What's Blooming in NYC: MARCH

Spring-flowering Cattleyas are in bud or bloom. New growth will begin soon, as temperatures rise. Increase watering and feeding. Keep temperatures fairly cool to prolong flower life and keep colors bright.

Catt relatives Encyclia and Epidendrum species and hybrids are spiked and blooming: Encyclia cordigera, Epidendrum pseudoepidendrum, Epicatt. Rene Marques. Spikes of colorful reed-stem Epi hybrids such as Epi Pretty Lady will continue to elongate and produce new buds for many weeks or even months, so don’t cut those spikes until they wither and yellow. Brassavola hybrids like BC Maikai and BL Yellow Bird are in flower.

 

Blooming Cymbidiums will show new growths now or very soon; increase watering and feeding. Repot once spikes are finished. Small Asian Cymbidium species are making new growth.

 

Nobile Dendrobiums should be in bloom. Keep the plants cool, in a shaded place so the flowers will last longer—from 4-6 weeks. Water and begin to feed when new vegetative growth begins.

Pendant-cane and/or deciduous Dendrobiums species (D. anosmum, D. loddigesii, D. parishii, D. pierardii, D. lindleyii) are flowering.  Maintain them with spraying and occasional watering until flowers open; water more freely when new growth shows.

Dendrobium kingianum and related Australian species and hybrids are at their best. Water freely to keep flowers and leaves fresh. Feed when new vegetative growth begins.

Evergreen phal-type Dendrobium hybrids are in full bloom. Long-lasting Latouria Dendrobiums continue in flower.

 

Jewel orchid Ludisia discolor tends to flower during this season. A large plant in full bloom with multiple spikes is a wonderful sight. Pinch off faded spikes at the base where they emerge from the upper whorl of leaves. The fleshy rhizome will soon branch with more new growths. This is the best time of year to take cuttings and root them in good airy houseplant soil. (Let dry overnight to form a callus first.)

 

Miltoniopsis are spiked, budding or blooming depending on their conditions. Even warmth-tolerant hybrids prefer cooler, humid conditions so flowers will open fully and have best color.

 

Oncidium Alliance intergeneric hybrids such as Beallara Tahoma Glacier, Colmanara Wildcat, Miltassia Tolkien, Oncidium Catatante, Onc. Sharry Baby and Onc. Twinkle are at peak bloom. New growth is probably already underway. These always-growing plants should be watered and fed year-round. Brassia species and hybrids are budded or blooming, including Brassia caudata, B. verrucosa, B. Rex, Brassidium Kenneth Bivin. Tolumnias are at spring peak. Don’t cut the spikes until they yellow, as new buds and branches often form.

 

Hybrid Paphiopedilums, especially Maudiae and mulifloral types, are still flowering. Large multiflorals that bloom all at once are done once the flowers drop and spikes yellow; but ever-blooming species like Paph. chamerlainianum and Paph. primulinum will produce one or 2 flowers at a time on spikes that can elongate and make more buds over the course of a year.  Don’t cut them until they completely wither.

 

Phragmipediums species and hybrids should be in full bloom on new spikes, that may continue to flower all spring and summer.

 

Large-flowered Phalaenopsis hybrids that spiked in early November are in bud or bloom. Compact and miniature multifloral Phals in bud or bloom may be making new side branches, and growing new roots and leaves already.

 

Many Pleurothallids are making spring flowers from recently matured growths.

 

 “Butterfly” orchids Psychopsis papilio and Psyc Mendenhall are still blooming on last fall’s ever-elongating spikes. Be careful to not let water lodge in new growths.

 

Vanda species and hybrids will show new root and leaf growth as temperatures warm and light increases. 

APRIL

Spring-flowering Cattleyas abound, including classic C. Irene Finney and other Cattleya mossiae hybrids, and C. walkeriana hybrids. Also: Cattleya (Laelia) purpurata is spiking and budding, and Guarianthe aurantiaca, G. skinneri and their hybrids. Also LC Love Knot, LC Maris Song, Epicatt Rene Marques and other catts that bloom more than once a year.

 

Cymbidiums will soon be done flowering. Provide sun, water thoroughly and begin to feed on a regular basis once new vegetative growth begins.

 

Nobile Dendrobiums will soon be done flowering. Provide sun, water thoroughly and begin to feed on a regular basis once new vegetative growth begins.

Many Dendrobiums are still blooming, including D. anosmum, D. lindenii, D. fimbriatum, D. kingianum, D. loddigesii, D. parishii, D. pierardii. Increase watering and begin feeding as new vegetative growth begins.

Latourias D. Roy Takanaga, D. Green Elf, D. Micro Chip are blooming and making new growth.

 

Encyclias and Epidendrums may be either finishing late winter blooms, or starting late spring buds. 

 

Miltoniopsis should be budding and blooming. Keep the humidity high and the daytime temperatures in the 70s.

 

Nearly everything in the Oncidium Alliance is spiking or flowering, especially complex hybrids (Beallaras, Colmanaras, Miltassias, Wilsonaras and Vuylstekearas). Tolumnias may be making new growth while spikes continue to form buds.

 

Warm-growing Paphiopedilums of all kinds are waking up (Paph. concolor, Paph. callosum, Paph. delenatii, Paph. haynaldianum), while cool-growing ones begin to fade and make new growths.

Many multifloral Paph hybrids big and small, such as Paph. Julius, Paph. Berenice, Paph. St Swithin, Paph. Pinocchio.

Phragmipedium species and hybrids.

 

Phalaenopsis are still in their glory. Most standard and compact phals are in full bloom; some may be making new buds at the ends of their spikes.

When your Phalaenopsis spikes finally yellow, cut them down to stubs. Don’t try to force new branches! Hybrids that “want” to branch will do so on their own, if they are healthy enough. The end of the flowering season is a good time to repot your spring-blooming phals.

Summer-blooming Phals, mostly those in the Stauroglottis section with species such as P. amboinensis, P. luddemanniana and P. violacea in their background, may already be spiking and budding.

 

Nearly all Vanda and Ascocentrum species and hybrids are budded or blooming, including Neofinetia falcata. Vandas will show new root and leaf growth as temperatures warm and light increases. 

MAY

Summer-blooming Cattleyas should be spiking or even budded: Cattleya amethystoglossa, C. bicolor, C. dowiana and its hybrids (yellow-flowered Catts, usually those with red lips), C. guttata, C. intermedia.

C. Chocolate Drop, LC Rojo, BLC Golden Embers. This also includes Catt species that used to be Brazilian Laelias: Cattleya purpurata, C lobata, C. tenebrosa, and many of their hybrids.

 

Many Encyclia and Epidendrum species bloom from spring through summer. Epidendrum difforme, Epi. pseudoepidendrum; Encyclia alata, E. atropurpureum, E. cochleata, E. tampense.

 

Many Oncidium Alliance hybrids including Beallaras, Colmanaras, Wilsonaras continue to bloom. Oncidium ampliatum, O. maculatum, and many Tolumnias and Trichocentrums are still blooming.

 

 “Everblooming” slipper orchids, including Paphiopedilum Maudiae hybrids, sequential-blooming hybrids like Paph. Pinocchio, and most Phragmipedium species and hybrids (including Phrag. Eric Young, Phrag. Hanne Popow) are still going strong.

 

Most standard Phalaenopsis spikes are running out of steam – fewer new buds are developing at the ends of spikes. DON'T cut spikes until they actually turn yellow and wither naturally. Many modern hybrids will develop new buds at the ends of mature spikes. Multifloral hybrids that are sufficiently healthy will develop side branches even before the main spike peters out. Forcing a mature spike to branch "against its will" by cutting just below the first flower's position will cause the plant to exhaust itself, just when it should be growing new leaves and roots.

 

Vanda and Ascocenda (formerly x Ascocentrum) species and hybrids are growing new leaves and roots, pausing in flowering.

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