Archive for December, 2009

Winter Orchid Care

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

There’s no better reminder than the harsh winter weather that many orchids have entered a dormant season. Corresponding to a dry season in the wild, members of these common orchid families are resting like a bear in a cozy den. Resist the urge to water until you see their pseudobulbs start to shrivel. Do your […]

Winter Solstice

Monday, December 21st, 2009

On the longest night of the year in the northern half of the planet, we mark the winter solstice. With short days, many holidays celebrate this season with lights. Changing day length occurs because the earth is tilted as we orbit around the sun, so you could say that we’re celebrating the fact that we’re […]


Friday, December 18th, 2009

AeroGarden is my kind of modern appliance. It may be the size of a coffee maker, but instead of a hot beverage, it produces fresh flowers, herbs, and even vegetables. Besides doubling as your own personal, wintertime light and nature therapy, AeroGarden allows anyone with a little counter space to have a clean, automated indoor […]


Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

With a San Francisco rainy winter kicked into gear, the Cymbidiums in the back garden have bloomed right on schedule. About 50 Cymbidium species are native to an area from India to Japan, and south to Australia. They have been symbols of virtue and friendship in China since Confucius praised them 2500 years ago, and […]

Moth Orchids: The Complete Guide to Phalaenopsis

Friday, December 11th, 2009

If you’re looking for the perfect holiday gift, check out Moth Orchids: The Complete Guide to Phalaenopsis by Steven Frowine. This beautiful book is the definitive text on the most popular orchids in the world. With hundreds of gorgeous photos and excellent illustrations, Frowine provides a thorough and enjoyable text on the entire Phal family. […]


Monday, December 7th, 2009

Continuing the topic of mini orchids, here’s one with a name that’s bigger than the plant itself. Trichosalpinx may be a mouthful, but it’s an easy orchid to grow. Its tiny reddish-purple flowers bloom in tightly packed clusters. Each flower is just 1/10 inch (2.5 mm) tall. Dave’s macro photography skills make it possible to […]

World’s Smallest Orchid

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

A new discovery from a jungle high in the Andes wins the title for the world’s smallest orchid. Noted American botanist Lou Jost has found a new species of Platystele whose flowers are just over 1/16 inch (2.1 mm) wide. The flowers are so small that the petals are only one cell thick, and are […]

December Orchid Shows

Tuesday, December 1st, 2009

There aren’t many orchid shows in December, so for those of you who need another orchid fix, I’ve listed some classes and special events happening at the American Orchid Society in Delray Beach, Florida. The wonderful AOS Botanical Garden remains open to visitors despite the financial difficulties of these times, and it’s worth a visit […]