"Orchids" introduces the beginner to the fascinating world of growing and caring for orchids. With more than 25,000 species, orchids are quite possibly the largest, and certainly the most diverse, plant family on earth. They are found all over the world (except the polar regions), in a wide range of biomes, and adapted to both epiphytic and terrestrial growth. Visually, orchids offer an exquisite variety of forms and colours, and hybridization has expanded the number of species and produced spectacular new combinations of colour and form.This book provides the beginner with commonsense advice on getting started with orchids, understanding the basics of orchid biology, caring for orchids in variety of settings (for example in the house, under a shade cloth or in the greenhouse) and mastering techniques for repotting, dividing and growing from seed. The second part of the book covers the major orchid families and their characteristics, with advice on choosing the plant that is right for your climate conditions. The book also covers pests and diseases and everything you need to know in order to enter your orchids in competition.