How to grow and care for Brassia Orchids (Spider Orchids) Indoors

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Brassia Orchid Care, Spider Orchid Care

Botanical name: Brassia spp
Subfamily: Epidendroideae
Tribe: Cymbidieae
Subtribe: Oncidiinae
Common name: Spider Orchid

Brassia Orchids Description

Brassia Orchids commonly called Spider Orchids are popular indoor orchids due to their spectacular, delicately fragrant and long-lasting blooms.

The Brassia Orchids are notable for their characteristic long and spreading tepals, which lend them the common name 'Spider Orchid'.

The reason why Brassia Orchids look like spiders is that they attract female spider wasps for pollination.

Brassia Orchids have large elliptic-oblong pseudobulbs with one or two leaves, a lateral unbranched numerously-flowered long-lasting flower-spike.

The Genus name 'Brassia' came from William Brass, a British botanist and illustrator who collected plants in Africa under the supervision of Sir Joseph Banks, an English naturalist, botanist and patron of natural sciences.

The genus name is abbreviated as Brs in horticultural journals.

Brassia Orchids grow best when hanging or mounted on a vertical surface to allow the roots free air circulation.

Brassia Orchids Flower

The flowers in Brassia Orchids can be spotted yellow, cream, brownish or green.

Brassia Orchids Origin

Brassia Orchids are native to the rain forests of Mexico, Central America, West Indies and northern South America where they grow as epiphytes on tree canopies.

Brassia Orchid Care, Spider Orchid Care

Brassia Orchid Care Indoors

Brassia Orchid Light Requirements

The best for growing your Brassia Orchid indoors is partial light (semi-shade).

Keep your Brassia Orchid away from direct sunshine to avoid sun scorch on the leaves.

A Brassia Orchid that is receiving the correct light has light-green leaves.

Too little light for your Brassia Orchid will result in dark-green leaves.

Too much light for your Brassia Orchid will cause the leaves to be more yellowish than green. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Brassia Orchid

Water Brassia Orchid thoroughly during the growing season and allow the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Brassia Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time.

Use tepid, chlorine-free water as Brassia Orchids are sensitive to chlorine and other chemicals dissolved in water.

Avoid wetting the foliage of your Brassia Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases.

Brassia Orchids are more tolerant of dry soil conditions due to the presence of pseudobulbs and their thick leaves there avoid overwatering. Read more on how to water houseplants.


Temperature for Brassia Orchid

The best temperatures for growing your Brassia Orchid indoors are between 16-290C.

Warmer days and cooler night temperatures with a difference of 10-150C are ideal for your Brassia Orchid. The cool nights are essential to trigger flowering.

Ensure there is good air circulation as your Brassia Orchid cannot tolerate hot and stuffy conditions.

Protect your Brassia Orchid from draughts to avoid sudden changes in temperature. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Brassia Orchid

Brassia Orchid requires a humid environment inorde to thrive. Set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Brassia Orchid.

Do not mist the leaves of your Brassia Orchid as it can lead to fungal diseases. Check out these techniques on how to raise raise humidity for houseplants.

Occasionally clean the leaves of your Brassia Orchid by damp-wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Brassia Orchid Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Brassia Orchid every 4 weeks during the growing season with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Withhold feeding for your Brassia Orchid during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Do not feed an orchid that is in flower.

It is better to err on the side of underfeeding than overfeeding your Brassia Orchid.

Overfeeding your Brassia Orchid may result in loss of roots thus death of the orchid.

If you overfeed your Brassia Orchid, it can also lead to vegetative growth instead of flower production. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Brassia Orchid

Repot your Brassia Orchid when the orchid has outgrown its pot and the new growth reaches out over the edge of the pot or when the soil has broken down completely.

Basically repotting your Brassia Orchid every 2-3 years should be adequate.

Repot your Brassia Orchid only when new growth begins, shortly after blooming is over.

Use a pot with proper drainage holes or slits as the roots of your Brassia Orchid need good air circulation.

The pot should be large enough to accomodate the roots of your Brassia Orchid.

Brassia Orchids grow best when hanging or mounted on a vertical surface to allow the roots free air circulation.

If growing your Brassia Orchid in a hanging basket, replace the potting medium regularly.

Use a loose, free-draining bark soil for your Brassia Orchid as the roots require good air circulation otherwise they begin to die.

When repotting your Brassia Orchid, shake off excess soil and trim off any dried and shrivelled pseudobulbs.

How to Prune Brassia Orchid

Pruning Brassia Orchid is easy. Remove dead and diseased leaves by cutting them at the base with sharp scissors or a knife.

When flowering is over for your Brassia Orchid, cut the flower stalk 1 in. above the 3rd node from the bottom to encourage more flower production.

Brassia Orchid Propagation

Brassia Orchids can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season once flowering is over from the rhizome.

How to propagate Brassia Orchid from the rhizome

Gently split the Brassia Orchid rhizome into sections while ensuring there are at least 3 shoots on each section.

Seperate the roots attached to each division from the mother Brassia Orchid root-ball.

Remove the old potting soil attached to the Brassia Orchid section roots and place each section in the center of the pot.

Bury the roots of the Brassia Orchid section in the soil while ensuring that the bottom of the pseudobulb is level with the top of the soil.

The best pot for the Brassia Orchid section should be about 1-2 in. larger than the pseudobulb.

Ensure the pot has enough drainage holes and slits to prevent root-rot of your Brassia Orchid section.

Place the set up in a shaded place until Brassia Orchid sections have established their own roots.

Water the new Brassia Orchids lightly to enhance root development. Stake each newly repotted plant.

Brassia Orchid Care, Spider Orchid Care

Brassia Orchid Problems Indoors

Brassia Orchid brown soft spots on the leaves

Brown soft spots on Brassia Orchid leaves are an indication of a fungal disease.

Remove the affected leaves of your Brassia Orchid immediately to prevent further spread.

Brassia Orchid brown hard and dry spots on leaves

Exposure of your Brassia Orchid to direct sunshine will result in scorch marks which are brown hard and dry spots on the leaves.

Move your Brassia Orchid to a shadier spot or protect it from direct sunshine.

Brassia Orchid mold on the leaves

This is an indication of Powdery Mildew Disease in Brassia Orchid.

Misting the leaves of your Brassia Orchid may lead to mildew growth if the water does not evaporate quickly.

Ensure good air circulation for your Brassia Orchid and stop misting it.

Brassia Orchid limpy and droopy leaves

Limpy and droopy leaves in Brassia Orchid are caused by underwatering. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Water your Brassia Orchid thoroughly, maintain the soil consistently moist and allow only the top half of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Brassia Orchid dark-green leaves

Dark green leaves in Brassia Orchid indicate that your orchid is not getting enough light.

Move your Brassia Orchid to a brighter spot. The leaves of a Brassia Orchid that is receiving the correct light should be light green.

Brassia Orchid yellowish leaves

Yellowish leaves in Brassia Orchid indicate that your orchid is getting too much light.

Move your Brassia Orchid to a shadier spot. The leaves of a Brassia Orchid that is receiving the correct amount of light should be light green.

Brassia Orchid leaf tips turning black and dying

The cause of black leaf tips in your Brassia Orchid is the presence of chemicals like chlorine and flourides in the water or accumulation of salts in the soil.

Use chlorine-free water only to water your Brassia Orchid and flush out accumulated salts from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil for about 10 minutes until it comes out through the drainage holes.

Brassia Orchid not blooming or flowering

One possible reason why Brassia Orchid is not blooming is too little light.

Move your Brassia Orchid to a brighter spot and ensure it is receiving partial light or is in a semi-shade.

Overfeeding your Brassia Orchid can result in vegetative growth at the expense of flowers production.

Feed your Brassia Orchid once monthly with a weak solution of a balanced water-soluble fertilizer.

Is Brassia Orchid toxic?

Brassia Orchids are non-toxic to both humans and pets. They are safe to grow indoors.

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