Utopia Orchid Park in Kibbutz Bahan just outside Natanya
Utopia Orchid Park is an attractive park in Kibbutz Bahan, adjoining the city of Natanya, consisting of two sections. The indoor part is a large, air-conditioned tropical forest containing small waterfalls and a colorful spectacle of thousands of orchids from different countries viewed from ground level and via interconnected wooden bridges. You can also see carnivorous plants and some birds. In the outdoor section is also a variety of things to see, including two mazes, goats, a lake/reservoir with recycled water, a tent with butterflies, rose garden, and Israel hill. There is also a large nursery for purchasing plants and supplies.
Time: Allow about 1½ hours or more to view the entire site.
Distance: About 4 Km
Directions and parking: Enter “Orchid Park” into Waze and click on “פארק אוטופיה בחן ״. There is plenty of free parking outside.
Admission: The site is open Sunday to Thursday 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. with the last entrance at 3.30 p.m., Saturday and holidays 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. with last entrance at 3.30 p.m., and Friday and holiday eves 9.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. with last entrance at 1.30 p.m. There is a cafeteria for hot and cold drinks and snacks and an area under shade for picnicking. Admission for children 2 to under 12 years is 59 NIS and adults 69 NIS. There is also a reduced family rate booked at least an hour before by phone. Their phone number is 972 9 8782191. This is their website.
Public transport: Enter “Utopia Park” into Moovit and click on “Park Utopia פארק אוטופיה “
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Growing your own orchids
Orchids are with good reason a popular house plant. They have beautiful delicate flowers and you can choose from a number of colors. The flowers last for about 6 months. For about the next 6 months there are no flowers, but the leaves look nice, and it keeps on flowering.
However, orchids are fairly fussy about their living conditions. They like bright like, but not direct sunlight which can burn up the leaves. An east or west-facing window can do the trick. They do like a higher humidity, and this could be important in desert conditions. Too much humidity is also not good. Placing them on a tray filled with water can be helpful. They need watering no more than every week or week and a half. Overwatering can cause the roots to rot. They like a well-draining media. You can leave them in the pot that you bought them. Avoid regular potting soil as it retains too much moisture. Repot the orchids every 1 to 2 years. Choose a pot and a media that allows the roots to breath. You may be able to buy a special orchid mix. Remove dying flowers and yellowing leaves and this will keep the plant tidy and encourage new growth.