A very diverse tribe with a wide range of cultural needs. So many colors and flower shapes make this a worthwhile challenge. Cane type or Nobile Dendrobium

Light: South or west window.

Temperature: Warm days (75-95 degrees F) in spring and summer and cooler (45-65 degrees F) in the fall and winter.

Moisture: Water thoroughly and allow media to dry out. In the fall restrict water until new buds begin to emerge and then water regularly. Laturia and Formosum types require continual weekly watering throughout the year.

Potting: Re-pot every 2 years, in a medium bark mix.

Nutrition: Feed with 20-10-20 in spring and summer and a 6-30-30 fertilizer in fall and winter.

Tips: When purchasing an orchid, be sure it is properly potted and healthy, with good cultural instructions. Plants may produce a keiki (baby) if temperatures are too warm in the fall.



Cattleya Orchid or “Catts” or the corsage orchid. Known as the “Queen of Orchids” with a wide range of colors, shapes and sizes, many with heavenly fragrances. Best of the “smell me” orchids. Flowers last 2-8 weeks, with some blooming 2-3 times a year.

Light: West or South window with protection from hot afternoon sun. Summer outdoors in a shady location.

Temperature: Cool nights (50-65 degrees F) and warm days (70-95 degrees F)

Moisture: Water thoroughly once a week and not again until media is completely dry.Maintain high humidity.

Nutrition: Fertilize weekly with a 20-10-20 throughout the year, heavier in spring when plant is producing new growth.

Potting: Every two years, when plants grow out of the pot or the media breaks down, but only when new roots are present.

Tips: If a plant does not bloom, increase light and feeding. Peel flower sheath apart if it turns yellow or brown, to allow buds to develop normally. Use 1 Tbl. of dish soap and 1 Tbl. of mineral oil in a quart of water to treat scale insects.


South American Lady Slipper

(Phragmipedium)Exotic looking flowers, some with petals up to two feet long and others with intense orange, pink, green, red, and some purple flowers. Flower last only 3-4 weeks, but will have 3-15 sequential flowers on each spike.

Light: East, west, or south window

Temperature: Cool nights (55-65 degrees F) and warm days (70-85 degrees F).

Moisture: Phrags, prefer rain water, reverse osmosis water or distilled water or the leaf tips may turn brown. Water every 3-4 days, never letting plants dry out. Maintain high humidity.

Nutrition: Fertilize with 20-10-20 each week.

Potting: Re-pot every 1-2 ears in moisture retentive media.

Tips: Allow plants to produce many growths before dividing for better blooming. Remove spike above foliage after all flowers have faded.