Archive for the 'Growing' Category

Big, Bold Sobralia Blooms

Thursday, December 15th, 2022

This Sobralia orchid has been a reliable cool-grower in our garden for over a decade. Its scientific name, Sobralia macrantha, means “big-flowered Sobralia” and it’s no lie. These large, purple blooms with their frilly lips can span 10 inches (25 cm,) but mine are usually a little smaller. A few years ago, I moved this […]

A Very Reliable Cochlioda Orchid

Monday, November 14th, 2022

This brilliant pink Cochlioda orchid has been a reliable bloomer for years. I bought this charming miniature almost two decades ago, and it flowers every autumn. Each of its spikes can hold over two dozen blossoms which open sequentially, so the pink keeps going for three or four months. This fall, it’s already been in […]

A Little Fuzzy Lady Slipper

Wednesday, August 17th, 2022

This little Lady Slipper is colorful, cute, and fuzzy! Phragmipedium schlimii is native to the slopes of the Andes in Colombia. It’s smaller than most other Phragmipediums, or Phrags, so when I spotted this one for sale at last winter’s Pacific Orchid Expo, I figured I could find room for it indoors. A few months […]

Meet the Sarcochilus Hybrids

Thursday, July 28th, 2022

Would you like like to meet some charming, attractive Australians? Sarcochilus orchids are brilliant Aussie gems. They’ve been hybridized Down Under for a while, but until recently, there weren’t many hybrids available in the USA. Increasingly, I see more of them on sale and at orchid shows. This post includes 15 different varieties which were […]

A Sweet Little Caucaea Orchid

Wednesday, October 27th, 2021

This Caucaea was a great find at a San Francisco Orchid Society sale last year. It’s a cool-growing miniature with a strong, sweet fragrance. Caucaeas are in the Oncidium family, and they’re named after the Cauca region of the northern Andes. Caucaea is pronounced “kaw-KAY-uh.” This species is Caucaea phalaenopsis, named for its resemblance to […]

A Lovely Little Leptotes

Monday, June 7th, 2021

My indoor orchid shelves don’t have much room to spare, so if I buy a warm grower, it’s got to be a miniature. At the 2020 Pacific Orchid Expo, I spotted this little charmer for sale. Leptotes pohlitinocoi has a name that I can’t pronounce, but this small Cattleya relative is definitely worth the shelf […]

Circling Around Daisy Orchids

Thursday, February 11th, 2021

Daisy Orchids, or Cirrhopetalums, earn their nickname from their resemblance to daisies. However, with Daisy Orchids, what looks like separate petals of one large flower are actually separate flowers, each magnificently complex. These blooms are arranged in a circle or semicircle around a center stalk. Many varieties have long, tapering sepals, adding to their charms. […]

The Streaked Rock Orchid: A Tough Mini from Down Under

Wednesday, January 6th, 2021

The Streaked Rock Orchid is a wonderful Australian native. Its strange flowers resemble elaborate birds in flight. Its little, pencil-like leaves turn purplish-red in the sun, making it look like a pointy, colorful hedgehog. In the wild, Dendrobium striolatum lives attached to rocky cliffs in the states of New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania. Our […]

The Yolk-Yellow Orchid, Prosthechea vitellina

Friday, August 21st, 2020

I’m glad I splurged on this Prosthechea vitellina at the Pacific Orchid Expo in February. It was on my shopping list as a cool grower that I figured would do well here on the Northern California coast. Happily, it’s proven to be a great addition to our garden, and has settled into its new home […]

Thunia Orchids Grow Fast and Tall

Thursday, July 9th, 2020

Thunia flowers may resemble Cattleyas, but they are very different orchids. Thunias grow tall canes that look like cornstalks, and their 5 inch (12.7 cm) blooms hang in clusters from the tops. They may be the fastest growing orchids. New canes can reach up to 4 feet (1.2 m) tall in only a few months. […]