Intermediate to Hot Growing Epiphytes

Readily recognised by their racemes of distinctive flowers that have long narrow
sepal and petals and a broad central labellum, this 20 spp. sympodial epiphytes
are found in America. Some spp. have recently been transferred to the genus


These orchids grow easily in a pot or basket of bark-based mix or coconut husk chips,
or tied onto a slab of cork or treefern. Provide warmth, bright light and high humidity,
with gentle air movement.

Bulbophyllum & Cirrhopetalum
More than 2000 spp. are found in tropical parts of the world. Sympodial epiphytes often with a creeping habit, short roots that usually don't branch. Small pseudobulbs with single leaf and unusual flowers arranged in a variety of ways.
Studies have recognised
Cirrhopetalum as a separate genus, and other have been segregated recently.


Being so large and diverse, it is difficult to provide general details. All spp. need humidity, moderate to strong air movement. Some spp. grow well in cool conditions, others need heat. Can be grown in pots of bark-based mix or coconut husk chips. Those with creeping rhizomes are best on slabs or in baskets.

Dendrobium & Durabaculum
A huge genus, but recent studies show that it actually comprises of about 50 spp.
Mainly in Asia, with others distributed between Philippines and Australia.

Sympodial epiphytes with cane-like leafy pseudobulbs.The leaves last for one season. The flowers are borne in short racemes that arise from the side nodes along the cane.

Durabaculum is distributed between Fiji and North-eastern Australia.  Sympodial epiphytes with thick, woody, leafy canes and long-lived colourful flowers in which the segments are often attractively twisted and the petals are longer than the sepals. Previously included in Dendrobium

They generally occur in hot, humid lowlands of the tropics. They demand excellent drainage and must dry out rapidly after watering. Water regularly from spring to autum, keep drier over winter.


Mostly grown in a pot of epiphyte mix, with many suitable for specimen culture.  Provide bright light, strong air movement to moderate to high humidity.

Epidendrum comprises of 1000 spp.  Sympodial epiphytes or terrestrial, many with pseudobulbs, others with reed-like leafy stems. Distributed from Southern USA , West Indies to Central America and South America. Their habitat varies from humid jungles to dry tropical forests, from sunny grassy slopes to cool cloud forests.


Pot with a compact growth habit in a small to medium-grade epiphyte mix and tie the creeping spp. onto  a slab. Provide warmth especially to those from lowlands, bright light and moderate to strong air movement. Many grow continually and need regular watering, others have a short rest period and should be kept drier. The reed-stemmed types with colourful flowers are commonly grown as garden plants in the tropics and coastal gardens.

Most of this genus are native to Brazil. They are sympodial epiphytes with clustered pseudobulbs,  each with one or two leaves and prominent leaf-like sheaths from which the inflorescence emerge.


Easily grown in humid conditions with strong air movement and bright light.  Grow on slabs of cork or in shallow pots of coarse bark-based mix or coconut husk chips. Water  throughout the year but keep drier over winter.
Repot immediately when the mix begins to break down.

This monopodial genus are distributed from tropical Asia, New Guinea
and north-eastern Australia. They are epiphytes with short stems, fleshy leaves,
numerous long thick roots and beautiful long-lasting flowers.
Produce some impressive flower displays.
Phalaenopsis is one of the most popular orchids in the trade,
through the development of many artificial hybrids.


These orchids need warm conditions with humidity and regular gentle to strong air movement.

They will grow and flower in low light and shade. Use pots or slatted baskets in medium to coarse-grade epiphyte mix or tie onto a slab, treefern or cork. The plant which grow throughout the year must never dry out.

This genus is widely distributed from India, Asia , New Guinea and Australia. Robust monopodial orchids with erect leafy stems, thick cord-like roots, leathery leaves in two ranks and recemens of long-lasting flowers. Numerous man-made hybrids are available. Flowers last well when cut.


Generally easy to grow. Provide warmth, bright light and strong
air movement. Pot in coarse bark-based / charcoal mix, or grow
on a slatted basket. The robust roots can either attached to the
container or grow through the air.

Information from "Starting out with Orchids by David L. Jones"