Phragmipedium Schroederae

Like all phrags, this likes to sit in a pan of water, and receive moderate light.  Phrags do tend to grow like weeds, given ample water.

Polystacha paniculata

This one likes moderate light, and to stay pretty wet to avoid accordion leaves on new growth.  It’s a very reliable bloomer that has bloomed on every new growth over the past few years since I got it.  This particular bloom is a little past its prime, with a couple of branches dried and brown, but most are still blooming.  I believe this is the second time this one has bloomed in 2015.

Cochleanthes Amazing

This likes a lot of water — as in sitting in it is fine.  Otherwise, the new growth comes in accordioned.  It’s an ultra-reliable bloomer.  Seldom does it have more than one flower open at a time, but it’s not unusual to have one open flower and another bud or two on the way.  Moderate light is fine, as for a Phragmipedium.

Leptotes bicolor

This miniature orchid blooms once a year, anywhere from late March to May for me.  The blooms last a couple of weeks.  It’s fairly reliable, but I only got one flower this year, which is a bit disappointing.  I keep it indoors, but it would probably do fine outside for the summer in bright shade, or with limited early morning or late afternoon direct sun.  It’s really not all that picky about how much or little water it gets.  Humidity levels vary significantly in my house from season to season, and it doesn’t seem to care much one way or another.  Since this one’s mounted on cork, it’s impossible to overwater.  I’ve seen them in terra cotta pots, too, with either a fine bark mix, or finely chopped coconut husk.

Ascofinetia Cherry Blossom

This is a twin pair I’ve had for years.  Ascofinetia Cherry Blossom is a primary hybrid of Ascocentrum ampullaceum and Neofinetia falcata.  These bloom reliably for me every Spring.  Like many mini vandaceous, they require moderate light, owing to the Ascocentrum parent, and less water during the cold months than during the rest of the year.  Wait for them to pump out q-tip spikes before resuming a regular weekly watering schedule for them, and you will get blooms.

Trias Emily Clarkson

This miniature is a primary hybrid of Trias oblonga and Trias picta.  The leaves are roughly 2″ long with flowers a little less than 1″ across.  I got it recently from Kawamoto in Honolulu, so I can’t take credit for this bloom, but so far, it seems pretty easy to grow, given ample water, and mostly bright indirect light.

Restrepia xanthophthalma

Those of you who are familiar with Restrepias doubtless know of striata, but may not be familiar with xanthophthalma.  The leaves on this are thicker, pointier, and longer than those of striata.  The flowers are similarly shaped, but instead of being orange/red striped, are sort of a purply cranberry, and spotted.  It likes it wet, and shady.  This plant has been parked out of direct sun, but with bright afternoon indirect light for years, and still, the leaves turn purple, even from that low amount of light.  There really is no seasonality to its blooming, which happens several times a year, whenever it feels like it.  In addition to the two open flowers, there are a good half dozen more buds hidden behind othre leaves.

African Violet

This is one that was given to me after it had bloomed, and had gotten rather sad looking.  It has since filled in nicely, and rebloomed.  Very few of my indoor plants are ordinary houseplants instead of orchids, because I have a nasty habit of neglecting them.  However, African violets, Sago palms, and spider plants are fairly forgiving.

Dendrobium rigidum

This Dendrobium is also known as Dockrillia rigida.  It’s native to Australia.  This is one of my most reliable bloomers, blooming on and off throughout the year.  The flowers are only about 1/4″ across, crystalline white with nice cranberry colored stripes, in clusters from 2-6 flowers.  Whenever a new leaf has finish growing, it pumps out a new spike.  As the plant matures and spreads, the largest leaves will get to be about an inch long.  It’s very tolerant of temperature and watering schedule variations, however, it does grow best when allowed to dry before giving it a soak.  Mine happens to be mounted on some sort of wood plank, but I’ve seen them potted in clay, too.  They like a fair amount of light, but if the leaves take on a purple tinge, they’re at the high end of the light range they can tolerate.  They don’t need to go purplish to bloom, but it doesn’t hurt.

Polystacha paniculata

This one is fairly temperature tolerant, but likes to stay damp, and is okay sitting in some water.  As long as it stays damp, even in winter, it will continue to grow.  If it gets too dry for any length of time, it just stops growing until it’s watered again.  Bright indirect light levels, or shady with some direct morning or late afternoon sun are enough to get it to bloom.  It’s a good candidate for “windowsill” growing, and can be treated like a Phragmipedium, if that works as a point of reference for you.