Text and photos by Richard Mollee
Flowering orchids can now be easily purchased at any time of the year. However, re-blooming these orchids is often significantly more challenging. Commercial growers commonly use artificial cooling to induce flowering in orchids outside of their typical blooming season. Such artificially controlled conditions are not usually available to most hobbyists, prohibited in large part due to high initial set up, and ongoing running costs. Fortunately, good culture is easily achievable without costly artificial heating or cooling if planned for appropriately. Most affordable temperature control techniques are centred upon the concept of insulation, slowing the absorption of heat to remain cooler, or minimising the loss of heat to remain warm. Each grower needs to determine which technique is best for their collection, as well as the scale that is necessary.