Indoor orchids

With exotic, long-lasting blooms in an array of vibrant colours, many orchids make glamorous, low-maintenance houseplants. Moth orchids are the easiest and most popular, but various others are increasingly widely available and affordable. Most like bright but not direct light, and often fairly humid air or regular misting.


Orchid flowers come in a vast array of shapes, sizes and exotic colours, their petals often speckled or patterned. They're frequently held in loose clusters on slender stems, above clumps of leaves that are often long and arching, sometimes thick and glossy.


Most houseplant orchids like bright light, but not direct sun, such as on a north- or east-facing windowsill. They like regular watering and misting, preferably with rainwater or boiled water rather than tap water. Many need to be grown in bark-based orchid compost, rather than traditional houseplant compost.


Most indoor orchids dislike direct sun or too little light, usually preferring a happy medium in between. Tropical orchids don't fare well in very dry air, so mist the leaves regularly. Tap water can be harmful, so use boiled water or rainwater if possible, and never leave them standing in water, as this can rot the roots. Cold draughts may cause the flower buds to drop.

Did you know?

Moth orchids, Phalaenopsis, are the most widely grown houseplant orchids – they’re well-suited to our centrally heated homes, producing exotic displays of large blooms that can last for months. They’re an ideal choice for beginners and should flower regularly with minimal maintenance.

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