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Understanding Orchids: An Uncomplicated Guide To Growing The World's Most Exotic Plants

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.

Hardcover: 272 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 1st edition (November 9, 2004)

Language: English

ISBN-10: 0618263268

ISBN-13: 978-0618263264

Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.8 x 11 inches

Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)

Best Sellers Rank: #83,679 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #5 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Flowers > Orchids

This is an excellent book on orchid growing, much more detailed and text oriented than others on the market, yet easy to read and the author's conversational writing style will be most comforting to beginner's.The book is divided into four parts:Part 1 - "Setting up the Orchid Environment" talks about buying your first orchid, the anatomy of the orchid, where to grow them, light, temperature, humidity and air movement, and quite detailed information about artificial lights.Part 2 - "Care and Feeding" covers the basics of watering, fertilization, potting and repotting, types of mixtures, mounting orchids on trees and branches, pests and diseases, and a troubleshooting guide.Part 3 - "Orchid Reproduction" is about hand pollination and the care of seedlings, and hybridization.Part 4 - "Common Orchid Genera from A to Z" features a gallery of orchids with photos and cultural advice as well as skill levels (beginner, expert, experienced).This is a book for both beginners and advanced orchid growers.

I've been growing orchids for 20 years and have read dozens of orchid books. This is by far the most clearly written, entertaining and informative general orchid book I've ever come across. It is filled with helpful information on orchid culture as well as anecdotes that capture the mental progression of how one goes from a single plant to a whole collection. If you can feel yourself becoming hooked on orchids this book will come in very handy as your collection expands.

I am an amateur orchid grower and have read a variety of books on the subject. So far, this is the best book I encountered and the most comprehensive. Not only that, it is a work of art, printed on high quality of paper. The pictures are outstanding and so is the carefully written text. This book is also just loaded with inexpensive ideas on various small projects that you can do to improve your results. If you are going to get one book on orchids, this should be it!

We have eight orchids at home, with no special greenhouse for them. The book is simple and direct, giving exact tips to take care of them. The author show his passion for flowers by writing a book for both rookies -anyone with a window can have an orchid- and professionals. From the best light for a specimen to how to get hybrids. Includes step-by-step pictures.Really excellent.

I bought this book as I was starting into the hobby of Orchids. The book is extremely informative on the basics and attempts to discuss common problems people have with Orchids. The most interesting sections are those on potting mediums and the individual orchid varieties commonly found at florists or even the grocery store.biggest problem with the book is that it seems to convey the idea that any of the solutions will work which is not the case. Successful orchid growing requires an understanding through trial and error of what will work in your home. There are some basic tenants for everyone; however, they get lost in the details.All in all, it's a great reference book and I would strongly recommend it.

I bought an orchid on impulse & then got this book to figure out how to care for it. Should have bought the book beforehand, but that would have made sense. :) This book is an awesome intro into orchid care & varieties. The 1st 1/2 of the book has chapters (well balanced between helpful pictures & text) discussing elements of orchid care. The 2nd 1/2 describes many orchid families in decent detail. The family descriptions inform about the natural habitat of the family, the optimal care for the family and its subtypes, and even include recommendations as to the experience needed to properly care for members of the described families. The family descriptions range from a couple of paragraphs about some of the less commonly encountered families to a couple of pages about the most commonly enountered families such as the Phaleanopis family. The text is highly readable and quite engaging. When purchasing the book, I anticipated scanning the relevant parts and being bored by the rest - not the case at all! I read the book essentially cover-to-cover within a few hours. I can't speak to the usefulness of the book for experienced orchid growers but, as a novice, I found the book to provide both an easily absorbed overview (if skimming) of orchid care as well as plenty of detail to read closely when desired. I'm so glad I chose this book!

I believe that this is the best book out there on orchids. Mr Cullina covers the important and often allusive culture issues confronted in growing orchids in real depth. He provides thoughtful, comon sense explanations for his reccomendations that go way beyond those found in other books I have read on the subject. The second half of the book details the cultural requirements and rates the difficulty level of 100 species of potential interest to growers with experience levels from beginner to expert. Much more than a coffee table book, Understanding Orchids is a valuable reference that belongs in every orchid enthuiast's library.

As a relatively new orchid grower, I found this to be one of the most useful books for a beginner. In addition, it is written is a very accessible, friendly style, with many examples of the author's struggles to succeed with orchids. I highly recommend it!

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