Laelia anceps, a native of Mexico but
also occurring more rarely in Guatemala and Honduras, is one of the most
common, yet one of the most satisfying orchids. It's ease of care
makes it an ideal plant for the beginner as well as the connoisseur.
Laelia anceps is one of the hardiest for
cold tolerance of any of the Cattleya alliance, tolerating reported lows
of 22ºF without any damage, and high temperatures over 100ºF rarely trouble
it. it's blooming season is customarily November through January.
It is grown in pots or mounted, and in subtropical areas is noted for
being one of the best to naturalize on trees around the garden, where
regular watering is usually adequate. many trees (except pines)
are well suited for L. anceps. oaks are among the best of trees,
and jacardia, palms, citrus, fiejoa, dracinias, and white birch are quite
good. Plants should be tied or stapled (romex type) to trunks and
This laelia likes medium to high light, about 2000-3500 foot-candles.
Very low light is not adequate for successful blooming.
Laelia anceps is one of the more temperature tolerant orchids in cultivation
today, making it a natural for outdoor growing in southern California
and comparable climates. It has been known to survive winter nights
of down to 22ºF undaunted, and has no problem with heat up to 100ºF provided
it gets water.
Water frequently (weekly to daily, depending on conditions) throughout
the growing season, which is mostly April through November. Water
may be reduced in the winter dormant time, but it is not necessary.
Washing off the flower buds by rain or hose is often needed to keep buds
from sticking together.
Regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer will enhance growth, particularly
during the growing season of April to November.