Orchid Specialties

As the largest and most diverse flower family, orchids can be overwhelming. To make them more manageable, many growers specialize. With 30,000 species, and over 150,000 hybrids, there are countless ways to find a niche in the orchid world. Here are a few:

Collect mini’sMiniature orchids are short on stature, but full of exotic beauty. Out of necessity from lack of space, or simply because they’ve succumbed to mini charms, many growers focus on small varieties. Mini Phals and mini Cattleyas join small members of the Dendrobium, Masdevallia, and Oncidium families to guarantee that you’ll never get bored with their endless diversity.

Create a fragrant orchid collection – Many members of the Cattleya, Cymbidium, Dendrobium, and Oncidium families exude rich scents. Always sniff it to see if it’s a smell you like. Some members of the large Masdevallia and Bulbophyllum families have unpleasant smells. White flowers may only be fragrant at dusk or nighttime.

Grow orchids from a certain region –  How about orchids native to Mexico, like Laelias, Epidendrums, and Vanillas? Cattleyas, Oncidiums, and Miltonias from the Amazon? Or Madagascar’s Angraecums, Jumelleas, and Oeoniellas? People in China and Japan have collected native Cymbidiums and Samurai Orchids for centuries. Southern Africa is home to fascinating terrestrials like Disa and Stenoglottis, and epiphytes like Mystacidium and Aerangis.

Collect one genusPaphs, or Lady Slippers, inspire collectors who grow nothing else. Phals are a source of endless fascination, and new hybrids appear all the time. Epidendrums have long lasting blooms in a rainbow of colors.

Pick award winners – Why not have the best? Expert judges award exceptional orchids. Awards become part of the orchid name, so look for initials at the end of nametags, like CCE/AOS or FCC/AOC.

Cultivate orchid species – Species are Mother Nature’s original handiwork, as opposed to hybrids created by humans. Many growers like me enjoy the extra challenges of cultivating orchid species. They can be more finicky than hybrids, needing high quality water or precise temperatures. If you buy orchid species, always buy from reputable dealers, and never take orchids from the wild.

Mini Dendrobium speciesFragrant Cattleya hybridPaphiopedilum flower

Explore posts in the same categories: Buying Tips, Fragrant Orchids, Mini Orchids, Photos

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4 Comments on “Orchid Specialties”

  1. Jason Vega Says:

    did not know how many different kinds of orchids there are
    thank you for helpful tips and simply good info

  2. Melia Serini Says:

    This post really peaked my interest. I simply want to tell you that I didn’t know how many orchids there are. Regards.

  3. Andrea32277 Says:

    Thank you for the great article and interesting, original and new views on this topic. I find your content refreshing and engaging….

  4. christine Says:

    I liked you on FB =)