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

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