Steve Frowine

Phone: 828-747-9028, 828-747-9541 Email:

SpecialtiesFantastic Phalaenopsis, Marvelous Miniature Orchids, Growing Orchids Without A Greenhouse, Perfect Companion Plants to Orchids, The Basics of Orchid Parenthood and more
FormatOnline and in-person
Provides plants for sale?No


Steven A. Frowine first started growing orchids under lights when he was in high school. Since then, his love and sometimes obsession for orchids has continued to grow. He has tended orchids professionally as a horticulturist when he worked in Hawaii at the National Tropical Botanical Garden and at Missouri Botanical Garden, where he was Chairman of Indoor Horticulture and managed one of the largest orchid collections in the United States — more than 10,000 plants. Steve’s greatest pleasure from orchids, though, has been growing them in his own home under lights and in windowsills, which he has done now for more than 50 years. Steve has a B.S. and M.S. in horticulture from Ohio State University and Cornell, respectively. He has had a long and rich career working as a professional horticulturist for premier botanical gardens in the United States and as an executive at top horticultural businesses including W. Atlee Burpee Company and White Flower. Steve is sought out as a lecturer and has delivered hundreds of lectures throughout the country. His presentations are noted for his knowledge of the subject and his sense of humor. He has appeared on various national TV shows and writes extensively, authoring many articles for horticultural trade and consumer magazines. He has written several books including Orchids for Dummies (1st and 2nd Editions, Gardening Basics For Dummies (1st and 2nd Editions), Miniature Orchids, Fragrant Orchids, Moth Orchids, The Complete Guide to Phalaenopsis and Complete Guide to Orchids (Miracle- Gro) and his newest book, Houseplants for and Succulents For Dummies will be released in February 2024.
Steve now resides in the beautiful mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.

Talks and Abstracts


Fantastic Phalaenopsis

With their refined beauty and elegant flower form, moth orchids (members of the genus Phalaenopsis) are often referred to as the basic black of the orchid world. Moth orchids are the most popularorchids in the world, accounting for a staggering 75 percent of all orchid plant sales. More than merelybeautiful, they are also among the easiest orchids to grow, whether in greenhouses, on windowsills, or under artificial lights, and the individual flowers can last for up to three months in pristine form. These appealing traits make moth orchids the first choice of every orchid fancier, from rank beginners to dyed-in-the-wool fanatics. Most flower lovers are familiar with the elegant white, pink, and striped hybrids, but a revolution in phalaenopsis breeding has resulted in an entirely new, diverse, and wonderful array of flower colors and patterns previously unimaginable. Professional horticulturist and orchid expert Steven A. Frowine, author of Moth Orchids, the Complete Guide to Phalaenopsis (Timber Press, 2008) will focus on these new stars while also providing a detailed look at the classic hybrids and species. Viewers will be enticed by gorgeous color images and gratified by the wealth of practical advice on selecting and buying moth orchids. Most importantly, Frowine shares his secrets on how these glorious plants can be grown to perfection, with recommendations about light levels, potting media, watering, and feeding. Especially useful are his clearly illustrated step-by-step directions on how to repot, trim, and propagate moth orchids.

Marvelous Miniature Orchids

Although miniature orchids have been grown and admired for quite some time, they have, until recently, been a very small niche market. This situation has changed rapidly as some of the most popular new orchids today are miniatures. Examples are multi-floral and miniature phalaenopsis (better suited as a pot plant then the standard larger white and pink hybrids); miniature and equitant oncidiums; small growing primary paphiopedilum hybrids, including some of the parvisepalum and the brachypetalum species and hybrids; “minicatts” that are now are in higher demand than their space-hogging full-sized plants; and many different color forms of dwarf dendrobiums like Den. kingianum and other very compact growing selections of Dendrobium phalaenopsis are now coming into the US market. Vandaceous miniatures using ascocentums have always been popular, but now newer hybrids using Neofinetia falcata, and dwarf angraecoids are producing a new range of charming and fragrant orchids. Even the more esoteric genera that contain many different miniatures, suited for growing in terrariums, including Maxillaria, Masdevallia, Pleurothallis, Bulbophyllum, Lepanthes, and Dracula are receiving much more attention in popular orchid literature and at orchid shows. These orchids and many others are featured in Steve’s book, Miniature Orchids (Timber Press, 2006) and will be discussed and illustrated in this presentation.

Growing Orchids Without A Greenhouse

Years ago, almost all orchids were grown in greenhouses. This is just not so today. More are now grown on windowsills and under lights. Some can be grown better this way without the big cost and trouble of building and maintaining a greenhouse. In this talk, Steve will give pointers on how to have great success with this approach and will discuss the most recent efficient and effective lighting sources and equipment and how to make the best use of windowsills. He will present a fine array of orchids ideally suited to this type of culture. Steve has had many years of experience with this type of growing.

Perfect Companion Plants to Orchids

All of us love our orchids, but there also are many spectacular plants that are ideal companions to orchids. They thrive in the same environment and can add a welcomed variety. The plants that will be discussed are spectacular and are easy to grow and flower. He will show his favorites that he has grown over the years.

Orchid Clinic

Although orchids are not plagued with as many problems as some plants, they can still be haunted by pests that can mar their beauty, or in some cases, can threaten their lives. In this program, Steve will give a presentation of the most common diseases, insects, varmints, and cultural problems and will give safe, effective ways to eliminate or control them. After the presentation, there will be time for members who have brought in troubled plants to have these plants diagnosed and for questions to be answered about individual plant growing or pest problems.

The Basics of Orchid Parenthood

As anyone who has read Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief or has seen the movie Adaptation knows, orchids inspire a passionate following. And their popularity is rising: according to the USDA, more than 12.7 million orchids were sold in the U.S. last year. Steve’s best-selling book , Orchids for Dummies serves as a guide for “newbies” to this wildly popular group of plants. The book and lecture serve as friendly guides introducing orchid fanciers to today’s most popular and intriguing orchid varieties and shows step-by –step information on how toselect healthy plants at a nursery or commercial grower, cultivate them successfully at home, promote blooms, and create beautiful orchid displays. This is a very intensive practical-information-based talk. This talk is aimed at beginners and intermediate growers, although veterans will likely also reap valuable cultural tips

Choice Mexican Orchid Species

Mexico is home to more than 1200 orchid species, many of which are not commonly grown by US orchid fanciers, even though they much deserve to be. This illustrated talk will feature those that are most spectacular and easiest to grow including laelias, encyclias, prosthecheas, oncidiums, epidendrums, maxillarias, stanhopeas, and lycastes. Steve now resides in Mexico and takes great pleasure in growing many of these in his outdoor shade house. He will share his tips on how to grow these orchids to perfection