There are more than 25,000 known species of orchids and more than 100,000 hybrids so specifying each orchid type will take forever! To basically get the idea, the types of orchids there are in the world can be compared to the many types of people there are. You will find many different types of orchids with different shapes and sizes; some are small and some large. Some produce enormous flowers whilst other only tiny buds. You will find orchids with different colors and different scents. So to narrow the list, here are some orchid types that are commonly bought and grown by orchid lovers.
The Phalaenopsis Orchids
Moth orchids are probably the most common type of orchids. They are the type of orchids that you see a plenty in a nursery or even in a standard grocery store. The most common variety of Phalaenopsis orchids are the purplish-pink and white ones. They are popular to be given as gifts to friends and family because they are one of the varieties that are easiest to grow and look after.
The Phalaenopsis natural environment is constantly moist. They are epiphytes and grow on trees. The types of flowers that the moth orchids bloom during season are graceful long flower spikes in purplish-pink and white colors. Although Phalaenopsis only give out flowers once or twice a year, the best thing about their flowers is that they can often last for more than two and up to three months which makes any dull surrounding elegant looking. They make a great houseplant as they can brighten up any home.
The Dendrobium Orchids
Another orchid type that makes a great houseplant is the Dendrobium orchids. You will often see their freshly cut flowers displayed on table settings of Thai restaurants. The Dendrobium orchids come in a variety of colors such as green, purple, pink, yellow and so much more. They are of Dendrobium hybrids and unlike the Phalaenopsis orchids require a fairly warm environment. When the temperature drops below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, the Dendrobium tends to lose their leaves.
There are varieties of Dendrobium orchids that are epiphytes and there are some that are lithophytes (grow on the surface of rocks) so caring for them may be tricky. To make Dendrobium orchids happy and well, it is important that you understand the natural environment of that particular Dendrobium variety. Some of the countries that Dendrobium orchids originate from are Southern China, Thailand, Japan, Australia, Tahiti and New Guinea.
The Slipper Orchids
The Slipper orchids are of strange appearance. They usually bloom pouch-shaped lips flowers in soft pink, yellow and white colors. You will also find varieties of Slipper orchids in dark red, brown and green colors with warty and hairy petals. The four most typical genera of terrestrial and lithophytic slipper orchids are Paphiopedilum, Cypripedium, Phragmipedium and Selenipedium. Slipper orchids may not be suitable for you if you are a beginner. They can be quite difficult to grow especially the Cypripedium and Selenipedium.
Most Slipper Orchid types can be bought from fancy grocery stores. They can cost a lot of money especially the Paphiopedilum sanderianum from Borneo. They are the variety with long side petals (almost 3 feet). They are much sought after by many rich folks as they make stunning decors in their big homes.
The Boat Orchids
The Cymbidium or boat orchids grow extremely well in the southern part of California. They bloom big showy flowers in pink, yellow, red, green, brown, peach or a combination of colors that can last a long time. They are pristine looking in a vase and suit any table settings. The only downside to growing Cymbidium orchids is that they only bloom flowers once a year. However, when the much and long awaited blooming season comes for this orchid type, you will be delighted with the kind of flowers and explosion of colors that you will have in your home or garden.