Oh, an orchid. They beg to be noticed. The long lasting blooms and simple care also make them oh, so desirable. With a little care, these flowering gems will give you many weeks of enjoyment.
There are several different types of orchids–each with their own unique growth habits. It is best to be prepared before purchasing orchids so you get the right variety for the right location in your home.
Cattleyas, Dendrobium, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, and Phalaenopsis are some of the easiest to grow and easiest to find orchid varieties.
Generally, most orchids require sufficient light to thrive. The ideal location is to place in an east or lightly shaded south-facing location. Paphiopedilum is the exceptions, preferring limited light making this an ideal houseplant.
Most orchids like to be watered about once every week allowing to dry-out between waterings. Paphiopedilum and Phalaenopsis are the exceptions, preferring to stay evenly moist.
Orchids like it warm and humid making the kitchen and bath ideal locations. They also want to be fed a fertilizer about twice a month, but only when they are not in bloom. So, for most of us who don’t plan to keep the plant after it finishes blooming, this care is not necessary.
Below are some specific orchid care requirements.
Cattleyas (kat-lee-uh) adapt to a wide range of indoor temperatures.
This orchid will thrive with lots of light and time to dry-out between waterings
Dendrobium (DEN-dro-bee-um) like moderate temperatures, lots of light, and time to dry-out between waterings.
Oncidium (on-sid-EE-um) like moderate temperatures, lots of light, and time to dry-out between waterings.
Paphiopedilums (paff-ee-oh-PED-ih-lum) are commonly known as Lady Slippers. They only require limited light to thrive. This is an ideal choice for a place in your home that will receive little direct light. They are also thirsty plants – keep evenly moist.
Phalaenopsis has been named America’s favorite orchid by the American Orchid Society. Very sensitive to cold so it is best to keep this orchid in a location where the nighttime temperature remains above 60 degrees. They like lots of light and like to stay evenly moist.
Few flowers match the quality, longevity, and enjoyment of an orchid. And the choices are oh, so easy.
Helen Yoest is an award winning writer and speaker through her business Gardening with Confidence ®., Raleigh, North Carolina.
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