Common Orchid Plants Grown in the Home

There are more than 25,000 different species making the orchid plant one of the most diverse in the plant family. Below are some of the common orchids grown in a home environment

Phalaenopsis (fal-en-OP-sis)

This is probably the easiest orchid to grow for beginners and would be the most popular. This orchid is often referred to as a “Moth Orchid.”

These can be grown under fluorescent lights; they can burn quickly if left in direct sunlight. Re-potting only needs to happen every 2-3 years. With showy colours of red, purple, white, yellow, pinks and spotted harlequins, this type of orchid is sure to please. A happy mature orchid can stay in bloom for most of the year.

Cattleya (CAT-lay-ah)

This is another good choice for those starting out growing orchids. They are a perfect selection for those who live a busy lifestyle and sometimes forget to water their plants.

These produce lovely fragrant flowers that come in orange, purple, pink, red white and yellow. Re-potting only need to happen every 2-3 years. The Cattleya is used for corsages. This orchid loves the bright light. Give them full sunlight and warmth.

Dendrobium (den-DRO-bee-um)

This is a tall plant with some mature ones reaching over 3ft tall. Staking of these orchids is critical to keep them well balanced. There are also miniature varieties of Dendrobium’s which grow to about 8inches.

Both produce beautiful sprays of colourful flowers brightening up a grey winter’s day. Like the Cattleya, these also enjoy bright light and benefit from some direct sunlight. They don’t like to be repotted and only need doing when new shoots appear, approx. every 3 years.

Cymbidium (sim-BID-ee-um)

These types of orchid can handle the full sunlight and grow well in Mediterranean type climates. They are large growing orchids with grass like leaves and tall spikes full of flowers. They can be quite unruly.

Miniature versions of the Cymbidium need warmer temperature environments and are a lot easier to work with, making them more ideal for indoor growing. They come in a variety of colours including reds, browns, yellows, greens and whites. Cymbidium orchids don’t like to be repotted, only repot when necessary I.e when the plant is pushing its way out of the pot.

Paphiopedilum (paf-ee-oh-PED-ih-lum)

This common orchid is commonly known as “The Lady Slipper” and are a favourite among many orchid growers. The name comes from the long lasting, slipper shaped flower that grow.

These orchids are best grown in shady environments and can be grown under fluorescent lights. They come in a range of colours including whites, reds, greens and yellows. The Paphiopedilum orchid needs to be repotted every year after they have finished flowering.

Oncidium (on-SID_ee-um)

Due to this being such a large family of orchids, there is a variety of growing needs. All varieties need bright light but some may require full sunlight.

Some need to be kept in the medium temperature environments while others will require warmer environments. The colours they can display are yellow, brown and pink. Oncidium orchids need re-potting every 2-3 years

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