Thursday, May 29, 2008

Growing Cattleya Orchids

The Cattleya Orchid

The discovery of the Cattleya orchid species was quite accidental, and interesting. While a man named William Cattley was unpacking a shipment of orchids, he noticed that another type of plant had been used as packing material. Later on, he discovered that this plant was in fact, another species of orchid. Later on, he was even able to cultivate the plants from the specimens he salvaged from the so-called packing material. After a while the famous English botanist John Lindley named the genus the Cattleya orchid. There are forty-two different species of orchid within the genus, and they occur in numerous different colours, all except black and deep blue. Naturally, there are several various hybrids occurring both naturally and cultivated. Unlike other types of orchids, Cattleya blooms can occur as many as ten times on a single plant, while other orchids tend to have only one or two flowers.

Growing Cattleya Orchids

Many horticultural hobbyists believe that rather than "babying" their orchids, the best solution for growing healthy, sturdy plants is to "hard grow" them. Other orchid hobbyists believe that growing orchids requires much care, and precision, a tight water schedule, and constant variations and controls of temperature. The tactic of hard growing the cattleya orchid is to expose it to various extremes of climate, fertilize and feed it as often as possible. Instead of 10-10-10 mixture, which is the recommended feed mix, the hard growing mixture is 20-20-20. While other orchid growers keep the temperature changes to their cattleyas consistent to the exact measure, hard growing techniques instead require the orchid to "learn" to withstand outside conditions. Several of the growers testify that this produces cattleya orchids that not only don't even need to be staked, but leaves that are crisp and strong, and brighter, larger blooms. From Hawaii Florist @

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Vandaceous Orchid for Hawaii Wedding

The Vandaceous Orchid

There are around fifty different species of Vandaceous orchids, sometimes called Spider Orchids, or Scorpion Orchids, and they also have a very powerful scent. They are grown in many different regions, some tropical, some not. They grow throughout Asia and further south to Australia, but can also be found growing in the wild in other areas with high humidity and temperate climates, such as Florida, or Hawaii. One interesting piece of Hawaiian culture revolving the Vandaceous orchid, is the "keiki", which is the Hawaiian word for "baby". Occasionally, occurring from a build up of growth hormones, and nutrients, an entirely separate plant begins to grow, attached to the mother plant. Some speculate that this baby plant is a clone, but either way, this is called a keiki. They occur off the stems, like branches, or simply beside the mother plant. They even make a paste, called "keiki paste" which can induce the growth of keiki on the plant, or a flowering branch at the very least.

Growing Vandaceous Orchids

Hawaii wedding photo by Oahu Photographer
The Vandaceous Orchid, like many others, are growing more popular all the time amongst outdoor gardens and as indoor gardening hobbies. The roots of the Vandaceous orchids should be allowed to dry somewhat between watering, so indoor Vandaceous orchid should be kept in pots with soil that supports drainage. Ideally, soil should be composed of fast drying organic material, such as fir bark, coconut strips, charcoal or tree fern fiber. Unlike other species of orchids, the Vanda requires plenty of sunlight in order to flourish, however,

when grown in ideal settings, the Vanda orchid will continue growing well for months as long as the environment is plenty warm and humid. Some species grow to be very large specimens, almost twelve feet high at the maximum. Plenty of bright light is recommended, as well as a growing area of a hanging basket.