Archive for the 'Growing' Category

When You’ve Killed Your Weight in Orchids

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

There’s a saying that you become an orchid expert when you’ve killed your weight in orchids. Some people wince in horror when I repeat that, but orchid lovers usually just laugh and nod. Growing orchids means sometimes making mistakes and killing plants. I’ve grown them for over 25 years, and earned my expert status a […]

Ground Orchids Bloom in Tough Spots

Friday, April 7th, 2017

Spathoglottis, or Ground Orchids, are staples of the tropics. They’re sturdy enough to serve as landscaping plants in shopping plazas, like these orchids on the island of Kauai.  Grown alone in pots, or in flowerbeds with other tropicals, they make gorgeous displays. These terrestrials are easy to keep in the tropics, but hard to grow […]

Caring for A Valentine Orchid

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

Valentine’s Day is often full of romantic surprises, including beautiful orchids. If you’ve received an orchid gift, check the basic care tips below to keep your flowers happy. Identify your orchid – Different types of orchids have different care needs. You usually don’t need to figure out the exact name, only a general ID. Phals, […]

Orchids on the Rocks

Sunday, November 6th, 2016

Orchids on the rocks? No, it’s not another post about ice cubes or climate change. Instead, it’s about orchids which actually grow on rocks. Attached by their roots, orchids may wedge into stony crevices or hang off sheer mountain cliffs. Many orchids which are air plants can affix to both trees and rocks. The first […]

Repotting Orchids Is Easier Than You Think

Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Orchid lovers know that orchids have different potting needs than most other houseplants. Check out some helpful orchid potting tips from the the Tri-City Herald in southeastern Washington state.

A Little Epidendrum Species

Friday, September 16th, 2016

This orchid doesn’t win any points for being showy. Nobody gasps in delight when they see its flowers, or gushes over its colors. Epidendrum peperomia is a mini orchid species with flowers that remind me of beetles. It’s quite distinct from its larger orchid relatives, like the reed-stem Epidendrums, which flaunt tall clusters of brilliant […]

Growing Orchids Outdoors in Pacifica

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

We moved from San Francisco to Pacifica over two years ago, and ever since, I’ve been learning how to grow orchids next to the ocean. Since I keep my cool growers outdoors, they’re subjected to all the elements which Mother Nature can throw at them. These outdoor orchids prove their toughness day after day, and […]

Stenoglottis Orchids, Big and Small

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

These charming flowers belong to two related orchids, Stenoglottis longifolia and Stenoglottis woodii. They’re some of the easiest African orchid species to grow. The first half-dozen photos show Stenoglottis longifolia. Even though its blooms are small, this species can grow into a big plant. The flowers feature brilliant purple spots and a fringed lip. Dozens […]

Orchids Love Fog

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Orchids love fog. That’s one reason why the Northern California coast is a great place to grow orchids outdoors. Frequent fog, especially in areas closest to the ocean, creates a perfect humid climate for cool growers. Orchids want at least 50% humidity. Fog occurs when levels reach 100%, and the air is saturated with enough […]

Purple Zygo Orchids

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

When you think of Zygo orchids, think purple. Zygos are known for brilliant purple hues, rich scents, and long-lasting flowers. Alongside all that purple, their showy blooms include green, white, and maroon. These photos show just of few of the growing number of Zygo varieties, with many new hybrids on the market. The species are native […]