Orchid Showoffs

The Orchid Show & Sale is on at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden.

From flowers worth thousands of dollars to your grocery store variety, orchids are not only beautiful but make excellent house plants. After all, they are one of the largest families of flowering plants with more than 100,000 hybrids and cultivars. Presented by the Virginia Orchid Society, the 15th annual show will take place in the Conservatory of Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (March 4-6). In addition to the show, you can visit various orchid vendors and attend free lectures (such as: choosing the right orchid) in the Robins Room of the Visitor’s Center.

More than 200 specimens will be on display for rigorous judging by the American Orchid Society (AOS), concentrating on the health of the plant. Senior Horticulturist Dean Dietrich notes that the AOS is known around the world for its high standards. “Orchid entries that garner a score of under 92 are considered unimpressive,” he notes.

But you don’t have to be a master gardener to grow one. The most common is the Moth Orchid (or phalaenopsis) which can be found in grocery stores and garden centers. Dietrich mentions that “because the roots are aerial—mostly above the soil—be careful of overwatering.” Too much may cause the roots to rot. For sunlight, make sure there is a balance; not too much light or the plant may overheat, not too much shade either. They are slow-growing plants, Dietrich says, so don’t worry if it takes its time.


  • Friday 1–5 p.m.
  • Saturday 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Sunday 9 a.m.–3 p.m.

Friday, March 4

  • 3:30 p.m.  Joe Mathias – Orchid Repotting Demonstration

Saturday, March 5

  • 11 a.m. Ken Meier – Choosing the Right Orchid to Grow in Your Home
  • 1 p.m.  Dayaneth Portilla – Orchids of Ecuador: Growing in situ and in Our Greenhouses
  • 3 p.m. Peter Breed – Phalaenopsis Species

Sunday, March 6

  • 11 p.m. Bill Goldner – Growing and Showing Phragmipedium (South American Lady Slippers)
  • 1 p.m. Art Chadwick – Cattleyas

Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Virginia Orchid Society

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