I would like to try growing a mini orchid in a standard downtown Toronto office with no windows and fluorescent overhead fixtures. What type of growing environment do I need? What kind of grow light? How far above the plant should it be placed? Do I need a pan with pebbles and water for humidity? Will an enclosed glass terrarium-style container ensure constant temperature and humidity? The lights in my office are on a motion sensor, so the lights are off on weekends. Will I need a timer for the grow light?
Is there a mini orchid which is readily and economically available and which would have a chance under these conditions? Or should I simply buy a silk look-alike instead?
A silk look-alike would probably be the easiest choice but wouldn’t you rather grow a real plant? Many people successfully grow orchids in windowless offices under fluorescent lights. If you could supplement with a small height-adjustable LED light above the plant that would improve your chances for success. A timer for weekends when the overheads are turned off would also be a good idea.
Phalaenopsis (moth orchids) and some Paphiopedilum varieties (slipper orchids) are the easiest orchids to grow indoors. Flowers on these two types of orchids are very long lasting. Phalaenopsis flowers last from two to six months!
The Toronto Master Gardeners have put together a guide you may find interesting. Please take a look at it for more information: https://www.torontomastergardeners.ca/index.php/factsheet/growing-orchids-a-toronto-master-gardeners-guide/