When most of us speak of orchids, we think of the tropical orchids from Central and South America, and other far off, tropical, exotic places. However if we were to search in our own woodland areas, we would likely find them growing right under our own noses. Orchids can be found in most parts of the world except in the harsh conditions of the driest deserts and the arctic. The native Moccasin flower and the popular Jewel Orchid are just two that are indigenous to our area around Washington, D.C. Although the Moccasin flower cannot be transplanted (and hence grown in our own flower gardens, windowsills or greenhouses), there are many orchids that can be grown in our homes and greenhouses.
Of course, most of the commonly cultivated orchids are tropical varieties not native to our area. Like any plant, they have needs that must be met for successful growth. One of the rewards for an orchid grower is discovering the tricks of cultivation that bring a plant to flower.
The links above provide culture information for many commonly grown orchids. (Special thanks to Merritt Huntington for allowing us to use his culture sheets!)