Orchids are extremely beautiful flowering plants now widely available from garden centres and even supermarkets.

In general, the more exotic and expensive an orchid, the sooner it will wither and die once you get it home, and even the dullest specimens are likely to be transformed into a wizened stump within a few months at most.

According to horticultural experts, the best strategy is to recreate the conditions in which orchids naturally thrive, so wherever you place your newly acquired plant, you should also install a small rain forest, a tribe of indigenous natives and a variety of aggressive insects whose bite may prove lethal to your children and/or pets.

If or when your orchid dies, it’s worth remembering that its dried roots are highly prized by homeopaths and have been shown to ameliorate the symptoms of cancer, especially when prescribed in conjunction with surgery or chemotherapy.