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Orchid Culture and Growing Orchids in San Miguel

By Jim Roberts

Orchids are in the class of plants called epiphytes, which means they grow on trees and other plants for support but not food. Epiphytes get moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, and from small pools that form on their host plants.

Light. Like all plants, orchids depend on sunlight to survive and grow. When the plant has stored sufficient energy from the sun, it will then turn from survival and food production to reproduction, first forming a bloom stalk which will hold the flowers and later the seeds.

Temperature. Temperature is the second most important factor. Temperature controls the cells, which control the conversion of light energy to chemical energy. When the temperature is low, the conversion is slow; when the temperature is warmer, the conversion is speeded up.

Water/Humidity. Water in all its forms is the third most important factor in orchid culture. Orchids have evolved over millions of years by absorbing rain water or humidity through their leaves and roots.

Air movement. Good air movement is important for the health of orchids because they live in seasonally moist and often wet environments. With the low humidity around San Miguel, air circulation may cause the plants to dry out too quickly.

The Orchid Market

If you’re looking for more answers about to how to grow orchids successfully, come to the third annual orchid market on Saturday and Sunday, September 3 and 4, from 10am–5pm at Ancha de San Antonio 32 (within the Instituto walls,). The orchid market will have 20+ vendors who will be selling orchids, orchid supplies, succulents, and cacti.


Sandro Cusi, from Río Verde Orchids, one of the leading orchid growers and breeders in Mexico, will present a one-hour workshop on successfully growing orchids on Saturday, September 3, at 1pm (in English), and at 3pm (in Spanish). The workshop will be held in a classroom on site. The cost is 100 pesos. At 2pm there will be a discussion led by local growers relating their experiences with successfully growing orchids in San Miguel. Admission to the discussion group is 50 pesos. Tickets to the workshop and discussion can be purchased on site at the information table. Admission to the orchid market is free.

Kick-off Fiesta

The fun will begin on Friday night, September 2, with a kick-off fiesta at Café Baile, starting at 6:30pm. Tickets are available by contacting Mark Smith at The fiesta will feature a silent auction.

Please join us on the weekend of September 3 and September 4 for a wonderful opportunity to see, buy, and learn about some of the most beautiful orchids available in all of Mexico. The orchid market is being sponsored by the Orchid Growers of San Miguel, a group of people whose love of orchids has brought them together not as a formal club, but as a fun, social group with one common denominator: everyone’s personal love of orchids.


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