Guest Author - Susan Taylor
Reedstem edpidendrums are used extensively in Florida and Southern California as background landscape plants since they are tall. They come in varieties with flowers from bright yellows to dark reds with orange as the most prevalent. Epidendrums are very easy to grow with the exception that they need bright light and since they are tall, they tend to get top heavy. Be sure to grow them in clay pots with extra rocks at the bottom to keep them from tipping over and stake carefully as they grow so that they present their flowers nicely. Some people use bamboo fencing behind the plants to tie them to so that they will be well supported.
Epidendrums in general are extremely tolerant of temperature variances and this variety will tolerate temperatures down to freezing, or 0 Centigrade, up to nearly 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or 37 degrees Centigrade. As temperatures warm, be sure to increase watering so that the plants have plenty of moisture. Indoors they should be watered about once a week throughout the year; in general outside they will need watering twice a week or more during the warmest part of the summer.
These orchids are very fast growing and need fertilizing throughout the year. Fertilize weekly at about half the recommended amount on the fertilizer. It is better to provide light amounts continually rather than a once a month strong amount. Epidendrums also respond well to timed release fertilizers that will last a whole season.
If you have room for these great plants outdoors try several in afternoon sun areas and you will be rewarded with many blooms.