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What is Burrageara?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Kristen Osborne
  • Last Modified Date: 31 October 2016
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Burrageara is an orchid genus developed by hybridizing the Oncidium, miltonia, cochlioda, and Odontoglossum genera. It is available only in captivity and is an easy-to-grow orchid suitable for beginners and people without a lot of gardening experience. Nurseries sometimes carry Burrageara and it can be ordered by request or purchased through orchid catalogs. In addition, gardeners who work with orchids may have divisions they can share with people interested in cultivating Burrageara orchids.

These orchids produce long, somewhat spiky foliage and sprays of flowers in a variety of colors, depending on the cultivar. Like other orchids, they rely on structures called pseudobulbs for the storage of nutrition, and frequently reproduce by budding and rooting. A healthy Burrageara can be maintained for a long time with periodic divisions of new growth and repottings as the orchid expands and requires more room to grow comfortably.

Members of this genus like bright, indirect light, high humidity, and well-drained growth medium. Mosses and orchid potting mixes can be good choices, and some gardeners have success growing directly in dirt. They need to be misted or watered regularly to keep the roots hydrated and the humidity around the plant high, and some gardeners grow their Burrageara in humidity trays to meet the humidity needs.

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Indoor growing can be accomplished in most homes, as long as the orchids aren't stored too close to a heater or a source of drafts and they are kept out of direct light. In a dry climate, it can be helpful to grow orchids in an enclosed room with a humidifier so the plants can be kept humid without generating high energy and water bills trying to maintain humidity throughout the house. In warm, humid climates, Burrageara can be grown outdoors in the garden or in containers on a porch or deck.

Orchids can be vulnerable to mold and mildew because of their requirements for warm temperatures and moist conditions, ideal growing conditions for molds, as well as orchids. It is advisable to inspect plants regularly for signs of disease and to keep the potting mixture well balanced. When repotting, old soil should be completely shaken loose to give the orchid a fresh start. People may also find it helpful to rest their orchids after they have finished blooming to give them an opportunity to conserve energy. Resting involves keeping the plants in a somewhat cooler, drier space for several months.

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