Best Tips For Caring For Your Orchids

Best Tips For Caring For Your Orchids

Get the best from your orchids with our handy guide

Hayes have built up a good working knowledge of orchids and orchid care over many years, and have a comprehensive range of proven varieties that can enhance any home. If you have not tried growing orchids before, here are some tips and information that will help you enter this fascinating world.

Orchids have a reputation for difficulty but the modern hybrids are easy and trouble free. Orchids come from the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world, from sea level to high in the mountains. In the wild some orchids grow on the ground but most grow up in the tree canopy and are known as Epiphytes, they wrap their roots around the branches and feed on leaf litter and other matter washed down by the rain. Therefore growing conditions for orchids are torrential rain followed by a quick dry out, shade from the sun by the tree canopy and little in the way of food. These conditions can be replicated in a centrally heated home without much difficulty.


When caring for orchids, a wide spectrum of temperatures can be tolerated & they are grouped into three main ranges:

Warm 21° - 24°C

Intermediate 18° - 24°C

Cool 16° - 21°C


Most orchids like bright light but not full sun which can burn the leaves. A net curtain can be used in summer and removed in winter to allow full light or the plant can be moved to a less sunny position during the summer.


Almost all orchid problems are caused by over watering. We recommend immersion in a bowl of lukewarm water for a few seconds once a week. Then let the plant drain to ensure it is not actually standing in water. Roots will change colour i.e. When water is needed the roots are silvery, and when green they do not need water.


Only use proper orchid feed once every 2 weeks. The best way is when you are watering the plant, just add the feed to the bowl and immerse as described above. Please refer to the instructions for specific varieties which may vary slightly.

We recommend the following varieties for beginners:

Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid)

Phalaenopsis moth orchid

This should be your first orchid if you are a beginner to orchid care. These come in a vast range of colours from pure white to dark red, yellow, orange, pink, striped and multi-coloured. New colours are being added all the time. This orchid can flower almost continually if the flower is cut off just as the last two flowers remain on top of the stem, cut just above the first bud below the flower spike. They like good light but not sun. Also HOW TO GET YOUR PHALAENOPSIS (MOTH ORCHID) TO RE-FLOWER.

Once you are successful with this variety here are some others to try:


This is an outstanding range of hybrids with amazing flowers in a huge range of colours. They are very exotic looking and easy to grow.


This variety comes in two types, either warm or cool growing and are often seen as cut flowers. These orchids need a little more care but are well worth the effort and are very popular.

Miltoniopsis (sometimes sold as Miltonia) (Pansy Orchid)

Miltoniopsis pansy orchid

The Pansy Orchid likes cooler conditions and careful watering, but has spectacular colours. The highly scented flowers are big and showy.


caring for orchids Miltoniopsis

This is a large showy plant for cool conditions. It can be placed outdoors in summer. The orchid needs care to allow it to flower but there are instructions with the plant giving details of what is required. Also: How do I care for my cymbidium?

Other varieties we stock are:



How do I look after my Paphiopedilum?

Vanda (below)



We can also advise on some of the more unusual species although these are best purchased from specialist growers.

In addition, Hayes supplies a good range of the best growing aids and feeds etc. including:

Orchid Growth Food

Orchid Flower Food

Orchid Tonic

Orchid Bark Compost

Orchid Pots and Containers

Orchid Care Books

We hope this orchid care information will inspire you to try these outstanding plants. Please contact us for more detail (But beware, orchids can take over your life!).

Angela Slater

Daughter of a farmer and market gardener so have always had a connection with the outdoors, whether it was keeping animals or producing fruit, vegetables and cut flowers. Along with my work at Hayes Garden World I also have a smallholding, mainly breeding rare breed pigs. I gained an HND and BSc in Conservation and Environmental Land Management, as a result I am an ardent environmentalist and have a keen interest in environmentally friendly gardening. In my time at Hayes I worked for several years in the Outdoor Plant and Houseplant areas.