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Ask a gardener

PUBLISHED: 09:56 16 September 2007 | UPDATED: 14:51 20 February 2013

Ask a gardener

Ask a gardener

Wolfgang Bopp Curator...

Ask a gardener

Q: It's my daughter's birthday in two weeks time and I would like to buy her an orchid as she loves house plants. The trouble is there are so many types, please can you recommend one?

Mrs M Knight, Kings Worthy, Winchester

A: Some species of orchid can make perfect house plants although many people are nervous about owning one. Many tropical species require hot and humid conditions to thrive and are thus best avoided by the first time orchid grower.

However Phalaenopsis or Moth Orchids are particularly suited to windowsill culture. The Phalaenopsis flower nearly all year round and are quite happy in the average British home. The flowers are exquisite and as the name implies shaped like a moth.

Flower spikes have around eight flowers which open slowly, one by one, and can last for many weeks without fading. Many Garden Centres sell these types of orchid and I'm sure one of these will make the perfect present.

Barry Clarke

Propagator and nursery manager

Write to us with a gardening question and the lucky reader whose letter is printed will receive an annual membership to the Sir Harold Hillier Gardens. This includes a generous package of benefits which can be used all year round, including free entry to three of the country's top gardens. Email your question to; or phone your question through on 01962 841716.

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens is a registered charity managed and operated by Hampshire

County Council and is one of the most important plant collections in the world. Situated

two miles north-east of Romsey, the Gardens consist of 180 acres of a variety of

landscaped features. Tel: 01794 368787 or visit:


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