Which Orchid to Grow?

gerrit-takasaki-orchid-presentationGerrit Takasaki of Hawaii Hybrids in Hilo was on hand to discuss finding the right orchid at the monthly Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club meeting on May 14.

Outside the rain poured throughout the night, with the omnipresent coquíes competing with the P.A. system inside for the ears’ attention.

“Ah, it really feels like home!” said Takasaki with a laugh. “The weather, the singing … and of course all these beautiful orchids.”

Takasaki had many gracious things to say about the members’ own apparent growing techniques, remarking that the overloaded show-and-tell table looked like an orchid show in its own right.

Takasaki explained how he first became interested in paphiopedilums in the mid-70s. However, as his collection began to shrink, he switched his focus to cattleyas, which he feels are all around more robust.

“Bottom line is if you’re afraid to kill orchids, you’re not going to be successful,” he noted anecdotally. “You have to try.”

As for choosing what orchid to grow, Takasaki was quick to point out how perfect our climate is here in Hawaii, and the orchids sitting on the table behind him proved it.

hybrid orchids are often very robustTakasaki said he generally travels the orchid circuit giving advice to people on how to decide which orchid is right for them to grow in their home. Often times he will be at a convention in New York City, for example, and someone will approach him explaining that they living in an apartment that has a south/east/north facing window, and based on the surrounding buildings it will get light from this time to that time … what orchid does he think is best?

Of course, we don’t really have that kind of problem here in Hawaii.

“Here in Hawaii, we are so lucky with the environment we have,” Takasaki said. “We have it easy. We don’t have to do much, mother nature takes care of most things for us.”

For more information on Hawaii Hybrids, visit http://www.hihybrids.com.

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