How to Care for the Encyclia Green Hornet Orchid

Overview

The Encyclia Green Hornet is a hybrid orchid. This fragrant and hardy flower is also commonly called the Prosthechea Green Hornet. The Green Hornet orchid is a result of crossing a Lancifolium orchid with a Epidendrum (Encylea) cochleatum or Prosthechea cochleata -- hence the name confusion. Many Green Hornet orchids are cultivated as house plants. Whichever name you choose to call it, you can be sure that with the proper care, your Green Hornet will thrive and grace your home with its beauty and fragrance.

Step 1

Position your Green Hornet orchid where it will be exposed to bright, but indirect, sunlight. A south-facing window is best -- or place your orchid directly under a skylight. If you must place it near an east or west facing window, cover the window with slightly open blinds or an opaque shade.

Step 2

Protect your orchid from drafts. The Green Hornet orchid, like all orchids, does not do well if it is subjected to cold or hot blowing air. Keep it away from windows with poor insulation and far away from heating vents.

Step 3

Create humid conditions. Fill a tray or saucer with pebbles and add some water. Rest the pot on the pebbles so that it is not touching the water. The water will evaporate, adding humidity to the air around the plant. Some experts advocate misting your plant with distilled water once each morning, which allows the sunlight to dry out the orchid before mold can begin to develop.

Step 4

Let air circulate around your orchid. While the Green Hornet orchid does not tolerate hot or cold drafts, this humidity-loving plant does need moving air to prevent the development of mold or mildew. Place a small fan near the orchid and leave it on a gentle setting for a couple hours a day.

Step 5

Fluctuate the temperatures in your home, but keep them warm. Green Hornet orchids should have daytime temperatures in the high 70s (Fahrenheit), and nighttime temperatures of between 60 and 65 degrees. The drop in temperature during the night will encourage flower production.

Step 6

Water your Green Hornet orchid when the soil is dry. Insert the tip of your finger into the soil to test. If the soil is dry, water the orchid thoroughly. Encyclia (Prosthechea) orchids will usually need watering about every five days.

Tips and Warnings

  • Be careful if you choose to fertilize your orchid, as they can be easily burned by strong doses of fertilizer. Use an orchid (30-10-10) liquid fertilizer at half the suggested dosage, and never fertilize more than once a month.

Things You'll Need

  • Tray
  • Pebbles
  • Water
  • Spray bottle (optional)

References

  • University of Georgia: Growing Orchids

Who Can Help

  • Purdue University: Orchid Facts
Keywords: Green Hornet orchid, Encyclia orchid, Prosthechea, care of orchids

About this Author

April Sanders has been a writer and educator for 11 years. She is a published curriculum writer and has provided academic content for several subscription databases. Sanders holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in social psychology and a Master's degree in information sciences and technology.