Caring for Orchids

Orchids have long had a reputation for being difficult. However, caring for orchids is not much different than other flowering house plants. You just have to get to know them.

May I introduce you to a few? Phalaenopsis orchids (aka moth orchids) are the easiest orchid types to grow indoors, but there are others that also do well in the home.

caring for orchids, lady slipper orchid

Lady Slippers

Striped and speckled lady slipper orchids are captivating in rich, bold colors.

These orchids have a striking sepal (that's the top part of the bloom). What makes it most distinctive is its lip that looks like a house slipper.

Lady slippers thrive beautifully in their native tropical Asia. Provide the same warmth and humidity and you'll make them feel right at home.




caring for orchids, phalaenopsis orchid

Moth Orchids

Several flat-petaled flowers blooming along an arching stem look like moths in flight, lending these beauties their common name.

Actually, phalaenopsis orchid care is so easy -- and they're so widely cultivated -- that many people also know these orchids by their genus name, or call them simply "phals."



caring for orchids, cymbidium orchid

Cymbidiums

Cymbidium orchid plants are among the most adaptable for growing in homes. Thousands of cymbidium hybrids offer a huge selection to choose from -- in an array of colors ranging from white to light pink to maroon.

What they have in common is a 3-lobed center, beautifully spotted with a contrasting color.

Cymbidiums are prolific bloomers...with a number of flower spikes bearing as many as 100 blooms in a single season.


caring for orchids, orchid care instructions

Dendrobiums

More than 1,400 dendrobium species exist in the wild, covering several habitats throughout Asia and south to Australia and New Zealand.

Their shapes and colors vary widely, but most are epiphytes, growing on mossy tree branches.

Take a look at dendrobium orchid care tips to make these beauties bloom year after year.



zygopetalum, zygopetalum orchid

Zygopetalums

Bold colors in daring patterns captivate zygopetalum growers.

And that's not all. Those exotic, richly colored blooms emit a sweet fragrance, strong enough to perfume a room.

Fortunately for us, these beauties are also easy for beginners to grow. Give them plenty of bright light to coax the most flowers.



cattleya orchids, care of orchids

Cattleya Orchids

Cattleya orchids are among the most popular with orchid growers.

Countless cattleya hybrids offer exotic combinations of colors and shapes. Their big blooms and frilly petals make them -- without a doubt -- some of the showiest orchids around. Fortunately, catts are also a good choice for beginners. Caring for orchids in this group is easy when you give them the humidity and light they love.

Sun-loving cattleyas do best in a south- or west-facing window. Give them plenty of sunshine for months of blooms.


oncidium orchid, care of orchids

Oncidiums

For sheer abundance of flowers and the sweeping variety, few genera can match the dancing sprays of oncidiums.

With 100s of species, and many more hybrids, you have a lot to choose from. Take a look at oncidium orchid care and find out what makes these dancing ladies bloom.





Green Thumb Tip

Orchids like free-flowing air as in their native habitats. Put orchids where they'll enjoy air circulation, away from heat or AC vents.

Good air movement is key in preventing orchids from getting a fungal disease.

Did you know...

More than 30,000 orchid species exist in the wild, on just about every continent.

Understanding the needs of different orchid types makes caring for orchids a lot easier.

Coelogyne cristata and tiger orchids prefer the cool, moist air of their native mountain habitats.

Sweetly scented pansy orchid (Miltoniopsis) and captivating spider orchid prefer warm days and cooler nights like their native Central and South Americas.

Tropical asia offers popular vanda orchids and the unique jewel orchid. Give them warmth, humidity and bright light and you'll be rewarded with spectacular foliage and flowers.

One of the few terrestrial orchids that grow well indoors is the nun orchid. Originating from the lowland forests of China and Malaysia, this fragrant beauty prefers warm days with a cool winter rest.


caring for orchids, how to care for orchids

Phalaenopsis orchids like bright, indirect light near a window, and also do well under artificial light.

Get a few pointers for growing orchids indoors here.


caring for orchids, how to care for orchids

Most cattleya orchids available today are complex hybrids of several species, offering stunning color combinations and alluring fragrance.

Discover more fragrant orchids here and fill your home with delightfully scented flowers.