New Developments in Orchid Cloning

My father, A.A. Chadwick, is a collector of historical cattleyas - many of which are more than a century old. Over the years, a small number of these heirlooms have acquired a virus which is a disease that can adversely affect the flowers or foliage and is highly contagious. He quarantines these infected plants on a separate bench in his greenhouse where they can’t come in contact with the rest of the collection.  

Dendrobium Nobiles Go Mainstream

Once shunned by growers for their persnickety culture, Dendrobium Nobiles are enjoying a rally rarely seen in orchid commerce. It all began with the quest for an alternative to Phalaenopsis that could be mass produced and distributed with little damage and have a good shelf life. Thus far, the public has responded by snapping up the plants like hot cakes. 

Attached Greenhouses

There is a long standing joke among hobbyists in which they collect so many orchids that a greenhouse is required to hold all their plants. This humorous scenario is coming true for many people now that working from home has become the norm. Tropical plants of all kinds are having a renaissance and growers simply need a place to put them.

Cattleya Wine

Fine wine is hardly my forte, but when a client handed me two fancy bottles called Cattleya, I was intrigued. What could the connection be between the Queen of the Orchids and fermented grapes? Certainly, both have an intense and loyal following but there must be something more.

The Big Growers of the 1940’s


The orchid industry, today, is on full throttle and commercial nurseries everywhere are having their best year in recent memory and possibly ever. There is a nationwide shortage of plants as retailers are having trouble getting product and many wholesalers are simply sold out. The last time there was a run on orchids to this extent was eighty years ago, during the corsage era. 

The Best Yellow Cattleya

There is nothing easy about breeding large yellow cattleyas.

Hybridizers have been trying fervently since 1901, when the very first attempt at combining two lemon-hued species took place. Since then, there have been hundreds or even thousands of pairings – mostly with disastrous results.

The first problem, as breeders soon discovered, is that the color yellow in cattleyas is hopelessly recessive and is nearly always lost when another color is introduced. For example, a yellow flower crossed with a white flower does not yield any yellows. In fact, it yields purple.

A Short History of Orchid Nurseries

A few weeks ago, I visited one of the largest Phalaenopsis growers in central Florida, DeLeon’s Bromeliads. The nursery has been there for decades and workers were frantically packing orders. It was peak season and the colorful blooms seemed to go on for miles.

A large sign on the property read, “Closing soon. Everything must go.” I went into the sales office to get an explanation. Imagine my surprise when the manager informed me that DeLeon’s was getting out of the orchid business and going into marijuana.

Bud Blast


All the buds fell off my new orchid. Could leaving the plant in a hot car for two hours be the cause? The leaves still look good so I’m not giving up on it. I fertilize it lightly and water every 10 days. Pat H.


Heat stroke can happen to plants as well as animals! Hot cars are notorious for capturing the sun and can reach nearly 200 degrees under the right conditions. The first casualties involving orchids are the delicate flowers and buds which, technically, the plant can afford to lose since they are replenished each year.



My daughter gave me a lovely Miltonia last fall and I am afraid that I have hurt it. I have it on the porch facing east but there must have been too much light as three of the six leaves have turned brown. What can I do to prolong its life? Maggie B.



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