What is Beallara?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Beallara is a name used in the botanical trade to refer to hybrid orchids integrating genetic material from Cochlioda, Miltonia, Odontoglossum, and Brassia genera. Known as intergeneric hybrids because they are made by crossing multiple genera, such hybrid plants are developed for the purpose of bringing out specific desired traits and they are very popular in the orchid growing community. The term Beallara is used in reference to a wide range of orchid cultivars, many of which are named after their developers or specific traits.

Man mowing the grass
Man mowing the grass

These orchids typically have long, thin foliage and produce several spikes of flowers. This particular intergeneric hybrid tends to be relatively hardy and can be grown in cool to warm conditions indoors and outdoors. The flowering period can be extended when plants are healthy, and once the flowers die back, the orchids can be moved to a cool dry place for a resting period, allowing them to store energy in preparation for another blooming cycle.

Beallara flowers come in an array of colors. Some hybrids are regionally specific, relatively rare, and can be hard to obtain, while others are available commercially. Whites, yellows, oranges, purples, and reds are all available and many are spotted or marked, making them more visually interesting. As cut flowers, Beallara blooms can be used in flower arrangements, leis, corsages, and other floral craft projects.

These orchids require a humid environment and can be misted if the air is not sufficiently damp. They should be grown on a potting medium designed for orchids, with lightweight soil and excellent drainage. Orchid food is recommended as the plants prepare to flower, and should be tapered off before the resting period starts. During the resting period, it is important to avoid allowing the roots to dry out completely, while also preventing them from getting too damp, as they can mildew or rot with prolonged dampness or moisture.

Propagation of Beallara orchids can be accomplished with divisions and careful separation of starts as they begin to produce air roots. These starts can be established in clean new soil and fertilized to get them developing. Other gardeners can be a good source of interesting Beallara cultivars, including hybrids they have developed themselves. Many gardeners are happy to engage in trades and sales with fellow orchid enthusiasts, providing access to a variety of unusual orchid cultivars. They can also be good sources of information on the cultivation needs of specific plants.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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