Articles About Orchids
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Articles About Orchids
   I would like to introduce you to one of the famous intergeneric orchids that have been appearing in many discount and hardware stores seemingly everywhere in the United States.
   Intergeneric orchids are hybrids created from more than one genus. As early as the 1800's, hybridizers all around England and Europe were creating intergeneric hybrids.
   The first hybrids were Odontioda (Odontoglossum x Cochlioda), Odontonia (Miltonia x Odontoglossum), and Vuylstekeara, which is a hybrid of (Miltonia x Odontioda).

   The goals of these early hybridizers were to produce orchids that were easy to cultivate, had long lasting flowers, could tolerate large temperature ranges, and had multiple blooming times.
   Colmanara "Wildcat" has achieved everyone of these goals!
Colmanara Wildcat 'Solid'
This intergeneric hybrid is a cross between two other hybrids; Odontonia (Miltonia x Odontoglossum) and Odontocidium (Oncidium x Odontoglossum).
   This exceptional orchid is taking orchids to a new high in popularity. They can be found sitting next to the Phalaenopsis, Dendrobiums, Paphiopedilums and Oncidiums in Wallmart, Lowes, K-mart, Home Base, Home Depot and even at your grocery stores!
   Look for the beautiful ruffled butterfly-shaped blooms on a long, arching inflorescence standing out majestically from the other orchids. This orchid is great for the beginner and is very easy to maintain in the home.
   Colmanara hybrids will produce flower spikes two or three times a year with very long inflorescence covered with many blooms as they produce new growth.
   The size and number of blooms will depend on the hybrid. Many of the flower spikes branch producing over 40 blooms per spike! The colors can be yellow, burgundy, mahogany with bars and stripes, and solid colors.
Temperature: Night temperatures from 55 to 65 Fahrenheit degrees and daytime from 68 to 90 is ideal. As you can see, they have a very wide range of temperature tolerance. Perfect for home growing, if you are comfortable so are they.
Light: Looking for an orchid for low light areas? Surprising enough, these are low to medium light growers. 1000-2000 footcandles is all that is needed to keep them happy. If you start seeing black spots on the leaves, especially the tips, then you are giving them too much light. Keep shaded in the summer and in brighter light during the winter.
Humidity: Maintaining proper humidity is the hardest part of any orchid culture. Maintaining proper humidity is the hardest part of any orchid culture. Like most orchids, Colmanaras like a range of humidity around 50% to 60% which really is not that hard to maintain with the help of humidity trays (a tray filled with rocks and water). Misting in the morning is also enjoyed by your orchid but be sure the leaves are dry by evening.
Fertilizing: Like all plants, Colmanaras like to be fed. I personally use the 1/2-strength liquid fertilizer every other week method.
   Depending on what media your orchid is growing in will determined on the type of fertilizer you should use. I like a balanced fertilizer like Dyna Gro 7-7-7. My brother, on the other hand, uses standard-strength Liquid Miracle-Gro (8-7-6) houseplant food every week when he waters. The point is, don't forget to feed your orchid. If you overfeed, you will be able to tell when the plant begins to grow amuck, taking over the room and trying to eat your cat!
Repotting: I would recommend repotting every two years in early spring before it begins to actively grow and bloom, using a media that will stay evenly moist (not wet). Allow your Colmanara to dry out a little between watering. Medium bark mixed with some perlite and charcoal is very good for these hybrids.
   If you want to try your hand at growing an orchid, Colmanara Wildcat hybrids would be an excellent choice to start with.
   When you begin shopping for your new Colmanara, some of the hybrids you might see are Colmanara Wildcat 'Black Tea', Colmanara Wildcat 'Doris', Colmanara Wildcat 'White Lip', Colmanara Wildcat 'Jaguar', Colmanara Wildcat 'Bobcat', Colmanara Wildcat 'Ocelot', Colmanara 'Blood Ruby', Colmanara 'Perfume Lily' and Colmanara 'Lucky Seven' just to name a few.