowering stem from that point.
If you just want a pot plant, then they can be
found throughout the high streets and Garden
Centres as mentioned before, but if you want the
best quality, which comes named and quite often
a lot cheaper, buy at one of
where Phalaenopsis are pretty much always on
sale from specialist orchid nurseries.
Whilst not too readily available in the High
Street or Garden Centre these showy orchid come
in a wide range of size and colour, some may
have a pleasant smell as a bonus.
Cattleya Species have been hybridised for at
least 150 years and there are now many varieties
to choose from in a multitude of colour and
from, from small Leila types to the large and
blousy Brassia forms.
Providing the right conditions are met they will
do well as a pot plant in the home, they require
night time temperatures of not less than 55 deg
and a day time temperature which climbs well
into the 80's - always provide some light shade
to avoid the leaves getting sun burned.
In nature they sit amongst and along the branches
of trees etc., where they can obtain nourishment
from the detritus which accumulates there, and
getting all the moisture they require from the
rainwater which runs through the jungle canopy.
Water once a week or so and give fertiliser
sparingly about every third watering making sure
that the plant is thoroughly flushed with clean
water in between to avoid root damage from a
build up of salts.
The orchids produce a new growth from the base
of the previous growth, which will bear the
flowing stem for the current year, do not be
tempted to divide them until you have at least
enough old growths to make plants of a minimum
of 5 pseudobulbs, less than that will impact on
their ability to flower until the plant has
Potting medium must be well drained, and consist
of orchid grade bark, mixed with some perlite
and charcoal, repot when the old compost has
begun to break down, or when the plant is
beginning to grow over the periphery of its pot.
A good range of Cattleyas can usually be found on the trade benches of