Next to the Rose, orchids are one of my favourite plants. The sheer variety and uniqueness of each species is just amazing! Like this one; Arachnis, commonly called spider orchid or scorpion orchid, even though it’s resemblance to a spider or scorpion requires some imagination as they only slightly resemble the above mentioned creatures.
This warmth loving orchid hails from Malaysia, Indonesia & New Guinea so they do well in warm, humid climates. This climbing beauty must be planted in full sun and is surprisingly easy to grow. The vine is quite thick and can grow to 15 ft high or more. You definitely need to stake this baby; it will grow at least as tall as your stake, fence or whatever you are growing it on.
The leaves are thick, waxy and flat, similar to a dendrobium. As a tropical plant, it obviously enjoys warmth and humidity. If you live in a tropical or subtropical climate you’ll find this orchid easy to grow and keep, if you don’t then you can still grow it in pots and keep in your greenhouse. When watering make sure you spray the plant and the roots – water thoroughly! When experiencing cooler weather you can reduce the amount of water.
Fertilize often! Weekly feeding is recommended. During it’s flowering period (summer) you should switch from a 20-20-20 fertilizer to a blooming fertilizer once per month (still continue to use the 20-20-20 the other 3 weeks of the month). This should give you the best results.
As for the blooms, you’ll usually get 10 to 12 flowers per stem. They have long, slender petals which are either striped or spotted and are available in yellow/bronze/reddish-brown and purple spots. The flowers are thick and waxy, like the leaves and make an excellent cut flower for arrangements. Once cut the blooms will last 7 to 10 days. The cut blooms are very sensitive to ethylene gas so keep this bouquet away from mature fruit & vegetables, cigarette smoke, dying flowers and excess heat to maximize their vase life.