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Cool Growing Orchids

Cool Growing Orchids

Mysterious, romantic and sometimes surreal, orchids are the most highly developed plants. They also have a reputation for being difficult, and some are. However, the ones we grow are reliable, sturdy, lovely and a perfect fit for patios as well as windowsills and greenhouses.

When most people think of orchids, steamy jungles or greenhouses come to mind. Although numerous orchid species are tropical, there are also many that grow in the temperatures of a home or a patio in a cooler, northern climate. They include Australian Dendrobiums and Masdevallias.

Flowers by the Sea specializes in growing these spectacular-looking orchids, which thrive in cooler settings and on summer patios. You don't need a greenhouse that is expensive to heat in order to grow them. Our orchids are natural looking, tough and pest resistant.

Although our selection is small, we are proud of the excellent plants we grow. All are fine clones that have been raised with care and are easy to grow if you provide a humid environment.


  • Assorted Dendrobium keikis (twelve)

    (Rock Orchids) For those who wish to decorate a tree or the sidewall of your greenhouse, these are a great bargain. We grow some 40 different clones of Australian Dendrobiums, with an emphasis on the hardy kingianum, x delicatum and speciosum types.

    We will send two each of six different varieties of well rooted keikis (Hawiian for "child"), ready to plant, from six different clones.  If you order two, we'll ship twelve different clones.  All are labeled.  Most will bloom in one year, two at the outside.  So this is a very inexpensive way to build a collection of Australian Dendrobiums.


  • Bletilla striata

    (Chinese Ground Orchid) This clone has been in our family for over 60 years, and is dependable and easy to grow. The 18 inch flower spikes carry up to twelve flowers that measure almost 3 inches across. Starting in late Spring for six or more weeks, the flowers last through rain and cold. This is without a doubt the easiest terrestrial (growing in soil) orchid, suitable for any shady garden.

  • Dendrobium kingianum 'Elk #1

    (Pink Rock Orchid) Light pink flowers with a dark pink lip, often ten or more on an inflorescence. Better than ‘Ruth’ in my opinion. Cane size is mid-way between our 'Elk White' and 'Paul'. Foliage is very dark green and heavy.

    I suspect this clone to be a chance tetraploid. It is the best of a large lot of seedlings raised from a flask secured in Australia many years ago. It grows slowly, but is very hardy and eventually makes very large plants. We have a 12" by 36" tree fern slab covered with this clone at one end of a greenhouse.


  • Dendrobium kingianum var. pallidum 'Paul'

    (Pink Rock Orchid) A family heirloom probably secured at the Santa Barbara International Orchid Show in the 1950’s. Tall, thin canes grow in great profusion to about 9 inches. The flowers are large, pale lilac mauve on strong stems. Often there are three flower stems for each cane.

    We grow this clone in pots or in very showy teak baskets.  It likes moisture, but must have good drainage or it will decline.

  • Dendrobium x delicatum 'Elk #1'

    Dendrobium x delicatum is a natural hybrid, the result of crossing D. kingianum with D. speciosum.  It is quite variable in form depending on the ssp. of speciosum used.  This clone has 9-12 inch canes, rather fat, that expand and contract like as the moisture conditions change. It will get much taller and darker green in lower light conditions, but will bloom less.

    My guess is that D. speciosum ssp. speciosum was one of the parents.  I have grown this variety, a family heirloom, for decades in environments as diverse as full sun on rocks at the Coast to hollow stumps to garden beds to tree fern slabs. I like it best in pots, where it forms great large clumps that display large sprays of light pink, fragrant flowers usually twice a year. This makes a grand specimen in a few years.


  • Masdevallia coccinea 'Dwarf Pink' HCC/AOS

    A fine, rewarding smaller pink Masdevallia coccinea. In our experience growing this clone (almost 2 decades) we have found it to be very free flowering and more tolerant of warm temps than most coccineas.

  • Masdevallia coccinea alba 'Snowbird' AM/AOS

    The very best white Masdevallia coccinea (in our opinion, that is). Tall spikes, very large flowers and growth as strong an non-alba varieties. We even use this plant to grow cut flowers that we sell locally.

  • Masdevallia veitchiana 'Sol'

    Known as "the King of Masdevallias", this is the very best Masdevallia veitchiana (in our opinion, that is). Tall spikes, very large flowers and very strong growth. This is the largest Masdevallia we grow - the largest we have seen in fact.  We even use this plant to grow cut flowers that we sell locally.


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the plants that came were lovely well packed great root system with crisp fres leaves and large I an waiting to see how they survive my zone 5 winter !!
Ms. Yasmeen Moody
Nov 5, 2014