Cattleya Orchid

Orchid Care Basics: What Kind of Orchid Is it?

The best way to care for your orchid is to know exactly what kind of orchid you have.  But what do you do if you don’t know what kind of orchid you have?  Easy!  Narrow things down by determining your orchid’s growth pattern.

How Do Orchids Grow?

There are two basics growth types for orchids–Monopodial and Sympodial.


Monopodial (Latin for “single foot”): Orchids with a main stem that continuously grow upward.  Flower spikes, or inflorescences, alternate from one side of the stem to the other.  Angraecus, Phalaenopsis, and Vandas are monopodial orchids.

Sympodial (Latin for “many footed”): Orchids that grow sideways along the surface.  Psuedobulbs grow from the base (the connecting stem is called a rhizome) and mature at the end of the growing season by flowering.  Cattleyas, Dendrobiums and Paphiopedilums are sympodial orchids.

Learn more about these Orchid varieties with Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Cheat Sheets. They come in so handy when I just want a quick refresher on orchid care!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

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