Common Varieties at American Plant
Phalaenopsis – the ‘Moth’ orchid from the Philippines, New Guinea, Indonesia, and Australia is quickly becoming the most popular orchid. The large, brilliantly colored petals last for three months on gracefully arching sprays. They require bright indirect light, and like most orchids, they don’t like to stay wet as crown rot will set in.
Dendrobium – the ‘Hawaiian Lei’ orchid grows naturally in New Guinea and Australia. They can bloom from new and old growth and flower for 6-8 weeks. Dendrobium prefer direct light from the east or west, or filtered light from the south.
Oncidium – the ‘Dancing Lady’ orchid is native in Central and South America. It produces a large showy spray of flowers for 4-6 weeks in fluorescent yellow, pink, white, and brown. Also available as a miniature, these flowering friends prefer direct east, west light, or filtered from the south.
Cattleya – the ‘Queen of Orchids’ is found wild in Central and South America. Commonly associated with corsages, it produces several large, fragrant blooms each year. Although the flowers are short lived, it is considered the most beautiful of the orchids. Cattleya prefer direct light from the east or west, or filtered light from the south.
Miltonia - "the Pansy Orchid," hales mainly from Brazil. They do best with two hours of early morning or filtered late afternoon sun, and temperatures between 60 - 85 degrees Fahrenheit. A home is better than a greenhouse. Strive to keep these orchids evenly moist. They should be watered more frequently than a phalaenopsis. Bloom cycle averages 6 - 8 weeks.
Paphiopedilum – the ‘Lady Slipper’ orchid, indigenous to Southeast Asia, is esteemed for its mottled foliage and long lasting, unusual pouch-like flower. Bright indirect light make this ideal for growing under fluorescent lights or a shaded window.