Images of popular orchids, descriptions and brief history, a click on any image will take you to a cultural page with tips on how to grow popular orchids.

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Free Orchid shows.

Every month we hold a free orchid show; either near Preston, Manchester or Warrington.

New members are always welcome, but our normal monthly shows are free to all, come along and take a look at your local orchid society.

See our orchid show page

Orchid Paintings

Orchid Paintings

historical paintings

 The above are just two images of the many Historical Paintings of Orchids awarded at our shows from the turn of the century through to the Second World War.

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The RHS Flower Show
Tatton Park

July 18th to 22nd 2018
Come along and meet us in the Society Marquee, free helpful advice and orchid potting demonstrations; we can supply you with  top quality approved orchid compost.

Stop Press
The Society once again has taken a Gold Medal as in last years event, along with the coveted trophy for Best display in the Marquee.

2015 results
Our display in 2015 year created in association with the OSGB and took Gold, as well as the coveted Holford Medal for a slideshow of it please click here

how to grow cattleya orchids

Cattleya orchids, around 48 species and many more hybrids exist Named after William Cattleya, they are from the tropical Americas Laelia's , which can be additionally found in the West Indies and Mexico also require similar cultural conditions.

The plant has a long pseudobulb which terminates in one or sometimes two stiff elongated leaves, and the flower stem grows from the axil of this leaf. Usually there are between two and 8 or more flowers on a stem depending on the variety. with many different colour combinations.

They make excellent houseplants but require high light levels to do well.


how to grow cymbidiums

Cymbidiums contain around 44 species, and come from the tropics of the old world, the large flowered types which come from the higher regions of the Himalayas and the orient require cool conditions to flower well.

The plant has 12 inch  to 30 inch long strap like leaves and "onion" like pseudobulbs, the flower spike grows from the bottom of the bulb and can have many flowers along its length.  Size and flower colour vary dependent on the parentage of the plant.

Flowering usually occurs in the Northern Hemisphere between November and April.


How to grow phalaenopsis orchids

Phalaenopsis -  The Moth Orchid, found from Java and the South Seas, the Philippines and even Queensland Australia, are definitely warm growers who like to be shaded, the perfect houseplant, and very free flowering.  They can f lower for months at any time of the year.

Phalaenopsis plants have rounded flattish fleshy leaves, new leaves grow from the centre of the plant, and inflorescences grow from the body of the plant.

Flower spikes can branch and produce anywhere from 2 to dozens of flowers depending on the plants parentage.  The flowers can be white plainly coloured striped spotted mottled or a mixture of any.


how to grow dendrobiums

Dendrobiums, with around 1000 species and innumerable hybrids, the hobbyist is faced with many varied growing conditions, and it is a good idea to establish from where in the world, and at what altitude any plant in question is native to, they are found from the Orient and tropical Asia down to Australasia.

Dendrobiums vary in size from quite small compact plants to quite enormous ones.

Phalaenopsis dendrobiums are popular as houseplants, they are not related to phalaenopsis.


how to grow miltonia orchids

Miltonia's are sometimes called the Pansy Orchid, named in honour of Earl Fitzwilliam The Viscount Milton.

Around 10 species can be found mostly in Brazil and therefore are warm growing, many beautiful hybrids of this often highly scented genus exist.

The plants produce long thin leaves.  Flower colour and size vary, and many are scented, they like to be repotted regularly and kept moist, but not waterlogged.

They will make good houseplants.


how to grow odontoglossum orchids

Odontoglossum's have around 175 species which can be found in the mountains of South America, although from the tropics they grow in the higher elevations up to 3500m in wet cloud forest, and therefore require cool growing conditions, many hybrids exist.

Not the best subject for houseplants, but do well in cool conditions in a suitable greenhouse.

The plants have fleshy pseudobulbs which produce one or two leaves from their apex. and flower spikes come from the bottom of the plant.

Flowering can occur anytime based on the parentage.


how to grow oncidium orchids

Oncidiums, most popular ones from the 600 or so species in existence come from the tropics of the Americas, but there are a few which grow in the higher elevations, and therefore require cooler conditions, hybrids are more tolerant than the species, as in most plants.

Oncidiums have elongated pseudobulbs, which produce one or two leaves at the apex, and the flower spikes may be branched depending on the species.

Flowers come in many different colours and sizes, and most will make good houseplants.

how to grow paphiopedilum orchids

Paphiopedilum's, named after Paphinia the Greek Goddess, who the Romans renamed Venus, and pedilum (foot or slipper)

There are bout 60 species from the Asia India and New Guinea. mottled leaved ones require warm conditions, plain leaved single flowered intermediate/cool, and plain leaved multi flowered warm and brighter conditions.

The species from the oriental continents are quite different,  the plants are smaller and the usually single flower has an enlarged pouch, giving it an exotic appearance.

Paphiopedilums do not do well in centrally heated homes, as they prefer cooler conditions.


how to grow phragmipedium orchids

Phragmipedium, the New worlds answer to the Paphiopedilum about 21 species are found up to 2000 metres throughout Mexico, Brazil Bolivia Peru etc., they require intermediate conditions and must not dry out between watering.

Hybridising with newly discovered species has produced flowers which are much brighter and varied in colour from their old world cousins.

The plants have small pseudobulbs boating one or two leaves, and the flower spike grows from the centre of a mature leaf axil, producing one to several flowers.


how to grow vandaceous orchids

Vanda's have about 50 species, from which the many hybrids are derived from the tropics Asia and the orient  as far down as Australia, they require warm growing conditions with plenty of bright light. They grow best suspended in wooden baskets.

Vandas and their relatives, do not do well as houseplants, unless you can spend a lot of time looking after them.

The plants produce strap like leaves which grow  from the top of the plant, and the flower spikes appear from the axil of the mature leaves, there can be one two or even three flower spikes with many flowers, colour and size dependent on the species.

ProFlowers tips on Growing Orchids in the Home  

Colourful, elegant and now available everywhere from supermarkets to high street chains, orchids have become big favourites on the home decorating front. But, while these delicate flowers boast an exotic beauty that sets them apart from your average houseplant, they can also seem challenging to maintain.  Fortunately, with a few handy hints you should be well on your way to nurturing a gorgeous orchid you can enjoy for months to come.  

Determining what type of orchid you own is, of course, the most basic step in understanding how to give your plant the best care. For beginner growers Phalaenopsis make a good choice. Also known as moth orchids, they are by far the most widely sold orchids, and if kept in the correct conditions, they can flower for up to eight weeks. Other popular breeds of orchids include Dendrobium, Cymbidium and Vanda orchids and each favour slightly different light, heat and humidity combinations.  

Still unsure what type of orchid you own? Rest assured, some orchid care tips hold true for all breeds. And, by simply considering an orchid’s native surroundings you’ll do a much better job at creating an environment in which your plant can thrive. Most wild orchids grow on trees and get their moisture from the air, so when watering, try to use room temperature water to prevent cold-water damage to your plant. Then, place your orchid in a well-ventilated room with bright light, but not in full sunlight during the warm weather to avoid cooking the plant or its leaves. Orchids enjoy the same type of temperature conditions we do, so with a room temperature not less than 15.00° C your orchid should stay happy and healthy, some plants such as cymbidiums enjoy a cooler period after flowering, and if you can find a shady cool spot outside during the summer months they will flower better, in northern climes, bring indoors just before the first frosts are due.  

When it comes to watering, water every four to ten days by holding your orchid over the sink and drenching it to replicate a rain shower. A quick and easy way to determine whether your orchid needs watering is to stick a pencil in your orchid’s soil. Leave the pencil for ten minutes and if when you remove the tip it looks moist, hold off watering for several days. Whatever you do, never let water gather or sit around the leaves as this can harm your plant, so always pat-dry residual water with a paper towel. What’s more, if you spot yellowing or damaged leaves, you may be over-watering your orchid, so refrain from watering for a couple of weeks. Live in a hard-water area? Try boiling and cooling your water before using.

  Lastly, during chillier winter months you may want to mimic a rainforest’s humidity to combat the dryness of your central heating and give your plant a dose of the moisture it craves. To do this, simply place your orchid on a gravel-lined tray sprinkled with water and allow the evaporating water to nourish your plant. Then, when flowers are in bloom, keep stems tied to a stick to protect them, fertilize with every other watering, and enjoy your plant’s gorgeous natural beauty.  

To buy orchids for delivery in the UK, see traders on our introduction to orchids page




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One of our Gold Medal RHS Displays

For many years we created Gold Medal Winning Displays at the RHS Show Tatton Park....

Large Annual Orchid Show

Each year our Annual Show brings one of the largest orchid events to the North of England, Held in the Tenants Hall at Tatton Park....

World's Oldest Orchid Society?

Established in 1897, we have been giving awards to orchids since the turn of the Century, this is an image of one of the early orchid paintings, from which our badge is derived....

Catesatum pilateum

There are over 35000 species of orchid, here is one of the more unusual from the tropics, often seen at our monthly shows....

Laelia purpurata

This showy species makes a change from the usual Phalaenopsis Orchids found in the supermarkets; many specialist growers attend our shows....


Another species of orchid prized by the enthusiastic grower, these plants can be quite large, and are very showy...

Ophrys - The Bee Orchid

At each of our monthly shows, you will see (at the right time of the year) some fine specimens of terrestrial orchids from the temperate zones....

Dendrobium thrysiflorum

For sheer flower power you cannot beat some of the orchid species which may carry over a thousand blooms....

themed object

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