Brassia orchids are also known as Spider orchids and have Halloween in common, because of their connection to spiders.
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Interesting Facts About These Tropical Plants
These epiphytic tropical plants are native to the wet forests of Central America, southern parts of Florida, and the West-Indies, and were named Brassia in honor of William Brass, a 19th century British botanical illustrator.
Most species of these flowers are limited to a specific region, but the Brassia caudata genus can be found over the whole geographic area.
They are an extremely fragrant plant and the flowers come in colors of yellow, pale green ones and related colors with brown bars. These spectacular tropical species have long spider-like petals and septals, hence why the word spider is in its name.
They are pollinated by a parasitic wasp, which usually lays it’s eggs on spiders. Because they look so much like this arachnid in its’ web, the plant encourages the wasp to lay its’ eggs in the blossoms, which in turn pollinates them.
They produce a number of flowers on the spike, which resembles a number of spiders on the plant. Some plants can produce flowers that are 10 inches or more in diameter. Typically they shouldn’t be hard to grow, but do have specific requirements to keep them healthy.
The Temperature That Produces Radiant Blooms
Daytime temperatures should be around 65 and 75 degrees F and the nighttime should be no lower than 55-65 degrees F. Once the plant has ceased to bloom, the plant needs to rest for a couple of weeks in temperatures between 55 and 60 degrees F. They need humidity between 50-70% and plenty of air circulation. This is higher than most others need, and to circulate the air, a small fan should do the trick.
Lighting That Gives Color to Your Plants
If you want your plant to be healthy and produce plenty of blooms, then you need to make sure the lighting is okay. Brassias prefer bright, filtered sunlight, and should not be placed in direct sunlight. If you’re growing under lights, they can stay on for up to 16 hours per day.
Watering These Plants Correctly
They do not like to dry out fully between watering. They need to be watered regularly, so water before they dry out.
Fertilizer May be Needed in the Right Conditions
They also need periodic fertilization, and these are no exception. They require regular fertilizing with a weak solution, that is fertilize on a weekly basis, and dilute the mixture either to one quarter or a half of the full strength.
Placing Your Flowers in Correct Containers
Repotting them should be done approximately every two years, but young plants may benefit from being re-potted yearly, increasing the size of the pot each time. The potting medium should comprise of medium shredded fir bark or small to medium lava rocks. Alternatively, you can use 2 parts of osmunda fiber, 1 part sphagnum moss and a little sand. Always use pots with good drainage.
Pests And Diseases That May Occur
Brassia orchids are susceptible to pests and diseases just as other species are. They are prone to Aphids, Mealy Bugs, Spider Mites and Scale. Remember to inspect any new plant you bring into your home or greenhouse so that you can reduce the chances of infecting healthy plants.
This is one of those plants that you notice when you walk into a room, because of their beauty and uniqueness. Take the time to care for your plants properly and they’ll reward you with magnificent blooms.