What Kind of Orchid Do I Have?

This pictorial shows examples of orchids and identifies the type of orchid. You can use this guide when repotting an orchid that has no label and if you are unsure which genera it is. The following orchids are commonly sold in nurseries, groceries and box stores and are sometimes sold with no label other than simply "orchid".


 The most common orchids found for sale are Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium and Oncidium.


Brassavola

The "lady of the night" orchid, so named for its delightful fragrance in the evening is a wonderful addition to any orchid collection. It has stout terete leaves which emerge along a central rhizome. From the new growth comes elegant white flowers in early winter. When the sun goes down, the fragrance emerges to fill the entire room. Brassavola can be grown on an orchid mount or in a pot. Gallery Photo

Leaf View

Recommended Brassavola Potting Mix


Catasetum

Catasetum are unique and most unusual orchids. Deciduous in nature, they require a distinct winter dry rest. When they bloom the large waxy flowers will be either male or female. The male flowers are typically showier and are produced at lower light than required for female flowers. If the flower is bumped the pollen is literally ejected into the air.

Leaf View

Recommended Catasetum Potting Mix


Cattleya

The corsage orchid is a popular and rewarding orchid to grow. It has large tall growths called pseudobulbs that are topped with a leaf growing one after another to produce the next season's bloom. The pseudobulbs are connected to each other by a horizontal growth that is at or just under the surface of the media called a rhizome. When repotting, a rhizome clip may be required to secure the orchid in its pot. Cattleya orchids are usually repotted when they have finished blooming and a new pseudobulb is just starting to grow.

Leaf View

Recommended Miniature Cattleya Potting Mix


Miniature Cattleya

The miniature cattleya is a fraction of the size of its big brother, the Cattleya. Often less than 8" tall, the mini cattleya takes far less space than the standard cattleya which is twice as tall and requires a much larger pot. The miniature cattleya have multiple petite blooms that look remarkably like cattleya blooms except for their smaller size. The miniature cattleya has the same pseudobulb growth habit as the standard cattleya and is best repotted right after blooming as the new growth begins to emerge. We will usually select a smaller media size for our miniature cattleya, potting them in a seedling mix.

Leaf View

Recommended Cattleya Potting Mix


Cycnoches

A member of the Catasetum tribe, the waxy and fragrant blooms of Cycnoches are a delight in the early fall. The care for these wonderful orchids is similar to Catasetum including a dry winter rest. From tall pseudobulbs and leaves that lean forward in a fan shape comes an arching inflorescence of blooms with incredible substance. Yellows, reds, greens, they are all a wonderful addition to any collection. They bloom early in the fall, basically in late summer, when not much else is happening. What a delight!

Leaf View

Recommended Cycnoches Potting Mix


Cymbidium

Often large, hairy and unruly, the Cymbidium orchid delights with tall spikes loaded with flowers. This pictured plant is about three feet tall and ready to go into the next size container. The Cymbidium orchid has much smaller pseudobulbs that are topped with long thin leaves that gently drape to form an attractive foliage plant. In warm climates Cymbidiums grow outdoors year-round and spread out to be quite spectacular. Similar to most other orchids, Cymbidiums prefer to be repotted shortly after blooming as the new growth is beginning to emerge.

Leaf View

Recommended Cymbidium Potting Mix

Cymbidium Imperial Orchid Mix
$15.40$13.95

Miniature Cymbidium

Often large, hairy and unruly, the Cymbidium orchid delights with tall spikes loaded with flowers. This pictured plant is about three feet tall and ready to go into the next size container. The Cymbidium orchid has much smaller pseudobulbs that are topped with long thin leaves that gently drape to form an attractive foliage plant. In warm climates Cymbidiums grow outdoors year-round and spread out to be quite spectacular. Similar to most other orchids, Cymbidiums prefer to be repotted shortly after blooming as the new growth is beginning to emerge.

Leaf View

Recommended Miniature Cymbidium Potting Mix

Cymbidium Imperial Orchid Mix
$15.40$13.95

Dendrobium

Dendrobiums are tall and stately with elongated pseudobulbs topped by modest sized leaves. Their graceful sprays of flowers are a welcome break during winter's grey days. Even after the leaves fall from the oldest pseudobulbs they continue to provide sustenance to the plant and should be retained during repotting unless they are quite shriveled.Dendrobiums like to grow in a very small pot, often the pot looks ridiculously small compared to the height of the plant. This presents some unique problems with growing Dendrobiums; they are top-heavy. Some solutions to this are to plant them in clay pots or to use broken brick, cobblestone or pea gravel in the bottom of the pot to weigh it down. Precise staking of Dendrobiums to make them well balanced is also critical.Dendrobiums often resent repotting and in extreme cases can be killed if repotted at the wrong time. Repot only when new growth begins to appear as in the picture shown below.

Leaf View

Recommended Dendrobium Potting Mix


Miniature Dendrobium

A delightful and floriferous orchid, a common variety is a Dendrobium Bigibbum hybrid. Small in stature yet covered with blooms, these miniature dendrobiums are a pleasure to grow. Care is similar to standard Dendrobiums yet they are not top-heavy and often don't require staking. Miniature Dendrobiums are about 8 inches tall compared to standard Dendrobiums which can easily exceed 3 feet for a mature plant.

Leaf View

Recommended Miniature Dendrobium Potting Mix


Epidendrum

Delicate fragrant blooms atop chunky rounded pseudobulbs, the epidendrum is a delightful orchid. It's high light requirements, however, can make it difficult to rebloom in the home. Supplemental artificial light or summers outdoors help meet its needs.

Leaf View

Recommended Epidendrum Potting Mix


Reed Stem Epidendrum

The Reed Stem Epidendrum has multiple growths each with several leaves. From the top of the growths come spikes that are topped with a puff ball of delightful little blooms. The blooms may resemble little clown faces.These orchids are relatively easy to grow and bloom. They prefer to be repotted after blooming.

Leaf View

Recommended Reed Stem Epidendrum Potting Mix


Encyclia

The cockleshell orchid has wispy blooms topped with a dorsal sepal that looks like a seashell. Spikes come from the top of the pseudobulbs in the winter or early spring. Blooms open successively along the spike allowing the encyclia to stay in bloom for a long time.The Encyclia orchid prefers to be repotted when a new pseudobulb is beginning to grow.

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Recommended Encyclia Potting Mix


Intergeneric

When several different genera are crossed together, the result is called an Intergeneric. These orchids often have very striking and unusual flowers as a result of creative man-made combinations.Intergeneric orchid care and background can be generalized as similar to Oncidiums. For a precise guide to their care one must research the parents. Given all the hybridization that has occurred, however, many of the idiosyncrasies of the parent's culture often has been bred out of these plants.Like most orchids, Intergenerics prefer to be repotted after blooming as new growth emerges. They also prefer to be in a fairly tight pot.

Leaf View

Recommended Intergeneric Potting Mix


Lycaste

Lycaste orchids have waxy flowers over fat oval pseudobulbs with wide pleated leaves. Many species are fragrant ranging from lemony scented to cinnamon spicy and many are deciduous, blooming on leafless pseudobulbs. Lycaste prefer a seedling grade mix.

Leaf View

Recommended Lycaste Potting Mix