Angraecum leonis

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Aeranthes Grandiose

     Aeranthes Grandiose is a hybrid that was registered in September, 1990.  The seed parent is Aeranthes grandiflora while the pollen parent is Aeranthes ramosa; both popular Aeranthes species sought after by hobbyists.

Seed Parent x Pollen Parent = Registered Hybrid
     The seed parent, Aeranthes grandiflora comes from Madagascar's east/southeast coastal rain forests from sea level to about 4,000 feet (1,200m) in the central plateau.  Humidity is high most of the year and rainfall is moderate to heavy.  Aeranthes ramosa is the pollen parent and grows at about 4,500 feet (1,350m) above sea level in Madagascar.  It also is exposed to high humidity and reliable rain throughout most of the year.
     The hybrid, Aeranthes Grandiose is an immediate to warm growing angraecoid that has become extremely popular with hobbyists around the world.  Orchid vendors that carry the plants find that they sell out rather quickly and will try to get more for their customers so there does seem to be a steady supply.
Aeranthes Grandiose (young blooming plant)
     The plant in the image above was growing in a large amount of redwood bark.  It was re potted into a hanging basket in a medium consisting of charcoal, perlite, lava rock and a minimal amount of coconut chunks.  The size of the medium was moderate to large pieces.  Giving the plant quick drainage.  The plant is watered every three days for almost 10 months of the year.  In December and January, watering is cut back to every 5 days and then returns to summer watering in mid February.  I try not to let water set in the leaves against the stem, avoiding stem rot.
     Because the inflorescence is usually long, branched and pendulous and very wiry, it is best to mount the plant to tree fern slabs.  However, these mounted plants require water twice a day during the hot summer months.  Growing them in hanging baskets or shallow pots will require watering every two to three days (although I water mine every three days).  Make sure the potting material is coarse enough to drain quickly and allow the roots to breath.
     The stem of Aeranthes Grandiose is short.  Very seldom reaching beyond four inches (10cm).  There will be 5 to 6 leaves (average total of 12 leaves) alternating from each side arching slightly up into a fan shape.  Each leaf can be up to 12 inches (30cm) long and about one and a half inches (4cm) wide.
     Much like its parents, Aeranthes Grandiose can stress when temperatures reach into 90 plus degrees F.  Make sure that you are giving the plant enough water and that it is in an area that is receiving a steady cross breeze.  By using the coarse medium in hanging baskets or shallow pots will get fresh air to the root system and the plant will cool itself somewhat.  Humidity should be a constant 80 - 85% year round.  A warm green house during the winter months in the colder areas of the northern hemisphere will keep the plant in excellent condition until the warmer spring and summer return.
     I use a well rounded fertilizer throughout most of the year every week and change to a fertilizer that is higher in phosphates in the fall.  Returning to the basic fertilizer in winter.
Aeranthes Grandiose Bud
     The inflorescence can be 24 - 50 inches (60-125cm) long and can branch.  They are bracted throughout the entire length and are extremely wiry.  Flowers will open at the tips and open successively; not unusual that there can be two open at the same time with the flowers lasting 3 - 5 weeks.  The blooming period will last 3 - 6 months.  Each flower will be 3 - 4 inches (7-10cm) wide and 4 - 5 inches (11-13cm) high with a club shaped nectary or spur.  The color of the flowers will be an ice green to a lime green and have a slight yellowish tint.
Aeranthes Grandiose
     A mature Aeranthes Grandiose or specimen plant can have several secondary plants with over a dozen wiry inflorescence containing a couple of dozen open flowers and just as many buds waiting to open.  It is an amazing orchid to add to any collection as long as the plant is given all that is required to thrive.


  1. I have grown Aeranthes Grandiose for approx 5 yrs. You don't mention how much light these should receive. I have recently moved to Florida from NY. It has flowered well in the past in Phal light in NY. Since moving to Florida, I haven't gotten it to flower. I am not sure of the light requirements.


    1. Jane, The Aeranthes Grandiose I have growing is in a bright Phal type light. About 1800 - 2100 foot-candles. One easy way to determine that light is to use a white sheet of paper and hold your hand 12 inches above the paper with your fingers open and fanned out. The shadow from your hand should be distinguishable but the shadow edges somewhat soft. I am in South Florida and mine is in bloom almost 10 months of the year. I have had it over seven years and will say that I have hoped for more than five inflorescence. It has been a problem when we get our late spring or early summer rains. Be sure to watch for fungus, don't let water set in the leaves near the stem. Good luck. Tom

    2. Thank you for your reply. I just wrote a long response but it disappeared! I'm not sure what to check with the 'select profile.' I don't know what those choices are. So I can only click 'Anonymous.'

      I just moved my plant from under a Loquat Tree where it has been for a few months. It definitely gets more than Phal light. I just took it into the Lanai today and will leave it there as per your suggestion. I noticed I have 3 spikes growing so was pleasantly surprised. I am in Sarasota and it has been quite humid. I am conserned about fungal problems as I see it showing on many of my Cattleyas. I think I should spray Phyton. My question is whether you recommend spraying a fungicide?
      Thanks again for your advice and I'm sorry to have to click Anonymous as I don't know the other selections.

    3. Jane, It is not uncommon for a plant not to take well to a change in conditions. You have to give it some time to adjust; I find plants can be more difficult then people when placed into a new surrounding let alone a new climate. We are about to enter a rainy season in a couple of more months so be careful to not let the rain water set in the leaf axils. The plant can develop stem rot. I would use a systemic fungicide such as Thyomil or Dithane 45 every four weeks making sure to get the underside of the leaves. I use both by alternating every three months of use. I will be at the Tampa Orchid Club tomorrow (Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at 10am) My lecture sill be about Angraecoids. I will also be at the Florida West Coast Orchid Society on March 13, 2013. If interested let me know and I'll get you more info. If you are on Facebook, check out and like my page at Keep an eye on the plant, you will get there!


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