Brassia (BRASS-ee-ah) Is a genus of 29 species distributed throughout Tropical America. Most of the species are epiphytic in wet forests at elevations from sea level to 5000 feet. Culture of Brassia is similar to that of Cattleyas but with little more shade and should not be allowed to dry out completely. Most plants grow to about 2 feet tall; some with flowers that can stretch more than 18 inches from tip to bottom. The slender pointed sepals and petals of the flower resemble legs of a spider and the lip of the flower is shaped much like the spider’s body, hence the Brassia is sometimes called the ‘Spider Orchid’.

Light & Air Brassias grow best in bright indirect light. A shadow should be detected when placing hand 10”-12” above plant. This is the quality of light required for at least 6 hours a day.  Humidity should be 40-60%. If you do not have adequate humidity, place the plant above pebbles in saucer or tray filled with water making sure the pot is not sitting in the water.

Temperature: 55°F to 60°F night; 80°F to 85° F during the day. If temperatures rise into the 90’s, increase humidity and air movement.

Water & Fertilizing Always water plant in the morning with tepid water. Watering should be thorough, and the medium should dry at least halfway through the pot before watering again.  The easiest way to feed the orchid is to give it a weak solution (1//2 to 1/3 dilution) of fertilizer every time it is watered. Application of high nitrogen formulation (30-10-10) should be used in a bark-based medium. An even numbered formulation (20-20-20) should be used in other media or on slabs.

Potting  When the plant is outgrowing the pot or when the medium is breaking down and holding too much moisture (usually happens in 2 years) then it is time to repot. Potting should be done when new growth is about 4 inches tall. Use medium bark making sure the plant is positioned in the pot so that the newest growth is farthest away from the edge of the pot, allowing room for growth.


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