Top 5 Easiest Orchids to Grow

The truth is, the easiest orchid REALLY depends on what your guilty habit is. 

The truth is, there isn’t one type of orchid that grows well for every person and every environment. That why it’s best to take a hard look at yourself and your growing space before picking your orchids.

Below you’ll find suggestions for the easiest orchids to grow based on your worst habit or most limited growing space.

 

 1 – My life is really busy and I can’t stand any extra hassle. I want something easy going and that flowers for a long time and that is easy to find.

Your orchid: Phalaenopsis, ofcourse.

Phalaenopsis only need a little bit of light (about 2 hrs a day, through a sheer curtain). I have seen some people stick them in a room very very far from windows but that is just not enough light. (They’re easy going but they’re not lucky bamboo.)

Phals aren’t picky about watering. They only need to be watered about once a week. Go for a larger sized plant if you’re concerned about watering, as they tend to need watering less often.

Phals are also easy to find all over town, and can flower for between 3 months to up to a year!

The only real thing you need to remember with Phalaenopsis is not to let any water sit on their leaves or in their crown, because that can turn into big problems.

Because they’re so easy, Phalaenopsis makes great gift plants to beginners who may have heard that orchids are too fussy for them.

 

2 — Okay, I may know a friend who is really good at taking care of plants and then will suddenly mostly forget about them for a few weeks at a time!

Your orchid: Dendrobium nobile.

A few years ago, I bought my first dendrobium nobile on a whim at an orchid show. I’m not proud to admit, at first I wasn’t great at caring for it, I’d water it…um…  whenever.... and I may have even had a period of turmoil in our house when I’m pretty sure that poor thing might have gone a month or more without being watered. It also kept getting moved, sometimes into direct sun and on a windowsill directly over a heater.  After all that abuse, the canes shriveled and it looked 99% dead.

I came this close to putting it straight in the garbage, but in a last moment of pity and guilt, I decided, well let’s just see if I add a bit of water if it will come back to life.

To my surprise, that thing came back. It’s a fighter, it’s the nearly indestructible orchid.  It will tolerate those periods of turmoil in your life and fight to come back for you if you give it a chance. In fact, if you time it right you might just hit it during it's dormant period where it can lose it's leaves, as it's a deciduous orchid. 

“So it’s tough, I get it” you say. “That’s nice but you’re not entirely convincing me to get this plant yet.”

 

Did I mention the Dendrobium is also impressive looking? With lush, shiny leaves, and, if you treat it right, a vibrant explosion of flowers? Dendrobiums are used for leis in Hawaii, and decorations around the world. Bring one into your life and you’ll bring a little bit of Hawaii into your home.

Water them about once a week, fertilize occasionally, and then come fall, give them a bit of a break by putting them in cooler temperatures and watering less (you get a break too!) and that can help stimulate them to flower.

When picking out a dendrobium, look for a deciduous dendrobium, or soft caned dendrobium, which are the tougher ones I'm talking about.

Learn more: 

MissOrchidGirl (external) youtube,

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jlJbl7npOk

how to water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjr88ceu8No

Extra links (external) http://www.careorchidshome.com/different-kinds-of-orchids/las-dendrobium/index.php

 

3 – Jess, I’m really great at watering but unfortunately I don’t live alone and my Significant Other is a little stingy with heat and really won’t spend the $$ on keeping the heat at 25C or 23C or even 21C most of the time.

Your orchid: Cattleyas. 

Simply put, Cattleyas like intermediate temperatures, and many types are happy enough between 15.6C - 21C (or 60-70F) so if you need to keep the heat a little colder than average human comfort, they'll still be happy.  At night they can to be as low as 12C or 55F, though again, it can vary by type. 

Discovered in 1824 by William Cattleya, Cattleyas are quite popular (though not as popular as Phalaenopsis) so they are easy enough to find. Many Cattleya have large showy flowers.

 

Cattleyas need moderate humidity (40-70%) but otherwise are not very fussy. When they are getting enough light their leaves are yellow-green. 

If you're not sold on Cattleyas, there are actually many orchids that are defined as “cool growers” that could become a part of your life.

4 – Jess, I’m really great at plant care but my S.O. is constantly afraid that the house will fall apart if our humidity gets too high / refuses to let me buy a humidifier. Frankly, he would rather run a de-humidifier if I would let him. 

Oncidiums are pretty tolerant of lower humidity (around 40% or better), that's the regular air humidity in many areas so you won't need a humidifier. They'll appreciate more humidity if you have it, but they'll tough out less. If low humidity is an issue, you can keep humidity trays nearby. Onco

 

If you're not into that, many can also tolerate Cattleyas can tolerate some low humidity as well as some Cymbidiums. 

 

5 – I don’t really care about showy flowers, I want something that smells nice! I’m more motivated to take care of something when I get the extra reward of a nice scent.

Rather than really being an issue of ‘ease’ this is more about motivation. Some of us feel more compelled to put in that extra effort when we know we’re going to get extra oomph out of our plants. We’d rather plant roses or fruit trees over necessarily low-maintenance plants, because we want that extra bang. The following are some great orchids that smell delicious. 

  1. Brassavola nodosa: Commonly known as “Lady-of-the-Night,” orchid. This orchid has beautiful white flowers that are said to smell of a strong freesia or lily-of-the-valley scent. In fact, most Brassavola orchids smell citrus-y so give them a try. They're also fairly tolerant of lower humidity if you give them enough light. 
  2. Oncidium Sharry Baby: This very popular Oncidium is supposed to smell like chocolate, or some think it smells more like vanilla or milk chocolate. (See Sharry baby in the gallery from #4.) 
  3. Oncidium Twinkle Fragrance Fantasy: An Oncidium hybrid, this has a strong and spicy vanilla scent.
     
 Brassavola nodosa smells like citrus!

Brassavola nodosa smells like citrus!

Learn More:

More scented orchids: http://www.orchidsmadeeasy.com/fragrant-orchids/

Video about fragrant orchids: http://orchidnature.com/best-fragrant-orchids-in-the-world-1/