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.
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.
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.