Orchid Varieties

Orchids are some of my favorite plants because their flowers are very beautiful and they are easy to grow here in South West Florida. This blog is a brief introduction to for a hobbyist to grow in their home or in their garden.

Phalaenopsis from my home garden.

These are favorite delights in my garden, the Wonder Garden as well as The Edison and Ford Winter garden.

During my exploration of SWFL I found other orchids that were fascinating. Below you will see some interesting samples of orchids. These include pitcher plants, vanilla, lady slipper, phaleanopsis, cattleyela and dendrobium. There are thousands of orchid varieties in a rainbow of colors,

Pitcher plant from the Wonder Garden.
Vanilla from the Edison and Ford Winter Garden
Lady Slipper growing wild in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina Spring 2021. An endangered species.
Phalaenopsis orchid cultivated in the Biltmore estate greenhouse, Ashville NC. A non-endangered lady slipper.

The plants showed here are a small part of the orchid family. Check out some information about The pitcher plant and Venus fly trap at carnivorous plants.

Cattleya orchid growing on a tree at my house. Note the thick, water filled supporting stems and the more generous blossoms.
Here are two types of commonly grown orchids. The Dendrobium is on the left. It has a cane like stem with leaves at regular intervals. The Phalaenopsis on the right side has the broad thick leaves that seem to grow from the base of the plant near the air root ball. These are from my garden and they bloom in the spring and perhaps twice per year depending on weather conditions. Most of the orchids are cultivated and available for purchase. I frequently support our local growers such as Sundance Orchids and Bromeliads. At Sundance, they cultivate and propagate their own stock and are vary knowledgable. Native Floridian orchids are rare to find in the wild especially with urban development. I continue to look for them and will report on them when I find them.

Check put the numerous references for help in identifying and caring for orchids. I do have some recommendations for out-of-door orchid care in Florida.

  • Grow in moderate, not direct sunlight.
  • Water when the air roots are dry. This is usually every three days if there is no rain.
  • After they loose the flowers, cut back the blossom stem just above the node nearest to the base.
  • Cutoff any the portion of any leaf with black mould.
  • Spray with insecticide plant soap every two weeks.
  • Fertilize once every two to four weeks with 20-14-30

Here is a reference for carnivorous plants like the pitcher plant and the Venus fly trap: Carnivorous plants

For those interested in the cattleya orchid: Catlleyea for beginners

If you grow the phaleanopsis link to: How to care for phaleanopsis.

Here is the new location in the courtyard that is adjacent to the house, under the cover of the roof line and has indirect sunlight all day. The newly installed water supply is set to a garden hose timer with micro sprinklers to spray the plants. The because they are air plants they absorb water through the leaves and air roots. In the center are the Dendrobium and Catteyelas. They are in recovery from over exposure to direct sun. The phaleanopsis have dropped most of their blooms and are ready to be trimmed. Trimming is done with a sharp razor in one clean stroke to prevent crushing. This test group is doing well after last year’s disastrous summer and winter. The hot dry summer and very cold winter resulted in the loss of dozens of orchids. During the next year these and new plants will replaced those lost and we should have a full garden again.

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#Orchids, #lady slipper, #pitcher plant #dendrobium #phaleanopsis #cattleya #orchid care #carnivorous plants

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