Dendrobium laevifolium22

Welcome to the Orchid Files website. I have purpose built this website so I can share my extensive knowledge of Orchids. It is one of my passions and knowing it is hard to discover accurate information which is scattered across the Internet I hope to collate a useful collection which can be easily accessed in the one place.

Most people are not aware of the fact that orchids are really quite hardy and easy to grow. in nature they grow quite happily on trees or rocks or in the ground. Most do not survive because of over-watering, if left alone in a bush-house, with sufficient rainfall, the roots will end up growing in everybody else’s pot so when you lift one pot up about 10 other pots lift up.

EPIPHYTES— are the one that use a tree as a host running their roots all over the trunk and branches seeking out nutrient from decaying bark, bird droppings,dust,fungus and anything else that may die up there.

LITHOPHYTES— are the ones that use a rock as a host running their roots all over the rocks surface,nutrient are from anything that falls onto the rock much the same as the epiphytes.

TERRESTRIAL— are the ones that grow in the ground and receive their nutrient the same as trees and shrubs,but some terrestrials are very specific as to their host, these are called Saprophytic and form a symbiotic relationship with a fungus with which they will not grow, so if you see some orchids in the bush leave them, they possibly will not grow in your conditions.

Your orchids may grow in a glass-house or a bush-house, in a glass-house moving air is essential and of course ventilation,depending on the humidity in the glass-house you may have to water more often than a bush-house, but err on the dry side, if your plants are on a host, wood cork,tea-tree or other they will require watering more often as the water does not remain,  as it does in a pot.

Potting mixes are discussion on it’s own, everybody has their own mix or type of medium, some require this and some require that but for the average orchid,  bark is the most often used. Fertilizing always half the recommended strength and never on a hot day.

If you have an orchid that is not looking happy, move it or it will die, it may die after you have moved it but at least you have tried something different.

If you have an orchid growing very well but it will not flower change it’s aspect,move it to the end of the glass-house or across the other side or nearer the fan or facing the morning sun, growing orchids is trial and error, hopefully catching the error before it is to late, you will have casualties, we all do, but try and learn from them, you will have more success than failure.

Orchids are considered to be either    H,  hot,  I,   intermediate or   C,   cold growers, hot growers have a minimum night temperature of about 12 to 15 C, intermediate growers have a minimum night temperature of about 8 to 10 C and cold growers have a minimum night temperature of  0 C, they will all take lower temperatures providing it is not prolonged.

Orchids have generally 2 growth habits or patterns, Sympodial, which means it grows horizontally or Monopodial,which means it grows upwards.

The nomenclature I am using will be the same as when I was growing, I know there has been a lot of changes since then, between the lumpers and the splitters, for whatever reason and some of my photographs are not as clear as they could be, but they do show what the flower is like,however if you do not like them please feel free not to look.

All photographs shown on this website are subject to copyright and may not be reproduced without permission. If you have any additional information to add to any of my posts please leave a comment.


Ken Blackburn.

Comments on: "WELCOME" (8)

  1. Badariyah said:

    Hi Mr. Blackburn

    I read your writings on orchids. I would like to have your permissions to copy and paste on my created group wall some of the facts about orchids you have written.
    I would also like to have your permissions to copy the photographs found here.

    Thanking you in advance.

    Badariyah Din

  2. Ken Blackburn said:


    Thank you for asking and I appreciate your interest.

    I would appreciate you naming the source of what you use.

    Kind Regards,


  3. Badariyah said:

    Hi Sir….

    Thank you for your permission. I will do so and will direct to your link.

    Thank you.


  4. Badariyah said:

    Hi Sir….

    Thank you for your permission. I will do so and will direct to your link.



  5. Hi
    Just stumbled on your site and it is the best orchid site I have seen! I’m part of the Byron Orchid Society and we have just had our show this weekend. Just wondering if you are up this way? Some of your plants look like what grows well up here.
    It’s so inspiring to see your orchid rock wall from the beginning and recent plant happiness growth and the flowers!!!!
    I’m renting but I would love my own wall like yours hopefully one day…..
    Keep up your amazing orchid growing and sharing them with us!

  6. Ken Blackburn said:

    Hi Katrina,
    I appreciate your comments and your enthusiasm, I have been a bit lax and slow with my input but I will try and put some more on the site.
    If you are coming to the Gold Coast anytime feel free to drop in and see the wall, just ring first 0755932958.

    Kind Regards,


  7. wonderful put up, vey informative. I’m wondering why the other specialists of this
    sector do not notice this. You must proceed your
    writing. I am confident, you have a huge readers’ base already!

  8. Ken Blackburn said:

    Hi Nicholas, thanks for your comment, I am pleased you like the site, as for writing posts, it is much of the same as not many new orchids are flowering.
    I can just show photos of how the wall is progressing and the flowers enmasse when they flower,which can sometimes be a good show, but I will be continuing in the near future.

    Kind Regards,


Leave a comment for: "WELCOME"

Tag Cloud