Chysis aurea – 365 days of orchids – day 888

This is a large flowered species is native to warm lowland forests in Central and South America. It grows long thick pendulous bulbs each summer and then loses its leaves during the winter before sending out these lovely large flowers on long spikes from the base of the new growths.

We keep the species in a bright spot in Warm Americas with lots of water during the summer but an almost dry winter with just enough water to stop the pseudobulbs from shrivelling. We also need to be careful not to get too much water around the soft new growths in May and June or they can rot off.



Phalaenopsis equestris- 365 days of orchids – day 887

This miniature Phalaenopsis species is native to the Philippines and Southern Taiwan where it is reported growing as an epiphyte in lowland forest near streams. It is a compact plant, 15cm across, that produces lots of flower

The small flowers are produced on arching spikes that continue to grow for several months with successive flowers each lasting about a month.

 Last year it flowered in August but it is a little earlier this year.

This plant was deflasked about seven years ago and grows very happily indoors where it flowers every year and grows in a small china coffee cup (with drainage holes drilled with a diamond drill bit)

It’s habitat suggests a need for constant warm temperatures and so we find the greenhouse a little cool in winter but a centrally heated house perfect.


Blettila striata- 365 days of orchids – day 886

Another first for 365 Days is the hardy species from China, Korea and Japan.

We grow this species in pots in our temperate section growing in a terrestrail mix of soil based compost, composted bark and grit. The species becomes dormant in the winter when we stop watering unitl the spring when the new leaves emerge followed by the delicate flowers on thin stems.

We grow the species with minimum 6C although it can be grown cooler and several people grow the species successfully as a garden plant.


Renanthera imshcootiana – 365 days of orchids – day 885


One of the most attractive but difficult to photograph is this wonderful species of Renanthera.

Our plant is now 3m tall and straight (though it has finally produced its first side shoot) and it really enjoys growing in the top of our Warm Asia section.

This amazing red relative of Vanda is unfortunately one of the orchid species threatened by the trade in unsustainable wild collection. It is native to the Eastern Himalayas where it grows in warm evergreen forest along rivers from 500 to 1000m. Fortunately like most tropical epiphytic orchids it is easy to grow from seed to make the species common in cultivation and so reduce the pressure for wild collection.



Tricholglottis smithii – 365 days of orchids – day 884

This pretty little orchid is native to Borneo and Sumatra and one we will keep an eye out for in our forthcoming expeditions to Sarawak in July and October. The species is found in swamp forest and hill forests up to 1300m altitude.

The plant has semi-pendulous stems with alternate 4cm leaves and the long lasting flowers appear from leaf axils.

We grow the species in a small basket in Warm Asia (min 17C) where it seems happiest in a shaded spot. This is the first time the species has featured in 365 Days.