Finally, the long wait is over! The 2.5 foot long spike on my Laelia anceps has finally bloomed with 5 gorgeous light purple flowers with a deep, deep pink lip. I was running out of room in my greenhouse, trying to get the spike to fit within. Laelia anceps is a native of the deciduous forests of Mexico and Honduras. The plant can take a lot of sunlight, drought tolerant and is hardy down to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. The flowers are pink (almost light purple) growing either lighter or darker towards the extremities with a pronounced lip which is a dark pink in color. They have a very silken texture and are delicate….note: the buds and flowers tend to have a sticky secretion. So, to prevent them from sticking to each other I occasionally spray some water and blow dry with my greenhouse ventilation fan. Though not very discernible, the flowers appear to have a very mild fragrance or call it my wishful thinking.

Plant culture is overall very easy. I got this plant from Andy’s Orchids, about 1 year ago with 3 pseudobulbs. The plant is mounted on a large log and really took off in the Spring with the copious amounts of sunshine we get in Northern California. I grow this in the brightest possible location in the greenhouse, and the leaves get a slight reddish tinge when they are getting sufficient sunlight. The plant is misted daily and allowed to dry between waterings. Throughout the summer, the plant was fertilized at 1/2 strength using 20-20-20 balanced fertilizer at every weekly watering. Within 3 months, the new pseudobulb was fully developed.  With onset of cooler weather in the Fall, watering was greatly reduced to about once in two weeks. The incessant rains that we have had this season, has kept the humidity above 70% continuously, so I have not had to water the plants much. The plant actually seems happy staying on the dry side.  The flower spike took 3 long months to develop, with about 3 weeks of bud development and here are some photographs for all to enjoy!

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