The brassia orchid (Brassia maculata) is a unusual orchid since its flowers resemble the long legs of a spider. According to Everything Orchid, it is found growing in wet locales throughout regions in Central and South America. The brassia orchid produces spike-like 8 to 10 inch long stalks with 3-inch wide, whitish to light yellow-green colored fragrant blossoms that appear along the length of the stalk. Although relatively easy to plant, the brassia orchid requires very specific growing conditions since it cannot tolerate temperatures below 55 degrees F.
Sterilize a planting pot for the brassia orchid. Pour 12 cups of hot water into a bucket or basin. Add in 1 1/2 cups of household bleach. Soak the planting pot for about 30 minutes. Rinse the pot off with hot water and set upside down to air dry.
Mix together shredded fir bark or small to medium lava rock along with peat moss and perlite, to create a good growing medium for the brassia orchid. An alternative is mixing together equal amounts of sphagnum moss, sand, charcoal, perlite and coarse grade bark or coconut chips.
Place the premixed planting media into the planting pot until it is approximately 1/2 full.
Plant the brassia orchid on top of the soil in the planting pot. Spread out the roots gently. Scoop the premixed potting mix in and around the brassia orchid until the planting pot is filled with soil.
Place a shallow amount (about 1/2 inch) of pea gravel, or other fine gravel, into a saucer. Pour in water to saturate the gravel. Keep the gravel in the saucer wet. Put the pot containing the brassia orchid on top of the gravel. This is very useful to maintain appropriate humidity levels.
Put the pot containing the brassia orchid where it will receive as much indirect light as possible. An ideal location is near a windowsill that has an east or west-facing window. Provide daytime temperatures of between 65 and 75 degrees F. Nighttime temperatures should never fall below 55 to 65 degrees F.
Fertilize the brassia orchid once every 2 weeks using a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20. Follow the directions on the products label so you will know how much fertilizer to use, and only dilute the strength by one-half.
Water the brassia orchid often enough to keep the soil moist, but never so it becomes soggy wet. A good way to water the brassia orchid is by filling a bowl or basin with approximately 3 inches of warm water. Set the pot into the water and let the soil in the pot soak up the water until it is visibly saturated.