Flowers

Orchids From Around the World!

There’s something about orchids, that sets them apart from other flowers. They are exotic, elegant, boldly coloured, absolutely unique and the picture of perfection. They are your pop of colour and beauty on a rainy day, sweet scent on a warm summer evening, a nostalgic reminder of a happy holiday.

Orchids are found in various parts of the world, and can be found in a rainbow of colours – the variations are endless! We are so inspired by these beautiful flowers, that we have put together a complete list of orchid species that are found across the world. This complete guide will help you identify various types of orchids, as well as give you some handy tips on growing these beauties yourself.

The individual species within each type of orchid listed below are as varied as the colours of the rainbow and the climates and natural habitats they come from. Care instructions cover the majority of species and conditions in Australia, but it’s always best to follow the instructions that come with your individual plant. Enjoy!

Image by Gabriele Ottich from Pixabay

Common name: Spider Orchid

Scientific name: Caladenia (kal-a-DEN-ee-ah)

Spider Orchid is perfect name for these beauties! With their hairy stem and their often quite narrow and lance-shaped petals, their blossoms look like long-limbed, delicate spiders patiently waiting for their prey. There are about 350 Caladenia species, most are native to Australia, but some can also be found in New Caledonia, Indonesia and New Zealand. Please remember that the Coloured Spider Orchid is a protected plant in Australia.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Spider Orchids like a spot in full sun to part shade and are quite hardy (minimum of 4 – 5 °C).

Water: Make sure the soil is evenly moist during their growth phase from autumn to spring. When the plant dies down, allow it to dry out as the tubers rot easily.

Potting/planting: Add a bit of organic blood and bone to the potting mix and repot your orchid every two to three years. This is best done over summer in a well-draining mix of soil, sandy loam, leaf mould or coarse sand; and 2 to 5 cm below the surface. Do you have a frost protected spot in your garden, a shade-house or a sheltered veranda? If so, you’ll be able to plant your Spider Orchid outdoors in many areas.

Blooming: Caladenias come in many shapes and sizes and most species flower in early spring. Often, they form a cluster of scented blossoms on a single stem, some look more like a ground cover, others can get up to 50 cm long. Blossoms are varied, some dainty, but always elegant. Colours range from translucent white to light pinks to musky purples and mottled greens.

Source: flickr

Common Name: Venus Slipper

Scientific Name: Paphiopedilum (paff-ee-oh-PED-ih-lum )

One of the most widely cultivated and highly coveted orchid amongst collectors, this is a striking and tantalising ‘look at me-orchid’; the same way Venus might have flaunted her slippers.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Venus Slippers can be grown indoors but for that to be successful they’ll need conditions that mimic their natural habitat. This means 50 to 70 % humidity, moderate temperatures (13 to 35 °C) and low light.

Water: Water well until it runs through the drain holes in your pot but only just before the potting mix is completely dry. They don’t like to be water-logged.

Potting/planting: More modern hybrids are generally easier to grow. First up, make sure you use the right sized pot. Roots are quite fleshy and thick and when potted, form a tight lump. It is recommended to use a fairly porous soil mix, made up of fir bark, peat, charcoal and extra coarse sponge rock and Stalite. Except during the hot summer months, fertilise with a liquid formula the day after every second watering.

Blooming: Venus Slippers come in a myriad of gorgeous colours; from red, to brown, to pink and a light yellow,  to orange and peach, and with striking patterns. Flowers can last for up to 8 weeks.

Image by Chesna from Pixabay

Common Name: Boat Orchid or Cymbidium

Scientific Name: Cymbidium (sim-BID-ee-um)

Boat orchids are among the oldest in the world. Their earliest mention dates back to the Jin Dynasty, around 200 BCE! These stunners are spread mostly across tropical and subtropical Asia, but also Australia; the large-flowered varieties grow at high altitudes in the Himalayas. This means they need a pronounced period of cool to flower but are also far more cool-tolerant than many other orchids. Feel free to check out our ready to delivery Cymbidium Orchids on our website, and have them delivered anywhere across Melbourne.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Full morning sun or light shade works best.

Water: Cymbidium like to be watered well during their growing season and still need lightly moist soil when flowering. As with all orchids, the purer the water, the better!

Potting/planting: These orchids have thin roots and naturally do well in loamy humus –  conditions that can easily be replicated at home. Use a common orchid mix or an organic potting mix that is rich and loose, combined with fir bark or peat moss for example. A bimonthly feed with orchid fertilizer or slow-release pellets during the growing phase is all they need. They will do well in most temperate climates, as long as you can provide them with some humidity. A great plant for your garden in the Melbourne region!

Blooming: Boat Orchids brighten up a grey day from mid-autumn to mid-spring with beautiful sprays of large blossoms in white, pink, yellow and green. Plants can get up to 60 – 70 cm tall.

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Common Name: Vanda

Scientific Name: Vanda (VAN-duh )

Widely spread from India to Australia, these popular orchids are happiest in lots of bright light, warm temperatures, high humidity and with plenty of water. They like their roots to just dangle in a light breeze; in their native habitat Vanda orchids hang from trees or cling to clifftop cracks. If looked after well, they will bloom several times a year!

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Most Vanda orchids need bright light but will not do well with direct midday sun. The majority of these warm-blooded blooms do best in high humidity during the warmer months and all year temperatures between 22 °C and 31 °C; we’re thinking parts of coastal Queensland and the Northern Territory will be perfect. Everywhere else, make the Vanda orchid your houseplant – it is definitely not cold tolerant.

Water: Vandas will need daily, heavy watering and a maintained high humidity. They are used to heavy Monsoons after all! You can reduce watering in cooler months. Their roots should never sit directly in water.

Potting/planting: These orchids do best in hanging baskets with little organic matter. Their roots gather moisture from the air and  just need something to cling to, a little perch. Give them a weekly dose of fertiliser during their growing season. Try to repot/disturb the plant as rarely as possible, every 3 to 5 years only.

Blooming: Once you’ve got the right conditions for your Vanda Orchid, you’ll be rewarded with magnificent blooms every few months. Its flowers are often used for leis and come in many strong colours, often with speckled petals. The plant itself has thick glossy leaves and can get up to 1 m tall, depending on the species.

Image by Chrion Zhao from Pixabay

Common Name: Corsage Orchids or Queen of Orchids

Scientific Name: Cattleya (CAT-lee-ah )

Often referred to as the Queen of Orchids, Cattleyas are an easy to grow, showy number. Although they’re named after an Englishman, Cattleyas’ origins are in South and Central America and their striking blooms have been used for ceremonies long before any explorers arrived.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Morning sun seems to work best for Cattleyas. Intense midday and afternoon sunlight will burn their leaves.

Water: Water well, but let the plant dry out before the next watering. A regular feed with an orchid booster, especially before flowering, will also not go amiss. Add some bark or charcoal to the bottom of your container.

Potting/planting: Ideal growing conditions would be to be hanging in a basket in reasonable humidity in a glass house. Of course, many of us don’t happen to have one handy; but a semi-shady porch or patio that doesn’t catch too much wind will work just as well  – and there’s always the indoors option. Cattleyas do well in pots or baskets. Replant them once they start to outgrow their pot. Either transfer to a bigger container or divide the bulbs. If you do that, make sure you always have three bulbs in a clump, one lead bulb and two behind it.

Blooming: Don’t water the blossoms directly and keep them out of wind. If you find the right spot and growing conditions, you will be rewarded every year with beautiful, fragrant flowers that come in an abundance of spectacular colours and colour patterns. The colour palette ranges from pink, orange, purple and red to yellow and white, even blue. Some hybrids will even produce flowers more than once a year.

Image by Jacques GAIMARD from Pixabay

Common Name: Dancing girls or Tiger Orchids

Scientific Name: Oncidium (on-SID-dee-um)

Dancing girls! What an apt name for this orchid genus! Most blossom in sprays on multiple, seriously long spikes in all shades of yellow and brown. Perhaps a bit like a line-up of dazzling dancers with swirling gowns in a Broadway show.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: These are really hardy plants. Originally from Central and South America, they grow from coastal regions to high up in the Andes. They will do well in shaded to bright spots, but out of direct sunlight.

Water: During the warmer months of the year, water them almost daily and dial watering right down during winter. As a rule of thumb, if the roots are green, the plant is in its growths phase and needs fertiliser and water.

Potting/planting: Most Oncidium Orchids are epiphytes, which means they will thrive on rocks, bark, or perched on a tree branch for example. Plants will do well in a smallish pot compared to their size. Choose a free draining mix with added fine bark and repot them every 2 to 3 years in spring.

Blooming: Dancing Girls are often scented and bloom mostly in autumn and winter.  You’ll see them most often in shades of yellows and browns. New species in stunning white, red, green, pink and purple are starting to emerge as well. They can grow seriously high, most up to 3 metres, so make sure you’re giving them support especially when they’re in bloom!

Image by József Szabó from Pixabay

Common Name: Moth Orchids

Scientific Name: Phalaenopsis (fail-eh-NOP-sis)

We feel the name doesn’t do this most popular of potted orchids justice. Not only are Phalaenopsis beautiful, but they are also some of the easiest and most rewarding plants to adorn a room. The best known classic white Phalaenopsis is always an elegant showstopper commanding attention. But of course, these orchids come in many striking colours and are readily available year round. If you want to buy some ready to deliver Phalaenopsis Orchids, you can buy there from Flowers Across Melbourne and have them delivered today.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Phalaenopsis like bright but not direct sunlight.

Water: Only water your plant when it is almost dry and find a place with a bit of air flow to help with humidity levels.

Potting/planting: A bark-based orchid potting mix and a plastic container is perfectly fine, as is a terracotta one. As long as there are enough drainage holes and loose matter so that the roots don’t sit in water. You will need to repot every 12-18 months or definitely once the roots start climbing out your pot. The new container doesn’t have to be much bigger, or deep. Phalaenopsis feel at home in shallow pots.

Blooming: You might be tempted to replace them with a new plant once the blooms fall off, but with a bit of care, Moth Orchids will flower again and again, often within 10 weeks. You can either prune the flower spike so that only two nodes remain or else you can remove a yellow or brown looking spike altogether. That way, the plant will put its energy in growing a brand spanking new flower spike.

Image by Bishnu Sarangi from Pixabay

Common Name: Dendrobium

Scientific Name: Dendrobium (Den-DRO-bee-um)

A native to Australia and Southern Asia, this is a hugely diverse group of orchids. Although there doesn’t seem to be a name for the genus itself, the better known of its almost 1000 species have wonderful common names such as Cucumber Orchid, the Bull or the Pigeon Orchid. Don’t be fooled by their dainty appearance either, these are tough plants.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: As is true for most orchids, Dendrobium prefer morning light.

Water: There’s no one rule fits all for watering. It depends on species, positioning, and air flow. Water them when they are dry, definitely not when they are still moist. Over watering is the most common cause for your orchid to die. Your orchids will also benefit from a year round, weekly fertilising regime. A fertiliser higher in nitrogen and with added trace elements will help during active growth in summer. 

Potting/planting: The native Australian Dendrobiums seem to flower even more profusely when squeezed into a pot placed in a well ventilated spot to keep their leaves cool. A potting mix with pine bark is said to work best and repotting is needed once the plant outgrows its pot.

Blooming: The flowering season for the Australian natives is usually from August to October. These plants will delight with masses of delicate flowers in a range of glorious colours. Some of them are very sweetly perfumed.

Image by Seashalia Gibb from Pixabay

Common Name: Dragon Orchid

Scientific Name: Dracula (DRA-cu-la)

It is not difficult to see why this genus is named Dracula, which literally translates to ‘little dragon’. The Drakula Vampira evokes memories of the mythical Count Dracula with its fang-like petals. But the most astonishing of the species native to Central America and parts of South America, is perhaps the cute Monkey Face (Dracula simia). What a fantastic feat of mother nature. If you are looking for a rare and definitely fascinating orchid, this one is for you! For another dose of slightly weird and wonderful flowers earth has to offer, have a look at xxxxx

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: They do well in summer temperatures between 20 – 25 °C and like their winters to be around 15 °C with quite cool night temperatures. They like a relatively bright environment, but not direct sunlight.

Water: As with all orchids, pure water, or rainwater is best (no chlorin). Frequent watering during summer and a relatively high humidity level also helps. These orchids will need little fertiliser. If they show signs of leaf burn, you have over-fertilised your plant.

Potting/planting: In their native environment, you’ll find Dracula orchids on tree roots or trunks and on forest floors, they are both epiphytic and terrestrial. Here, they do well in baskets or containers with a little moss added, as long as there is good drainage.

Blooming: We like the idea of hanging baskets as the flowers will droop beneath. These astonishing orchids flower in summer and come in many colours, but it really is their unusual look that makes this genus rather special.

Source: Flickr.com

Common Name: Lady of the Night

Scientific Name: Brassavola (bra-sah-VOH-luh)

Named after an Italian Botanist, Brassavola are immensely popular with budding and advanced orchid lovers. They’re relatively easy to care for and produce delightful, often scented flowers in all colours of the rainbow.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: These orchids typically like quite bright light, even some direct sunlight, and temperatures at the warmer end of the scale. A healthy Brassavola has slight reddish marks on the leaves. Deep green leaves usually mean the plant does not get enough sunlight.

Water: Brassavolas are more draught tolerant than many other orchids. How often you water them depends mostly on their environment, but as a rule of thumb they need plenty of well-draining water and high-humidity (40 – 70%) during their active phase, less after their growth period. If leaves start to wrinkle and droop, they will need more water. They’ll need a constant but low dose of fertiliser year round.

Potting/planting: This genus will thrive in baskets or on mounted fern plaques and grows quite quickly. Plants are easy to divide, so don’t bother with repotting them. You’ll have the added bonus of growing your orchid collection rapidly or surprise your friends with a lovely orchid gift. If potted in a container, use a good, fast draining orchid mix and add some charcoal and pine bark chips.

Blooming: These mostly white and green lovelies are year round bloomers and their slightly citrussy scent on a warm summer’s night is always a real treat.

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name:  Cambria

Scientific Name: Cambria

In actual fact, Cambria is neither the scientific nor the common orchid name, but a commercial one. Cambria is not a clearly defined genus in its own right, but a group of hybrids; the result of crossbreeding efforts. These plants are not to be sneezed at though. Not only are they beautiful and brightly coloured, they’ve also inherited all the good traits of their ancestors. They need little attention and are the perfect orchid for beginners.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: This will be short and sharp. All you need to do is keep your Cambria in a place with good light and lightly humid air, but away from direct sunlight. Keep the plant in a cooler room during the dormancy period.

Water: Water evenly once a week or before the soil is completely dry. It’s easiest to submerge the whole pot in water to soak. Reduce watering during their dormant phase and use fertiliser only once the first spike emerges. 

Potting/planting: Don’t worry too much about arial roots overflowing from your pot. You can replant your orchid easily once the flowers have all gone. Just take the entire plant out of its pot and remove any brown roots before putting it into a larger pot.

Blooming: Enjoy their brightly coloured, speckled blooms from autumn through to early spring. Applying a tomato fertiliser during their bloom is said to be really effective! Cambrias can grow up to half a meter in height.

Common Name: Cockleshell or Clamshell Orchid

Source: Fickr.com
Scientific Name: Encyclia (en-SIK-lee-ah)

The well over a hundred species belonging to the Encyclia genus are really varied and so are their needs. They can range in size from a couple of centimeters to half a meter. Their distribution is equally wide, from Florida in the north, all the way to Argentina in the south.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Coming from a tropical climate, most of them like a warm spot and do well in bright, indirect light and good humidity.

Water: Check watering instructions for your specific species. These orchids are native to damp warm forests and are used to absorbing moisture and nutrients from water and air. A little spritz of water and putting your pot on a bed of pebbles to simulate that environment will work well.

Potting/planting: They’ll do well potted in a particularly well-draining mix such as river rocks, charcoal or fir bark. Grow your orchid supply by dividing your plant into parts of four stems. Remove any dead roots, set your division aside and new growth will likely appear a week later. That’s when you can repot your new plant and start it off in slightly lower light.

Blooming: Encyclias will brighten up your spring with dazzling blossoms in showy purples, browns, yellows, greens and fuchsias. And as a bonus, they will make lovely presents if you can divide your plant.

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Pansy Orchids

Scientific Name: Miltonia (Mil-TONE-ee-ah)

What an awesome indoor plant Miltonias make! Their attractive flowers often impress with quite intrinsic patterns and are generally long lasting. Originally found in the high mountains of South America, mostly Brazil, these orchids are relatively easy to care for, definitely not fussy, and always stunning.

Caring for your Orchid

Light and Temperature: Pansy Orchids like a little morning sun, but otherwise filtered light will work best. Keep them at room temperature in a spot with good ventilation. If the foliage starts to turn very dark, your plant doesn’t get enough light!

Water: These orchids need plenty of water and a two-weekly flushing with water at room temperature is recommended. They should never completely dry out. Again, pebbles underneath the pot will help with the necessary humidity. Add a general orchid fertiliser once a month.

Potting/planting: Pot your Pansy Orchid in a mixture of sphagnum moss and fine bark. Use more bark in humid environments and more moss for drier and hotter climates. Repot them once a year, ideally in spring when the new shoots are just starting to show.

Blooming: Orchid Pansies seem to do their own thing here; they flower when they’re good and ready, not during a particular season. We do like the many amazing shades of purples, pinks and fuchsias, but it’s their striking patterns that really set them apart.

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Comet Orchids

Scientific Name: Angraecum (an-GRAY-cum)

These often star-shaped beauties in shades of white and green, are native to Africa. The best known one is perhaps the regal Christmas Orchid. However, many species of the Comet Orchid are protected from international trade as they are sadly threatened by extinction in the wild. At risk from overcollection and loss of pollinators, many species are a top conservation priority, particularly the ones endemic to Madagascar. 

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Both really depend on the natural habitat your orchid is coming from. It’ll be a warm to intermediate temperature, with the cooler growing species liking more shade than the ones naturally growing in warmer regions.

Water: Feeding very much depends on the species. The cooler growing species generally gets away with less water than the warmer growing ones. A monthly dose of fertiliser is recommended.

Potting/planting: The bigger species will do well in a pot, with a good orchid and bark mixture, whereas the smaller species will do better mounted on a slab to mimic their national habitat.

Blooming: Comet Orchids can usually flower all year round, many are scented and nocturnal. Imagine enjoying a warm summer evening on your veranda with the scent of your orchid wafting through the air!

Image by Annette Meyer from Pixabay

Common Name: Urn orchid, Hyacinth Orchid or Hardy Orchid

Scientific Name: Bletilla (bleh-TILL-uh)

Don’t be fooled by their rather bland common names. Bletillas are a small genus of rather lovely and very hardy orchids. There are only about 8 species and of those, you’re likely to find only one in your local nursery, the award-winning, gorgeous Bletilla Striata.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Grow them in a spot with morning sun and afternoon shade.

Water: Water the plant when the soil is almost dry, but never over-water.

Potting/planting: This is a great plant for pots and containers and will also look fab as a border plant in the garden in most regions. Make sure the soil is well=draining. This genus also produces generous clumps that can be easily divided.

Blooming: Bletilla Striata is a terrestrial and deciduous orchid. It produces small, exotic looking purple-pinkish flowers, up to 12 per stem. It will bloom in mid to late spring for about 6 weeks.

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Red Fox Orchids

Scientific Name: Bulbophyllum (bulb-oh-FILL-um)

This is thought to be one of the largest genus of orchids, with over 2000 species spread across all warmer regions of the planet; Papua New Guinea alone is said to host 600 though. With such diverse habitats comes a diverse range of blooms and also care instructions. Its species are sometimes bizarre, but always fabulous; some have been the envy of collectors for well over 100 years.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: High humidity together with good air movement is important. They do best in low, shady light, but not complete shade, with a bit of morning sun thrown in for good measure. They need a relatively constant warm temperature, 20 to 30 °C during the day and 16 – 18 °C at night.

Water: They can tolerate a short dry period but should be kept moist at all times.

Potting/planting: Except for some of the smaller species, they are not the easiest pot plants and will do better in a sheltered, shady spot in the garden depending on your climate.

Blooming: Most species flower all year round – your daily pop of colour! Many of them are scented, but beware! Some species in this genus are known to produce a repelling smell and not the sweet scent you’d hope for!

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Necklace or Rosary Orchid

Scientific Name: Coelogyne (see-LODGE-eh-nee)

Very undeservedly overlooked by the public, these gorgeous, long living, mostly large flowering, fragrant orchids have been popular with collectors for some years. Hybrids are finally starting to appear in nurseries.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Native to the southern parts of Asia through to the Philippines and New Guinea, these orchids thrive in humidity, filtered light and some air circulation. They do well in warm to cool climates and need a cool spell in winter.

Water: As with many orchids, they like to be moist, but never water-logged. They’ll need less watering during the cooler months. You can give them a fertiliser boost once a month, year round.

Potting/planting:  With so many different species, you’ll find some like hanging baskets, others are happiest in a pot and some will prefer to be ground mounted, onto fern slabs for example. You can repot every 2 to 3 years at the latest, once their flowering season is over.

Blooming: These orchids are a true delight. Some impress with clusters of fragrant snow-white,  or single pink/peach and flowers. Others show off chainlike racemes (hence the name) of chocolate and topaz coloured flowers, emerald and blue flowers or spice-scented, delicate white blossoms. Most species will bloom in spring or winter. Enjoy!

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Mayflower Orchid

Scientific Name: Laelia (lay-LEE-uh)

Admired for their beauty, it is said the Laelia was named after one of the Vestal Virgins. Laelias are native to Mexico and as far as Bolivia and Brazil. They can be found in altitudes of up to 2000 metres but also in coastal, lower regions. This means they can be grown outdoors in some climate zones.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Coming mostly from higher altitudes, Laelias like cooler winters and generally a temperate climate. They don’t need a high humidity and prefer bright but filtered light, which makes them relatively easy to grow. Make sure they don’t sit in direct sunlight. Use a liquid seaweed fertiliser twice a month during their growth phase.

Water: Water them regularly during growing season, otherwise they’re ok to dry a little.

Potting/planting:  The larger growing plants can be grown in containers, the smaller types do better mounted. Whichever you choose though, make sure drainage is good.

Blooming: These lovelies will flower from autumn through to winter, some species even flower throughout the year. You will see them showing off their vibrant pinks and fuschias and some lovely shades of orange and peach.

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: several

Scientific Name: Masdevallia (maz-deh-VAL-ee-uh)

Named in honor of the Spanish botanist and physician, José Masdeval in 1794, this is another spectacular group of orchids. Masdevallias are native to Central and South America and some of its species landed ‘interesting’ locally relevant names. Imagine being called Wagangki tree, a name given by the Incas, which translates to ‘You will cry’! Other common and slightly unflattering names for Masdevallia species are ‘Frog’s skin’, ‘Eggs of a bird’ and ‘Chicken foot’.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: These orchids are generally cool growers; keep them shaded in summer to keep the plant cool. They love an environment that has plenty of air movement.

Water: Masdevallias have fairly delicate roots and like to be in moist soil. But again, don’t over water and definitely don’t let them sit in water, otherwise their roots will rot. If you grow them indoors, you will need to mist the leaves regularly.

Potting/planting: They do really well in net pots with moss, as long as you don’t let the soil dry out and leave air pockets. Only repot them when they are quite large.

Blooming: Masdevallias are your little pocket rocket. They are quite compact so don’t need a lot of space. Flower spikes usually produce one flower but blooms come in all colours of the rainbow and range from pale to almost neon brightness.

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Indian Crocus, Windowsill Crocus, Glory of the East

Scientific Name: Pleione (plee-OH-nee )

Pleiones are our ‘under-promise, over-deliver’ plants. Their striking flowers almost seem too large for these miniature plants. The British gave them the name Windowsill Crocus as they are so easy to grow indoors.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: They prefer cooler temperatures and like plenty of shade.

Water: It is recommended to water them at night once the temperature has dropped. They will need little water during dormancy in autumn/winter. Feed them with a potassium rich fertiliser once a month during their growth period. A seaweed fertiliser is perfect for these hungry feeders.

Potting/planting: They do well in deep pots with good drainage but can also be grown outside depending on where you live. If you do, make sure you protect them from slugs and rain. You can carefully remove the plants after flowering, clean them, get rid of dead leaves. Place the bulbs in a ziplock bag and keep them in the crisper of the fridge until spring,

Blooming: Most Pleiones flower in spring and come in a great range of colours, from white to green, to pink, mauve, red and purple. An easy plant to brighten up any room!

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Jungle Cat Orchid

Scientific Name: Odontoglossum (oh-dont-oh-GLOS-um )

You might think Odontoglossums are something you’d find at the dentist. But no, these stunners are some of the most showy, grand orchids amongst orchids! Habitats and species vary greatly though so a lot of the care instructions really depend on which plant you have chosen.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Generally, growing conditions need to be cool to very cool. They’ll need plenty of light in winter, early spring and autumn but not direct sunlight. Stuffy hot houses are the wrong place for them.

Water: As long as you don’t over water or let them run dry, your plants should be fine.

Potting/planting: It is recommended to repot these orchids once a year and use a potting mix with added bark and peat moss for best results.

Blooming: The trick here is to pick the flowers before they are completely spent. Do this and find the right spot and you will be rewarded with stunning flowers with remarkable patterns and striking colours.

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Zygopetalum

Scientific Name: Zygopetalum (zy-go-PET-a-lum)

Zygopetalums are not the most colourful lot of orchids but we are sure you’ll love them for their heady scents. They are New World orchids that grow in cool rainforest environments and will flower profusely when looked after well.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Many of these orchids will tolerate light frosts but will flower better in slightly warmer conditions. Direct light early or late in the day will be fine.

Water: Make sure your orchids are almost dry before the next watering and boost them regularly with a dose of liquid fertiliser. They will need to be kept much drier during the cooler months.

Potting/planting: Quite intolerant of poorly drained or soggy potting mixes, they are happiest in shallow pots they will adapt to baskets or fern slabs. Use a good orchid mix with added Sphagnum moss. Your moss should always be at the bottom of the container though. The roots are generally quite delicate which makes division a bit harder.

Blooming: Peak growth time is during spring and summer. Most flower twice a year, some even four times and for as much as a months. Get your growing conditions right, find just the right spot and you will be rewarded with lovely blooms and sweet scents.

Source: Fickr.com

Common Name: Butterfly Orchid

Scientific Name: Psychopsis (sye-COP-siss )

One of the daintiest of orchids with blooms light and brightly coloured as butterflies. There are only 5 recognised species in this group and all hail from Central/South America. These delicate yet hardy orchids deserve a place in the sun.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: Native to rainforests, this plants likes bright, but indirect light, consistent humidity and reasonable air movement. They will not tolerate stale conditions.

Water: They will do well with frequent and abundant watering and flushing out with pure water, as long as they are allowed to almost dry out in between and are never water logged. Apply a balanced fertiliser regularly.

Potting/planting: Butterfly Orchids will need a light bark mix. It is also required that Butterfly Orchids need to be repotted every 2 – 3 years.

Blooming: These striking blooms in yellows, orange, pink and red impress with their shape. Their butterfly shape tricks male insects into mating! This deception is common by many other orchids as well. Their bloom time varies dependent on the species.

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Common Name: Nun’s Orchid / Swamp Orchid

Scientific Name: Phaius (FAY-us)

The Swamp Orchid is one of Australia’s largest terrestrial orchids and can easily grow to 1.2 metres in height. Unfortunately, due to over-collecting from the wild and significant habitat destruction, this beautiful plant is now on the endangered species list.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: These orchids prefer semi-shade but like it warm, a minimum of 15°C throughout.

Water: They’ll need moist soil. Plant them in a self-watering container in a good potting mix and just keep the water topped up.

Potting/planting: This is an excellent pot plant or as a landscape plant outdoors, in tropical to subtropical climates. Repot after flowering.

Blooming: Enjoy a mass floral display from late winter to spring. Swamp Orchid flowers are about 10 cm in diameter with red-brown petals and a pink-purple lip. They’re a great focal point even when they’re not flowering, showing off a lush green foliage.

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Common Name: Tiger Orchid / Flame Orchid

Scientific Name: Maxillaria (max-ih-LARE-ee-uh )

Distributed from Florida right through the West Indies and Central America, this orchid is distributed right the way to northern Argentina. This making it one of the most widespread of New World orchids. Not surprisingly, species vary greatly.

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: They’ll do best in good, filtered light, but never in direct sunlight and will need more light in winter. Temperatures really depends on the variety, but generally they will need lower temperatures at night.

Water: Water them regularly in free-draining potting mix, but never leave them with soggy roots or completely dry. They’ll need less water in winter. Over summer, they’ll benefit from a good orchid fertiliser once a week.

Potting/planting: A good, well-draining potting mix with added bark or moss will be best. Only repot your plant when new growth AND new roots are visible.

Blooming: Maxillaria produce attractive flowers in white to brown, mixed through with reds and purples, and some of them are scented as well (check out the Coconut Orchid!). They come in all sizes but will always produce a single flower per stem.

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Common Name: Monkey Goblet / Monks Head / Mother of Pearl Flower

Scientific Name: Catasetum (cat-a-SEE-tum)

When it comes to the common name of the Catasetum orchid, the perception of what they look like is varied. All of them are definitely exotic looking showstoppers! What do you see? What does their flower remind you of?

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: They can tolerate some open sun, like bright, open light with minimal shade and good air movement.

Water: Water them regularly and maintain high humidity when the flowers are growing. Once they have developed you can dial the watering right down. Give them a boost of fertiliser throughout their growing phase, but water and air flow is the important thing here.

Potting/planting: In their native habitat, many grow in the warm, moist open canopy of trees, with a small number found on rocks or in the “boot” of palm trees. Hanging baskets, suspended pots, or mounting them will best mimic their natural environment, as long as you water them well. It is best to repot these orchids once a year to give them a long life.

Blooming: Interestingly, and rather uniquely, the colouring of these orchids is based on sex. Male plants are the most colourful ones and develop in shaded regions whereas the female flowers tend to be yellowish-green and grow in brighter light!

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Common Name:  Bog Candle or Snake Orchid

Scientific Name: – Vanilla  (va-NIL-luh )

For once, the scientific name is the ‘kinder’, more relatable one than the common name here. Vanilla plants are one of the few orchids that are grown for the cut flower trade. The name does give it away. Vanilla is also widely commercially cultivated for its fleshy seed pods, essential to produce vanilla flavouring!

Caring for your orchid

Light and Temperature: First up, Vanilla care is very exact and specific! Vanilla is widespread through the tropics so will need warm and constant temperatures as well as humidity and bright light but shaded from the sun.

Water: It needs lots of water, good moisture and regular fertiliser. That said, that also makes it prone to rot.

Potting/planting: You’ll need a well-draining potting mix, with additional fir bark. To keep the plant healthy, annual re-potting is recommended.

Blooming: If you are very lucky, you might end up with a greenish-yellow Vanilla flower which will turn into a pod, But very likely, you’ll end up with no vanilla pod and potentially a massive green vine. It will be an extremely attractive vine though. It is a fantastic plant. Are you up for a challenge??

Orchids to inspire

So there you have it! Are you feeling inspired yet? If you feel like adding some beautiful Orchids to your home today, feel free to check out our online range. Our orchids also make the perfect gift delivered right to the door.

Feel like continuing your Orchid study? Check out this infographic that breaks down these beautiful Orchids, in one easy print out poster.

Orchids From Around the World by Flowers Across Australia

Let us know how you are getting on – with photos! We’re always on the lookout for handy tips and stories to share with our community!

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