Archive for the 'Warm Growers' Category

The Little-Known Truth about Vanilla

Thursday, February 8th, 2024

Vanilla is one of the world’s favorite and costliest flavorings, but many don’t know that it comes from an orchid. Considering this, it’s no surprise that most people aren’t aware of the deeper history of these fragrant, cured seedpods. Vanilla’s roots as a valuable food go back to Mexico’s ancient Totonacs and Aztecs, who harvested […]

Moth Orchid Warms up the Winter Solstice

Thursday, December 21st, 2023

The winter solstice comes and goes, but Moth Orchids keep on blooming. This purple beauty was a gift from a neighbor. It’s been flowering over two months already, and doesn’t show any sign of slowing down. Certainly, it inspires warm thoughts on the shortest day of the year. I admit that I’ve sometimes mocked Moth […]

Cooking up Winning Recipes with Florida-Grown Vanilla

Tuesday, July 13th, 2021

Vanilla is a very delicious orchid, and it’s one of the most expensive flavorings in the world. The majority of vanilla beans are grown in Madagascar, and the USA imports a lot of them. Scientists are working to establish a vanilla industry in South Florida’s hot, humid climate. A plant geneticist at the University of […]

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. […]

A Vanda Hybrid in Glass

Friday, January 29th, 2021

Vanda orchids are a great remedy for a chilly winter. These happy purple blossoms are shining through our gray and rainy days. They’re the epitome of tropical, and the blooms last for weeks. Each flower is over 4 inches (10 cm) wide and tall. Last year, I blogged about how to grow a Vanda in […]

Taiwan’s Conservationists Trying to Save Its Orchid Species

Tuesday, July 28th, 2020

Taiwan is trying to save its native Moth Orchids. The tropical island nation has two Moth Orchid species, Phalaenopsis aphrodite, with white flowers, and Phalaenopsis equestris, with pink or red flowers. Taiwan also has one of the biggest orchid industries in the world. The mass-grown hybrids which begin life in Taiwanese greenhouses are sold around […]

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 […]