Light - A Phalaenopsis should get about 2 hours of weak sun directly on its leaves - such as early morning or filtered mid-day sun. To check a location, put the plant there when the sunlight is strongest and, after a few minutes, feel the leaves. If they are warm, the light is too strong.
Water - Let only the top of the mix dry to about an inch down before watering. Then water thoroughly. Fertilize once a month with any balanced soluble plant food such as Peter's or Miracle Gro 20-20-20 at 1/2 strength.
Temperature - Phalaenopsis like night temperatures of 65 degrees F or higher. Day temperatures up to 105 degrees F are tolerated.
Repotting - Repot Phalaenopsis once a year into plastic pots. Use a mix that retains some water. Note: If you use sphagnum moss, do not water until the top is dry. It can take up to ten days to dry.
Light - Cattleyas grow in strong sun in nature and need 4 to 6 hours of strong sun on their leaves. A south, east or west window with sunlight at noon is good. As the days get brighter, move your orchid into stronger sunlight gradually.
Water - Let the top inch or so of the mix dry out before you water your Cattleya.
Temperature - Cattleyas do fine with day temps of 100 degrees and nights down to the upper 40's.
Repotting - Repot every 3 years or when one growth is over he edge of the pot. Use a medium bark. You can grow Cattleyas in plastic or clay pots.
Feeding - Monthly Fertilizing with half-strength houseplant food is fine.
Pests - Cattleyas are most subject to scale - white stuff or spots on the leaves and pseudobulbs. Spray with isopropyl alcohol from the drugstore and rub the corpses off. Remove dry sheaths from the pseudobulbs so scale can't hide underneath.
Light - Oncidiums grow in moderate sun in nature and need 3 to 4 hours of bright sun on their leaves. A south, east or west window with sunlight at noon is good. As the days get brighter, move your orchid into stronger sunlight gradually.
Water - When the top of the mix is just dried out, water your Oncidium.
Temperature - Oncidiums do dine with day temps of 100 degrees and nights down to the upper 40's.
Repotting - Report every 1 to 2 years. Use fine bark mixed with a little perlite and ground peat sphagnum moss in a clay pot.
Feeding - Monthly fertilizing with half-strength houseplant food is fine.
Pests - Oncidiums are subject to scale - white stuff or spots on the leaves and pseudobulbs. Spray with isopropyl alcohol from the drugstore and rub the scale off. Remove dry sheaths from the pseudobulbs so scale can't hide underneath.
Light - Masdevallias like bright indirect light with some direct sun on the leaves in early morning or late afternoon. In the summer, a shaded area outside will work well.
Water - Let only the top of the mix dry a bit before watering. Then water thoroughly. Fertilize once a month with any balanced soluble plant food such as Peter's or Miracle Gro 20-20-20. Follow the directions on the package.
Repotting - Repot about once every year to every other year. Use fine fir bark with some perlite and ground peat.
Pests & Diseases - These plants are generally resistant to insects. However, if you do find some, spraying with isopropyl alcohol is usually quite effective (your drugstore or grocery store will have it).
Light - The mottled foliaged Paphs and some green foliage Paphs can do well with just over 2 hours of weak sun. The larger green leaf Paphs can use as much as 4 or 5 hours of sun on the leaves.
Water - Water Paphs about twice a week. When the weather is dry, you may need to water 3 times a week. Paphs should never dry out completely.
Temperature - Day temperature can go as high as 100 degrees and night temperature as low as 55 degrees.
Repotting - Repot every year or even more often using a damp mix with coconut husks or ground peat. Plastic pots are a good idea. Annual potting is important.
Feeding - Monthly fertilizing with half strength houseplant fertilizer. Many Paphs benefit from oyster shell as another source of calcium.
Pests - Paphs don't have many pest problems, but on occasion mealy bugs can get in the bract of the flower. If this should happen, spray all of the leaves and any flower stem with isopropyl alcohol. Another problem is a tan colored rot at the base of the plant. Take these leaves off and dust the plant with cinnamon or sulfur.
Light - Pansy orchids can bloom nicely with 2 hours of early morning or late afternoon sun on the leaves. They do best if you give enough sun to have some purple in the leaves - about 3-4 hours of east or west sun.
Water - Miltoniopsis do best if watered every other day when it's sunny, every third day when it is not sunny.
Temperature - Keep these orchids above 60 degrees and below 85. A home is better than a greenhouse.
Repotting - Repot plants in plain fine bark mixed with perlite and some ground peat every year.
Feeding - Monthly feeding with half-strength houseplant food is fine.
Culture Problems - Insect pests seldom bother them - spray with isopropyl alcohol if you see them. It is more likely that the base of a leaf or two will turn light brown. Pull a leaf doing this down and off.
General - Do not expose the flowers to drying drafts! They grow fast if they are happy and will bloom once or twice a year in addition to the big blooming around May.
Light - Dendrobiums like good direct sun on the leaves. An ideal location is one that gets sun from about 1:30PM until evening, or in the morning until about 11:00AM is adequate.
Water - Let the top of the mix dry a bit before watering. Then water thoroughly. It also helps to spray the roots at the base of the canes every day or two.
Temperature - Keep your Dendrobium above 60 degrees at night. A few cold nights is ok, but too many will seriously hurt the plant. Daytime temperatures up to 85 degrees are ideal. Plants need to be shaded when the temperatures are higher.
Repotting - Dendrobiums do not like to be repotted. Wait until the plants grows over the edge of the pot. Remove only the old mix from the back and bottom of the root ball. Hint: These plants tend to be top heavy, so potting in clay pots is useful.
Pests - These plants are generally resistant to insects. However, if you do find some, spraying with isopropyl alcohol is usually quite effective (your drugstore or grocery store will have it).