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10 Popular Orchid Types Every Collector Should Have

Searching for orchids to add to your collection? Whether you’re a first-time orchid owner or considering expanding your existing collection, I created a list of 10 orchid types that you should definitely check out.

Moth Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

Phalaenopsis, also known as Moth orchids, are the most well-known orchid type. Usually, when you think of orchids, the very first image that comes to your mind is the image of a common moth orchid.

These flowers are everywhere, starting from garden centers through the shelves of supermarkets. They are easy to grow, don’t require much care, yet they reward you with beautiful large flowers in a wide variety of colors.

Moth orchids enjoy a special bark orchid medium and high humidity levels. Place it under bright and diffuse light, so they can reach their full potential.

Slipper Orchid

Compared to other orchids, Slipper orchids are quite unusual due to their unique shape. They feature a large flower pouch, similar to a slipper. These fused petals earned this remarkable flower the name “Lady’s slippers”.

However, the slippers have an important role. They make the orchid look like a specific insect, so they attract pollinators the plant needs in order to thrive.

Slipper orchids can be found in North America, Central America, Europe, Central Asia and China. They enjoy a high-quality multi-purpose compost and deep watering, especially during the flowering period.

Boat Orchid (Cymbidium)

Home gardeners and horticulturists adore Cymbidium orchids, due to long flowering periods and relatively good cold-tolerance.

When these decorative plants bloom, their flowers last for 6 to 8 weeks. Except for black and blue, the petals can have any colors.

Boat orchids can be grown both indoors and outdoors. They have a relatively good tolerance to cold, but don’t let the frost touch them; it will seriously damage or kill your plants. These orchids prefer bright, indirect sunlight, so make sure they are always protected from direct light.

Dendrobium Orchid

As one of the most popular orchid genera, Dendrobium orchids are widespread ornamental orchids. They can be found in Asian countries such as Tibet, India and the Himalayas, Laos, Vietnam, Thailand, Myanmar and China.

These flowers enjoy cool temperatures and low levels of humidity. They also need a few months of rest, from autumn to spring. During this period, they need to be placed in a cool and dry environment.

Cattleya Orchid

The story says that around 1817, a shipment of orchids from Brazil was sent to a famous horticulturist, William Cattley. To protect the package, they used unknown species of plants.

Cattleya took one flower, brought it back to life and was surprised by the beauty of a pink orchid featuring a distinct lip-like petal. Thanks to the horticulturist’s dedication, later the entire variety was named after him.

Cattleya orchids perform the best in intermediate temperature and strong light. They also prefer 50-60% levels of humidity, less than other orchid varieties enjoy.

Tiger Orchid

Tiger orchid, also known as the Queen of orchids, is the largest orchid species in the world. This orchid type features extremely large flower stalks up to 10 feet long, while the plant can reach a height of up to 25 feet.

The dark brown spots and blotches resemble the brown and yellow tiger stripes, this is where the name of the flower comes from.

Vanda Orchid

Vanda orchids are famous for their stunning large petals rich in a wide variety of patterns and colors. This remarkable orchid flower 2 or even 3 times a year, so growing a Vanda orchid is truly a rewarding experience.

These orchids enjoy strong, bright light and a slight temperature drop at night. Vanda orchids prefer air around the roots, so they perform amazingly in glass vases and baskets with a small amount of potting mixture, or with no potting medium at all.

Bamboo Orchid

There are many reasons why Bamboo orchids are a favorite to horticulturists and orchid lovers. But for sure, the delicate flowers releasing sweet honey fragrances in the early morning and late evenings is one of them.

Bamboo orchids enjoy a high level of moisture and good watering during summer and fall. In winter time the plant needs less water, so reduce the watering to every 1-2 weeks.

You can get the most out of your plant by placing it to a bright setting, but make sure it is protected from direct, burning sunlight.

Miltonia Orchid

Also known as “Pansy orchids”, Miltonia orchids originate from Central America to Peru, but nowadays you can find them easily on the market anywhere in the world.

These plants are easy to grow and it is also easy to make a hybrid, so Miltonia hybrids are also quite popular at markets and gardener centers.

Miltonia orchids reward the grower with beautiful big flowers in a large scale of colors such as yellow, pink, white, red and purple.

These plants prefer bright, but not direct light, so place them next to a window or a partially shady place where they are protected from burning sunlight.

Catasetum Orchid

Image by Arne and Bent Larsen sourceCC BY-SA 4.0

Catasetum orchids are one of the most attractive orchid genes, famous for their deciduous biology and fleshy flower petals.

Alongside their waxy flowers, their unisexuality makes them rarer compared to other orchid types. Catasetum orchids can produce both female and male flowers.

One of the main differences between male and female orchids is that male flowers prefer lower light and due to their size, the flowers have a more attractive aspect.

Another rare feature is that they immediately eject pollen whenever you touch the flower.

Being deciduous, Catasetum orchids need a dry resting period during the winter.

Conclusion

As you can see, the world of orchids is a widespread display of beautiful genes, colors, shapes and fragrances. These stunning flowers I mentioned above are just a few of the endless array of remarkable orchid types.

Whether you prefer long blooming periods, impressive looks or easy-growing, one thing is sure — when it comes to orchids you have a broad range of options to choose from.

Updated: November 18, 2020

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