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Fair at Instituto Allende Meets Orchid Lovers’ Needs

By Jim Roberts

If you’re looking for more answers about to how to grow orchids successfully and to find the perfect orchids for you and your growing conditions, come to the Orchid Market on Saturday and Sunday, September 7 and 8 inside the Instituto Allende. Twenty vendors from all over México will be selling orchids, orchid supplies, succulents, and cacti.

If you can’t wait until then for help with your orchids, here’s some basic information about orchids and their care.

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. This is the single most important distinguishing characteristic between orchids and most other plants. They often live in trees, where they get filtered sunlight, frequent rains or high humidity, and constant breezes for good air circulation.


Like all plants, orchids depend on sunlight to survive and grow. The sun’s energy is taken in by the leaves and converted through photosynthesis from physical energy into chemical energy and stored in leaves and roots. When the plant has stored sufficient energy, it will then turn from survival and food production to reproduction. The first stage of this is to form a bloom stalk that will hold the flowers and later the seeds. This is the stage for which most orchids are grown—for the flowers—while the vanilla orchid is grown for its deliciously flavored seeds.


After light, proper temperature is the second most important necessity. 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 in all its forms is the third most important factor in orchid culture. Orchids have evolved over millions of years by absorbing rainwater or humidity through their leaves and roots according to the moisture patterns common for its specific locale and environment. Most orchids have evolved a bulb-like structure, called pseudobulbs, for water and food storage.

Air movement

Good air movement is important for the health of orchids because they live in seasonally moist and often wet environments. Good air circulation provides orchids with the ability to dry off quickly. With the low humidity around San Miguel, air circulation may cause the plants to dry out too quickly. Good air circulation also helps prevent mildew and fungal growth.

The Orchid Market is 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. Come on September 7 and 8 from 10am to 5pm at the Instituto Allende, and learn more about us and about orchids.



San Miguel Orchid Market

Sat–Sun, Sep 7–8, 10am–5pm

Ancha de San Antonio 32

(Within the Instituto walls, almost to calle Cardo)



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