There may be times when you are wondering which among the many orchids is best for your home or garden. There are actually only two general types of orchids – terrestrial and epiphytic orchids. The types are basically just talking about the root system. Terrestrial orchids are orchids with ground roots while the epiphytic orchids are those that have above-ground roots usually seen on rocks, poles or even trees.
However, the two general types may be subdivided into various species, genera or hybrid classifications with more than 800 genera of orchids and more than 25,000 species. Known hybrid orchids reach more than 100,000 in number and it can be overwhelming to start choosing which among these orchids are best to grow in your home. But first, you need to decide whether you want a terrestrial or epiphytic type of orchid.
The easiest to grow and the most loved orchid is the terrestrial type, which is probably led by the popular and dazzling Cymbidium orchids. Under this genus is around 52 different species and innumerable hybrids. These orchids are famous because of their fragrance, beauty, color and how easy it is to grow them. They also bloom longer and more frequently than other orchids. The Cascading Cymbidium is one of the most dazzling among these orchids. They are characterized with tiny pink or white blooms delivering a cascading effect downward.
Storage of water in terrestrial orchids is usually done in either of the two ways – underground through the tuber structure or in their pseudo-bulbs. The pseudo-bulbs would become full and plump once it has stored enough water.
The most well-known and popular specie of orchids is the epiphytic type. Vanilla is actually a genus under this type, which is usually found in tropical climates of Asia, West Africa, America and Pacific Islands. However, we don’t recommend growing this orchid at home because it is space-consuming. There are other types that are more practical and popular to grow at home.
Moth orchid or Phalaenopsis is one of the more practical and popular orchid to grow at home usually seen in wedding ceremonies. This epiphytic orchid produces bold palettes of white, pink, yellow and striped blooms. They are quite easy to grow and can bloom longer especially when taken care of properly. The plant needs sunlight and heat more thus they don’t wilt easily.
If you are going to choose the epiphytic type of orchid, you need to remember that they receive air, water and nutrient requirements in an entirely different way. Generally, they are placed on potting bark, charcoal/bark mix or New Zealand sphagnum moss depending on what kind of specie you have. The potting media allows adequate drainage and air circulation. These plants store their water through the spongy root structure – usually green when full. It will gradually turn pale once the water reserves are depleting. Air circulation and filtered light are two most essential things when growing epiphytic type of orchids.