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Weekly planter: A cross between a spider orchid and a dancing lady

The Brassidium Lillian Oka ‘Hawaii’ is a cross between a Brassia, the spider orchid, and an oncidium, dancing lady orchid, that makes the hybrids a little easier to grow and the flowers a little larger.

Even so, the ideal temperatures are mid-80s in the day and mid-60s at night, closer to the needs of intermediate conditions than warm conditions, so this is a good plant for the more advanced orchid hobbyist.

Cattleya like light, early morning sun, which means 50 to 70 percent shade cloth or hanging in an oak tree.

Culture: Grow in a fast-draining medium, such as Aliflor, and allow the roots to nearly dry between waterings. To compensate for our warmer temperatures, keep the plant in a little more shade. A fan in the shade house keeps the air moving, and greatly benefits this orchid.

Fertilize at half strength to one-quarter strength weekly when the plants are growing; reduce by half when when they are not. Use 20-20-20 water soluble fertilizer, substituting a bloom booster once a month.

— MIAMI HERALD STAFF

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