The Bottom Line
- Easy to find, detailed growing info for specific plants.
Wonderful photos of each profiled orchid.
Useful for novice and experienced orchid grower.
- Light on the readily available moth orchids (Phalaeopsis).
- Contains a detailed description, photo, growing tips and inside knowledge on each of the 50 orchids.
Great overview of how orchids differ and what to expect when you bring one home.
Nice primer on orchid care in " 10 Best Tips for Growing Orchids".
Helpful chart for deciphering orchid labels.
Softcover. 132 pages. Retail $14.95. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR.
Guide Review - Bloom Again Orchids: 50 Easy Care Orchids that Flower Again and Again and Again
It's hard to remember a time when orchids were as rare as they were expensive. Nowadays, author Judy White points out, you can even find orchids for sale in the supermarket. As White explains it, once breeders figured out how to grow orchids from seed and then to clone them, it became a lot quicker and less expensive to get them to market. Lucky us. An orchid plant can stay in bloom for months and many are as low maintenance as a plant can get. So how do you know which orchid to buy? That's the beauty of this book.
White starts with orchid basics, since orchid growers seem to have a language all their own. There's even a chart for "Decoding Orchid Name Abbreviations". She also includes 10 tips for growing orchids, from how and when to water, fertilize and repot to handling insect pests.
The bulk of the concise "basics" section is devoted to outlining how orchids are grouped and categorized, so that when you go through the 50 profiled orchids, you'll understand the more detailed notes White gives on each plant. For instance, temperature is divided into 3 categories, telling you which orchids like warm days and nights and which like to chill out in the evening.
By page 25, you’re into the meat of the book. Each orchid is profiled, starting with how to pronounce the tongue twister names. There's a bullet point list that includes the size and type of orchid, its preferred growing conditions, temperature and light requirements, when to repot, when to expect it to bloom and features and tips, like "Grows on sunny windowsill" and "Noted for fragrance". White also talks about each orchid's qualities and there's quite a bit of background info throughout the book.
If you've shopped for orchids in big box stores, you've probably noticed they're not too well labeled, if at all. White offers a bit of help in identifying what you’ve brought home. In the write-up for Dendrobium nobile Hybrids she notes that Dendrobium orchids are so commonly unlabeled that growers have given them their own pet name, NOID (no id).
If you're interested in learning more about growing orchids, this is an extremely accessible reference book that will most certainly whet your appetite for growing more.