Salt Lake City Orchid Show: a Visual Feast

4 Reasons to Attend an Orchid Show

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dendrobium white purple

Orchid shows are a terrific place to admire a wide variety of orchids, purchase orchids and supplies from reputable vendors, attend classes on orchid care and ask questions from orchid experts. Since I live in Utah, I look forward to attending the Salt Lake City Orchid Show every spring and fall–the first weekend in April and the first weekend in November at Red Butte Garden

Orchids on Parade in SLC

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4 Reasons to Attend Orchid Shows

# 1 Orchid Varieties

First off, orchid shows are second to none when it comes to a wide selection of orchids. You’ll find rare and hard to grow varieties as well as beginner orchids.

Salt Lake City Orchid Show

If you want to see unusual or hard to grow orchids, orchid shows will not disappoint. Pictured above is a Cirrhopetalum. Getting this orchid to flower can be pretty tricky. At the Salt Lake City Orchid Show, this beauty was in full form.

Yellow orchid - Orchid Show

# 2 Vendors

Purchasing from orchid vendors is a real treat. This is your golden ticket to ask questions from knowledgeable orchid growers. Especially helpful is to describe the environment that your orchids will be living in (i.e. an east window, no greenhouse) so that you can find orchids that are a good fit for your growing environment.

Orchid supplies like fertilizer and handmade pots are other items available for purchase.

Furthermore, seeing the same vendors year after year gives confidence that these sellers know their stuff and that their customers are happy to buy from them again and again.

Dendrobium enobi purple - orchid show

The stunning magenta of this Dendrobium Enobi Purple enchanted me and I couldn’t resist buying it. Update: It has been a couple of years since I purchased this beauty. This is a great orchid for a home-grower. Every year Dendrobium ‘Enobi purple’ has bloomed for me with several clouds of long-lasting magenta flowers.I always look forward to purchasing an orchid (or two) from Orchid Dynasty, one of the vendors at the Salt Lake City Orchid Show. This year I went with a couple of Dendrobium hybrids. 

Dendrobium classic gem - orchid show

This is my other purchase, a mini Dendrobium Classic Gem. I have a weakness for minis, and apparently for purple as well.

# 3 Attend Classes

In addition, every year the Utah Orchid Society teaches a class on basic orchid care and offers a demonstration on potting orchids. These classes are lots of fun and LOADED with valuable, practical information. This is your chance to ask questions from expert orchid growers. Believe me, they are happy to answer your questions. Orchid enthusiasts love talking about their passion and are excited to nurture your interest in orchids.

Sometimes these classes are peppered with good-humored debate over appropriate orchid care. Orchid enthusiasts can get excited discussing things like what kind of fertilizer works best and water quality. At any rate, it’s helpful to get more than one person’s experience/opinion about what works best.

# 4 Ask Questions

Finally, don’t miss out on the opportunity to ask questions and chat with orchid experts. All members of the Utah Orchid Society wear name badges, so you can easily spot them to ask a question. If you happen to arrive during the judging you can see who the judges are and seek them out later.

Well Worth It

Lastly, if you ever have the opportunity to attend an orchid show, go for it! Browse the wide selection of orchids on display, buy a few orchids, make some new friends and ask questions from expert orchid growers. If you’re in the area, the Salt Lake City orchid show happens twice a year, the first weekend in April and the first weekend in November at the University of Utah’s Red Butte Garden.

Salt Lake City Orchid Show Fall 2018

Dendrobium bracteosum x Tanii

white orchid - cymbidium

Salt Lake City Orchid Show Spring 2018

orchid show spring 2018

Orchid Show April 2018

2018 orchid show spring SLC

spring 2018 SLC orchid show

  1. Virginia Tory says:

    Can you share the 2018 calendar of events, please?

    1. Anna says:

      The SLC orchid shows are usually the first weekend in April and the first weekend in November. When more information is available I will be sure to post it on my site. Thanks for your interest!

  2. Kathi says:

    I have one dendrobium starting to spike. Is it true that one should refrain from watering when dens are spiking? Please clarify.

    1. Anna says:

      Hi Kathi,

      If your Dendrobium is starting to spike, it is in it’s active growth phase, so do not cut back on water at this time. Dendrobiums do not like to sit in water, so make sure that the orchid potting mix is well-draining.

      Do you happen know the name of the Dendrobium you’re growing?

      Thanks for your question!

  3. Carolyn says:

    Just found your website via Pinterest today and so happy to see you live in SLC! I’m working my way through all your blog entries and am especially hopeful you address way to combat lack of humidity here. I’ve only been growing orchids for 18 months but have managed to keep them all alive and even re-blooming. I’m hooked!
    I wasn’t aware of orchid shows at Red Butte and will be sure to attend. So glad I found you!

    1. Anna says:

      It was great to hear from you! I’d love for you to check out my post on humidity. The short version on providing enough humidity is to use a humidifier and a humidistat. I keep my humidifier on low and don’t grow orchids that require high levels. I thought I wouldn’t be able to grow Cattleyas, but my mini Cattleyas are doing thriving.
      See you April 7 at the SLC orchid show!

  4. Chanti says:

    I think it would be so much fun to go to an orchid show! My biggest challenge is watering – I think I have it down, and then I think I “care” a little too much when I water. Your tips are really helping me though!! 🙂

    1. Anna says:

      Orchid shows are a lot of fun! I love attending the SLC show, and hope to attend shows in other locations in the future.
      You’re in good company. Overwatering is a common theme–too much love. Follow this link to learn more about watering orchids: How to Avoid Overwatering Orchids.

  5. Ginger says:

    I noticed that the pictures of Den. Classic Gem and Den. Enobi Purple are switched. I bought me a Classic Gem at our last Orchid Show here in Albuquerque. This is a beautiful flower. But I also love the little Enobi because of its simplicity. I’m a Dendrobium weirdo. I love your emails and look forward to them. Thank you.

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks for catching my mistake! I’ve fixed it. It’s nice to meet another Dendrobium
      “weirdo.” Keep in touch!

  6. Kathi-Ann says:

    I do so look forward to your responses. Thank you so much for your beautiful pics and explanations. The den’s name is “Morning sun #2.”

    1. Anna says:

      Kathi Ann,
      I love hearing from you! I hope your Morning Sun #2 is doing well. These Dens like a quick draining potting medium that allows them to dry out quickly, but then allows for frequent watering.
      Take care,

  7. Keri says:

    Thanks for the terrific post

  8. Debra says:

    Hi Anna,

    I bought the following from eBay:
    100 PCS Rare Black Orchid Flower Seeds Exotic Orchid Home Garden Bonsai Planting Seeds.
    My question is how do I grow them?
    Thank you,

    1. Anna says:

      I personally have never grown orchids from seeds. They are tricky to cultivate as they require a particular fungi to germinate. I don’t want to be a wet blanket, but most often orchids are grown from seed in highly controlled laboratory conditions. It is much easier to propagate orchids by dividing pseudobulbs or by keikis – plantlets.

      Here is a post that talks about keikis:

      Good luck propagating your orchids. If you do get your orchids to germinate, I want to be the first to hear about it!
      Have a great day,

  9. Nancy says:

    Dear Anna,
    I’m so happy you went to the Orchid Show because your pictures are GORGEOUS! I can’t wait to go next April.

    1. Anna says:

      Thanks Nancy!
      April’s show will be amazing! The orchids are always beautiful and I have fun capturing them with my camera.

  10. D. Bruce Allen says:

    When is this years 2019 November Orchid show?

    1. Anna says:

      It is always the first Saturday and Sunday in November. The spring orchid show is always the first Saturday and Sunday in April.
      See you there!

  11. Barbara says:

    Thank-you for sharing the beautiful pics from the orchid show. I’d like you to keep us posted on your new purchases especially the Brassavola Nodosa & Maxillaria Tenufolia. I also have my eyes on them wondering how they’ll do in a windowsill environment. Thank-you, have a great day. Barb💗💕

    1. Anna says:

      Thank you, Barbara,
      Yes, for sure I will keep you updated. I have plans in the near future to make specialized care information for the Brassavola nodosa and the Maxillaria tenuifolia available here at Orchid Bliss. I will keep you updated and let you know how they do. My Brassavola is a small plant, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that it is blooming size. The Maxillaria has lots of nice, fleshy pseudobulbs, so hopefully, it won’t be long until it shows me what it’s got – in terms of flowers.

  12. Ann says:

    Thanks so much for this lovely video Anna,such beautiful blooms! I live in New Zealand and would love to go to an orchid show-must find out if any are available here.

    1. Anna says:

      Thank you! I too would love for you to be able to attend an orchid show. I did a quick Google search and found a calendar of events in New Zealand for 2020.


      If it’s possible for you to attend, I think you’d have a wonderful time.

  13. paula van jaarsveld says:

    Dear Anna
    Your Orchids photos is great. I love them. My orchids is forming stalks. It is going to bloom. I am so excited.
    Thank you for everything. I appreciate.
    Greetings Paula

    1. Anna says:

      It’s so great to hear from you, and to hear such wonderful news!

  14. Dennis says:

    Hi Anna, I’ve been growing orchids for about 16 months now. My question has to with Dendrobiums. I have one from English Gardens plant nursery that I’m excited about because it finally spiked and is near blooming. But my question is actually about an orchid I was surprised to find at my Kroger supermarket a few months ago. The flowers have finally fallen off and the leaves are yellowing (most of them). Is it possible it is a semi-deciduous type? If so, should I stop watering or at least cut back on watering it?

    1. Anna says:

      If I had to guess – and that’s what you’re asking me to do 🙂 – my guess is that your orchid is non-deciduous, but is getting used to its new home. It is fairly uncommon for a retailer to sell a deciduous-type.

      Here is what to do:

      Use care not to overwater. I am guessing that the potting medium holds a lot of water – and your den (if that is what it is) likes to dry out between watering. In dens yellow leaves that fall off are a sign of overwatering.

      To save the orchid, your best bet is to re-pot using either fir bark or LECA. The trick is that dens to not like to be repotted – so be VERY gentle with the roots, disturbing them as little as possible. The best time to pot is when new roots appear.

      The good news: I have successfully done what I am recommending to you.

      Bottom line – don’t overwater and re-pot as soon and as gently as possible.


      PS If you do have a pseudobulb that loses all its leaves, leave it as-is, don’t cut it off. It will still hold water for the orchid and new pseudobulbs with leaves should grow.

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