Various Orchid Varieties – Explore the Fascinating Array of Different Types of Orchids
While it would be impossible to cover all the different types of orchids we have selected a few you may find interesting.
Orchids are lovely flowers that many people consider to be quite exotic. However, orchids are more common than most people think since there are thousands of different species of orchids and that doesn’t include the more than 100,000 hybrid and cultivars of these plants.
Orchids grow all over the world with some growing in soil, some on the bark of trees and others doing well in rocky areas.
Growing orchids in the United States is often done indoors or in green houses, but there are many varieties that can be grown outdoors depending on the species you choose and where you live.
10 Different Types of Orchids With Pictures and Names
#1. Miltonia Orchids
Sometimes called a Pansy orchid, the Miltonia orchid is known for its large attractive flowers. This perennial orchid is often grown as houseplant, but can be grown outdoors in hardiness zones 11 and 12.
Native to Brazil and Eastern Paraguay this orchid is not the easiest flower to grow. This flower prefers a soil medium of fir tree bark, moss or pebbles and bright filtered sunlight.
The pansy orchid can grow to be between 12 to 20 inches tall with flowers being red, yellow, green, white or brown in color.
The Miltonia orchid blooms in spring and/or fall for about 5 weeks. There are at least 20 different varieties of this orchid.
#2. Tiger Orchid
Tiger Orchids are also known as giant orchids due to their size. They feature colorful distinctive flowers with yellow/orange petals dappled in darker maroon tiger like spotted stripes.
These orchids grow best in zones 9 through 11. These flowers need soil that provides the roots with plenty of air.
They also need to have daytime temperatures that range between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit and a nighttime temperature of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The tiger orchids also need 6 to 8 hours of daily sunlight.
They can grow to 8 feet tall. However, keep in mind that these flowers bloom only every 2 to 4 years, but can remain in bloom up to 2 months.
#3. Monkey Orchid
Native to South America the Monkey Orchid is a cute and unique flower that actually looks like a furry little monkey.
The brown and creamy white arrangement of the petals (lip and column of this flower) actually look like the face and arms of a monkey.
To make this orchid even more appealing this flower has a scent of fragrant oranges. Just imagine a small green house or garden plot filled with little monkey faces!
Native to South America the Monkey orchid grows in zones 9 through 11. It can bloom anytime throughout the year. However, keep in mind that this flower can be pretty difficult to grow.
#4. Lady Slipper Orchid
The Lady Slipper orchid gets its name because the flower looks like two little yellow slippers surrounded by spindly reddish/black petals.
Many of the species or subspecies of these orchids are actually native to North America. These perennial flowers are different than many orchids because they can often survive harsh winter conditions.
Lady slipper orchids grow best in zones 2 through 6 and are fairly easy to grow under the right conditions if you follow the care instructions carefully. The roots of these flowers grow on top of the soil and need to be covered with organic material. These orchids prefer dappled sunlight to direct sunlight. They bloom for about 2 months in the spring and summer.
#5. Epidendrum Orchid
The Epidendrum Orchid has about 1500 different species. Most of the species of this flower have clusters of small to medium sized fiery red, purple, orange, white and yellow brightly colored flowers with 3 lobed blossoms that resembled little crosses.
One of the easiest orchids to maintain these flowers gets most of their nutrients from the air and surfaces around them. They grow well in full or partial sun in zones 10 and 11.
These flowers most commonly bloom in the spring and summer.
#6. Vanda Orchids
There are over 80 different species of Vanda Orchids. These showy flat petal flowers are one of few orchids that sport a blue color. Other colors of this flower include pink, purple, red, yellow, orange and white.
They will also bloom several times a year and have a pleasant long-lasting fragrance.
Grown as a houseplant or outdoors in zones 10 and 11 these orchids are fairly easy to grow. These flowers prefer bright indirect sunlight and a growing medium of peat moss or bark.
When these orchids reach maturity they can reach a height of between 1 and 3 feet tall.
#7. Marsh Orchid
There are about 30 species of the terrestrial orchid known as the Marsh orchid.
The marsh orchid is native to Eurasia, North Africa, Alaska and the Pacific Islands. They tend to grow in cooler regions preferring damp shaded forest areas with filtered light or partial shade rather than direct sunlight.
These flowers come in pink, white and purple coneflowers with beautiful markings. They are easy to grow in zones 5 through 8 and they bloom during the spring or summer.
#8. White Egret Flower Orchid
The White Egret Flower Orchid is a lovely unique flower that will stand out anywhere.
This flower is snowy white with 2 pinnate feathery petals on either side of a central white body that gives this flower the resemblance of an egret in flight.
Grown as a houseplant or outdoors in zones 5 through 10 this orchid is easy to grow. This terrestrial orchid prefers to grow in damp boggy areas and moderate sunlight to partial shade.
These fairly easy to grow flowers can grow to be 12 and 18 inches tall and blooms in late summer with the blooms lasting for weeks.
#9. Christmas Orchid
The Christmas orchid is an elegant flower that features tall racemes of orange, yellow, pink or white flowers. The broad leaves of this plant may be ruffled, wrinkled or corrugated giving this flower a slightly more interesting appearance.
This orchid is native to all tropical areas especially Southeast Asia. Here in the United States, it can be grown outdoors in zones 6 through 9.
Considered to be an easy to grow plant this flower likes partial shade or light shade and will bloom in late winter or early spring.
#10. Cockleshell or Clam Shell Orchid
The Cockleshell or Clamshell orchid is native to Mexico, Florida, and the Caribbean. This orchid earns its name because the flower resembles a clamshell with yellowish green curly petals resembling octopus tentacles.
Most of these flowers have interesting colors and markings.
These orchids can be grown as a houseplant or outdoors in zones 9 through 11. They prefer to grow on tree trunks and enjoy bright filtered sunlight.
These flowers are easy to grow and are pollinated by bees and birds.
Final Thoughts on the Diverse Orchid Types
There are many interesting varieties of orchids many of which you can grow. The orchids mentioned above are just a few of the thousands of varieties you can choose from. These exotic plants are lovely and well worth your time and effort. However, if you are first time orchid grower you may want to choose one of the easier species of these flowers to grow.