The Six Most Popular Orchid Types


The Six Most Popular

Orchid Types

Orchids are a wonderfully diverse group of flowering plants

that can be found all over the world. The varieties of orchid

flowers are seemingly endless. In terms of commercial

importance, the most commonly cultivated orchids types

can be classified into six major groups.

The following list represents the primary orchids that one

would find as houseplants, in flower arrangements, and

otherwise grown for sale or display. The list is in

alphabetical order.


Perhaps the most popular and best

known of the orchids The Cattleyas

have very large showy flowers and are

commonly used in corsages. They have

been highly hybridized and some of

the hybrids are some of the easiest

orchids to grow. They will tolerate a

wide range of conditions but ideally

like bright light, cooler nights, and

medium humidity.


These orchids produce long sprays (flower stems)

of 20-30 beautiful flowers, primarily in white or

shades of pink. They are native to the higher

altitude regions of India and Southeast Asia.

They thrive and bloom best with warm days with

high light intensity and significantly cooler night

time temperatures. For this reason, they are

difficult to keep as houseplants but can do very

well in greenhouse conditions. Some species of

Cymbidiums can be kept outdoors in areas that

can supply the high light/warm day/cool night



These are most recognizable as the

"lady's slipper" orchids. They grow in

lower light, moist areas like Northern

bogs although some species can be

found in tropical parts of Asia. They are

terrestrial orchids that prefer moist soil

that does not dry out. Many of the

Cypripediums can be kept as

houseplants and with their unique pouchlike

flower they make an excellent

addition to any plant collection.


This is one of the largest groups within the

Orchid family and within the dedrobiums,

there is wide variation in both the plants

and the flowers. D. nobile and its hybrids

have long, arching flower sprays. They are

among the most popular and least

expensive orchids available. Like many

tropical orchids they prefer it warm and



Most varieties of Oncidiums are very

adaptable to home environments and as

such are a good choice for the beginning

orchid keeper. The most well known

Oncidiums are the "Dancing Ladies", so

named for their long sprays of flowers

that are said to resemble ballet dancers.


The Vandas include some of the most

beautiful and striking flowers within all of

the orchid types. They come in nearly

every color and a wide variety of sizes.

One of the most attractive characteristics

of the Vandas is that their flowers last a

long time compared to most other orchids.

In addition, some Vanda species will

flower multiple times a year.



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