Orchid Plant Care: 5 Easy Orchids For Beginners

By Raffaele DiLallo | September 19, 2020
by Raffaele DiLallo
September 19, 2020

Orchids have a very undeserved reputation for being difficult. If you choose the right ones and know some important tips, however, they will not only be easy, but addictive! 

Orchids for Beginners

Orchid plant care should not be difficult. There are an overwhelming number of different orchids, so it is important to choose wisely. Want to know what orchids are easy to grow? Here are 5 to get you started. These orchids for beginners are great for newbies, or even seasoned gardeners trying their hand at something new.

Phalaenopsis orchids

Phalaenopsis, or moth orchids, are the obvious choice and for good reason. My own orchid obsession started with these plants. They are widely available, can bloom for months, and are among the lower light orchids.

Most of my Phalaenopsis are sitting in front of eastern exposure windows and will grow new flower spikes about once a year. They can also rebloom off the old spikes. They like bright indirect light, and a little sun is okay, especially morning sun. 

Be careful not to let the bark or moss they grow in dry out completely. Use your finger to test the dryness, and then water. I let approximately the top half of the pot dry out before taking them to the sink and thoroughly soaking the potting medium. For my orchids growing in bark, it tends to be about once a week. For those growing in sphagnum moss, it can go much longer.

If you have any stubborn Phalaenopsis that won’t bloom, give them a period of a couple weeks or so of nighttime temperatures around 50 F. (10 C.). This will often do the trick.

Paphiopedilum orchids

Also called Lady Slipper orchids, due to the unusual pouches that the flowers produce, these like to grow in the same conditions that Phalaenopsis like. If you have been successful with Phalaenopsis, these are a good orchid to try next. They also have the bonus of having beautiful mottled leaves.

Jewel orchids

Although these produce dainty white flowers, Ludisia orchids are grown mainly for their stunning dark foliage with pinkish stripes. These lower light orchids are terrestrial orchids, so these grow in ordinary potting soil versus bark mixes than many other orchids need. 

Lady of the Night orchid

Brassavola nodosa is another one of my favorites. These are higher light orchids and do need some direct sunshine to bloom and do their best. These will produce intensely fragrant white flowers. Be sure to allow the bark mix to dry out before thoroughly soaking to water.

Cattleya orchids

Various Cattleya orchids, particularly “mini cats,” are wonderful windowsill houseplants. The full size Cattleya orchids can often get very big. If you are short on space, try growing any of one the mini Cattleya orchids, which are actually hybrids of different orchid genera.

These are considered higher light orchids as well, so be sure to give them a few hours of direct sunshine indoors. There are a wide variety of size and colors in the flowers and many of them are also fragrant. My favorite mini Cattelya is one with orange flowers that I’ve had over 16 years. 

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  • Vivian Black
    Comment added November 5, 2021Reply

    I have always loved the beauty of the orchid plant. I did not know that they are not difficult to raise. It is good to know that there are even orchids for beginners. I envision my entire home full of orchids. https://akatsukaorchid.com/orchid-plants/rare-orchids/

  • Jennifer Amis
    Comment added October 31, 2021Reply

    I have three phalaenopsis which are prolific bloomers. They thrive on neglect, apparently. One of them has developed a distinct lean, and I'm wondering if anyone has a suggestion on how, or if to repot it. It's planted in woodchips and it's sending roots skyward in all directions. Suggestions gratefully accepted.

  • Patricia Pope
    Comment added October 21, 2020Reply

    Thank you for all the wonderful tips. I have a cattleya that bloomed so beautifully, three huge blossoms, but since, has not rebloomed..over 3 years, so wonder what is wrong???

  • Gladys
    Comment added October 20, 2020Reply

    I had very little sucess in growing orchids until I neglected them and the one bloomed for over a yr.
    Now I have some miniture ones and trying to see how they grow.
    These are such beautiful plants.

  • TAUNYA K DURANT
    Comment added October 16, 2020Reply

    My last living Phalaenopsis is doing well. After killing about 10, I've finally got a better understanding on basic care. Now, my problem is getting it to bloom. I noticed you said to give it, a couple weeks or so, cold temperatures (50°F). Living in NE Florida, that's pretty much impossible. Do you have any other suggestions on how to get it to bloom? I have a few acquaintances that have orchids, and theirs bloom constantly....

  • nancy
    Comment added October 11, 2020Reply

    Thanks for the information, I have several Orchids,addictive is right!

    • Leslie Goodman
      Comment added October 11, 2020Reply

      I have 8 Cattleya orchids and the last one that flowered had 2 spikes each showing 3 flowers on each spike, absolute
      beautiful perfume , for about 2 hours each day. the next day the perfume comes again.

  • KR
    Comment added October 11, 2020Reply

    Pictures of each are easy to research on any search engine. Better still go the the American Orchid Society website http://www.aos.org and they have pictures galore to entice you further into the world of orchids.

  • Pauline
    Comment added October 10, 2020Reply

    A picture of each would definitely help...

  • Mary Jane
    Comment added October 10, 2020Reply

    It would be helpful to see the picture of each kind of orchid with their name

  • Naomi
    Comment added October 10, 2020Reply

    Good info. A photo next to each orchid name would have been helpful

  • Ben Hilton
    Comment added September 20, 2020Reply

    Love this article. I've been reading up a lot lately on orchids and this helped a great deal

    • Cathy
      Comment added October 10, 2020Reply

      It would really help to SEE pics of the listed orchids......

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