About

Orchids For All is a labor of love.  Simply put, it was born out of a love of orchids. And years of experimenting to find out what worked best for me, in my home and in my climate.


Buy plants online from California's premier provider of plants, trees and other garden products at P

What I learned along the way surprised me. Orchids – at least most of them – are relatively easy to keep, to keep happy and healthy, and to keep blooming regularly. You simply need to know what care is the same as for other plants and what is different. And then provide it. Regularly.

The bottom line? If you can keep houseplants – any houseplant, really – healthy and happy, then you can keep orchids. If your thumb is any color other than green – in other words, if someone gives you a plant and you kill it – then don’t bother. You won’t do any better with orchids.

Phrag ‘China Dragon’

This site is for everyone else. Everyone who has succeeded at keeping a houseplant healthy and happy for an extended period of time – measured in years. This is for everyone who is interested enough in their houseplants to find out what they want and need and provide it. Anyone who is thrilled at the thought of keeping an orchid healthy and happy and witnessing the spectacular sizes and shapes and colors when they periodically bloom.

Some orchids bloom for a matter of days. Others last for weeks and on occasion for months. In fact, my longest blooming orchid – a Phalaenopsis, or “Moth Orchid” – stayed continuously in bloom, with the same flowers for 11 straight months!

I used to think orchids generally bloomed when other plants did, in the Spring. And while they tend to be most prolific in the Spring, I now have something in bloom – or at least in bud, preparing to bloom – almost year ’round.

Zgd. Calico Gem “Green Valley #1”

In fact, I’mwriting this in February when night temperatures in my “neck of the woods” are generally in the 20s and day temperatures are typically in the 30s and occasionally 40s. I do have close to a dozen plants already generating flower spikes for early spring (they will start opening in March/April). But I also I have a couple that will be blooming before the end of this month – in the dead of winter!

I can’t promise you results like this. You need a fair number of orchids of different species to get nearly year-round results. But I can promise you that you can raise healthy orchids and will be almost constantly in anticipation of the next blooms on your orchids if you follow my simple advice.

NOTE: Every orchid pictured on this site was grown and photographed in my home from my personal orchid collection.

NOTE: This site was just recently launched in February of 2017. It is being added to aggressively and regularly. So if you enjoy want you are seeing, check back often!

NOTE: Feel free to contribute! Go to the comments page and leave comments, questions, suggestions, criticism… whatever! Send me photos of you plants if you like. I would love to post other people’s beautiful orchids and success storied! The more feedback the better! Most of all, this site is, besides being an avenue for me to pour out my love of orchids, for the benefit of all casual orchid growers!

Selection

While “selection” sounds obvious, it isn’t. Here’s the complicating factor about plant selection. You can’t just go by what the plant looks like, or by what you think it’s care and needs will be. Orchids can vary tremendously in terms of their care. Most, fortunately for us, are easy to care for.  And there can be a lot of similarities. For example, over 90% of my orchids get the same care with some slight variation in terms of light level, handled simply by selecting where I will place them after their periodic watering. But they are all exposed to the same temperatures, most use the same bark, almost all are on the same watering schedule and consume the same fertilizer.

But some have proven very difficult to care for, to even keep alive in certain cases. I have had some spectacular successes rescuing plants and getting them to bloom, and I have had a few failures, where no matter WHAT I did the plant did not respond. Some orchids simply failed to thrive so miserably that if they didn’t die on their own, I simply threw them away. Sad, but true. But certainly not frequently. I have been known to nurse a given specimen along for literally years, experimenting with the various variables trying to find what would make that plant “happy.” Throwing a plant away has always been a last resort.

And even if the care is as easy as can be, if it is very different from what you anticipated, your results can still be disastrous. You simply don’t keep most orchids the way you would keep the typical house plant. So… how is a body to know?

Look at the classes of orchids on this site. Trust me – if it’s here, and if you can follow directions – and if you can keep other plants alive – you can probably keep these orchids successfully and enjoy their blooms for many years to come.

How do I know this? Simple. Trial and error. I’ve purchased lots of orchids with a tremendous variety of sizes and prices. Some exotic, expensive orchids that I purchased have died. I have also purchased some exotic, expensive orchids that were near death (which, fortunately, meant I didn’t pay that expensive price tag) and… like all my orchid purchases, they either lived or they died! I either figured out (through trial and error and/or research) how they were cared for or I didn’t. So if  a specific orchid – or genus – is listed on this site, that means I have figured out how to care for it at best or at worst, at least managed to keep it alive. Cheap plants are obviously less risk to purchase and potentially lose than expensive ones. So start with cheap orchids. See if they are something you really care enough about to learn how to care for them. And most importantly, see if you enjoy keeping them! If you lose interest, better to have a little invested than a lot.

How do you know the difference between the ones that are likely to struggle and the ones that are likely to thrive – in other words, the ones you could probably keep successfully as opposed to the ones you probably can’t – read what I write about them and look at the pictures. I’m incredibly, reliably, incorrigibly honest. At least, that is, where it comes to orchids. I’ve learned a LOT of lessons. Some the easy way, some the hard way. I have no problem passing them all along. So if you see it here on this site, and it is robust and beautiful and healthy looking, if you have a reasonably “normal” household (i.e. not above 85 degrees Fahrenheit inside temperature in the summer and not below about 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter, and you have sufficient choices in terms of positioning – exposure to light) you should be able to learn enough from this site that you can keep at least some species of orchids successfully.