Friday, January 26, 2007

Enter a hall of Orchids

Botanical Garden hosts lecture for orchid lovers

Express Staff Writer

The Sawtooth Botanical Garden will host an Orchid Basics and Repotting Workshop that will be led by the garden's executive director, Jennifer Colson, Saturday at the garden south of Ketchum.

Colson, who has a masters in horticultural science, maintained a collection of orchids numbering more than 25,000 at the Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania before moving to the Wood River Valley. Among other things, the 100-year-old Longwood is renowned for its annual orchid showcase and sale.

During this workshop participants will learn the basics of orchid biology and how to care for common groups of orchids. They also will have the opportunity to re-pot plants brought from home to ensure years of successful growth and blossoms. Webb Landscape will provide a variety of potting materials including pots, bark and fertilizer for purchase along with the latest orchid varieties to meet the orchid enthusiast's needs.

Orchids are the largest flowering plant family and can be traced as far back as Confucius. There are approximately 30,000 identified wild species and more than 100,000 hybrids reported to date with new discoveries made each year. They range in size from plants an inch high with tiny flowers to vines reaching up to 50 feet long with flowers up to a foot wide.

To register and for additional details on this workshop and other programs offered at the Sawtooth Botanical Garden, call 726-9358 or visit

In order to ensure that plants are pest-free they will be inspected at the door.

Varieties of orchids

 Phalaenopsis Orchids

Care is easy, flower spike blooms for about two to three months, shade is preferred.

 Dendrobium Orchids

Care can be easy to not so easy. Flower spike blooms two to three months. Bright light preferred. There are many different kinds.

Oncidium Orchids

Care is easy to intermediate to easy. Flower spikes bloom two months. Sunny window is preferred, with about a half day of sun.

 Cattleya Orchids

Care is intermediate in difficulty. Flowers bloom one to four weeks. Sunny window is preferred.

 Miltonia Orchids

Care is intermediate. Flowers bloom about one to two months. Indirect sunlight is preferred.

· Warm Paphiopedilum Orchids

Care is easy to intermediate. Flowers bloom two to three months. Shade is preferred. Warmer temperature needed.

 Cool paphiopedilum Orchids

Care is intermediate. Flowers bloom two months. Shade is preferred. Cooler temperature needed.

 Vanda Orchids

Care is intermediate to difficult. Flowers bloom about two months, sun preferred. High humidity is important, often meaning these need to be grown in a greenhouse.

Orchid Basics and Repotting Workshop

· 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 27

· Sawtooth Botanical Garden

· Register at 726-9358 or

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