Archive for November, 2009

The Holiday Orchid

Sunday, November 29th, 2009

With beautiful, long-lasting blooms, orchids are overtaking traditional holiday plants like Poinsettias in popularity. Despite their reputation for being difficult, many commonly sold orchids are easy to grow, and can survive some neglect and abuse. Like Poinsettias, many people buy orchids in bloom, and throw them out when the flowers fade. But even when orchids […]

Kim’s Garden

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

My good friend and fellow orchid nut Kim lives a few blocks away. She’s just on the other side of Dolores Park in San Francisco’s Mission District, and our microclimates are very close. Like me, she’s run out of room for orchids inside, so she enjoys cool growing varieties that can stay outside all year. […]


Friday, November 20th, 2009

Sobralia flowers never fail to¬† impress. Many species in this genus have big blooms. With flowers as large as 10 inches (25 cm,) this species is one of the most remarkable in the family. The flowers look like Cattleyas, but the similarities end there. Unlike Cattleyas, this Sobralia species likes heavy water and fertilizer, and […]

Perfect Orchids

Sunday, November 15th, 2009

If you’re looking for dozens of orchids that stay in bloom for a whole month and require no care, these orchid calendars are guaranteed to please. Which one should I buy? The 2010 Orchids Wall Calendar has stunning photos of different flowers every month. On the other hand, the Smithsonian Institution 2010 Orchids Wall Calendar […]


Thursday, November 12th, 2009

Pseudo-what? That word is pseudobulb, pronounced “SOO-doh-bulb.” Like the bulbs of tulips and daffodils, orchid pseudobulbs store water and nutrients during the dormant season. Many popular orchids, like Cattleyas, Miltonias, and Oncidiums, have them at the bases of their leaves. Pseudobulbs come in a wide variety of forms. They can be egg-shaped, spherical, or flat. […]

Fall Color

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

San Francisco’s mild climate has been true to form this fall, with recent warm and sunny November days. Even though we’re lacking red and yellow autumn leaves, the garden has both bright colors and muted tones. Fuchsias in the first 2 photos enjoy our cool, foggy climate. It’s no wonder we always have some in […]


Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

These tiny, charming flowers belong to a Stenoglottis, one of the easiest African orchids to grow. With purple polka dots and fringed lips, the flowers provide an enchanting show from late summer though autumn. Dozens of blooms are crowded onto each flower spike, and open sequentially over a few months. This Stenoglottis is not an […]