Jorge Luiz Abreu da Silva

Retired bank clerk since seven years ago, used to work at the BANERJ - Bank of the state of Rio de Janeiro.
Member of OrquidaRio (local society), lives in Itaboraí, near to Rio de Janeiro city, where he has a greenhouse.
After being retired, in order not to idle way, he decided to deal orchids in a small scale and with some savings, he constructed a 750 m² greenhouse.
He has an orchid booth in the center of Rio de Janeiro, at Carioca square, besides to sell direct at his property.


ON: Why did you star to cultivate orchids? Which was the magic moment of attraction ?

Ten years ago, I got a cutting scion from a friend who worked with me. Until then, I didn't know about orchids nor was interested in them.
This friend brought to the annual orchid show at the Modern Art Museum - MAM, in 1996,  where I stayed astonished by the diversity of shapes and colors of the flowers.
This was the fatal attraction!

ON: Do you consider 1996 as your starting point?

I had already some plants which I settled in the trees of my property in Itaboraí. During this show, bought some plants and should build a place to shelter them. So I constructed a place to shelter 40 or 50 plants.

Aeridovanda Harrison Luke.
Angraecum eichlerianum.

ON: How many plants do you have nowadays, approximately?

Nowadays, eight years ago, I have, between seedlings, cuttings scions and adult plants, at about 6.000 in cultivation.
Orquidário de plantas adultas

  Vanda Mimi Palmer.
ON: Which species do you have more? Which one is your favorite?

Hybrids of Cattleya, Brassavola and vandaceous.
I do not have a favorite plant, if I could speak about a group, I would say that I prefer the vandaceous.
Brassolaeliocattleya George King . Photo / Foto: Jorge Luiz A. Silva

ON: Why do you prefer hybrids?
I believe they are easier to cultivate.
Vanda Kampirananda x Ascocenda Seechang =  Ascda Chocolate Con Queso
Vandopsis parish

ON: How long do you spend taking care of your orchids, daily?

I've never cared about the time, but I think I spend 6 hours taking care of them, on the average.

ON: Besides that first attraction, was there any influence (people or fact) regarding your relationship with the orchids?

The spare time due to my retirement.
Híbridos de Cattleya


Which are the climatic conditions of the environment?

Itaboraí is located at the sea level, it is hot, the temperature falls down at night and the humidity is above 60%.
I use to say that orchid cultivation is like a fingerprint, it is unique. Every grower has a specific 'micro climate” and we should learn how to cultivate our orchids.

  Substrato pinus e brita
The observation is everything because only our plants can say if they are well or not, but the biggest difference to me is when I changed xaxim (tree fern fiber) by pine bark mixed to rock crashed, 3 years ago. I took time to know the exact proportion between the two elements (1/1) and, today, the plants answer very well.
Concerning my preferred group (vandaceous), I have been discovering, along the time, that what I have learnt, by many sources, do not always work well with me. I will give some examples:
I learnt that Vandaceous love strong light. It does not work like this.
Rhyncosthylis, for instance, are plants that prefer more shade with high humidity, the same to Paraphalaenopsis, Aerides and Vandopsis between other.
Vanda teres, Arachnis, Renanthera and their hybrid can be cultivated direct under sun light since you use the winter to do the adaptation before the summer arrives however we can not forget to water and fertilize more, if possible.

Rhynchostylis retusa
Paraphalaenopsis Sunny.

Papiolioanthe  teres  ou Vanda teres
Once, I noticed, in a green house in Thailand, an unusual way, to me, to cultivation Vanda. There was a big lake covered with plastic covering 50% (I asked) and concrete aisles above the water in a shape of rectangles. I don't remember how long it was but it was narrow, at about 2m. The vandaceous stayed hanged with their long roots almost touching the water.


When I came back, I immediately, tried to imitate this way to cultivate Vanda. Unfortunately, it didn't work because the climate was not favorable ( humidity).
I forgot (or putting it another way, I didn't know) a basic rule about environmental humidity. It works taking off where the humidity percentage is big to where it is lesser. So, the percentage is equalized in every direction.
The effect in my plants was curious and intriguing at the same time, until I discovered that rule. All plants had their roots, not towards the water but in direction of the humidity was
going. The roots stayed almost parallel to the wood-baskets As soon as I could, I dried up the water and put sand. Today, the roots are long and perpendicular to the container.

ON: One said that orchidophilia is a soft manifestation of madness. Have you done any "orchidophilic" insanity?

I believe that “madorchidist” would be the appropriate synonym for orchidist and an example of this happened to me. Once, my daughter, had two air tickets to go any place in the world and asked me if I wanted to travel with her and where I wanted to go. My answer was immediately: Thailand, land of the Vandaceous. I could go to Paris, New York or London, but I wanted to Bangkok, with nothing except for her English and, of course, the address of many greenhouses in that city.

ON: Thank you.
  Photos: Jorge Luiz Abreu da Silva

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