Orchid Care

                      

 

 

 

    

 Bold  & Bizarre Brassia Orchids

brassia orchid
Close-up of exotic Brassia orchid blooms. You can see the impressive display this orchid produced on another blooming, below. 

 If you are new to Brassias we suggest you begin with the easier to grow hybrids like Brassia Rex. If you like the really large spidery blooms, then you might try Brassia Edvah Loo 'Nishida' but note that this orchid becomes absolutely huge.

In fact, most brassias are on the large side, but can be kept small by dividing once they get too big. Increasingly there are also 'pot plant' brassia orchid hybrids, that despite having smaller flowers still conjure up the same magic as their larger cousins while living happily on the windowsill.


 

      

Brassias, also known as spider orchids are among the most incredibly showy and exotic of all orchids. From tip to tip, some hybrids can have flowers that are 18" or more long! Hailing from the South American tropics, most Brassias species and hybrids commonly available do well in warm to intermediate condition and under bright, but indirect, light.

Brassia orchids generally put on their best show during the summer months when most other orchids are growing, or too timid to bloom. They like warm to intermediate conditions and moderate humidity. Let them dry our ever so slightly between waterings, but keep them moist while in bud and bloom. A standard fertilizer schedule works fine for these orchids but remember to give them a slight rest after blooming and restart the fertilizer only when you see new growth emerging from the base of the plant.

Brassias can sometimes produce two spikes per bulb. They can also surprise you and bloom on an older unbloomed growth as well! The spidery flowers last several weeks and are shown to best advantage when carefully staked. Many will also have a spicy fragrance.  

 Brassias are sometimes reluctant to bloom. If your plant is well-fed, has tons of pseudobulbs and  bright green leaves yet refuses to bloom, you might be coddling it. Put it outside in brighter during the spring/summer so that the leaves gradually turn a very light green. Feed it well, but let it dry out between waterings, and don't fuss over it too much. Then stand back and wait for the flowers...

The plants are sometimes troubled by scale, which  can be removed by washing with warm soapy water and scraping off the pests. Other than that, they are relatively trouble free.

Brassias have also been interbred with miltoniopsis orcihds to create Miltassias, or oncidiums to create Brassidiums. Both these intergeneric hybrids are usually easier to grow than straight Brassias, so you might try therse first. They are often more colorful, but also more star-shaped--a more tame look than their spidery siblings.



 

 

 

 
  
 
 
 
 
  
 
 
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