Synopses & Reviews
Orchids are the largest family of plants in the world. With 30,000 known species, one could acquire a different orchid every day for eighty years and still not grow them all. Back in the realm of reality, readers of this beautiful book can quickly and easily ﬁnd out which orchids are right for them — which grow on windowsills and which need a greenhouse, which are for beginners, which for experts. Featuring more than 200 color photographs, Understanding Orchids provides readers with easy-to-follow instructions for the orchids they would like to grow. With improved tissue culture techniques making orchids more affordable and the Internet making them readily available to consumers, growing orchids is more popular than ever: membership in the American Orchid Society has more than doubled in the past ﬁfteen years. This is the book orchid fans have been waiting for — an authoritative guide that tells them everything they need to know about choosing and growing these horticultural favorites.
"Cullina has maintained a personal collection of orchids for decades, and still gets 'that spine tingling, toe-tickling feeling of WOW' from an unfamiliar or outstanding specimen. It's a feeling he's eager to share with 'orchid lovers at every level of expertise, from absolute beginner to experienced grower to expert.' He succeeds in addressing such a broad audience by organizing his work into independent modules that can be consulted as needed. The first portion covers basic orchid information: detailed guides to growing them on a windowsill, under lights, in a greenhouse or outdoors, and practical advice on meeting their requirements for light, temperature, humidity and air movement in each of those settings. Cullina then systematically examines orchid culture, with in-depth discussions of watering, fertilization, potting and mounting, and pests and diseases. A brief but fascinating overview of orchid reproduction follows, with directions for hand pollinating, propagating and hybridizing. Finally, Cullina meticulously examines more than 100 of the most popular genera. Happily, a good number of these seductively described plants are rated for beginners (the other skill level ratings are experienced and expert). Cullina, who directs the New England Wild Flower Society, is extremely well versed in his subject and a skilled writer. His lively text, with its clear instructions, will make orchid growing as irresistible to readers as it is to Cullina. 300 color photos. Forecast: A tie-in with Cullina's lecture tour and promos at top orchid shows guarantee strong initial sales." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Cullina . . . is extremely well versed in his subject and a skilled writer. His lively text, with its clear instructions, will make orchid growing as irresistible to readers as it is to Cullina." Publishers Weekly
Orchids are the largest family of plants in the world. With 30,000 known species, you could acquire a different orchid every day for eighty years and still not grow them all. Back in the realm of reality, readers of this beautiful book can quickly and easily find the orchids that are right for them -- which ones will thrive on a windowsill, which prefer artificial lights, and which need a greenhouse; which are for beginners, which for experts. And you can pinpoint the species within a particular genus that are the best ones to start with. Once you select your orchid, William Cullina's authoritative guide explains what to do to keep it alive and healthy.
Featuring more than two hundred color photographs, Understanding Orchids covers everything you need to know to grow orchids successfully, whatever your level of interest or experience. With improved tissue-culture techniques making orchids more affordable, and the Internet making them readily available to consumers, growing orchids is more popular than ever: membership in the American Orchid Society has more than doubled in the last fifteen years. This is the book orchid fans have been waiting for.
About the Author
WILLIAM CULLINA, for many years the propagator at the New England Wild Flower Society, is the author of four major Houghton Mifflin gardening books. He is currently plant and arden curator at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, where he is developing a world-class botanical garden.
Table of Contents
Acknowledgments v I n t r o d u c t i o n viii How to Use This Book ix
Part 1 Setting Up the Orchid Environment
1 G e t t i n g Start e d : Your F i r st O r c h id 2 Buying Your First Orchid 4 What to Look For 4 Orchid Anatomy 6 2 Wher e to Grow Your O r chi d s 9 On the Windowsill 9 Under Artificial Lights 11 In the Greenhouse 18 The Great Outdoors 22 3 L i g h t 23 Day Length, or Photoperiod 25 4 Temperat u r e 27 5 Humidit y a nd A ir Movement 31 Relative Humidity 31 Air Movement 37
Part 2 Care and Feeding
Watering Orchids in Pots 41 Watering Mounted Orchids 42 Automatic Watering 44 Watering Plants That Need a Dry Rest 45 Water Quality 46 7 Fe r t i l i z at i o n and N u t r i t i o n 49 Fertilization and Dormancy 52 Fertilization and Flowering 52 Types of Fertilizer 52 8 Pot t i ng an d D i v i d ing 55 Pots and Other Containers 57 Pot Size 59 Mosses, Ferns, Liverworts, and Algae 61 Potting Mixes 63 Dividing Orchids 73 9 Mounting Orch ids o n P l aq u e s a n d Branch e s 79 Mounting Procedure 82 Attaching the Orchid 84 1 0 P e st s a n d D i s e a s e s 87 Orchid Pests 88 Orchid Diseases 91 Organic and Biological Pest and Disease Controls 93 Viruses 95 1 1 Troubleshoot i n g G u ide 97
Part 3 Orchid Reproduction 1 2 R e p r o d u c t i o n in th e Wi l d 102 1 3 Hand P o l l inat i o n and C a r e o f S e e d l ings 109 Hand-Pollinating 109 Flasking 111 Unflasking and Caring for Seedlings 113 1 4 H y b r i d i z at i o n 115
Part 4 Common Orchid Genera from A to Z Introduction 129
Appendi x e s 228 1 Taxonomy and Nomenclature 230 2 Orchids on the Web and Orchid Organizations 234 3 Judging and Showing Orchids 236 G l o s sary 241 B i b l i o g r a p hy 246 Photo C r e d i t s 248 I n dex 250