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Book Review - Orchid Basics

Orchid Basics by Isobyl la Croix is aimed at the reader justing starting on their journey into the world of orchids. The first chapter gives background information about orchids and their characteristics, naming conventions and native habitats. Close-up pictures illustrate the various types of orchids and their growth habits.

The next two chapters cover where and how to grow your plants. The author gives ideas for things to consider when planning and building a greenhouse. Other locations include windowsills, orchid cases, shade houses and under artificial lights. Suggestions are given on choosing the proper pots, planting media and fertilizers. Basics of lighting, repotting, humidity and temperature are also explained.

The chapter on pests and diseases is especially helpful. A variety of critters and diseases are pictured, making identification of these problems easier. Chapter five covers various propagation methods and includes dividing, keikis, meristems and collecting and sowing seeds. Hybridization is covered in a brief, separate chapter.

The last five chapters are especially helpful to the beginning grower as they give specific suggestions for the types of orchids that will do well in the garden, an alpine house and in cool, intermediate or warm greenhouses. General cultural information is given for each type of plant and includes specific named species and hybrid plants.

I would recommend this book to someone that is wondering if they really want to take the plunge into the world of orchid growing. The information is presented in an easy to read style without presenting an overwhelming amount of technical language.



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