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