It can be very difficult, not to mention very expensive, to mimic the exact growing conditions in which an orchid may live in its natural habitat. The information contained on this website has been culled from a variety of sources, many apparently contradictory. These include but are not limited to other websites (primarily for location information, pseudonyms and anecdotes); personal experience of JustTropicals' associates, friends and contributers (some of whose sites appear on our links page; and hints and tips from hobbyists and professional growers gleaned from talking to people at shows. Many of these people grow the same species of orchids, but use widely different cultural methods.
The information provided here should be used as a guide only. It is not intended to be taken, and should not be used as, a strict cultural "how to", but as a base from which to start. Light intensity, heating, humidity, whether the plant is grown in a greenhouse or in the home, will differ from person to person - even if they live next door to each other. All these factors, and more, have a bearing on how a plant needs to be grown to obtain success. The cultural methods mentioned here will need to be adapted to suit the individual's needs in order to obtain the best balance between their own cultural methods and the requirements of the plant.
Please remember that plants, including orchids, have a life-cycle. Sometimes they die in the natural course of events, sometimes they just fail and die for no apparent reason despite having received the best possible care. Neither JustTropicals or any of of its associates, nor any other contributer to this site, can be held responsible should your plant die as a result of using cultural methods mentioned on this website, whether adapted to your own situation or not.
JustTropicals shall not be held liable for any losses or consequential losses caused by following any information on this site. As indicated previously this site is for general information only and is not definitive. You use the information on this site at your on risk.
The information regarding accepted genus and species names; synonyms and the distribution of plants in the wild provided on this site is mainly referenced from sources listed on the Data and Publications section of the website of The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, including the World Checklist of Monocotyledons and The World Checklist of Selected Plant Families. http://www.kew.org/data/index.html (link will open in a new browser window)
A particular note about buying orchids while on holiday and moving orchids in general.
Many orchids are endangered in the wild and the movement of all orchids is covered by CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species) and is very strictly controlled. Please do not attempt to move orchids between countries - including sterile flasks and laboratory-raised plants - without the correct paperwork. If you are caught trying to move orchids anywhere in the world without the correct paperwork your plants will be seized and you could face a fine, imprisonment, or both for smuggling.
In the UK please contact DEFRA http://www.defra.gov.uk (link will open in a new window) for more advice. The UK and EU are classed as one country for this purpose, but your plants could still be held up in customs. There are also specific rules regarding orchids brought in from outside the EU and sold on, so please check. Other countries have their own import regulations and punishments. If you live outside the EU please contact the relevant government department in your home country for full details.
A word on taxonomy - an orchid by any other name
Continuing work on orchids by experts in their field leads to greater understanding of the relationships between orchids, and often the realisation that what were thought to be close families are actually not closely related - sometimes not related at all. Inevitably this leads to genera being renamed as they are moved into other genera or into completely new ones. Equally inevitably this leads to confusion, at least initially, as changes take time to filter through. Some people resist the changes - the older we get the less likely we are to want to change the names (or to remember the new ones!) - and nurseries and sellers may still have plants with labels showing the previous names. If they do show the new names, buyers who are unaware of, or have forgotten, the new name may think they're getting a new plant when in fact they may have had the plant in their collection for many years.
We try to keep up-to-date on this site with name changes, but it isn't easy as there are so many and this is a spare time, hobby, site to which we can only devote a limited amount of time. We therefore hope you will understand that we cannot guarantee the name under which we have listed a plant is the latest. It is also not always possible to be certain of the identity of the plant in a photograph. Some are uploaded by visitors to the site, and are therefore dependent on that person providing the correct information. Our own pictures are titled according to the label on the plant at the time the photo was taken, although we do spend hours searching the internet for their correct identity if our initial name check with Kew's databases indicates the plant was incorrectly labelled (something which, unfortunately, is a very regular occurence.)