The orchid flower is a traditional Mother’s Day bloom for corsages. Orchid plants grown indoors allow gardeners to create a landscape of miniature flower gardens at home.
Orchid flowers were once the exclusive purview of Mother’s Day and prom corsages. With the increased availability and decrease in price however, orchids can be grown as indoor plants by gardeners who want to turn their home interior space into miniature flower gardens.
Easy Orchids to Grow at Home
Gardeners who want easy orchids to grow should locate spaces at home that mimic the plant needs an orchid requires. The orchid family has a large number of genus plants; first separating the epiphytic from the terrestrial types will narrow the choice of orchids that are easier at home to grow. Orchid plants with a wide range of temperature tolerance will grow more successfully as houseplants.
The easiest orchid plants to grow are the quintessential corsage orchid Cattleya, Dendrobium, and Phalaenopsis. Each of these epiphyte type orchid plants tolerates medium to bright light and a broad range of temperatures.
Epiphytic orchids are air plants that in native environments perch on tree branches. In the home, allow epiphytic type orchids to dry out, soak the plant and pot with water and drain well. Never leave epiphytic orchids sitting in water, rather set the pot on small flat stones in a saucer and filled with water to just below the top of the stones.
Moth Orchid Houseplants for Beginners
Phalaenopsis, also called moth orchid, is an orchid houseplant for beginners. Moth orchids have low broad leaves that form a short plant. However, the flowers are grown on tall stems that grow 2′ – 3’ tall from which develops a spray of blooms, reminding gardeners of a gathering of fluttering moths. This mini flower garden can last for months.
Although Phalaenopsis likes lower light, its size does not make it an optimal choice for terrariums or miniature glasshouses. However, many orchid plants do make excellent terrarium plants.
Orchids in Miniature Glasshouses
In Tovah Martin’s The New Terrarium, she incorporates a number of orchid plants into her terrarium plantings. Paphiopedilum spp. orchids are tropical lady’s slippers, Martin calls, “The clowns of the orchid clan,” for their lower lip-like pouch and upper petals resembling a head covering. This orchid should not be confused with Cypripedium, a native perennial orchid plant grown in the ground.
Ludisia discolor is a terrestrial orchid grown as much for its variegated leaves that have pink veining against a very blackish background. The jewel orchid blooms in fall and winter with fragrant white and yellow blooms on a one-foot tall plant. For the size of the orchid and its low light and high humidity preferences, Ludisia discolor will grow well in terrariums.
Orchid plants are a good choice for an indoor garden collection or individually inside a miniature glasshouse. A collection of orchid plants in a home will make a colorful flower garden. No longer just a flower for corsages, an orchid plant still makes a beautiful gift for Mother’s Day or any occasion to remember special gardeners. Look for botanical gardens with conservatories; many display orchid collections, a great place to visit and collect plant knowledge and ideas.