Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Stanhopea orchid

Its beginning of summer here in Sydney and it means that stanhopea orchids waking up from their sleep. They are fascinating plants and never fail to delight and to amuse orchid growers.

Stanhopea's native to Central and South America and Mexico and they are one of the most beautiful orchid species. They send their flowering spikes through the bottom of the planters. My stanhopea just started developing flower spikes and I've captured in the picture three spikes currently developing. The spikes will be growing and maturing for another couple of weeks or so, and then flowers will open with most heavenly vanilla / chocolate scent. The flowers stay on the plant for a very short time, only 3-4 days or so, but well worth waiting for.

Depending on the weather, some years my stanhopea orchids flowered right on Christmas day, and some years just before or just after Christmas. I have couple of varieties of stanhopea's and will take pictures of them when they are in flower.


  1. I can't wait to see your blooms! It would be so exciting if they were in bloom for Christmas, that would be a wonderful present.

  2. I agree with Cindy can't wait to see the flowers!

  3. Klara, You are so fortunate that you have an outdoor environment that is conducive to growing orchids! I think it's harder where I live, because in order to do so, I would need to have them as indoor plants. I always love to see them in the plant sections of stores, but I've always been afraid to buy one! Right now, it would be impossible to I have a cat that would most definitely eat them. He eats everything. I'll look forward to seeing your newest flowers when they bloom--hopefully for Christmas:) Jan

  4. Thank you everyone for your kind comments. We are indeed fortunate in AU where we can grow vast varieties of orchids in our climate, but as with all orchids, one have to choose variety where one can replicate as close as possible its native conditions, and its always challenging to do.

    It looks like my stanhopea's will not flower for Christmas, the flower spikes are still developing and as usual, I can't harry up Nature, but as soon as they flower, I'll take pictures and post it on this blog.

    Jan, I know what you mean about cat and flowers - I used to have cat who loved munching on miniature roses flowers - wouldn't touch anything else in the garden but chomp off flowers as they opened, never figured that one out!