Orchid Types – The Top 10 Most-Popular Types of Orchids

With literally thousands of orchid types to choose from, how can you pick the one that’s right for you?

Above all, the most important thing to consider is how well your new plant is going to adapt to the environment you’re able to give it.

To help you in choosing a plant that’s especially well-suited to YOU, here’s a “Top 10” rundown of the most popular types of orchids.

Tips for Growing CattleyasCattleya: Cattleya orchids are perfect for you if you’ll be growing them in areas with a lot of natural light such as the Midwestern United States or Central or South America. These plants reward their orchid growers with an extravagant display of colorful blooms. They seem to be sending back out the very sun they soak up.

Moth OrchidPhalaenopsis: Phalaenopsis orchids, or “moth orchids”, are ever popular among beginner growers because they’re one of the most resilient and sturdy orchid types out there. They can survive many of the inevitable beginner’s mistakes that would kill less hearty plants, and their blossoms put on a great show to boot.

Vanda Orchids Potting TipsVandas: Vandas are one of those orchid types that does best in a hanging basket rather than a closed-in pot. While all orchids like to have sufficient aeration around their roots, these types absolutely crave it.

Dedrobium Orchids MistakesDendrobiums: Dendrobiums are popular because they’re relatively easy to care for, and also come in a huge variety of shapes and colors. A good “all-purpose” orchid, dendrobiums can produce some of the most impressive blossoms of any orchid with relatively minimal maintenance.

How to Grow Paphiopedilum OrchidsPaphiopedilum: Paphiopedilum orchids are quite interesting. They tend to produce only a single blossom per plant, but the blossom is of such elegance and vibrancy that you have to see it to believe it! This unique quality makes the paphiopedilum a very popular orchid type.

Oncidium Orchid DangersOncidiums: Oncidiums are one of the most diverse orchid types. They come in more than a thousand different variations of shapes, sizes, and colors. If you can support the environmental needs of an oncidium (ask your orchid supplier for the exact requirements depending on type), then you can certainly find a style that matches your desires.

Miltonia Orchids TipsMiltonia: Miltonias are orchids that reward you with a warm and pleasant fragrance in addition to the visual splendor of the flower. While all orchids have some kind of scent, the scent is the focus with Miltonias. This makes them perfect for indoor growing!

Phragmipedium Orchid CarePhragmipedium: Phragmipedium orchids are interesting in that they are one of the few orchids to produce vibrant flowers in an intermediate environment. You see, normally it is the extremes of climate that produce the most interesting colors. But this type of orchid is great for you if you have a temperate and mild climate but desire bright blossoms.

Odontoglossum Orchid CareOdontoglossum: Odontoglossums are recommended for you if you’re going to do your growing in an orchid greenhouse or if you can keep the humidity high enough in your home for them to thrive. These plants are relatively easy to care for and produce massive beautiful blooms. Treat them right!

Growing Stunning CymbidiumsCymbidium: Cymbidium orchids always put on a show whether or not they’re in bloom thanks to their long thin leaves. These leaves, which sometimes reach up to four feet in length, can provide a stunning cascade effect that makes this orchid type very popular indeed.

Now after evaluating your environment and what you can provide, use this handy list of orchid types to choose your next orchid plant.

And to discover even more about the most popular orchids, download my totally FREE 5-Day Orchid Insider training course by going here:  Orchid Care.

Your Comments

51 Comments so far

  1. Matt Hardy says:

    My wife is a big fan of the Cymbidium and after all these years of having one. I have to say that I have become a big fan as well. I really had no idea there were so many kinds of orchids, but I know my will be interested.

  2. Lynn says:

    Miltonia is my very favorite and the smell is so wonderful. Our Miltonia is in our kitchen and it really smells great. I will have to check out these other ones as well.

  3. Daniboi says:

    Yes! cattleya and Phal are my favorites and they rank 1 & 2. yehheeeyyy!

  4. Alan Hume says:

    Thank you for the information, but for us
    amatures, it would be most helpful if you
    would supply pictures, as it would make identification very much easier


  5. Eloise Wills says:

    Vanda and cattleya are my no.1 they rank no.1 all the way.

  6. Carmen says:

    Since I live in a tropical area(Suriname-Northern part of South America) I like Dendrobium and Vanda cultivars the most. They doing very well outdoors.But with much more care the Phal is doing well also.

  7. Monika says:

    Thank you for this page!
    Have phalaenopsis orchids, dendrobium, odontoglossum and the newest is miltonia. They are really beautiful, when bloom. Giive them love and patience, they are worth of it 🙂

  8. june says:

    They are all absolutely stunning & beautiful plants. I’ve only three but am definitely hooked, & my husband as well.

  9. Calvin says:

    Do anyone ever give orchid plant as a gift?

    • Mary Ann says:

      Sure – you can give orchids as gifts for any occasion! 🙂 We’ve done a few posts about ideas for giving orchids as gifts. Here’s one of those orchid gift posts. Thanks! – Mary Ann

  10. Ivy says:

    I have been the fan of orchids for years but none of them survived within a year. This year, I have bought a few different species of orchids but i have trouble keeping my orchids alive and blooming. Thank you for the information and I found your side is neat and has good information. Thank you.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi Ivy, Don’t give up! It takes some time to get a feel for growing orchids in your environment. Keep reading and learning and growing! The reward will be worth it. – Mary Ann

  11. Ilze says:

    A very nice website! Completely accidentally bought a gift Miltonia – fantastically beautiful! Fell in love instantly :). I myself have Cambria – love. Or to learn more about this “treasure”. Thank you very much!
    Ilze from Latvia.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Thank you so much. 🙂 Miltonias are wonderful. Please let us know how you are doing, and I hope you will continue to learn and have your orchids flourish. – Mary Ann

  12. hossein says:

    hello.may you tell me growing which type of orchids is easy and suitable for our country.it is hot and dry in summer and cold in winter.thanks a lot.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi, Thanks for your question. Intermediate orchids would be a good match for you. They will tolerate both lower and higher temperatures, but if it gets below 60 deg, or above 85, then the plant growth will slow down. Many cattleyas and miltonias will do nicely for you. I wish you the best! Thanks again! – Mary Ann

  13. Viviane from Quebec, Canada says:

    BE AWARE – I bought my first orchid 2 years ago, now I have 21 different orchids – I AM ADDICTED

  14. Fatima Jalil says:

    Just like the others I do LOVED Orchids too I’ve wild orchids which is very rare to found. I do have cattleya and Oncidiums too….lucky for those who have this types of plants ( Orchids ) their house.

  15. Reiniel says:

    LOL xD

  16. Bara says:

    I have been given orchid plants that you put on driftwood–I live in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico–they do not have any flowers so i do not know the species

    how do i care for them

    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi Bara,

      Thanks for your comment. Since you don’t know the species, it’s a little more difficult to tell you what to do. There are quite a few that would do well on driftwood. I would suggest at this point taking it to a nearby orchid society or specialist who will be able to identify it for you and give you advice.

      Thanks again!
      – Mary Ann

  17. Shawna says:

    I bought my first phalaenopsis 3 months ago. Since then I have purchased the four more from the Gem stone collection, and two of the minis. I have purchased and am waiting for delivery of my new Starlight Dendrobium Orchid and a Colmanera Crimson Shadow Orchid.

    My point is, I was always afraid to try these beautiful plants. I thought they would be to hard to grow . Thanks to the internet and great sites like this one you can’t go wrong. I am so happy I bought my first one, I am a complete addict now! Just be sure you look at the roots before you buy, not the flowers and never let the bottom of your inner pot sit on the ‘floor’ of the exterior vase, I line mine with fish tank rock. I live in AZ where humidity is nonexistent so I run a small fan for my flowers as well to help with humidity as well as air flow.

    I am still a nubie and would love advise from you you masters out there 🙂 thank you


    • Mary Ann says:

      That’s awesome, Shawna! Congratulations on taking the plunge and joining us addicts in growing fantastic orchids. We’re thrilled to have you in our ranks. 🙂 – Mary Ann

  18. Anabel says:

    Hello I got my orchid of the street. I think it’s about 2 feet tall and it is buttifull and blumming ever since I got it but I have no idea how to care for it b/c my parents have no Idea either, I’ve lost count of how many things there doing wrong but there really busy with other stuff around the house but I think it’s a Phalaenopsis it would reply help if you could tell me what to do

    • Mary Ann says:

      Thanks for your comment! 🙂 It sounds like it is a phalaenopsis since it’s handled the abuse pretty well. We have a number of articles on how to care for orchids. You can find them here: Orchid Articles. Thank you, Mary Ann

  19. eduel rebano says:

    vandas and catlleyas also is my favorite orchids

  20. Martha says:

    My Miltonia bloom and it was so beautiful with a nice smell but I had allergies to it. I suffered from headache and my throat was hurting so i had to give it away.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Oh that’s such a shame! I’m very sorry to hear that. 🙁 You are one of the rare few that has an allergy to orchids. I guess just enjoy them from afar. – Mary Ann

  21. oss says:

    My partner and i gotta favorite this particular internet site seems like practical.

  22. wendy says:

    Good information. I just build a green house, well, me and hubby, I live on east coast Australia, most orchids out side, phal’s inside. Some not doing so well & others great & flowering what am I doing wrong? Phal with lots of buds but not developing? Help the poor Aussie.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Are the ones that have bloomed getting more light than the ones not blooming? Did you purchase them at different times? Some of them might not be ready to bloom. Each flower is kind of on its own schedule. Whenever that particular flower blooms, then that is when you can expect flowers each year.

      If you just got them, sometimes a change in environment can bring on a bud blast, which is where you have a lot of buds but no blooms.

      Don’t feel discouraged. Keep at it. If you’re lucky when these flowers end, the ones that haven’t been blooming will pick up where those left off. 🙂

  23. Rachel says:

    This is a wonderful page, Mary Ann. I have been all over Asia buying them and I think your page is informative and I am glad I found it.

  24. Martha G says:

    Woke up Christmas morning to my first orchid bloom. What a great Christmas gift! Thanks for the website.

  25. Mirta Heineman says:

    I agreed with your list. I also started about .25 years ago with Phalenopsis, It took me sometime to learn how to take care of orchids because there are so many. However, my advise to anyone is to join an orchid society whenever possible, and have patience to cultiva orchids it is worthy

    I am Mirta Heineman from Miami, FL

    • Mary Ann says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Mirta! 🙂 I agree with you. If you want to share any of your top tips for growing your orchids, feel free! – Mary Ann

  26. mary grace barrios says:

    Hi im growing vanda and dendrobuim,in drift woods,are this ok.or necessarily it need to be potted.pls help.

    • Mary Ann says:

      I have not done this myself, but yes you can do that. 🙂 I encourage you to do a search for vandas/dendrobiums in drift wood. I’m sure you will find a lot of good information.

  27. Carol Chilcott says:

    Hi Mary Ann, thank you so much for your informative posts. I really enjoy reading them and have learnt a lot about orchids that we have. Vandas,dendrobiums,cymbidiums. Have really fallen in love with phalaenopsis. Have 7 different colours and looking forward to more.

    • Mary Ann says:

      Hi Carol, Thank you for your comment!! 🙂 That sounds lovely. We’d love to see pictures if you would like to send them. 🙂 – Mary Ann

  28. Morris-Scotland says:

    I want to take an orchid to Trinidad as a gift
    . Do you buy them as seed, bulb or plant.

    • Mary Ann says:

      I think flying with the plant would be a challenge. Could you purchase one when you get there? Also, you need to check about bringing live plants into Spain because they have different rules for different countries. If you are giving the gift of a keiki or a cutting, that can be really challenging to grow for a beginner as well. So I’m not sure if that’s the best option. Honestly I think your best option is to contact this society and ask them what reputable growers they would recommend. I hope this helps! – Mary Ann


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