Orchids for beginners - help and advice on orchids as houseplants

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Free Orchid shows.

Every month we hold a free orchid show; either near Preston, Manchester or Warrington.

New members are always welcome, but our normal monthly shows are free to all, come along and take a look at your local orchid society.

See our orchid show page

 North of England Orchid Society Badge


We hold a meeting and show every month around the areas of Cheshire, Greater Manchester Lancashire and Warrington. Usually there are a trader or two to buy orchids from, and lots of friendly help and advice on how to grow orchids.

If you like orchids come along and meet us, you can become a member of the society quite easily
... join today.

To see the latest news letter download a pdf copy here..

Orchid Paintings

Orchid Paintings

historical paintings

 The above are just two images of the many Historical Paintings of Orchids awarded at our shows from the turn of the century through to the Second World War.

see more images ?

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The RHS Flower Show
Tatton Park

July 18th to 22nd 2018
Come along and meet us in the Society Marquee, free helpful advice and orchid potting demonstrations; we can supply you with  top quality approved orchid compost.

Stop Press
The Society once again has taken a Gold Medal as in last years event, along with the coveted trophy for Best display in the Marquee.

2015 results
Our display in 2015 year created in association with the OSGB and took Gold, as well as the coveted Holford Medal for a slideshow of it please click here

OK so you have bought your first orchid, it’s probably a Phalaenopsis, and you got it at a garden centre or the supermarket.

What Now?

phalaenopsis moth orchidWell if you are reading this page on how to look after an orchid, and where in your house should you keep an orchid, you are hooked.

The Phalaenopsis orchid is often referred to as the moth orchid, and comes in a variety of shapes sizes and colours, but all have the same growth habit, which is three to five or more flat fleshy leaves, with one or two flowering stems growing from between them, and each stem can hold from 6 to over a dozen beautiful blooms.

We have a page dedicated to phalaenopsis growing.

The thickness of the leaf of an orchid generally indicates the climate it needs, thick fleshy leaved orchids are warm growers from the tropics, whilst orchids with thin and more elongated leaves usually like it on the cooler side. cymbidium the mothers day orchid

 The cymbidium is a good example of cool growing orchids.

Cool growing orchids will burn easily in full sun, and do best in a temperature range of 50 to 65 deg. The cymbidium actually enjoys being outside for the summer, but make sure it cannot be eaten by pests, or absolutely soaked in wet weather.


Where is the best place to keep an orchid? well for warm growing Phalaenopsis, look around your house to find a nice well lit window, ideally facing east or west, and having some shade, i.e. a net curtain, as the mid-day sun will damage and burn the leaves, next think about the temperature, if the night time temperature in this position falls below 55 deg. The plant will suffer.

If looked after properly orchids will live and flower once or twice each year for many years to come.

Orchids do need water, water thoroughly,  water about once every 7 days in summer, and about once every 10 days in dark cooler winters, when you should make sure the water isn't freezing (tepid will do nicely). always water well from the top, don't let the pot stand in water, never water at night, morning is best. this allows the plant to dry out before the cooler night time, and will help stop rot setting in.

Don't over feed, feed with a quarter strength of something like tomorite if you cannot get an orchid feed, and then only feed once in every four watering cycles.

You should also read up on our page popular orchids and orchid culture, for information on how and when to water an orchid; instructions on how to re-pot an orchid are covered on our orchid potting page.

Of course you may have only bought the one orchid, perhaps two, but the world of orchids is populated with many varieties, most of which you will not see in a supermarket or garden centre, but you will fall in love with; like the cattleya below left an oncidium middle or perhaps a vanda below right.

cattleya orchid oncidium orchid euanthe sanderiana

What’s you next step?

If you are really interested you should join an orchid society, where you will find orchid growers happy to give you friendly help and advice on a variety of orchids, our own orchid society meetings are held each month, and always include an orchid show, some are larger than others, and usually you will find an orchid trader or two (around 8 or more at our annual show) who will introduce you to many orchid species than you would see elsewhere. If you want to go to an orchid show, as well as our own, we have links on our menus to most of the orchid societies and orchid shows for the UK. So you should find one near to you.

If you want to join our orchid society, you can do so on line now  take the link to our membership page.

When you have developed your orchid growing techniques you may will soon want to attempt other more exotic orchid genera there are over 30000 species of orchid. Here are another three from left to right dendrochillum glaumaceum (cool growing species), phragmipedium eric young (warm growing hybrid) and bulbophyllum lobbii another warm growing species...

cattleya orchid phragmipedium orchid bulbophyllum lobbii

Here is one of our orchid show displays staged by our amateur orchid growing members  .....

North of England Orchid Society Tatton Park Orchid Show

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One of our Gold Medal RHS Displays

For many years we created Gold Medal Winning Displays at the RHS Show Tatton Park....

Large Annual Orchid Show

Each year our Annual Show brings one of the largest orchid events to the North of England, Held in the Tenants Hall at Tatton Park....

World's Oldest Orchid Society?

Established in 1897, we have been giving awards to orchids since the turn of the Century, this is an image of one of the early orchid paintings, from which our badge is derived....

Catesatum pilateum

There are over 35000 species of orchid, here is one of the more unusual from the tropics, often seen at our monthly shows....

Laelia purpurata

This showy species makes a change from the usual Phalaenopsis Orchids found in the supermarkets; many specialist growers attend our shows....


Another species of orchid prized by the enthusiastic grower, these plants can be quite large, and are very showy...

Ophrys - The Bee Orchid

At each of our monthly shows, you will see (at the right time of the year) some fine specimens of terrestrial orchids from the temperate zones....

Dendrobium thrysiflorum

For sheer flower power you cannot beat some of the orchid species which may carry over a thousand blooms....

themed object

Do you like Orchids?

All  About Orchids & How to grow them

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