Types of Orchids

The orchid family is one of the largest plant types in the world; with over 25,000 known species located on all continents. Despite the large variety found in orchids, there are only two types of orchids: terrestrial orchids and epiphyte orchids.

The following guide will help you on the path to better understanding these exotic and beautiful plants.

Understanding Terrestrial Orchids

As their name would indicate, terrestrial orchids are those that grow best on the ground; the most popular orchids commonly found in households around the world belong to the terrestrial orchid family.

The Roots

While the roots of terrestrial orchids grow beneath lightly packed soil, or other types of potting media, many varieties of this orchid are semi-terrestrial which means that they have both aerial growing roots and underground root. Cymbidium orchids are an excellent example of a semi-terrestrial orchid as they thrive in the loosely packed debris of decaying leaves and wood that is often located on the floors of forests. However, Cymbidium orchids can also grow incredibly well on the sides of trees and rocks.

Care And Popularity

Terrestrial types of orchids tend to be the more popular choice of orchids largely due to the relative ease of care involved with them. While all orchids do require a fair bit of general care to ensure their optimal health, terrestrial orchids require slightly less specialised treatment than their epiphyte counterparts do.

Growing In Your Home

When you are growing a terrestrial orchid in your home it is important that you ensure that your orchid receives the correct amount of daily light that it requires. Your orchid’s roots should be loosely covered by a specialised orchid potting mix that will allow for a good amount of air circulation and moisture retention.

Understanding Epiphyte Orchids

It is important to note that the name “epiphyte” is not one that is strictly reserved for use when referring to orchids; it refers to any type of plant that has a natural root system above the ground. Epiphyte types of orchids do not bloom on a regular basis; this key fact makes them a less desirable household plant simply because they may have a lesser aesthetic value than their frequently flowering counterparts.

The Roots

Epiphytes grow on the sides of trees or other large structures; while they are attached to the tree they do not act in a parasitic manner at all; their host tree is used exclusively as a place to grow and they do not receive any nourishment from the host tree.

Care In Your Home

Like all orchids, your epiphyte orchids require adequate amounts of light, moisture, and circulated air to ensure that they remain in their prime condition. To ensure that your orchids are receiving the correct amount of water it is a good idea to run a cool mist humidifier near them on a regular basis.

When it comes to selecting your orchids you should be certain to select one that will fit into your lifestyle, your environment, and into your budget! While the majority of orchids most commonly found are budget-friendly, there are definitely options that can readily max out your orchid budget. Carefully research your selected types of orchid for suggested care guides and watch them bloom!