How to Grow Orchids
How to Propagate Orchids
How to Cultivate Orchids
How to Care for Orchids
Set up a business growing orchids
Or extend your knowledge as an orchid enthusiast
Get the broad picture of what orchids are all about and learn how to improve your results and grow flowers which will be the envy of all who see them. If you would like to grow your own orchids for business, cut flower market, florists or speciality groups, this is the place to start.

Home Studies Course:  How to Grow Orchids

Who Should Do this course?

  • Orchid breeders
  • Orchid Growers (Nurserymen, Cut flower farmers)
  • Anyone with a passion for orchids

Course Contents

The course is divided into eight lessons as follows:

1. Introduction- Understand the system of plant classification and naming, gain ways to find resources for Orchid organisations
2. Orchid Culture- Gain an insight into the appropriate way to grow a range of different orchid species.
3. Propagation- Understand common methods of Orchid Propagation
4. Cymbidiums and Dendrobiums- Understand the basics of the structure, taxonomy and culture of Cymbidiums and Dendrobiums
5. Cattleyas, Vandas and Other Commonly Grown Orchids- Learn about some of the more commonly grown orchids apart from Dendrobiums and Cattleyas
6. Native Australian Orchids- Learn about orchids native to your locality
7. Growing Orchids as Cut Flowers, Baskets, Epiphytes and in Greenhouses- Understand a range of alternative ways in which to grow orchids
8. Special Assignment- Research two commercial orchid growing establishments

Orchids Can be Grown Anywhere

It was once thought that all orchids came from the tropics and needed heat, humidity and shade. This is not true. Orchids come from all parts of the world and even in the tropics orchids are most often found growing in tree tops where there is constant movement of air and quite a bit or sunshine. Orchid flowers are produced in all colours of the rainbow. White, green and brown are among the most common colours. There are some deep purple colours that look almost black.


If you choose the appropriate orchids for your locality, they are very easy plants to grow, often requiring very little attention once established in a suitable position. This doesn't mean they will grow better if neglected, but they will often survive neglect better than many other types of plants.


The best way to know how to grow a particular orchid is to look at its natural habitat, and try to recreate similar conditions.

What you will do in this course:

  • Compile a resource file or organisations and information sources relevant to orchids.
    Obtain and orchid flower; draw and label this flower.
  • Review 56 different orchid species in detail.
  • Obtain soil from two different areas (two different types of soils). Using the tests in the lesson notes, do the following, name each of these soils and test the drainage of each soil.
  • Obtain (or make up) a potting mix which you consider appropriate for growing orchids.
  • Visit a nursery or garden growing orchids. Notice how and where these plants are growing.
  • Determine which plants are healthiest and assess the conditions in which they are growing.
  • Obtain enough plant material to propagate four different orchids. Propagate these orchids vegetatively.
  • Visit a nursery, or some other place which sells a wide range of different types of pots.
  • Consider the properties of the pots you see for sale and their suitability for growing orchids in. Note down the prices of each.
  • Investigate further into tissue culture processes specific to Orchids beyond the notes offered in the course.
  • Determine which species of orchids are most commonly sold in your locality.
  • Carry out research and look through any references you have and determine any orchid genera (not yet covered in this course), which are suited to growing in a tropical or sub-tropical climate.
  • Visit a native plant nursery which sells a range of native orchids.
  • List at least 5 native orchid varieties which are being grown in your locality.
  • Visit a florist shop. Notice what orchids are being sold; how they are presented for sale, how they are stored etc
  • Evaluate the cultural practices observed (or investigated) in the 2 different enterprises which you considered in your set task.

Duration: 100 Hours

You can start this course when you like and complete it at your own pace.

Career Opportunities with Orchids

Thousands of people around the world have made their passion for orchids into a full or part time job. Some have done this by breeding and selling rights to new varieties, others have established a plant nursery, some have gone into publishing books or magazines; and yet others have set up a business producing and selling cut flowers harvested from their orchid plants.

The benefit of a course like this is often that it helps provide you with a balanced perspecdtive on the subject. Many people who come to orchids as an amateur enthusiast, will learn to grow a variety well; but may miss developing certain areas of knowledge (eg. a business sense, an understanding of post harvest treatment, a knowledge of certain problems that occasionally occur). Though they may grow great orchids for an amateur collection; turning a hobby into a career can often be a very different thing. Working systematically through a course and getting some mentoring from a professional horticulturist/tutor can sometimes make the difference between success and failure.