A lot of people bemoan their incompetence at growing orchids. I have the opposite problem—an inability to kill my scraggly supermarket-variety species after they stop blooming.
Here's my secret: I ignore them. My orchids sit unmolested on a windowsill with a western exposure for as long as they can stand it—months, usually—and then, finally, they bloom again in a desperate bid to get attention.
I realize there may be more to this business of growing orchids; here are some beginners' tips gleaned from other, more attentive gardeners:
Above: There are more than 3,000 species of orchids; to maximize your chances of success, narrow your choice. Eliminate finicky species and instead grow an orchid that falls into the category of easy going. A potted Purple Dendrobium Orchid, for instance, is tolerant of the low light frequently found in offices; it's $79 from White Flower Farm. Photograph by Sftrajan via Flickr.
Above: Make sure your orchid has enough light. Other types of orchids that will tolerate low indoor lighting are oncidiums, phalaenopsis, and paphiopedilums. A potted Love in Bloom Phalaenopsis is $59 from Viva Terra. Photograph by Lalallallala via Flickr.
Above: In the wild, orchids grow attached to other plants. They are not designed to grow in potting soil; please don't try to force them. Instead, plant them in a nice loose bark they can clutch happily. Photograph by Eric Joseph Tagle via Flickr.
Above: Make sure your orchid has enough light, especially in winter. If necessary, increase the amount of light by placing the plant in front of a mirror; a reflective surface will increase light. Photograph by Hitchster via Flickr.
Above: Orchids hate to have wet roots; choose a pot with good drainage and spread a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the pot. Photograph by Brnaebell via Flickr. For more, see "5 Favorites: Essential Equipment for Orchids."