The way to Develop and Care For Lycaste Orchids

Lycaste orchids are a small genus of orchids finest recognized for his or her massive, engaging flowers, most of that are pleasantly aromatic. The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew acknowledges 31 species of Lycaste, in addition to two subspecies and three pure hybrids. Pure hybrids are created when two species bloom concurrently and share the identical pollinators. 

These stunning crops are much less frequent than among the extra widespread genera of orchids, comparable to Phalaenopsis, Vanda, and Dendrobium. Nonetheless, they’re gaining reputation and availability resulting from their easy-going nature. These orchids are nice for breeders and collectors, as effectively. 

Lycaste Orchid Overview

A close-up of delicate pink lycaste orchids showcasing their intricate spathe and velvety petals. The light dances on the surface, highlighting the gentle curvature of each petal. These orchids exude a soft, ethereal allure, inviting admiration for their powdery texture.

Plant Kind

Sympodial Epiphyte

Native Space

Central America


Shiny Oblique Gentle

Watering Necessities


Pests and Illnesses

Aphids, Caterpillars, Botrytis, Root Rot

Soil pH

Impartial to Acidic

Historical past

A pink-white Lycaste orchid dangles gracefully from its slender stem, displaying its intricate petals in gentle folds. The blurred backdrop reveals a verdant tapestry of lengthy, vibrant leaves, enhancing the allure of the solitary orchid in exquisite contrast.
The plant was named by botanist John Lindley in 1843.

The primary species of Lycaste orchid was found in 1798 however gained most of its reputation through the Victorian Period. English botanist John Lindley named the genus for the Trojan princess and daughter of King Priam of Greek mythology

Native Space

A close-up of a luminous white lycaste orchid, petals aglow in the radiant light. The vivid yellow center serves as a captivating focal point against the soft, blurred backdrop of lush foliage.
They thrive throughout Central America, the West Indies, and the South American Andes.

Lycaste orchids are native primarily to Central America however can be discovered within the West Indies and the South American Andes. They’re adaptable by way of setting and will be discovered from lowland areas to elevations of as much as 6,000 toes. L. skinneri, which is the preferred species, is sometimes discovered rising at larger elevations


Yellow sweet scented lycaste orchids rise elegantly, their slender stems reaching skyward in delicate poise. A blurred backdrop unveils muted green orchid roots, a serene canvas enhancing the orchids' vibrant beauty.
Lycaste orchids exhibit a singular mixture of evergreen and deciduous varieties, all with massive, aromatic flowers.

Lycaste orchids have a singular attribute not typically seen in orchids. Some crops are evergreen, like most orchids, however others are deciduous, dropping their leaves and flowering on leafless stems. Some types of dendrobium orchids are deciduous, however as a complete, the household is essentially evergreen.

These orchids are cultivated particularly for his or her flowers, as most orchids are. Lycaste orchids are well-known for his or her flower spikes, which maintain massive, splendidly aromatic flowers. Their blooming interval is throughout winter and spring.

A single plant can produce a number of flower spikes, every producing multiple flower. The flowers are massive (three to 6 inches) and are very colourful and showy. The flowers are triangular and have a waxy texture. They’re recognized for being long-lasting in addition to aromatic. 

Lycaste orchids are thought of sympodial epiphytes. Epiphytic crops develop in timber or different sparse environments and derive their moisture and vitamins from the rain and the humidity within the air. Their roots are uncovered to the air. In cultivation, epiphytes want good drainage and air circulation round their roots. In any other case, they’re more likely to rot. 

Sympodial orchids develop horizontally alongside a central rhizome, which produces pseudobulbs. Every pseudobulb produces its personal leaves and flowers, after which when it’s spent, the vitamins contained inside the bulb are helpful for the remainder of the plant to supply new progress and assist flowering. 

Makes use of

A close-up of a purple lycaste orchid, displaying delicate veining and a velvety texture on its petals. The intricate patterns draw focus, while a soft blur reveals hints of another orchid and lush green leaves in the background.
Lycaste orchids are primarily cultivated for his or her decorative magnificence.

Apart from the vanilla orchid, most orchids are solely cultivated for decorative functions. All orchids are edible, and the flowers can be utilized as a ravishing garnish. For essentially the most half, Lycaste orchids are grown expressly for his or her magnificence and decorative functions.


An orchid graces a wooden table, revealing its intricate roots shaped like a container, set for transplantation. Nearby, purple pots and a basin of bark chips add contrasting hues and textures.
Evergreen Lycaste orchids thrive indoors in zones outdoors 9-12, whereas deciduous varieties tolerate out of doors progress.

Most orchids will be grown outside in zones 9-12. Evergreen lycaste orchids want consistency of their local weather, so they need to be stored indoors all yr outdoors of these local weather zones. Deciduous sorts can deal with bigger temperature fluctuations, to allow them to be grown outside and solely introduced indoors when chilly climate comes to go to.

There are three various kinds of commercially obtainable pots made particularly for orchids. These pots have additional drainage holes to permit air to flow into round an orchid’s roots.

  1. Hanging Orchid Baskets – These wide-slatted hanging baskets do an excellent job of mimicking an orchid’s pure setting. They permit for optimum drainage and airflow to the plant’s roots. Nonetheless, they could be a bit messy, and the potting medium will are inclined to fall by means of the openings, making this lower than best for indoor orchids.
  2. Terracotta Orchid Pots – These look identical to normal terracotta pots, however they’ve extra drainage holes within the backside and, typically, the perimeters. The clay is nice at wicking moisture away from the roots, so these are nice for root well being.
  3. Ceramic Orchid Pots – These are by far essentially the most visually interesting and ornamental of the three sorts, and if you’re on prime of your watering recreation, they work nice. Sadly, they don’t wick moisture in the identical means as an unglazed clay pot will, in order that they do are inclined to create the next danger of root rot.

The way to Develop

If in case you have succeeded in rising different orchid sorts, Lycaste orchids shouldn’t be an issue. So long as their wants are met, these are straightforward orchids to take care of. Deciduous sorts might be a bit sturdier and simpler to take care of, however Lycaste orchids are typically not thought of excessive upkeep. 


A close-up showcasing a lycaste orchid in full bloom, standing out against a backdrop of lush, blurred leaves. The delicate petals boast a captivating pink hue adorned with intricate, deep pink spots.
The deciduous varieties require extra daylight, round 50% shade, whereas evergreen sorts thrive in 60-80% shade.

The most popular lighting circumstances for orchids range based mostly on kind. Deciduous Lycaste orchids want considerably extra gentle than the evergreen sorts. Deciduous sorts want the same publicity to orchids within the Cattleya genus, which is considerably greater than most orchids. 

Whereas they like the sunshine they get to be oblique, deciduous Lycaste orchids want about 50% shade. You can provide them direct solar so long as it happens through the early hours of the day. To supply flowers, these orchids want a big quantity of daylight. They need to, nevertheless, be shielded from direct solar within the afternoon. 

Evergreen Lycaste orchids want considerably much less gentle. These are extra just like Phalaenopsis orchids by way of their publicity wants. In case your Lycaste orchid is evergreen, it is going to thrive in 60-80% shade and shouldn’t get any direct daylight.

Typically, most orchids want their daylight filtered. They develop in timber within the wild, receiving gentle filtered by means of the tree cover. A sheer curtain is an effective way to provide your orchids the appropriate kind of daylight. I discover that mine do effectively on the within of a privateness glass window within the lavatory. 


A hand gently grips a slender white spray bottle. It spritzes a fine mist of water over the glossy green leaves of a potted orchid, droplets glistening like morning dew on its supple surface.
They require extra frequent watering throughout their progress and blooming durations.

Your Lycaste orchids must be watered extra steadily throughout their rising and flowering durations. Orchids sometimes want their potting medium to dry between waterings, however these orchids like a bit extra water and shouldn’t be allowed to dry out utterly through the progress part.

In the summertime, you might must water each three days to fulfill your orchid’s wants. Be sure that the container and potting combine drain freely, as it will assist stop any fungal root rot from setting in.

Within the winter, after your orchid has bloomed, you may drastically scale back watering. Deciduous Lycaste orchids want little to no water whereas they’re dormant. Evergreen sorts must be watered sparingly. Each seven to 10 days is greater than sufficient through the cooler months. 


A close-up of an orchid soil mix. The mix consists of fine-grade bark chips. Its porous texture facilitates proper water retention without causing excessive saturation, creating an optimal environment for healthy orchid growth.
Use a well-draining potting combine like specialty orchid bark to forestall root rot in orchids.

Orchid roots are delicate and really vulnerable to root rot. For that reason, an ordinary potting combine isn’t applicable for these crops, because it holds an excessive amount of water. Specialty orchid bark is extensively obtainable at most plant retailers. This combination of bark, charcoal, and, sometimes, perlite is a superb mixture for maintaining your plant’s roots wholesome.

For those who want to combine your personal potting medium, two elements bark to 1 half charcoal, pumice, or perlite is an effective place to begin. Simply make it possible for your potting combine drains freely.

When your potting medium stays moist, the natural supplies decay, inviting fungus to step in and make a multitude of issues. Maintaining all the pieces draining effectively is one of the simplest ways to fight root rot. 

Temperature and Humidity

A stunning close-up captures the delicate pink Lycaste orchids in full bloom, glistening with fresh water droplets, enhancing their ethereal beauty. Nestled beside these blossoms, ferns add a touch of verdant elegance.
Evergreen orchids want secure temperatures between 60-80°F, avoiding extremes of warmth.

Relating to temperature, there’s a distinction between the wants of deciduous and evergreen orchids. Evergreen sorts want decrease gentle circumstances and don’t like excessive warmth. These orchids want temperatures to be constant and keep within the vary of 60-80°F.

Deciduous Lycaste orchids are a bit more durable relating to temperatures and might tolerate far more warmth. As much as 95°F is okay for these orchids. Additionally they tolerate bigger temperature shifts and are high-quality all the way down to 50°F when dormant. 

All sorts of Lycaste orchids want a good quantity of humidity. Maintaining the air round them within the 50-80% humidity vary will preserve these crops trying and performing their finest. You should utilize a pebble tray or humidifier to attain this. 

I preserve my indoor orchids in a rest room window, as that is essentially the most humid room in the home and doesn’t require supplemental moisture. It is rather essential to keep up good air circulation round your humidity-loving crops to forestall fungus from rising.


A close-up of careful hands cradling blue artificial fertilizer granules, highlighting the attention to detail in their application. The blurry grassy backdrop suggests an outdoor setting, emphasizing the symbiotic relationship between the fertilizer and the lush greenery it supports.
All Lycaste orchid varieties thrive in 50-80% humidity, achievable by means of strategies like pebble trays or humidifiers.

Orchids are heavy feeders and like to be fertilized. Throughout their rising season, spring and summer time, give your Lycaste orchids a fertilizer excessive in nitrogen to assist them produce extra pseudobulbs. You’ll be able to fertilize your orchids each two weeks throughout this time, and the plant will love you for it. 

Within the fall, as pseudobulbs mature, swap to a fertilizer larger in phosphorus, which is able to assist your plant produce extra and stronger flowers.

It’s also high-quality to provide your orchids an all-purpose fertilizer year-round. A 10-10-10 method diluted to ½ power will give them the required vitamins. 


A close-up of red Lycaste Tropic Fire orchids display intricate petals against a backdrop of lush green stems, illuminated by the sun's gentle rays. Elegant water droplets delicately adorn the surface of a few flowers.
In spring and summer time, use nitrogen-rich fertilizer each two weeks for Lycaste orchids.

Orchids don’t require common pruning at particular intervals. When leaves are broken or dying, it’s a good suggestion to take away them to assist stop rot. In any other case, these crops solely have to be repotted once they outgrow their container, which must be each few years. 

Give these sympodial orchids loads of room to develop while you pot them. Place the oldest pseudobulbs towards the aspect of the container, permitting your plant to supply extra pseudobulbs and develop horizontally. An occasional utility of bonemeal will give your orchids a lift, as effectively. Simply watch out to not overdo it. 


A close-up capturing delicate baby leaf orchids, their vibrant green hues accentuated by the transparent pot housing them. Visible roots intertwine within the container, showcasing the plant's growth process, while a soft blur hints at adjacent pots holding similar orchids.
They want occasional pruning for broken leaves and repotting each few years.

You’ll be able to propagate orchids from seeds, however the course of is lengthy, arduous, and requires very particular circumstances. For that reason, most orchids are propagated by division, or keikis, that are offsets that the plant produces. 

Sympodial orchids are straightforward to divide. Whenever you repot your orchid, you may merely lower by means of the rhizome, sectioning off clumps of pseudobulbs. Just be sure you depart at the least 4 pseudobulbs on every division, as these maintain vitamins that may assist produce and assist new progress. 

Widespread Issues

Whereas they’re not troublesome to take care of, some points may seem with these orchids which might be just like the problems dealing with different sorts of orchids

Not Blooming

An Aggregatum orchid, leafy and vibrant, sprawls within a suspended clay pot, its aerial roots peeking out. Around it, a cluster of greenery creates a lush, botanical tableau, showcasing a diverse mix of foliage textures.
Inadequate daylight or vitamins are frequent causes for orchids not blooming.

In case your orchid fails to bloom, the perpetrator is normally a scarcity of daylight or a scarcity of vitamins. You’ll be able to regulate these components simply if the plant appears to be like in any other case wholesome. In case your orchid produces ample darkish inexperienced progress however no flowers, the difficulty is said to daylight, and your plant must be nearer to a light-weight supply. 

Shedding Leaves

A brown pot contains an orchid plant with yellowing leaves, signaling nutrient deficiency. The pot rests on a sturdy wooden table, set against a textured brick wall. The table holds purple orchids and a lone yellow leaf.
Lycaste orchids shed leaves from spent pseudobulbs once they lack vitamins.

It is not uncommon for the leaves to fall off of the pseudobulbs of sympodial orchids when they’re spent and now not present sufficient vitamins to assist progress. In different phrases, orchids drop leaves, identical to most crops, when these leaves have run out of vitamins.

Some Lycaste orchids are deciduous and can lose all their leaves as soon as per yr, proper earlier than or after blooming. In case your leaves are turning yellow and falling off on the flawed time of yr, you possibly can have a difficulty with bugs or root rot. Root rot reveals up as yellowing on the base of leaves and spreads progressively. 

Shriveled Leaves

A close-up of green orchid leaves adorned with budding flowers. However, the buds, once promising, now display a telltale yellow hue, their graceful form beginning to wilt and shrink.
Overwatering can result in dried-up, raisin-like leaves in orchids.

In case your leaves appear to be they’re drying up like a raisin, that’s more than likely what is occurring. It’s straightforward to create unhealthy watering practices with orchids due to their sensitivity to overwatering. It’s a lot simpler to right an underwatering challenge. 


A close-up reveals small, cotton-like mealybugs congregating on vibrant green orchid leaves. Their tiny, pear-shaped bodies and waxy coating protect them as they feed on the plant's sap, posing a threat to the orchid's health.
Orchids appeal to sap-sucking bugs like spider mites and aphids, resulting in nutrient depletion.

Orchids are interesting to bugs that prefer to suck their candy sap and deplete the crops of vitamins and water. Spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale are some frequent culprits. Most of those bugs will be eradicated with neem oil or insecticidal soaps.

Not solely do bugs deplete the plant of vitamins, however additionally they depart behind a sticky excrement, which gives the right setting for black sooty mould to develop. Black sooty mould is ugly, however greater than its beauty nuisance, it interferes with photosynthesis.


Yellowing orchid leaves show signs of disease, exhibiting blotches and discoloration, indicating a potential fungal or bacterial infection. A transparent pot cradles the orchid, revealing its intricate root system entwined within the soil.
Forestall ailments in orchids by sustaining good plant hygiene and utilizing clear instruments.

A number of fungal and bacterial ailments can have an effect on your orchid. Many of those are waterborne and journey from one contaminated plant to a different by water droplets that splash onto your plant when watering. 

Good plant hygiene and watering practices are the finest methods to forestall ailments from affecting your crops. All the time clear your instruments earlier than reducing any plant tissue, and isolate any crops affected by illness. 

Lycaste skinneri

A Lycaste skinneri orchid showcases delicate, light pink spathe gracefully enfolding creamy white petals, surrounding a radiant yellow center in full bloom. Adjacent, a companion orchid offers a serene visual.
That is extensively utilized in hybridization resulting from its white shade.
botanical identify

Lycaste skinneri or Lycaste virginalis
solar necessities

Shiny oblique gentle

hardiness zones


L. skinneri is the preferred species of Lycaste orchid, and it’s particularly well-liked for its use in hybridization due to its pure white shade.

There are various hybrid types of this species in several shade mixtures, with purple being a standard accent shade. That is an evergreen orchid, so it doesn’t like direct daylight and wishes pretty constant temperatures, making it a superb houseplant. 

Lycaste macrophylla

Red lycaste macrophylla orchids showcasing deep red spathe amidst lush green leaves in the blurred backdrop. The delicate white petals are adorned with distinct red spots, creating an exquisite contrast.
Lycaste macrophylla boasts massive, aromatic flowers spanning as much as six inches in diameter.
botanical identify

Lycaste macrophylla
solar necessities

Shiny oblique gentle

hardiness zones


One other common species of Lycaste, L. macrophylla, is known as for its extra-large flowers. Some crops can produce flowers which might be as much as six inches throughout! Their flowers are aromatic, and they’re very long-lasting. 

The flowers are so massive on this species that the stems generally have to be supported to carry up underneath the load of those spectacular blooms. This sort wants very excessive humidity and thrives finest underneath shaded greenhouse circumstances. 

Lycaste aromatica

Lycaste aromatica flowers, vibrant in yellow hues, unfurl in full bloom. Soft light cascades gently, enveloping the blooms in a warm embrace, enhancing their vivid tones and illuminating intricate details.
Aromatic and deciduous, the L. aromatica orchid yields quite a few cinnamon-scented, yellow blooms.
botanical identify

Lycaste aromatica
solar necessities

Partial solar

hardiness zones


You’ll be able to in all probability inform from this species’ identify that it’s a aromatic orchid. L. aromatica produces ample shiny yellow blooms that scent like cinnamon once they open.

These are deciduous species, in order that they bloom in spring on leafless stems. They tolerate extra solar and temperature fluctuations than evergreen species, making them a superb out of doors choice. 

Lycaste tricolor

A close-up showcases the exquisite lycaste tricolor orchid adorned with dew drops. The snowy-white petals and green spathe create a captivating visual contrast. The blurred leafy background enhances the orchid's elegance and allure.
Lycaste tricolor orchids boast pink, inexperienced, and white hues on particular person flowers.
botanical identify

Lycaste tricolor
solar necessities

Shiny oblique gentle

hardiness zones


L. tricolor is known as for its tryptic of shades, normally pink, inexperienced, and white, showing on a single flower. This species is normally, however not at all times, deciduous and can tolerate a bit extra solar. When stored indoors, it could behave as an evergreen. The flowers are small and plentiful on this plant, which additionally prefers excessive humidity. 

Regularly Requested Questions

They are often, however some varieties are costlier than others. The worth is set by the rarity of the range, with extra frequent crops touchdown within the reasonably priced vary of $25-$50 for a specimen that’s of blooming age.

All orchids are pet-safe, with your entire plant being edible. Consuming a big amount of pseudobulbs might trigger some abdomen points, however past some discomfort, these crops will trigger no important or lasting hurt to an animal that consumes them.

Lycaste orchids are recognized for the longevity of their flowers. It is not uncommon for one in every of these orchids to carry onto their flowers for two months, and infrequently longer.

Closing Ideas

This gorgeous and sweet-smelling species of orchid makes a beautiful starter plant and a beautiful addition to any orchid assortment. Its ease of care and huge, aromatic, long-lasting flowers make this a extremely fascinating and sought-after orchid for collectors and those that take pleasure in hybridization.

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