Help me choose orchids, please?

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

My membership at Marie Selby Botanical Garden gives me a choice of two "free" plants as a member appreciation gift each year in November. This year they are offering four orchids. Two of them are Cattleyas - Atalanta 'Hawaii' and Summer Spot which I know I can grow, and are nice but sort of boring. The other two are Psychopsis Mendenhall 'Hildos' which has an orange/yellow flower , and Trigonidium egertonianum, a little one with odd-shaped flowers that I am intrigued with.

I know Jim has success with Psychopsis, but he has controlled conditions in his OC. My orchids are all growing outdoors here so I'm wondering if I would be able to give a Psychopsis the conditions it needs. I do protect everybody if the weather gets cold in winter, and most of the year the conditions are excellent for orchids - moderate humidity, moderate temps - but summer is a challenge to regulate water at times. I've had a couple of losses to black fungal disease this summer.

Please give me your opinions on whether to go for it with the Psychopsis and the Trigonidium, or play it safe and take the two Catts? To be honest, the plants they give away are extremely small, at least 2 or 3 years away from blooming, so I'll have to really do some work to grow them to blooming size no matter which ones I bring home.

Thanks Elaine

Brea, CA(Zone 10b)

I have to fight low humidity and heat all the time and especially this year. My Mariposa Green River Psychopsis has the five spikes it had when I bought it 2 years ago, 3 have already bloomed and the fourth is blooming now, the fifth is in bud and we have a new sixth spike about 10" tall so far. These orchids live outdoors almost all year. When it gets below 40, I rustle them in the unheated garage Right now it's 92 degrees with 28% humidity under the shade cloth. I keep it near one of those humidity trays along with some Masdevallia. If I can grow Psychopsis, I'm sure you can Elaine.

Thumbnail by ted5310
Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Might have to give it a try, then. It possibly will depend on how big the plants are that they are giving away. Good to know they bloom in your challenging conditions. Thanks Ted.

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