November 14, 2014

What Kind of Orchid to Buy as a Gift

Paphiopedilum Orchids (Lady Slippers)
Orchids are quickly becoming one of the most popular indoor plants in the world. They can provide beauty and elegance to any room instantly. With over 20,000 species, you can find an Orchid that will grow well in just about any condition or match just about any design.

Orchids have also become a very popular gift for all occasions. They are typically easy to care for and can be gifted in bloom which will last for several weeks. Once the Orchid stops blooming, it then becomes a houseplant as opposed to a display piece. You do not want to give someone an Orchid that looks great but is impossible to care for without experience.

If you pick up and Orchid at a grocery or gardening store, it will likely be a good Orchid for beginners. Those stores are not going to carry an Orchid that is not meant to be given to someone that has no Orchid growing experience. Nor do they want to deal with the hassle of caring for those difficult Orchids themselves.

Water and Sunlight are the two factors that determine whether or not an Orchid is a good choice for gifting. You don’t want to get someone a gift that needs to be watered three times a day and moved to different locations throughout the day. Phalaenopsis, Dendrobium, Cattleya. andPaphiopedilum Orchids are the three most common Orchids used for gifts.

Paphiopedilum Orchids (Moth Orchids) 

These Orchids are by far the most common Orchids used as gifts, currently. When you think about what an Orchid looks like, you likely think of this kind of Orchid. You can find these in any color except black and blue, and in a plethora of patterns. These Orchids bloom for months at a time and can be placed on display in locations with no light while in bloom.

Moth Orchids need to be in a warm location with plenty of bright indirect sunlight. They do well with the normal temperatures on a house or office as long as they do not receive cool breezes from a window or door. This Orchid needs to be watered every 7 – 10 days and can even be watered with a few ice cubes once a week.

Dendrobium Orchids 

Dendrobium Orchids are very popular as cut flowers in floral arrangements. The flowers last an extended period of time after they are cut and put in a vase. Before Moth Orchids recently became popular, this was the most popular Orchid. This species was used to create most of the hybrid Orchid species and is commonly referred to as the “workhorse of Orchids”

This Orchid can withstand a small amount of direct sunlight, unlike most other Orchids. That being said, it is best if you avoid the direct sun if possible. Dendrobium Orchids need a dryer and more airy growing root system. This means that you should allow the growing medium to dry out some between watering. Water this plant every other week or when the growing medium has been dry for a few days.

Cattleya Orchids 

This Orchid species is a common house plant and is one of the most common flowers used in corsages. They produce large flowers that produce a very strong fragrance when in bloom. They will bloom twice a year if given enough light.

Cattleya Orchids need bright indirect sunlight to encourage flowering. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves of this species very quickly if you are not careful. Water this Orchid every 10 days, letting the growing medium start to dry out between watering.

Paphiopedilum Orchids (Lady Slippers) 

These are one of the most unique looking Orchids that you will see grown as household plants. They grow flowers with a unique pouch that they use to catch and trap insects in the wild. They grow sprouts that only flower once when they are full grown. After those sprouts bloom, they will die and be replaced with new sprouts to start the whole process over again.

Lady Slippers need a good amount of sunlight in order to bloom indoors. They can be placed near a sunny window and slowly adjusted to some direct sunlight. They require about the same amount of light as an African Violate. They typically grow in swamps and other moist areas, so water twice a week to keep moist.

For more great information about types of Orchids, stop by Orchidsplus

Further recommended reading The Orchid Whisperer: Expert Secrets for Growing Beautiful Orchids

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