Archive for the 'Watering' Category

Water Orchids More During A Heatwave

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

Some readers may wonder why I’m posting a reminder about heatwaves at the start of autumn, but SF Bay Area locals understand. For us, the warmest months of the year are September and October. True to form, our cool, foggy weather gave way to warmer temps on schedule this year, and we’ve had a few […]

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 […]

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 […]

Tolumnia Orchids

Monday, April 18th, 2016

If you have a warm, sunny windowsill, and sometimes forget to water, Tolumnias may be perfect for you. These mini orchids have eye-catching colors and patterns. I bought this Tolumnia hybrid at last year’s Pacific Orchid Expo, and this year, it put on a great show with lots of brilliant blooms. Tolumnias are native to […]

Mini Scaphosepalum Orchid Has Incredible Blooming Power

Friday, November 6th, 2015

This Scaphosepalum species is a mini Masdevallia relative with incredible blooming power. The plant shown in most of these photos flowered continuously for over five years! Its new blooms, each smaller than a pea, continually emerge along a lengthening, zig-zag flower spike. The first photo in this series comes from a plant we recently saw in […]

Antelope Dendrobium Orchids

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

What do antelopes have to do with orchids? Look at the graceful, spiraling petals on these tropical beauties, and you’ll understand. Antelope Dendrobiums are a popular section of the enormous Dendrobium family. Their upward-twisting petals inspire the antelope horn comparison. There are several dozen species and a growing number of hybrids with these curvy blooms. […]

The Blue Orchid: Queen Victoria’s Dendrobium

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

This fragile-looking Dendrobium species is tougher than it looks. Queen Victoria’s Dendrobium was named to celebrate the British monarch. It’s nicknamed the Blue Orchid, since some specimens have a blue hue, but my plant is decidedly purple. In four years since I bought this orchid, it’s been through the mill, but somehow survived and flowered. […]

Cochleanthes: An Orchid From the Amazon

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

I bought this gorgeous Cochleanthes at an orchid show five years ago, and it has been one of my most reliable bloomers ever since. Its captivating white flowers boast great purple highlights. This species is native to the Amazon Rainforest, from Brazil to Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. The flowers appear fragile, but they’re thick […]