Archive for the 'Intermediate Growers' Category

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. […]

Angraecums, the Shining Stars of the Orchid World

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Sparkling white flowers make Angraecums look like shining stars. This fascinating genus is native to Madagascar, tropical Africa, and islands in the Indian Ocean. They are sometimes called Comet Orchids, because thin nectar tubes hanging from the backs of their flowers inspire thoughts of comet tails. The most famous is Darwin’s Orchid, Angraecum sesquipedale. It’s […]

The Delights of Orchids Indoors

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

As we continue to shelter at home, it really helps to be surrounded by our indoor orchids. A few of my plants have been putting on great spring shows. The Mexicoa species in the first row of photos above has already been blooming for two months. Now, it’s put out five new spikes of brilliant […]

Growing in Kew Gardens’ Temperate House

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

London’s Kew Gardens is home to the Temperate House, the world’s largest Victorian glasshouse. It was closed for renovations for five years, and reopened in 2018. The skilled staff at Kew have regrown its lush greenery, and it’s full of remarkable plants. During my visit there in early December, I found a couple of Cymbidiums […]

60 Year Old Orchid’s One Week To Shine

Saturday, August 10th, 2019

Head to the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney this week to see a native Australian orchid in its full splendor. Dendrobium teretifolium is sometimes called the Rat’s Tail Orchid because of its long, skinny leaves. However, when it bursts into bloom, it earns another nickname, the Bridal Veil Orchid, with cascades of creamy white flowers. The […]

A Great, Big Spider Orchid

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

I don’t mind having a big spider in our home, as long as it’s a Spider Orchid. Also known as a Brassia, this Spider Orchid has very large flowers, over 14 inches (36 cm) tall! Its long petals certainly create a spidery impression. This plant was a great buy at a local grocery store a couple […]

Cattleya Charms

Sunday, December 18th, 2016

As winter’s chill arrives, this brilliant tropical Cattleya is inspiring lots of warm thoughts in our home. It’s been boasting vivid purple and white blooms for over a month. In addition to their stunning colors, they emit a sweet, spicy fragrance. It’s no wonder that Cattleyas have been favorite corsage orchids for decades. Along with […]

A Beautiful Coelia Orchid

Saturday, November 19th, 2016

Coelia bella is a great orchid species, both easy to grow and easy to pronounce. Its charming purple, white, and yellow flowers give off a light marzipan or almond oil fragrance. To say Coelia, ignore the “o” and say Celia like the woman’s name, SEE-Lee-Ah. The second part of its Latin name, bella, translates as […]

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 […]

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 […]