Orchids for the Landscape

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'Mickey's Freckles'



Jesse Durko says:

"Orchids in the garden are easier than most people think and for me much easier than container growing. In fact if I keep one in a container long enough, where it needs to be regularly watered without over- watering, fertilized and re-potting, long enough, I know I’ll kill it. Once it’s attached to a tree it will at least have a fighting chance and most likely reward you when one day you look out and there are gorgeous flowers from plants you almost have forgotten.

There are some simple rules of thumb for establishing garden orchids, light being amongst the most important. For example you wouldn’t put a vanda which likes sun into the deep shade of an oak tree, but a better location would be growing up a palm trunk. A cattleya,.which likes bright indirect light and a minimum of direct sun, is much more happy in the canopy of a leafy tree. Also when planting them into a tree it is important to remove all the old growing medium. This gives the orchid no other option but to grow its new roots onto your tree. I attach the orchids with stretchy flora tape; be sure to secure it tight enough so that the plant will not wiggle, as wiggling will damage new baby roots.

While I’m there I usually fertilize too. I do this with a few grains of time- released fertilizer scrunching it into the bark nearby in that way each time it rains or is watered the plant will receive some nutrients. This is best done during the wettest months of the year when the rains will help with the re-establishing. But if you're diligent with watering you can do it anytime during the year.

If you have a season without much blooming it’s time to add some others to you collection. There are varieties that bloom at different months throughout the year. Some of my favorites are the Brassavola nodosa and Brassavola hybrids (Photo) They repeat blooming.

Also one of my sun growing vanda orchids has continuously flowered throughout the course of an entire year; you’ll see its photo in many of the gardens pictured within these pages."

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Vanda variety thriving on palm trunks.
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A showy, low-growing terrestrial orchid in a hard to find shade of pale blue, Calanthe discolor is a beautiful terrestrial orchid blooming throughout the warm months. It can be grown in a shady garden or lovely as a potted plant in a shaded patio.
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Calanthe ground orchids for shade planting add a rare blue to the garden.

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Oncidium and Vanda orchid varieties on palm trunks.