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One of nature's most beautiful flowers, the orchid exudes refined elegance. Extremely popular as a pot plant, orchids are also tremendous cut flowers, with their distinctive shapes and colours adding instant sophistication to any flower arrangement.

With over 25,000 different species orchids are the second-largest family of plants in the world and are found in every continent except for Antarctica.

They are most widespread in tropical areas although some varieties have been found to grow wild in the UK.

Orchid Varieties

Vanda Orchid
Scientific name: Vanda.
Common name: Vanda Orchid.
Family: Orchidaceae.
Availability: All year round.
Vase life: Approx. 10-21 days.
Colour range: Violet blue, purple, cerise pink, burgundy, orange.
Phalaenopsis Orchid
Scientific name: Phalaenopsis.
Common name: Moth Orchid..
Family: Orchidaceae.
Availability: All year round.
Vase life: Approx. 7-14 days.
Colour range: Pure white, cream, lemon, pale pink, lilac, cerise pink, eggshell green.
Cymbidium Orchid
Scientific name: Cymbidium.
Common name: Boat Orchid.
Family: Orchidaceae.
Availability: September-June.
Vase life: Approx. 14-21 days.
Colour range: White, lemon, yellow, gold, lime green, burgundy, pale pink, deep pink, peach.

Dendrobium Orchid
Scientific name: Dendrobium.
Common name: Singapore Orchid.
Family: Orchidaceae.
Availability: All year round.
Vase life: Approx. 14-21 days.
Colour range: Pure white, cerise pink, purple, lime, some with contrasting throats.

Care tips

  • Recut the stems and stand in clean, fresh water. Always handle orchids with care as they bruise easily.
  • Orchids are a tropical flower so favour moderate temperatures. Display at room temperature but away from direct heat which could dry the flower out. Keep away from cold spots or draughts.
  • Orchids like a humid atmosphere so mist stems and flower heads gently everyday with tepid water.
  • Orchid plants need to be fed, and you can buy specialist orchid food from your local garden centre. Feeding every 4-5 weeks should be fine.

Note: Orchids are extremely sensitive to ethylene gas so display them away from fruit and vegetables.

For the Home

Orchids make a real statement in the home. Combine them with roses for a truly luxurious look. Alternatively floating single heads in a glass bowl with contrasting coloured stones creates a lovely centrepiece.


For Brides

Dendrobium orchids are very popular in shower bouquets because of their elegant trailing habit. They also look great when used to decorate cakes or to create hairpieces for the bridal party. The Phalaenopsis variety is also just as versatile. They add structure to larger designs and look stylish when single flower heads are worn as buttonholes.

"The orchid is a real style icon and a distinctive choice for brides. Lush and extravagant, orchids work well as a feature flower in everything from the bride’s bouquet to the groom’s buttonhole and arrangements for the ceremony. They are perfect for a chic and sophisticated wedding."

Karen Barnes, Wedding Flowers Expert

The Meaning of Orchid

The word orchid comes from the Greek word - 'orchis' - which refers to the shape of the plant's roots. Orchis is also a character from Greek mythology that was said to have brought about the creation of the plants when he was turned into a flower by the gods.

The orchid represents love, beauty and refinement.

Did you know?

  • There are more than 25,000 species of orchid.
  • Orchids grow on every continent in the world apart from Antarctica.
  • In the Middle Ages orchids were used as a remedy for illness and have even been used as an aphrodisiac in love potions!

Source: Cut Flowers - A practical guide to their selection and care by Interflora florist Su Whale

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