Archive for the 'Warm Growers' Category

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 […]

Singapore’s Supertrees Take Gardening to Great Heights

Thursday, May 7th, 2020

When Dave visited Singapore last year, he found lots of green spaces filled with lush, tropical beauty. The nature park at Gardens by the Bay was one extraordinary example, with plants on the ground, and also up in the air on Supertrees. As epiphytes, or air plants, orchids are well-suited for living up high. Many […]

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 […]

Vanda Orchids in Glass

Monday, January 27th, 2020

Vandas are orchid royalty, but they can be challenging to grow. They need sun, warmth, regular water, high humidity, and lots of space for their long, dangling roots. Since they don’t like being potted, they’re usually grown on mounts or in baskets, with their roots hanging freely. That makes them difficult for home growers, who […]

More from Singapore’s National Orchid Garden

Friday, November 29th, 2019

One post from Singapore’s National Orchid Garden certainly wasn’t enough, and here are more photos to prove it. With so many brilliant, tropical varieties growing outdoors in the sunshine, Dave took lots of amazing pictures. Colorful Vandas, Dendrobiums, Cattleyas, and Renantheras all competed for his attention. The blooms include many historic hybrids. Some have won […]

Orchids Thrive in Singapore’s HortPark

Saturday, November 23rd, 2019

Orchids are all over the place in Singapore. The National Orchid Garden, Singapore Botanic Gardens, Cloud Forest Conservatory, Flower Dome Conservatory, and Supertrees are packed with them. Dave even found orchids when he wasn’t expecting them, like at HortPark, one of Singapore’s lesser known green spaces. It’s two blocks from the office where he was […]

Singapore’s Supertrees Are Full of Orchids

Tuesday, November 12th, 2019

The island nation of Singapore has a grove of trees unlike any others in the world, the Supertrees. These tall, human-made structures are covered with air plants, or epiphytes, like orchids, bromeliads, and ferns. They’re superb examples of how to incorporate orchids into vertical gardens. Planting beds around the bases of the Supertrees also feature […]

Edmond Albius: The Boy Who Revolutionized the Vanilla Industry

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

The modern vanilla industry owes its existence to a young enslaved African, Edmond Albius. Vanilla vines had been imported from Mexican jungles to the tiny French colony of Réunion, in the Indian Ocean near Madagascar. But without their Mexican bee pollinators, nobody could figure out how to produce vanilla beans. In 1841, Edmond Albius, then […]

The National Orchid Garden of Singapore

Friday, September 27th, 2019

Earlier this month, Dave traveled to Singapore for work, and had some time to play tourist, too. It was his first trip to Asia, his first time across the international dateline, and his first visit to the tiny, tropical island nation.  He returned with lots of photos, including many, many orchids. This first post shows […]

Vanilla Boom Is Making People Crazy Rich

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

Vanilla prices have been so high that some Madagascan farmers are getting rich. Madagascar is one of the poorest countries. It’s also the world’s leading vanilla grower, producing about 80% of all vanilla beans. With the influx of cash from this valuable orchid crop, farmers are buying nicer homes, better farming equipment, and solar panels. […]