Phalenopsis have large leaves and are adapted to grow in low light. They are generally most happy at about 65 to 70 degrees, making them ideal for most Montana homes. In the summertime, when the sun is high and rarely shining directly into windows, the plants grow, then they bloom in the winter as the direct sunlight triggers them to flower.
Oncidium are also sometimes called bumblebees or dancing ladies. They have flowers the size of a quarter to three inches around, and many varieties are yellow or purplish red. Certain varieties smell like chocolate. They also match the temperature of many Montana homes, preferring between 65 and 75 degrees
Cattleyas are among the most popular orchids. Cattleyas and their related hybrids come in many colors, shapes, forms and sizes. Culture varies only slightly among most of these. Light is the most important factor in growing and flowering cattleyas. Bright light to some sun should be given to the plants, with no direct sun in the middle of the day. Ideal temperature should be 55 to 60 F at night and 70 to 85 F during the day. Water should be provided in two ways: in the pot by watering and in the air as humidity. Mature cattleyas need to dry out thoroughly before being watered again. Humidity should be 50 to 80 percent for cattleyas. This can be provided in the home by placing the plants on trays of gravel, only partially filled with water so that the plants do not sit in the water. Air should always be moving around the plants to prevent fungal or bacterial disease, especially if high humidity or cool temperatures exist.