In the Wild: Orchid Types and Their Natural Habitats

Orchids are known for thriving in the wild, especially when one thinks about propagation. They are also known for not growing in what is thought of as traditional soil, which makes them quite an interesting species. They can even be found in the wild attaching their roots to tree bark and climbing up trees. When growing your own orchids in your home gardens, it might be a good idea to take note of how they live in the wild, so that you can attempt to recreate their environments at home.

Where They Are Most Common

Orchids are found in the wild most commonly in humid climates such as rainforests. Generally, they are found in wooded areas with an appropriate amount of light, while still being shaded by the trees and protected from harsh winds. However, they are not only found in tropical climates and various species actually are found native to the North Americas. While the temperate climates may be different, wild orchids are found in locations that look very similar in nature. Wooded hillsides seem to attract wild orchids more so than any other location in the wild.


One of the biggest problems for orchid gardeners is dealing with changes in their gardens. Orchids are not used to drastic changes and so is the case for them in the wild. Orchids are highly adaptable to their environments, however, this adaptation does not occur quickly. Once they have become accustomed to their environment, even the slightest change will take some time for them to get used to. In some instances, they may never recover from the shock and will not produce new blossoms at all. Remember that this is their existence in the wild so try to duplicate the same principles when dealing with orchids in your home garden. Drastic changes even in the garden may be detrimental to their survival.

Orchids in the Cold

Not all orchids need to be in mild temperate or even humid climates, as seen with orchids found growing wild in the United States. There are some varieties that actually thrive in the winter months and even begin sprouting in frost. In these environments, while the orchids are rare, they can be some of the most beautiful and coveted species.

Natural Habitat and Wild Orchid Elimination

Unfortunately, wild orchids growing in their true, natural habitats are being threatened of becoming instinct. It is estimated that hundreds of orchid varieties grown in the wild are destroyed every year due to changes in climate or poachers taking them illegally and selling them on the market. Because orchids do not do well with drastic changes in their environment, slowly, many species are disappearing as a natural non-hybrid flower.

Recreate Nature in Your Own Garden

Thinking about the environments that orchids thrive in nature, try to create these same situations in your own home gardens. Grow your orchids in shaded areas with significant light flowing as well, similar to what you would see in a large wooded forest. Do not over water and remember that they like humid climates.