Fragrant Orchids

Fragrant orchids go toe to toe (pseudobulb to pseudobulb?) with some of the sweetest-scented flowers you could name.

fragrant orchids, oncidium orchid

Oncidium 'Sharry Baby'

Oncidium 'Sharry Baby' (shown at right) is a prolific bloomer, sending up a branched spike with sprays of red and white flowers. She blooms when she wants to, which may be spring, summer or fall. And, sometimes twice a year.

These stunning orchids are among the most popular oncidiums -- not just for their rich colors -- but because they're some of the easiest to grow. Could it get any better? Oh, yes. Those gorgeous blooms are deliciously chocolate-scented.





fragrant orchids, dendrobium parishii

Dendrobiums

Dendrobium parishii (shown at left) has a sweet, fruity scent. It reminds me of strawberries, but I guess that's just what my nose wants to imagine.

A cool winter rest will give dendrobiums more blooming power. Gorgeous blooms in spectacular colors place dendrobiums among the most popular orchids. This one has beautiful lavender-pink flowers with a characteristically contrasting throat color.



fragrant orchids, pansy orchid

Pansy Orchids

Beautiful fragrance, along with its charming "pansy" faces, makes this a delightful orchid to grow.

Most pansy orchids (Miltoniopsis spp.) will bloom in spring and some will give a second show of flowers in autumn, if you can keep your plant happy. Keep it slightly pot-bound, and provide plenty of humidity (at least 60% relative humidity).

You'll get the most blooms by deadheading faded flowers. Each bloom lasts about a month, then wilts. Cutting off spent flowers right away will promote more blooms.



cattleya orchids, fragrant orchids

Cattleya Orchids

Cattleya orchids are hands-down the most popular with orchid growers. And it's no wonder. Countless cattleya hybrids offer exotic color combinations, big blooms and frilly petals. They are -- without a doubt -- some of the showiest orchids around.

Cattleya labiata is the species on which the genus is based and is one of the most fragrant orchids you'll find anywhere. Look for this species, or a hybrid based on C. labiata, for captivating fragrance.




Green Thumb Tip

Free-flowing air is key in preventing orchids from catching a fungal disease.

Put them in a spot where they'll enjoy plenty of air circulation. Fans are fine, but keep orchids away from heat or AC vents.

Buying Tip:

You'll find fragrant orchids for sale in florist shops and online nurseries almost year-round.