Everything You Need to Know About Orchid Pots

Posted March 24th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Growing, In the News

Perfectly timed for spring repotting, Better Homes & Gardens explains Everything You Need to Know About Orchid Pots. The helpful advice includes the importance of great drainage, and that most orchids prefer small pots. Terra cotta, plastic, ceramic, and mesh pots all have advantages and disadvantages to consider. The article also contains this clever tip: “Think of it more as disassembling the plant and reassembling it in a new pot rather than a traditional potting process.” Finding the right pot will help your orchid survive and thrive.

Rankafu, An Orchid Masterpiece

Posted March 20th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Books, Misc, Photos

Psychopsis papilio, Butterfly Orchid, orchid species flower, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UKCymbidium erythraeum, orchid species flowers and graceful arching leaves, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UKZygopetalum maxillare, Zygo, orchid species flowers, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UK

Celebrate today’s spring equinox with these astounding orchid prints. Rankafu, which means Orchid Flower Album in Japanese, consists of 83 works done in 1946 by orchid lover Shotaro Kaga and artist Zuigetsu Ikeda. These woodblock prints are considered masterpieces for their exquisite colors, fine details, and expert use of difficult ukiyo-e printing techniques.

Holcoglossum kimballianum, orchid species flowers, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UKPaphiopedilum bellatulum, Paph, Lady Slipper orchid species flowers and leaves, variegated leaves, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UKLaeliocattleya nr No 106 'Oyamazaki', orchid hybrid flowers, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UK

Vanda sanderiana, orchid species flowers and leaves, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UKBrassia verrucosa, Spider Orchid, orchid species flowers, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UKMasdevallia schroederiana, orchid species flowers and leaves, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UK

In addition to the botanical beauty, the two final photos show traditional Japanese carving and printing tools that were on display in this recent exhibit at London’s Kew Gardens. You can find much more in the newly published Rankafu: Japanese Masterpiece Orchid Woodblock Prints. This dazzling volume features the history of these stunning pictures and the people behind them. Kaga’s fascination with orchids, and his wish to masterfully capture their magic, inspired a love of orchids in Japan that continues today.

Renanthera imschootiana, orchid species flowers, red flowers, woodblock print, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UKJapanese woodblock carving tools, tradition Japanese tools, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UKJapanese woodblock printing tools, tradition Japanese tools, Rankafu exhibit, Orchid Flower Album, RBG Kew, Kew Gardens, London, UK

The Secret Orchids of Palau

Posted March 14th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News, Warm Growers

Smithsonian magazine reveals the secret orchids of Palau. The tiny South Pacific nation is spread across 344 small islands. With sun-drenched beaches and coral reefs full of vibrant fish, it’s known as one of the best dive sites in the world. But Palau is more than a biodiversity hotspot for fish. It’s also a hotspot for orchids. Palau’s forests hide over 90 species of colorful orchids, with varieties of Spathoglottis, Dendrobium, Bulbophyllum, and more.

Fortunately, the people of Palau have done a great job taking care of their native forests. Orchids are abundant. “There would literally be epiphytic orchids that would cover the tree from the ground all the way up to where I couldn’t even see them,” said Smithsonian scientist Benjamin Crain. Some species inhabit the tropical forests, while others live on rockier, more barren islands. As researchers study Palau’s plants, they’re trying to ensure that the country remains an orchid hotspot.

More Photos from Pacific Orchid Expo 2019

Posted March 9th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Photos

Sudamerlycaste locusta, orchid species flower, green flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhragmipedium Hanne Popow, orchid hybrid flowers, front and side view of flowers, Phrag, Lady Slipper, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium flowers and leaves, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Masdevallia Jaime Posada, orchid hybrid flower, striped flower, pleurothallid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDracula gongora 'Stony Point', orchid species flower, pleurothallid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaRossioglossum orchid flower, brown yellow and white flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

The Pacific Orchid Expo is an annual immersion into orchids of all kinds. Whether it’s a stunning, green-flowered Sudamerlycaste with a delicately fringed lip, or brilliant Cymbidium flowers framed by graceful leaves, the floral diversity is remarkable. Big, small, colorful, drab, right-side up, or upside-down, it can be hard to believe that they’re all orchids. They’re one of Mother Nature’s best shows.

Dendrobium Silver King, orchid hybrid flowers, white and purple flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda Gordon Dillon, orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDracula roezlii (Beta x Cow Hollow), orchid species flower, flower bud opening, pleurothallid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Vanda falcata, Neofinetia falcata, Samurai Orchid, variegated leaves, planted in moss and traditional Japanese flowerpot, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium chrysopterum, orchid species flowers, orange and yellow flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum Erna Kaufman, Paph, Lady Slipper, orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

A Craze for a Traditional Treat Is Endangering Wild African Orchids

Posted March 4th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, In the News

There are lots of edible orchids besides vanilla. I’ve blogged about chikanda before, a traditional African dish made from orchid tubers. The tubers are ground up with peanuts and chilies, and cooked into a savory loaf. Over the past few decades, chikanda has gone from being a rural famine food to a trendy urban staple. In Zambia’s capital, it’s now sold on city streets, in supermarkets, and in restaurants. This increased popularity among the growing population is devastating the area’s terrestrial orchids. Fortunately, environmental groups are taking action. They are trying to develop varieties which can be farmed to ease demands on wild plants. In addition, they’re creating conservation plans with local communities to better manage their wild resources. If they’re successful, orchids will continue to enrich Zambian meals.

March Orchid Shows

Posted February 28th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Botanical Gardens, Events

March is a very busy month for orchid shows. Maybe someday there will be one in Antarctica, and I’ll be able to use the phrase “shows on every continent.” Until that day, I have to say “almost every continent.” Take advantage of these great events around the globe.

March 1 – 2
Englewood Area Orchid Society Show & Sale, Englewood United Methodist Church, 700 E. Dearborn St., Englewood, Florida
March 1 – 2
Queensland International Orchid Fair, Beenleigh Showgrounds, James St., Beenleigh, Queensland, Australia
March 1 – 3
Central California Orchid Society Spring Show, Fresno Fairgrounds, 1121 S. Chance Ave., Fresno, California
March 1 – 3
Orchid Society of the Ozarks Show, Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, 4703 N. Crossover Rd., Fayetteville, Arkansas
March 1 – 3
Mobile Area Orchid Society Show & Sale, Bellingrath Gardens and Home, 12401 Bellingrath Gardens Rd., Theodore, Alabama
March 1 – 3
Martin County Orchid Society Show, Martin County Fairgrounds, Building G, 2616 S. Dixie Hwy., Stuart, Florida
March 1 – 3
Expo Orquídeas Lisboa, Jardim Zoológico de Lisboa, Praça Marechal Humberto Delgado, Lisbon, Portugal
March 1 – 3
Swiat Storczyków – The World of Orchids, Hala 100-lecia Sopotu im. Haffnera, Jakuba Goyki 7, Sopot, Poland
March 1 – 17
Výstava Orchideí, Botanická Záhrada UPJŠ, Mánesova 23, Košice, Slovakia
March 2
Cheltenham & District Orchid Society Show, Churchdown Community Centre, Parton Rd., Churchdown, Gloucester, UK

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Pacific Orchid Expo 2019

Posted February 25th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Vanda Lavender Lace, orchid hybrid flowers, blue and white orchid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum rothschildianum, Lady Slipper orchid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaCymbidium Psychotic x Highland Advent, orchid hybrid flower, peloric orchid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Lycaste Chita Sunset 'Red Glory' AM/AOS, orchid hybrid flower, red flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPlant sales area, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium victoriae-reginae, orchid species flower, blue orchid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Every year, San Francisco’s Pacific Orchid Expo is full of stunning flowers, brilliant colors, and sweet fragrances. This past weekend’s show was another remarkable one, illustrated by these pictures. The exhibits, vendors, raffles, and expert talks are wrapped up for another year, but I still have loads of photos to sort through, so check back soon for more from this magical event.

Neofinetia falcata and Dendrobium orchids, Vanda falcata, Samurai Orchids, orchid species flowers, Japanese orchids, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaEpidendrum flowers, pink and white orchid flowers, reed-stem Epidendrum,Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPlant sales area, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

Epidendrum pseudepidendrum, orchid species flower, green and orange flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhragmipedium flowers, Phrag, Lady Slipper orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CaliforniaPurple and white Phalaenopsis flowers and yellow Oncidium flowers, Moth Orchids, Phals, Dancing Lady Orchids, Pacific Orchid Expo 2019, Hall of Flowers, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, California

An Orchid Conservation Evening at the Pacific Orchid Expo

Posted February 21st, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Conservation, Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, QuickPost

In conjunction with the upcoming Pacific Orchid Expo, the Orchid Conservation Alliance is hosting a dinner, auction, and talk by Costa Rican orchid expert Steve Kirby on Saturday evening, February 23rd. Ticket availability is limited, and all proceeds go to orchid conservation.

San Francisco’s Big Orchid Show Happens This Weekend

Posted February 18th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Events, Growing Orchids in San Francisco, Photos

Dendrobium purpureum, orchid species flowers, pink and green flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium speciosum 'Golden Gate', orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaCattleya flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, California

Masdevallia davisii 'George', orchid species flower, yellow flower, pleurothallid, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium kingianum 'TR Samara', orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaPhragmipedium hybrid, Phrag, Lady Slipper flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, California

One of the biggest orchid shows in the world happens this weekend in San Francisco. Pacific Orchid Expo 2019 runs from Friday, February 22nd until Sunday, February 24th. The event takes place in Golden Gate Park’s Hall of Flowers, at Lincoln Way and 9th Avenue. There’s also a special opening night gala on Thursday, February 21st. These photos from last year’s event hint at the orchid riches to expect. Buy tickets in advance online for a discount. Don’t miss it!

Cattleya coccinea 'Gracie' CCM/AOS, orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaDendrobium Little Green Apples, orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaLycaste orchid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, California

Clowesia Grace Dunn 'Chadds Ford' AM/AOS x Catasetum Orchidglade 'Davie Ranches' AM/AOS, close up of orchid flower lip, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaOdontioda Petit Port x Wilsonara Geneva Red, orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, CaliforniaBulbophyllum medusae, Medusa Orchid, orchid species flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2018, San Francisco, California

Valentine’s Orchid Care

Posted February 14th, 2019 by Marc Cohen
Categories: Growing, Photos

Moth Orchid hybrid flowers, Phalaenopsis, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaMoth Orchid hybrid flowers and buds, Phalaenopsis, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaMoth Orchid hybrid flower, Phalaenopsis, Phal, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, California

Happy Valentine’s Day! If you’ve been lucky enough to receive an orchid gift, here are a few tips to help you enjoy your plant and keep it happy.

Identify itMoth Orchids, like the row of photos above, are the most popular. Lady Slippers are in the second row of photos, and are also perennial favorites. The third and fourth rows of photos include Cattleya, Vanda, Miltonia, and Oncidium varieties. All are available in a multitude of colors, patterns, and sizes, so use pictures as general guidelines, not strict standards. Find more pictures and more tips to help identify orchids here.

Paphiopedilum Via Figueroa x Rolling Thunder, Paph, Lady Slipper orchid hybrid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum, Paph, Lady Slipper orchid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaPaphiopedilum, Paph, Lady Slipper orchid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, California

Add humidity – Orchids need humidity, which is water vapor in the air. Dry air damages flowers and attracts pests. To increase humidity, group plants together, or put plants in a humid area, like a bathroom or kitchen. Use a cool mist humidifier, or a spray mister. Place flowerpots in trays of shallow water, keeping the pots raised above the water level on a layer of pebbles or an inverted saucer.

Watering – Remove wrapping paper or decorative containers, at least temporarily, if they block the flowerpot’s drainage holes. Soak the plant with room-temperature water, and then let all excess drain out. Don’t block drainage or let the flowerpot sit in water for too long, or the roots may rot.

Cattleya hybrid, orchid with frilly flower lip, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaCattleya hybrid, orchid with frilly flower lip, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaVanda Pachara Delight, orchid hybrid flowers, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, California

Add light – Place your orchid in bright light, but keep out of full sun while you’re enjoying the flowers. Many varieties will eventually need some sun if you want them to rebloom.

In a vase – Give orchids the same care as other cut flowers. Put them in lukewarm water, and keep the vase out of direct sun. Change the water every couple of days. High humidity can help the blooms last longer.

Miltoniopsis orchid hybrid flowers, Pansy Orchids, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaMiltoniopsis orchid hybrid flowers, Pansy Orchids, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, CaliforniaOncidium Sharry Baby 'Sweet Fragrance', Dancing Lady Orchid flower, Pacific Orchid Expo 2014, San Francisco, California