There are thousands of species of orchids in many different shapes and sizes.
The most common types available are a) Cymbidiums, b) Dendrobiums, c) Oncidiums, and d) Phalaenopsis. Phalaenopsis orchids are the best variety to have as house plants.
Choose cut orchids by bloom size and color. Look for large blossoms in scale with stem size. Most of the blossoms should be open, as most varieties will not fully develop when cut. Orchids bruise easily, so check the blossoms before purchasing.
In nature, orchids grow by attaching their roots above the ground. When growing them as houseplants, make sure that the roots are exposed to receive humidity and ventilation.
VARIETIES: There are over 30,000 varieties of orchid. The most common available as cut flowers and plants are Cymbidium, Dendrobium, Oncidium and Phalaenopsis.
COLORS: Every shade and color except true blue. Orchids can be solid colors, but are usually multi-colored, with spots or stripes accenting the throat of the blossom.
SCENT: Some varieties are fragrant, such as the Cymbidium.
FRESHNESS: Most of the flowers are open, or beginning to open. If cut too early while mostly budded, they probably will not open.
VASE LIFE: Approximately 7 days, but some varieties will last two weeks.
AVAILABILITY: All year.
COST: Moderately expensive to expensive, depending on the variety. Cymbidium and Phalaenopsis orchids are the most expensive cut varieties.
MEANING: Beautiful lady, Belle.
NOTE: Orchids are very versatile in flower arranging, lending an exotic touch to any combination. Their amazing color combinations and lasting ability make them a good choice for flower arrangements. Long-stemmed orchids with multiple blossoms can be cut into two or three parts for use in arrangement.
OTHER: Frequent misting of cut orchids will lengthen their vase life.