We’ve tried several kind of orchids at Ngoc Lan, and these are our favorite five–the most beautiful for any home, and the easiest.
Try a Cattleya Orchid
The Cattleya Orchid is a great starter orchid for folks who want the beauty and exotic feel of an orchid without the work. The Cattleya makes for an easy indoor plant that flowers beautiful yellow, pink, white, red or orange looks blooms. You can also occasionally get markings that really make this orchid stand out.
Ideal conditions for the cattleya orchid are typical indoor conditions—normal to bright light, southern-facing windows. Use an orchid fertlizer at the beginning of each year, around springtime, to maximize your blooms. Since they’re indoor, figure on normal indoor temperatures; don’t go over 75 degrees to be safe.
Blooming happens twice a year, so be sure to take pictures once they start to flower!
Next up: the Dendrobium Orchid
Dendrobiums are long-lasting, gorgeous flowers that you’ll often see at the flower shop. Colors include green, pink, purple and white, and you’ll see the blooms for up to four weeks, an incredible duration for orchids.
Ideal conditions for the Dendrobium are medium light, but stay away from overly bright conditions. Like the Cattleya, shoot for normal indoor temperatures and stay away from conditions over 75 degrees or so.
Dendrobiums bloom throughout the year and can bloom on stemming, so this is a very versatile flower.
The Ever-Exotic Moth Orchid
The Moth Orchid, in addition to having a great name, is one of the most hardy orchids available—it lasts a long time, and you can find it almost anywhere. Flowers on the moth orchid can last for up to 16 weeks! And it offers a wide variety of colors—-pink, purple, green, white or red are not uncommon.
Ideal conditions for the moth orchid are typical indoor conditions as well (noticing a pattern?)—low to medium light, not too bright, with watering every week. As with the others, you’ll want to use an orchid fertilizer with the moth orchid to keep your blooms bright and regular. Stay away from overly hot conditions or the plant will start to wilt and/or turn brown.
Blooming with a moth orchid can be brought on by a brief cold spell, so if you’re not getting your regular blooms, try turning on the air conditioner for a day or two and that should do the trick.
Your ever-lasting Cymbidium Orchid
Cymbidiums are our favorite orchid because of their long leaves and durable blooms. It’s a beautiful plant that complements any room.
Ideal conditions for a Cymbidium are a little different—you’ll want to shoot for high lighting conditions and direct sun where possible. you can even try placing them on the patio or the yard for a bit during the warmer months, just be sure to provide plenty of water if it gets too hot. Always use orchid fertilizer, and on average, keep them at room temperatures at night.
Blooming for the cymbidiums happens in the winter months, so like the moth orchid, try inducing a cold spell if your cymbidium isn’t flowering. And if you’re traveling (don’t forget your pet!), be sure to leave someone to water this orchid, as it’s the most difficult of the bunch.
Last but not least: the Oncidium Orchid
This is the most prolific orchid of the bunch, often blooming dozens of smallish flowers in a pack. Like the Dendrobiums, oncidums bloom in a wide variety of colors—yellow, white, red, pink, purple or even orange are not unheard-of.
Ideal conditions will sound familiar at this point—indoor range of temperatures, shoot for moderate light but not too bright conditions. Use your orchid fertilizer and try to water the plant once a week if possible.
Blooming for the oncidium is especially delightful thanks to the smell. These are a wonderful-smelling flower that can offset even the worst smells in the room.