Orchid Types For Beginners

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To date, we've identified over 30,000 orchid species, and created over 100,000 hybrids. Despite these numbers, and the fact that there are more types of orchids than any other flower except the daisy, orchids can be generally divided into two groups: terrestrials and epiphytes. Terrestrial orchids grow on the ground. Epiphytes grow on trees, rocks, and other objects.

The term "epiphytes" refers not just to a type of orchid. It is any plant with a root system that grows above the ground. Epiphytic orchids do not receive any nourishment from the tree or other host from which they are hanging or otherwise attached. The organic matter that accumulates between the roots is the "soil" or nutrient for the orchid.
The roots of epiphytic orchids sustain the plant through wet and dry periods in a fascinating way. The tough, stringy core of the root is surrounded by a spongy covering that absorbs water. When it rains, this cover soaks up the water and then gradually releases it to the plant tissue. Suspended from trees or rocks, the epiphytes thrive in indirect light and open, airy environments.

Dendrobiums are the best known epiphytes orchid. With over 1000 species, Dendrobiums are also one of the easiest orchids to grow. They are native to the regions of Northern India, South East Asia, Australia, and Polynesia. They thrive in warm, humid growing conditions and like to be kept moist.

Another popular epiphyte orchid is the Phalaenopsis. These orchids are also very easy to grow. In fact, most orchid growers consider them the easiest orchid and thus the perfect choice for beginners. They have long-lasting flowers, and are the flower of choice at weddings. They can be found in various colors including pinks, yellows, and even stripes.

Terrestrial orchids are the most popular type of orchid with roots that grow beneath the surface of the soil just like most other kinds of plants. Some terrestrial orchids such as Cymbidiums are semi-terrestrial meaning that they have both underground and aerial roots, and can be found on the ground as well as on trees and rocks. Cymbidiums come in 40 species and thousands of hybrids. They were one of the first to be cultivated. They grow extremely well in the loose humus of rotted wood or decayed leaves. Cymbidium orchids are native to Southeast Asia, Japan, and also certain parts of Australia. With proper care, they provide beautiful flowers year after year.

So if you are a beginner or otherwise want an easy orchid to grow, there are several wonderful choices. The easiest types of orchids are Phalaenopsis, Paphiopedilum, Dendrobium, and Oncidium.

Phalaenopsis, or Moth Orchids, are not only easy to grow but commonly found in stores. Members of this genus have large multiple blooms on each spike that last for six weeks and sometimes longer. If cut or pruned after its blooms are gone, a secondary spike will often grow and bloom.

Paphiopedilum is also known as the Venus Slipper orchid. Most have a single flower per stalk, but there are varieties with multiple flowers.

Dendrobiums have an abundance of long lasting blossoms. These plants often produce small plantlets and aerial roots which can be pruned from the parent plant and potted. This new plant will often flower after a year of growth.

Oncidiums, commonly referred to as the "dancing girls" orchid, are also easy to grow. In fact, they often flower even under adverse conditions. There are many kinds of orchids in the oncidium family with different light and water needs so be sure to find out the particular needs of the one you choose.

Gardening Articles: http://organicgardenarticles.com/

Author: Jan Gilbert
For more about orchids please visit my website at www.SecretLifeOfOrchids.com for essential tips about purchasing, transporting, repotting, watering, pruning, fertilizing, and other critical factors for growing orchids successfully.

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