Orchids are one of nature's most beautiful flowers, and one of our favourite choices for adding a little extra touch of luxury and the exotic to bouquets and arrangements.
If you are looking for a beautiful gift for an orchid lover, here are our favourites using four of the most popular types of orchid.
There are somewhere between 30,000 and 40,000 species of orchid in the world, each one with differing characteristic.
Orchids grow on every continent in the world except Antarctica.
In the Middle Ages orchids were first used as a remedy for a number of illnesses and have even been used as an aphrodisiac in love potions!
About the Phalaenopsis Orchid
Available all year round, the Phalaenopsis is arguably the most popular choice of orchid for sending best wishes to a friend or loved one. This beautiful single stem plant in a stylish ceramic pot will look beautiful in any room in the home.
Phalaenopsis orchids love warm rooms, but keep out of direct heat.
Keep in a light place, but out of direct sunlight.
Orchids need to be fed, and you can buy specialist orchid food from your local garden centre. Feeding every 4-5 weeks should be fine.
About the Cymbidium Orchid
This variety of orchid is visually very striking, with very distinctive shaped heads in opulent colours. We love to use them as a feature stem in our most luxurious bouquets, but very often individual flowers are cut and wired for wedding bouquets and corsages.
Cymbidiums enjoy being in indirect sunlight, which will suit the rest of the flower selections in the bouquet too.
Cut the stems at an angle and make sure they are sitting in clean water with flower food.
Cymbidium heads can be very heavy, so choose a supportive vase to display your flowers in to prolong the life of your orchids.
About the Dendrobium Orchid
A dainty and very pretty orchid with star-shaped flowers, the trailing stems of the Dendrobium are a very popular addition to beautiful arrangements, as well as to wedding bouquets.
The flower heads don't like being in contact with water, so make sure only a small amount is used.
Dendrobiums do not like the cold, so make sure they are displayed away from cold spots or draughts.
Occasionally misting these orchids will help to extend vase life.
About the Vanda Orchid
A truly stunning orchid available in a range of rich, vibrant colours, this less commonly known variety is definitely one to create impact. We used hundreds of them in our gold medal-winning RHS Chelsea Flower Show exhibit, and love to add them to bouquets for a bit of extra colour and for a luxurious feel.
Re-cut the stems with the rest of the bouquet and ensure the water is fresh.
Vandas love a humid atmosphere, so mist them regularly with tepid water and they will thrive.