Monday, March 31, 2008

Orchids are all the rage today...

Learn why today's gardeners are obsessed with orchids. With step-by-step advice, even novice gardeners can cultivate these exquisite flowers. Orchids are all the rage today. In fact, orchids now rank as the second most popular potted plant, behind only poinsettias in sales.It's not difficult to understand why orchids are so appealing-they're available in a dazzling array of colors and shapes, their flowers can last for weeks, and their fragrances are unrivaled. Fortunately, today's orchids cost less than they did 10 years ago, and the quality is better. A blooming orchid is now less expensive than a modest flower arrangement and provides many weeks of colorful flowers.The Perfect PlaceOrchids are easy to grow as long as you choose the ones that fit your home environment. Comfortable indoor temperatures (65° to 75° during the day, and 10° to 15° lower in the evening) and normal ventilation usually work fine for many orchids. The biggest challenge is providing sufficient light and humidity. Some homes have heavy, light-blocking drapes and tend to have dry air. Orchids prefer humidity levels of about 50 to 60 percent. You can reach this level with an evap-orative-type room humidifier, and you can also add moisture to the area around the plants by growing them on trays filled with pebbles and water. A plastic unit called a Humidi-Grow Tray (about 1 foot square) is a ready-made unit serving the same function. In the Right DirectionWindowsills are home to most indoor plants, so let's look at the light-providing capabilities of these growing spaces. The direction a window faces has a lot to do with the amount of light and the time of day that light will be on your orchids.South-facing windows are the brightest and an ideal location for orchids needing the strongest light. Other orchids that need less light can be placed a few feet back from the window, or the light from the window can be diffused with a sheer curtain.In an east-facing window, morning sunlight is bright but not too hot. During the spring, summer and fall, this is usually an ideal exposure for the orchids mentioned in this article. During the short, dark days of winter, many of these same orchids would then usually prefer the south-facing window.The west-facing window receives as much light as the east window but, because it is afternoon light, is much hotter. So this is not as desirable a location as the east window. If you need to use it, make sure your orchids don't dry out.A north-facing window is the least desirable because it simply does not provide enough light to sustain healthy growth of orchids. Orchid OptionsChoosing the right type of orchids is critical to success. The ones I recommend, in order of ease of culturing, are:Moth Orchids (Phalaenopsis). Exceptionally easy to grow, these bloom for weeks or months, come in a range of colors and have attractive strap-shaped, dark green foliage. Their arching spikes of moth-shaped flowers are the essence of grace and style, making them favorites for fashion magazine photo shoots. This type of orchid asks only for diffused, bright light, normal room temperatures and moderate humidity.Slipper Orchids (Paphiopedilum). These beauties have exotic flower colors and shapes and display handsome foliage even when the plants aren't in flower. The types called Maudiaes are especially vigorous, frequently blooming more than once a year. They have gorgeous foliage and brightly colored, glossy flowers that last for weeks. Slipper orchids need growing conditions similar to those for moth orchids.Dancing Lady Orchids (Oncidium). This group of orchids comes in a myriad of sizes. Some are miniatures, like Oncidium Twinkles, highly recommended because it blooms profusely in a small space. The plant itself grows only about 6 inches wide and tall, but when it flowers it has a flurry of pink or red 1-inch blooms with a light vanilla scent. Other varieties are larger, including one of the most popular orchids of all, the Chocolate Orchid (Oncidium 'Sharry Baby'), known for its scrumptious scent! It has leaves up to 18 inches long and flower sprays of 2 to 3 feet. It is a glorious sight in full bloom, which frequently occurs around the winter holidays.Corsage Orchids (Cattleya type). No group of orchids can match this one for bright, colorful and fragrant flowers. Years ago, these were grown primarily for cut flowers. The plants were large and unruly, grown only by those with plenty of greenhouse space. Thanks to efforts of modern orchid breeders, many of today's Cattleya hybrids are compact growers, yet still maintain their array of colors and delightful fragrances.Whatever the type, take the plunge and give orchids a try! You'll find that today's newer varieties have spectacular flowers, are not difficult to grow and are reasonably priced. They'll provide a spectrum of colors and sweet perfumes.One word of warning: Once you are bitten by the orchid bug, there may be no turning back!Proven Orchid-Watering Technique By Steve Frowine of New Hartford, ConnecticutGuest Garden WriterI find the pot-weighing method for determining when to water orchids is one of the easiest. In this method, you're relying on feel instead of precise weights. Here's how it works: 1. Thoroughly water the orchid in its pot. 2. "Weigh" the pot by picking it up. Now you know how heavy it is when it's saturated with water. 3. Wait a day or so and "weigh" it again by picking it up. You'll feel the difference in the weight as the potting material becomes drier. 4. Repeat Step 3 each day until you judge, by looking at the surface and sticking your finger into the top 1 inch or so of the potting material, that it's time to water. Keep in mind whether your type of orchid prefers to be on the damp or dry side. 5. Note what this dry "weight" is. Now the orchid is ready to be watered thoroughly. This entire process may sound tedious, but you'll be amazed at how quickly you catch on. And when you do, you'll always know the right time to water. Just lift the pot, note its weight, and you'll have your answer.



Thursday, March 27, 2008

Orchid Species Now Extinct in Burma

"The number of species of wild flowers has been falling steadily in Burma, most notably species of rare orchids...the Rainbow Orchid and the Hirsute Paphiopedilum, are completely extinct inBurma.The Rainbow Orchid (Paphiopedilum wardii) andthe Hirsute Paphiopedilum (Paphiopedilum villosum) were first discovered in the valleys of Putao and Nagmung in northernKachin State some 20 years ago.According to an orchid horticulturist from the Myanmar Florist Association, it was not possible to locate either of the species when updating theassociation's list of wild orchids in November 2007....why Burma's wild flowers are under threat... one possible reason is the demand from Chinese pharmacists for... orchids that are used to produceherbal medicines in China....According to a Burmese orchid buyer, Chinese merchants pay 30,000 kyat (US $27) to 100,000 kyat ($91) for a viss (1.6 kilograms) of wild orchids from Burma....Wild orchids which can be used as medication can be sold for up to $4,000 a ton on the Chinese market, he said."There are more than 20 wild orchids, such as Pierard's Dendrobium (Dendrobium pierardii), the Musky Smelling Dendrobium (Dendrobiummoschatum), the Hairy Column Foot Dendrobium (Dendrobium capillipes), that are used for herbal medicines. Some are good for the human liver and eyes, and they also substitute as multi-vitamins," he added.There are several large orchid plantations and orchid projects in Burma, but only run for commercial reasons. Collectors and horticulturalistsmostly get orchid seeds from Western countries and grow them in Burma for profit.The rare orchids that are being sold to Chinese herbalists usually originate with rural people in Burma, who peel wild orchids from trees andgrow them privately in their gardens.According to a gardener at Pyi Oo Lwin Advanced Orchid Garden in Central Burma: "Many orchids... which are known for their medicinal qualities, arealways being stolen from the gardens."Pyi Oo Lwin Advanced Orchid Garden is the largest orchid garden in the country with more than 300 orchid species.According to the Myanmar Forestry Department statistics, there are... 841 species in Burma."URL : : [caption : "Customers at the Thai-Burmese border can buy rare wild orchids from Burma."]

Tiny orchid back from extinction

"A... species that was presumed extinct has been found on the slopes of
Mount Wellington.

The dense midge orchid was last recorded in 1852 and had been listed as
extinct in Tasmania.

The orchids are about five centimetres high, with a cluster of tiny flowers.

A Threatened Orchid Project Officer, Matt Larcombe, says 60 patches of the
tiny orchid have been found on Council and private land in South Hobart.

"A local field naturalist, Kevin Bonham, actually discovered it," said Mr
"He saw some leaves [orchid ?] late last year that he though were a bit odd
and went back up this year to have a look and see what they turned into...
it turned out to be the dense midge orchid.

"They're tiny... 4 to 7 centimetres tall and very fine so unless you're
really down on your hands and knees looking you'd just miss them and you've
got to be there at that right window when they're actually in flower to
actually see them or else there's nothing above ground, just a tuber below
ground." "


photos :



A terrestrial orchid species thpught to be extinct in Tasmania has recently been rediscovered. Corunastylis nudiscapa has been located on the slopes of Mt Wellington near Hobart during a search for Land Snails by officers of the Tasmanian Department of Primary Industries,Water and Environment (DPIWE). This species has not been recorded since the type species was collected in 1840. Growing in sandy soil occuring on the eastern foothills of the mountain, the officers were initially unable to immediately identify the plant but formal identification came quickly as C. nudiscapa has no Tasmanian species with which it could be confused. It is a Dwarf Midge Orchid with tightly congested inflorescence of crowded reddish-brown to purplish glabrous nodding flowers and was only known from this single location. Great news and a psychological boost to those who never say never. Now all we need to do is get the same department to protect those other species rapidly heading in the same direction.
Alan W Stephenson
National Conservation Officer
Australasian Native Orchid Society

The Greater Omaha Orchids Society will hold its 21st annual orchid show and sale March 29 and 30 at the Lauritzen Gardens

The Greater Omaha Orchids Society will hold its 21st annual orchid show andsale March 29 and 30 at the Lauritzen Gardens, 100 Bancroft St. Omaha,Nebraska. Hours are 10 a.m. To 4 p.m. both days. There is an admissioncharge to enter the Gardens ($6.00) but there is no additional charge forthe orchid show. For additional information contact Jim Pyrzynski, showchair,

"The 2008 Taiwan International Orchid Show ended...after attracting some 200,000 visitors...

during its 10-day run at theTaiwan Orchid Plantation in the southern county of Tainan.... the visitors included nearly 3,000 foreign floral experts and buyers.... official figures on the value of orders placed at the show were... notavailable...sales were expected to reach NT$2 billion (US$64.69 million).The foreign buyers came from the United States, Canada, Japan, South Korea,Russia, Brazil and the United Arab Emirates....The exhibition was organized by the Taiwan Orchid Growers Association andjointly sponsored by the Tainan County government and semi-official TaiwanExternal Trade Development Council.Orchid growers from 24 countries took part in the 2008 exhibition,including the United States, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, the UnitedKingdom, the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Japan,South Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam, and thePhilippines.Orchids... accounting for over 50 per cent of the total value of Taiwan'shorticultural exports...Taiwan... "Kingdom of the Butterfly Orchid"... it is the world's largestexporting country...About half the world's butterfly orchid varieties are bred in Taiwan.Taiwan exported NT$1.84 billion worth of orchids in 2006, a year-on-yearincrease of 24.1 per cent, with... phalaenopsis, accounting for NT$1.15billion of the total...Taiwan's orchid export orders secured at the Taiwan International OrchidShow totaledNT$800 million in 2005,NT$1 billion in 2006 andNT$1.5 billion in 2007"URL :

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

India's share in the global flower market is... no more than 1-2%

"India's share in the global flower market is... no more than 1-2%...a sustained annual growth of around 10 per cent in the past several years, floriculture is emerging as a major growth segment in Indian agriculture.The export of flowers... has surged six-fold, from less than Rs 100 crore a year in the 1990s to over Rs 600 crore now. The area under flower cultivation has expanded rapidly, buoyed by an investment of over Rs 500 crore in this sector in past few years.According to the Economic Survey (2007-08), the acreage under flower cultivation has increased from 1,18,000 hectares in 2004-05 to 1,46,000hectares in 2005-06 and further to 1,54,000 hectares in 2006-07.Consequently, the production of flowers is estimated to have spurted from 659,000 tonnes in 2004-05 to over 886,000 tonnes by 2006-07. Many farmers, especially around the major cities, and in areas ideally suited for special categories of flowers, such as the north-east for orchid production, areshifting from food and other low-value, high-volume crops to growing flowers for better returns....the existence of large unexploited export potential, coupled with the anticipated fast growth of 6 to 7 per cent a year in the domestic demand for flowers, is likely to serve as a growth engine for the floriculture sector.The paucity of supportive infrastructure has been a major constraint in the development of floriculture in the past. Flowers... require specialisedpost-harvest handling, storage and transportation. Cold chains and dedicated transportation and cargo handling facilities are... needed for both domestic trade and export. Cold store facilities are desirable even at the export destinations to keep losses to a minimum."We have covered a lot of ground in the past 10 years in building up supportive infrastructure for the production, marketing and export offloriculture products..." says H P Singh, deputy director-general (horticulture) of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)...Thanks to rising incomes and urbanisation, the demand and consumption of flowers within the country is expected to grow at a faster pace from nowon. "The number of people who have the purchasing power to buy costly flowers is larger in India than in the UK," Singh points out. These are positive indications for the growth of floriculture as a niche segment of horticulture.Delhi has emerged as Asia's largest flower consumption centre, says Singh. But, the capital's main floriculture market still functions virtually from the pavements in the Connaught Place area, in the heart of the city.However, modern flower auction centres are proposed to be built in variouskey flower trading centres, notably Bangalore, Mumbai, Noida and Kolkata.... the one at Bangalore has already come up and... has becomeoperational...cold storage and cargo handling facilities, even if not entirely of international standards, have been created at several important airports, including Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram and Cochin. Such facilities are also proposed to be set up at the Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Kolkata and Bagdogra airports.... the demand for... for cut flowers is a relatively recent phenomenon. Traditionally, marigold and roses have dominated the flower trade in thecountry. Of late, the trade has diversified with demand coming up for other bouquet-compatible flowers as well.Equally significant is the emerging demand for value-added floriculture products, including dry flowers, essences and other extracts. This isexpected to enhance the emergence of the flower-based processing industry and also add to the employment- and income-generation potential offloriculture. Orchids , in particular, are deemed to have a great future as India is a natural habitat of cymbidiums and dendrobiums, the most sought-after orchidspecies. The north-eastern region is fast coming up as the orchid-hub of the country. A little push, like transportation subsidy and similar othersops, can trigger an orchid revolution [wow ! green, local or global ?]."URL :

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fever pitch Windham man answered the orchid's seductive call

Chuck Crisler...has... about 450 orchid the Amherst, Mass., Show, one of his Cymbidiums won in two categories, the best large species and the best Cymbidium....he'll sometimes take two hours to water his orchids, holding them up and giving each one individual attention. "You've got to understand what they are feeling," he said [smile...].... Marty Epstein of Haverhill, Mass., theorizes orchids have a virus that get people to like them [smile...]....Crisler advised... on Cymbidium care, recommending that he dry them out. "... 'Keep them cool and dry, and they will bloom,' " Mulder said......But New Hampshire is also home to many orchids, 50 or 60 species [exactnumber ?]...The pink lady slipper one of the most well known that grows in the state. Easy to miss is the Coralroot orchid. It grows underground and comes up inthe fall for only three days or so to bloom."URL : : [caption : "Cymbidium Hunter's Point... grown by Chuck Crisler]

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Green Orchids

You don't have to go to Singapore to enjoy a breathtaking bouquet of green orchids called Dendrobium Burana Jade "Burana." Just in time for Christmas! This variety of green orchids is spectacular! Stems can measure up to 24 inches long! WOW! These long lasting beauties are sure to delight even the hardest to please on your holiday gift list. A closer look at the flower reveals a mauve center which contrasts beautifully with the bright green petals. Twenty exquisite stems are sent in green vase shown.NOTE:Green orchids like these Dendrobium Burana Jade "Burana" will be sent with half the stem in bud and the other half with fully bloomed flowers. We recommend that you keep these green orchids somewhere bright so the buds will fully open. You may not get all the flowers to open but placing the orchids in a bright location will help the flowers to open more fully. These are spectacular flowers and we guarantee you will be amazed at the length of the stems.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Orchids in full bloom at Botanic Park

"annual Orchid Show at the Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park... 8 March...
Produced jointly with the Cayman Orchid Society, the show is a fundraiserfor programmes conserving the 26 species of orchids, which are native tothe Cayman Islands."

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Orchid smugglers wanted...

"People affiliated with smuggling of orchids to Krasnoyarsk are wanted bypolice in the Krasnoyarsk Territory.5,700 decorative flowers, which appeared to be orchids, were seized inKrasnoyarsk Airport when they were delivered by charter flight fromThailand to Krasnoyarsk...The orchids are estimated to cost about USD 70,000...The flowers were unloaded from the plane and moved with the concealment ofthese objects from customs control officers. A criminal case on smuggling(Article 188 of the Russian Federation Criminal Code) was opened on March 4."



Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Seeds of Brazil shine in the Festival of the Orquídea of Japan

Translated from Portuguese to English:

A dumb one with 233 white orquídeas, created from seeds of Brazil, was awardee in the International Festival of the Orquídea of the Japan, that yesterday finished (2) in Tokyo after to have received almost half million from visitors.
The orquídeas born with Brazilian seeds had received as the prize in the festival that counted on the participation of representatives of 20 countries, also of Brazil, through the Tropicalismo workmanship, from ambassador Paula Barboza.
About 100 a thousand orquídeas of all the colors, types and sizes, composed for the most diverse forms, had invaded the stadium Tokyo Dome, where the Great Prize of the Orquídea of Japan ( is carried through since 1991.
One of the organizers of the festival, Nanako Terabuko, explained that the orquídea is the “evolved flower more, as well as the man between the animals”.
“The orquídea is a peculiar plant, the most developed and the one that more varieties presents. They are not as the roses, that always are symmetrical and of the same type”, said Nanako.
The proper orquídea word has an aphrodisiac connotation, therefore Greek comes from the orchis word (testicule), because for first the botanical Greeks, the form of the species of the region if seemed to the masculine reproductive agency.
In Japan this flower represents the beauty and if it uses in the ikebana, disciplines high Japanese to the category of art of the floral decoration.
As much are the types of orquídeas - in Japan they are counted about 2.500 varieties and more than 35 a thousand in the world - that for this competition six categories had been established: individual plants, for aromas, style of composition, drawing, artistic (it includes photograph, paintings and others) and orquídeas in miniature.

Vietnam attends orchid exhibition in Japan

VietNamNet Bridge - Vietnam has attended the 2008 International Orchid Exhibition in Japan. Orchid are considered the queen of flowers and very favoured in this country. On show were 100,000 styles of orchid arrangement from more than 160 countries in the world, including Japan, the US, Switzerland, Brazil, China and Vietnam. The Vietnamese booth was located at the centre of the exhibition with white and purple orchids brought from Da Lat and Sa Pa. The exhibition closed on March 2, coinciding with the Hinamatsuri festival during which Japanese people display peach blossom and dolls



RFID tunes in to help orchid exports bloom
Tagging will aid information flow within the supply chain and prevent waste
Published on March 21, 2008

"Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is... being used by the Thaiorchid-export industry to improve its supply-chain management system.The technology allows each chain to control its process... and trace orchid flowers to their origin.... Thailand is the second-largest exporter of orchids...National Electronics and Computer Technology Centre (Nectec).Developed... the prototype of the system...RFID would be used to gather information from tissue cultures in thelaboratory, such as the plant's age; the name of the farm; information fromthe greenhouse during planting; the lot number and orchid size duringpackaging; and information gathered during the logistics process.If there is a problem with the stems, the system will help follow the chainto the origin and find the defective lot...In the past, customers would reject entire lots if there was a problem,because it was nearly impossible to identify the problem products.... the use of RFID technology would avoid such waste. The centre hasalready completed the adoption of RFID technology for use in supply chains.It is now in the process of developing the database and software, whichwill allow exporters to track information.Apart from RFID, the centre has also developed technology... which willallow orchid farms to control the growing environment.The farm will use sensors to monitor temperature, humidity, light and pH value.This information will be used to control the environment....Information from sensors can also help breeders predict plants' growthpatterns and prevent the stems from becoming infected."URL :

Monday, March 03, 2008

Pat Bonamo... a paleo-botanist...teaching botany... at Binghamton University...At the World Orchid Conference... in Miami

"Pat Bonamo... a paleo-botanist...teaching botany... at Binghamton University...At the World Orchid Conference... in Miami... one of her pictures won first place in the "In Situ Category" -- ... orchids in their natural habitat -and best of show overall....Last year she won Best of Show at the International Orchid Congress in the same city.Bonamo grows orchids...Her winning photo this year features... one of her very own orchids... c[C]ypripedium parviflorum."It's an orchid I have growing in my woody perennial garden..." she says."URL : : [caption : "Pat Bonamo's award-winning photo of... c[C]ypripediumparviflorum... It took First Place in the "in Situ" category and Best ofShow overall]

63rd annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show

"63rd annual Santa Barbara International Orchid Show...

Speaking...Eric Hansen, who has spent more than 20 years documenting... elements of the orchid world for National Geographic and Outside magazines and forbooks such as... "Orchid Fever: A Horticultural Tale of Love, Lust and Lunacy." Hansen's cast of nonfiction characters includes a collector whodid jail time for orchid smuggling and a Santa Barbara grower who carries a gun while tending his plants...grower-collector Lance Birk, whose "The Last Orchid Hunter" details his successful search for the exceedingly rare Laelia orchid [which one(s) ?]in Brazil. (Successful... until it was stolen from him by another plant hunter.)... former UC Irvine ecology professor Harold Koopowitz... an expert on the effects of deforestation on wild orchids...Koopowitz's newly published "Tropical Slipper Orchids: Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium Species and Hybrids."...orchid-themed art... oil paintings by... Ralph Waterhouse... photographs by the late Robert Mapplethorpe."URL : : [caption : "Paphiopedilum Krull's Emerald Meadows"]

"Q. ... buds formed... then they turned yellow... What went wrong?

A. Depending on how you count, there are... at least a quarter-million orchid hybrids and varieties [how do you count ?]....phalaenopsis orchids and related hybrids... account for roughly 75 percent of orchid plant sales [roughly / smile...].Causes of bud drop include sudden temperature changes, low humidity, insufficient fertilizer [?], indoor air pollution from things like pilotlights [could you explain ?] and tobacco smoke, and perhaps most commonly, too much or too little water...enjoy the plant while it is in flower, and then give it to an orchid enthusiast [I would not do it !] and get something different. Repeat indefinitely"URL :

Of the 20,000 species worldwide, 300 are found in Europe and up to 26 in Cumbria

"species... 300 are found in Europe [so little !] and up to 26 in Cumbria [county in the extreme North West of England] plus some sub-species andcrosses.Most are rare or very rare and are easily disturbed... of the 25 British orchids listed in the Red Book, two are now thought to be extinct, seven are endangered and 12 are judged as vulnerable.Cumbria is relatively rich in species compared with most other parts of the country, probably because of its variety of habitats, its climate and lackof disturbance.Orchids are likely to be killed by the application of phosphate and nitrate fertilisers, as they need low soil fertility to survive.Cumbria has been less intensively farmed than other places and so there has been relatively low use of these fertilisers....More common is the dactylorhiza species including marsh, spotted and fragrant types with their purple pyramid of flowers.They are impressive when together in large numbers, such as the 4,000 plants counted on a quarter-mile stretch of main road north of Kendal.By contrast, the extremely rare and beautiful lady?s slipper orchid was thought to have been reduced to one site in Yorkshire by enthusiasts collecting from the wild (now illegal) and changes in agricultural practice.Many Cumbria Wildlife Trust nature reserves are blessed with orchids but Bowness-on-Solway reserve, west of the village, is a good place in summer to find the common spotted orchid.Improved horticultural techniques now mean British species and crosses are more readily available from nurseries and make good garden species,provided you replicate natural conditions ? low fertility, limited disturbance and appropriate growing conditions.Moist conditions for spotted and marsh dactylorhiza species and crosses areprobably a good place to start."URL :