Orchids For The Window Sill

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Blooming, Care and Culture, Growing Indoors

Many of the tropical orchids which have been confined in greenhouses in the past will do equally well in the home on a window sill if a few basic rules are observed. The most important are ensuring that there is enough light for the plants, without too much heat, and also that there is adequate humidity in the immediate surroundings.

During the winter months a south-facing window sill, or a table in the curve of a bay window, is probably the best place in the home for orchids, but this might prove too hot in the summer even when the plants are protected by a sun-filtering curtain. For the summer they are probably best in an east-facing window sill where they will receive the morning sun. A deep window sill is ideal as it can be fitted with a polypropylene tray containing about 2-3cm (1 in) of gravel, Hortag or some other clean moisture-retentive material. If the contents of the tray are kept moist but not waterlogged, there will always be a suitably humid atmosphere around the orchid pots placed on top.

Frequent misting will raise the humidity still further and is especially beneficial for plants with abundant aerial roots, and for genera like Masdevallia which suffer in overheated conditions.

Orchids with “intermediate” or “warm” temperature requirements do best in modern, centrally heated homes. Many Phalaenopsis and Paphiopedilum species and hybrids give pleasure with their long-lasting flowers and wide variety of species can be grown successfully with patience and understanding.

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