All baskets or racks should be made of red cedar, or hardwood, and should be put together with copper wire or copper nails, to prevent rusting.
This beautiful genus is a native of India and the Indian archipelago, and requires a rather high temperature. They can be successfully grown suspended from the roof of a palm house, where a temperature of 60 to 65 degrees can be maintained during the winter months. Their resting season is from about November to March, after which period the temperature can rise 10 to 15 degrees as the growing season advances. They can be grown in either pots or baskets, but I prefer the latter. Fill the pots or baskets two-thirds full of clean broken potsherds or charcoal; place your plant well up and finish off with a good top dressing of live, clean sphagnum moss. Care should be taken to keep the plants clean; remove all decayed matter from their roots and replace with fresh when occasion requires. Give a liberal supply of water during their growing season; in fact, they should never be allowed to become dry, or the leaves will shrivel. The white and brown scale are deadly enemies to this class of plants, and should be watched for, or the plants will soon become useless.
Aerides Fieldingii, a very free flowering species with bright, rose-colored spikes, commonly called the fox-brush orchid. It generally blooms during Juno and July and lasts about three weeks in perfection.
Aerides crispum, another beautiful species, a free bloomer and of easy culture. This variety grows best in a basket suspended from the roof, blooms in summer, and the flowers have a very pleasing odor.
Aerides Lobbii, a dwarf growing species, does well in a basket, blooms during June and July, the spikes of pink flowers from twelve to eighteen inches long and perfectly round. This is a grand variety.
Aerides odoratum majus, a grand old variety, very free bloomer, beautiful, aromatic odor, flowers in summer, lasting about two weeks in perfection; should find a place in every collection.
This peculiar genus requires the same treatment as aerides, only they all grow best in pots and require abundance of drainage and plenty of moisture during their growing season, which is about the same as that of the aerides. A little good fibrous peat can be used with the sphagnum for potting. They are mostly natives of Madagascar. The following I consider the best varieties for commercial purposes:
Angraecum eburneum, greenish-white flowers, very sweet and very large, strong spikes; blooms during the winter months.
Angraecum sesquipedale; this species I consider the best of the genus. It is a good grower and has large, peculiarly-formed flowers, with long white tails of ivory whiteness, and very fragrant. I have seen these tails from ten to fifteen inches long. It blooms in winter.
Angraecum Ellisii, another fine species, with immense flower spikes of pure white color, lip a cinnamon brown; very sweet scented.
A terrestrial orchid, and many are also deciduous. They are best grown in pots, well drained, and the bulbs well elevated. Pot in a compost of good fibrous loam, some well rotted cow manure, a little good, sharp sand, and some broken charcoal, well mixed. Pot in March for flowering in December and January. They require a brisk heat and plenty of water in their growing season. An occasional watering with good liquid manure is very helpful to them. Place the plants in a cool house a few days before cutting the flowers for market, as this greatly adds to their strength and color. They should be rested in the same temperature as they were grown, but withhold water altogether until you wish to start them growing again. This variety is subject to thrips and should therefore be watched.
Calanthe Veitchii, a beautiful sort, with large, branching spikes of flowers of a fine rosy pink color.
Calanthe vistita rubro-oculata; this variety has flowers the same as the preceding, only differing in color, which is white, with crimson eye.
Calanthe lutea, a beautiful variety, with fine spikes of white and lemon colored flowers.
Cattleya. This genus is undoubtedly one of the best for commercial purposes, on account of its easy culture and the varied and extreme beauty of its flowers, which are produced at all times of the year and always find a ready sale in the large cities. Most of the species can be successfully grown where a temperature of 55 to 60 degrees can be maintained during winter. They can be grown in either pots or baskets, and many will do well on blocks of wood suspended from the roof, if the room is limited. All cattleyas like a strong light and should be grown as near the glass as possible, with but little shading and a moderate supply of water, even in their growing season. By keeping them a little on the dry side, you insure stronger growth and better flowers. Have plenty of air and moisture around them and you will seldom if ever fail to be satisfied with the results. Pot in a well drained pot or basket in good fibrous peat, with all the decayed vegetable matter removed, and some clean, live sphagnum moss. For blocks use a little peat at the back and fasten firmly with copper wire. Of course, plants grown in this way must be watched that they do not suffer from lack of water, as they dry out much quicker than when in pots or baskets. The resting season of cattleyas commences as soon as they have finished their growth, when water must be withheld just enough to keep the plant from shriveling. The white scale is an enemy of the plants, and if al-lowed to accumulate, will soon destroy the best of specimens.
Cattleya gigas, one of the finest species, from New Granada, has fine, bold spikes of beautifully marked flowers, pale rose and crimson, and yellow blotched throat. Blooms in April or May.