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Poor Man's Orchid

Epidendrum genus has been endowed with more than 1,000 species categorized under its name.

Epidendrum Orchid, itself has about 400 species, and is often called as Poor Man's Orchid as it is one of the easiest available and easy to grow orchid plant. A native to Mexico, these orchid plants demand least attention and care and even if provided optimum conditions do really well as a garden plant.


Descriptive Prelude
Epidendrum Orchid have gained a wide notion of an easily propagated plant. A native to the tropical and sub-tropical suburbs of American regions, this orchid plant is a well known epiphyte. An epiphyte is a plant which grows on some other living plant. A few species like Epidendrum calanthum and Epidendrum saxatile also grow on the bare rocks. Almost all the species acquire the qualities which make them highly adaptable to the severe conditions as well. That is the sole reason why various species can be discovered in the humid jungles, dry tropical forests, sunny desert areas and evergreen forests as well.

Though not so flamboyantly colored, these flowers are arranged in an attractive manner in tufts in a variety of inflorescence. The inflorescence types vary from one species to another. Most of the Epidendrum species are fragrant. The rich and dense inflorescence are marked by tufts of little colorful flowers. The colors of the flowers range widely from yellow, white, pink, orange and purple, and almost all shades in between. The plant is predominated with small green leaflets arranged alternatively on the stem. The colorful tufts of the blossoms are borne on an elongated spike which shoots towards the top of the plant. The flowering continues after short intervals throughout the year. Owing to its attractive flowers, it is also called by several other names as well such as butterfly flower or fringe flower.

In favorable conditions, the Orchid plant reaches up to a height of 3 to 5 feet. And the robust roots clench to their mutual support to get the required nutrition and care. However the weaker stem does need a support to grow upright.

A few prominent varieties of Epidendrum Orchid are:

  • Epidendrum aromaticum
  • Epidendrum cochleatum
  • Epidendrum moyobambae
  • Epidendrum radiatum


  • An affordable deal to decorate the garden in a superb manner. Epidendrum Orchid makes up for a well adorned garden flower.
  • Florists love the little flowers along with their inflorescence as it makes a superb cut flower.
  • The green foliage is another factor that lures towards making it a great garden plant.
  • Easily adaptable, the plant does not even need extra care or pesticides and fungicides as it is resistant to pests and diseases.

Growing Epidendrum Orchid
Also known as Star Orchid, Poor Man's Orchid are not that showy flowers however in the absence of flamboyant colors as well, these do not dwindle on the hopes of being an attractive plant.

Easily affordable, this flowering plant would not cause a hole in your pocket however will enhance the beauty of your garden.

Easy to grow, these plants are highly adaptable and will flourish well in the provided conditions.

One single stem is capable of proliferating numerous plants. Not only this once established well in the provided soil, the plant flowers throughout the year.

Poor Man's Orchid plant is pest resistant therefore it does not require extra care or over dosage of pesticides.

Before proceeding towards propagating a plant it is advisable to have a clear idea of their growth habits. As a variety of Epidendrum species grow on trees or rocks or moss grounds, it is preferable to grow this orchid plant in a well composted soil. This composted soil should be prepared by blending together a mixture of moss, bark of the trees or fern.

Epidendrum orchids should be transplanted to different pots as a year ends.

Sunlight is necessary for a well nourished plant growth however direct sun rays might scorch the leaves therefore ensure that your plant gets adequate sunlight but in a protected manner.
Higher amounts of nutrient fertilizers lead to enhanced foliage growth, denser flower spikes and stronger roots.

As it has a weak stem therefore provide a suitable support to set its growth upright. However blooming does not stop even if the stem is drooping down.


Interesting Facts
The first epiphytic orchid to bloom indoors was the Epidendrum cochleatum and this happened way back in 1787, in England.

It is advisable to pinch the older flowers to give way to new growth however in case of Epidendrum Orchids, beware. Once the plant has stopped flowering , leave the spike and it will flower again. Moreover in a few cases, the spike gives birth to Keiki or baby, and this keiki gives rise to new roots and a new plant altogether. In this case once the roots grow a bit longer, the new plant can be safely transported to its new pot or habitat.

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