types of orchids for the home

Pictures, descriptions and growing tips of the popular types of orchids for growing in the home.

The easiest orchids for growing in the home are phalaenopsis (called Phals or Moth Orchids) and the paphiopedilums (called Lady Slipper orchids).

If you grow other plants, you can grow orchids. The orchids I recommend for home orchid growing are;

Colorful Dendrobium types of orchidsColorful Dendrobium Orchids


Phalaenopsis  -  Cattleyas

Paphiopedilums  -  Cymbidiums

Oncidiums
  -  Dendrobiums




Phalaenopsis orchids

Phalaenopsis Orchids are the easiest orchid for home culture.

They like the same conditions that most of us keep in our home.

Many people call them "Phals" or "Moth Orchid". Phals are a great first orchid.

Classic White Phalaenopsis OrchidClassic Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis are my favorite orchid flowers. My husband's favorites are the big, bold cattleyas.

I think one reason I favor the Phals is because their flowers last for months.

Cattleya flowers on the other hand only last for a couple of weeks. If you are lucky they may last for three to four weeks.




Phalaenopsis orchids

Phalaenopsis Orchids are the easiest orchid for home culture.

They like the same conditions that most of us keep in our home.

Many people call them "Phals" or "Moth Orchid". Phals are a great first orchid.

Classic White Phalaenopsis OrchidClassic Phalaenopsis

Phalaenopsis are my favorite orchid flowers. My husband's favorites are the big, bold cattleyas.

I think one reason I favor the Phals is because their flowers last for months.

Cattleya flowers on the other hand only last for a couple of weeks. If you are lucky they may last for three to four weeks.



Cattleya Orchid

Cattleyas are the types of orchid used for large corsages.

The flowers are very large and showy.

The most common colors are the whites, pinks and purples.

My favorite Cattleya Orchid is the semi-alba. They have white petals with a red lip.

Intergeneric crosses have produced some beautiful and showy yellows, oranges, reds and splash colors.

See an brilliant orange cattleya.



Cattleya Orchid pictureCattleya Orchid

Cattleya types of orchids put on a wonderful show.

Some of them have an intoxicating fragrance.

Unfortunately the flowers last only from two to four weeks.

Cattleyas require bright light in order to flower.

It is important to let them dry out between waterings.

pink Cattleya Orchids with a purple lipCattleyas
Cattleya Orchid pictureCattleya Orchid

Cattleyas are the types of orchid used for large corsages.

The flowers are very large and showy.

The most common colors are the whites, pinks and purples.

My favorite Cattleya Orchid is the semi-alba. They have white petals with a red lip.

Intergeneric crosses have produced some beautiful and showy yellows, oranges, reds and splash colors.

See an brilliant orange cattleya.

pink Cattleya Orchids with a purple lipCattleyas

Cattleya types of orchids put on a wonderful show.

Some of them have an intoxicating fragrance.

Unfortunately the flowers last only from two to four weeks.

Cattleyas require bright light in order to flower.

It is important to let them dry out between waterings.


Paphiopedilum orchids

Paphiopedilum Orchids are better known as "Lady Slippers".

Just imagine a lady slipping her foot into their pouch.

People also commonly call them "Paphs".

They are very suitable for home orchid growing.

They like their nights a little cooler than do the Phals and Cattleyas.

So put their pots up close to the window to get the night's cool air.

wine colored Paphiopedilum orchidPaphiopedilum

Green and white Paphs are commonly sold in the garden centers.

They have lovely green and white variegated leaves.

Paphiopedilums prefer long tall pots. The roots like to have room to stretch out.

They need constant moisture, but don't keep them soggy or the roots will rot and die.

More about Watering Orchids.

green and white PaphiopedilumPaphiopedilum

These are hybrid paphiopedilum orchids.

They have big, bold flowers and solid green leaves.

They require a little more light than the variegated leaved Paphs.

They do not require as much light as Phals and definitely not as much light as Cattleyas.

If they get too much light their thin leaves will burn.

Picture of a Species Paphiopedilum

Hybrid PaphiopedilumsHybrid Paphiopedilums
wine colored Paphiopedilum orchidPaphiopedilum

Paphiopedilum Orchids are better known as "Lady Slippers".

Just imagine a lady slipping her foot into their pouch.

People also commonly call them "Paphs".

They are very suitable for home orchid growing.

They like their nights a little cooler than do the Phals and Cattleyas.

So put their pots up close to the window to get the night's cool air.

green and white PaphiopedilumPaphiopedilum

Green and white Paphs are commonly sold in the garden centers.

They have lovely green and white variegated leaves.

Paphiopedilums prefer long tall pots. The roots like to have room to stretch out.

They need constant moisture, but don't keep them soggy or the roots will rot and die.

More about Watering Orchids.

Hybrid PaphiopedilumsHybrid Paphiopedilums

These are hybrid paphiopedilum orchids.

They have big, bold flowers and solid green leaves.

They require a little more light than the variegated leaved Paphs.

They do not require as much light as Phals and definitely not as much light as Cattleyas.

If they get too much light their thin leaves will burn.

Picture of a Species Paphiopedilum


Cymbidium Orchid

Cymbidiums are the types of orchids used in many modern orchid corsages.

They are also used as cut flowers.

Their colors are mostly in the pinks, yellows, reds and whites.

On the plant their flowers last from 1-3 months.

The standard varieties get fairly tall and take up quite a bit of space.

The miniature size Cymbidium Orchid is more suitable for in the house.

Cymbidium orchids photoCymbidium

Warm tropical situations will cause the Cymbidium Orchid to grow plenty of leaves, but they will not produce flowers.

They will not flower unless they have cool nights.

For this reason many people in California grow them outside under a covered patio.

That way they get the cool nights necessary for flowering.

The miniature cymbidiums don't require nights so cool and are easier to flower in warm areas.

Cymbidium orchid pictureCymbidium
Cymbidium orchids photoCymbidium

Cymbidiums are the types of orchids used in many modern orchid corsages.

They are also used as cut flowers.

Their colors are mostly in the pinks, yellows, reds and whites.

On the plant their flowers last from 1-3 months.

The standard varieties get fairly tall and take up quite a bit of space.

The miniature size Cymbidium Orchid is more suitable for in the house.

Cymbidium orchid pictureCymbidium

Warm tropical situations will cause the Cymbidium Orchid to grow plenty of leaves, but they will not produce flowers.

They will not flower unless they have cool nights.

For this reason many people in California grow them outside under a covered patio.

That way they get the cool nights necessary for flowering.

The miniature cymbidiums don't require nights so cool and are easier to flower in warm areas.


Oncidium Orchid

Oncidiums are commonly called "Dancing Ladies".

The Oncidium Orchid has multiple flowers per stem that dance in the breeze.

They resemble a dancing lady with her full skirt swinging.

Oncidiums have a high light requirements.

They must dry out in between waterings.


This Monarch Butterfly likes the Dancing Lady.

Monarch on Oncidium orchid flowersDancing Ladies - Oncidiums

Papillo orchid is one of my favorite Oncidiums because it so unusual.

It is often called the "Butterfly Orchid" because of it's resemblance to butterflies. 

It usually is a single flower on top of a very long stem held high above the leaves.

Grow Some Butterfly Flowers

Papillo Oncidium is called the Butterfly OrchidPapillo Oncidium

Some of the Inter-generic Oncidiums have a lower light requirement.

So these types of orchids could possibly be grown at home.

However most of them are on the large side and they would fit better into a greenhouse.

I mention them here because they are part of the Oncidium alliance.

I am not recommending them to the average home orchid grower. But they do show up for sale in the garden store.

If you wish, try them, it can't hurt. They have nice unusual flowers.

Oncidium alliance orchidInter-generic Oncidium Alliance
Monarch on Oncidium orchid flowersDancing Ladies - Oncidiums

Oncidiums are commonly called "Dancing Ladies".

The Oncidium Orchid has multiple flowers per stem that dance in the breeze.

They resemble a dancing lady with her full skirt swinging.

Oncidiums have a high light requirements.

They must dry out in between waterings.


This Monarch Butterfly likes the Dancing Lady.

Papillo Oncidium is called the Butterfly OrchidPapillo Oncidium

Papillo orchid is one of my favorite Oncidiums because it so unusual.

It is often called the "Butterfly Orchid" because of it's resemblance to butterflies. 

It usually is a single flower on top of a very long stem held high above the leaves.

Grow Some Butterfly Flowers

Oncidium alliance orchidInter-generic Oncidium Alliance

Some of the Inter-generic Oncidiums have a lower light requirement.

So these types of orchids could possibly be grown at home.

However most of them are on the large side and they would fit better into a greenhouse.

I mention them here because they are part of the Oncidium alliance.

I am not recommending them to the average home orchid grower. But they do show up for sale in the garden store.

If you wish, try them, it can't hurt. They have nice unusual flowers.


Dendrobium Orchid

Dendrobium Orchid flowers are long lasting and are used as cut flowers.

It has multiple flowers on a long stem.

White, pinks and purples are common. You may also see yellows and greens.

One type of Dendrobium Orchid resembles the phalaenopsis orchid.

So it is called a "Phal Dendrobium".

Dendrobium type of orchidsPhal Dendrobium

There is another Dendrobium called the Antelope Dendrobium because their side petals are twisted like antelope horns.

The Phalaenopsis type of Dendrobiums have hard stems.

Their stems are enlarged and they are called pseudobulbs.

The pseudobulb stores water for the dry times they would go through in the wild.

They must dry out between waterings.

Do not over-pot your dendrobium.

Put them into what looks like a small pot for the size of the plant.

Dendrobiums have pseudobulbsDendrobium With Pseudobulbs

Another type of dendrobium, the Nobile Dendrobium has soft stems.

They flower all up and down their stem. Some of their flowers are very fragrant.

They like temperatures slightly cooler than the phal type of Dendrobiums.

All Dendrobium Orchids have a high light requirement.

Again, do not over-pot this type of Dendrobium.

They have a fine root system and extra water remaining in a large pot will cause their roots to rot.

Nobile type of Dendrobium OrchidsNobile Dendrobium
Dendrobium type of orchidsPhal Dendrobium

It has multiple flowers on a long stem.

White, pinks and purples are common. You may also see yellows and greens.

One type of Dendrobium Orchid resembles the phalaenopsis orchid.

So it is called a "Phal Dendrobium".

Dendrobiums have pseudobulbsDendrobium With Pseudobulbs

There is another Dendrobium called the Antelope Dendrobium because their side petals are twisted like antelope horns.

The Phalaenopsis type of Dendrobiums have hard stems.

Their stems are enlarged and they are called pseudobulbs.

The pseudobulb stores water for the dry times they would go through in the wild.

They must dry out between waterings.

Do not over-pot your dendrobium.

Put them into what looks like a small pot for the size of the plant.

Nobile type of Dendrobium OrchidsNobile Dendrobium

Another type of dendrobium, the Nobile Dendrobium has soft stems.

They flower all up and down their stem. Some of their flowers are very fragrant.

They like temperatures slightly cooler than the phal type of Dendrobiums.

All Dendrobium Orchids have a high light requirement.

Again, do not over-pot this type of Dendrobium.

They have a fine root system and extra water remaining in a large pot will cause their roots to rot.

Favorite Types of Orchids

Orchids are one of one of my favorite flowers, especially Phalaenopsis because their flowers last months.

One year a hummer kept coming to look at the orchids in my window.

The hummingbird liked them, too. He was looking at God's gift of beautiful hot pink orchids.

He checked out all the Types of Orchids.

Then he went to look for some  Hummingbird Flowers.

What are your favorite Types of Orchids?


Hummingbird checking out Doritaenopsis orchid flowersHummingbird Visiting Orchids
Hummingbird checking out Doritaenopsis orchid flowersHummingbird Visiting Orchids

Orchids are one of one of my favorite flowers, especially Phalaenopsis because their flowers last months.

One year a hummer kept coming to look at the orchids in my window.

The hummingbird liked them, too. He was looking at God's gift of beautiful hot pink orchids.

He checked out all the Types of Orchids.

Then he went to look for some  Hummingbird Flowers.

What are your favorite Types of Orchids?









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