Archive for the 'Growing' Category

Jewel Orchids

Saturday, July 22nd, 2017

Is anything more opulent than a Jewel Orchid? These mini terrestrials are treasured for their striking foliage, which boasts beautiful vein patterns on satiny leaves. The first row of photos below shows Ludisias, the easiest and most commonly grown Jewel Orchids. They’re usually seen with dark purple leaves and bright pink stripes, but there are […]

Chain Orchids

Monday, June 5th, 2017

Ever heard of Chain Orchids? Also called Dendrochilums, they’re an unusual orchid family, lesser known than their close relatives, the Coelogynes. With multitudes of small, densely clustered flowers, they’ve earned the nickname Chain Orchids. Each “chain” consists of mini star-shaped blooms. Some people may sneer at tiny flowers, but massed by the dozens, or hundreds, […]

How to Care for Mother’s Day Orchids

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Most orchids don’t deserve their fussy reputations, so don’t panic if you don’t know how to take care of your new Mother’s Day present. With a few basic care tips, orchids can keep their flowers for months, and then bloom again next year. Begin by placing your gift orchid in a shady place with good […]

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 […]