Speaking Topics

If you are interested in having Kelly McCracken, HDO’s owner, come and speak at your local orchid society, please contact kelly@highdesertorchids.com. Due to HDO's weekly livestream, Kelly isn't available on Thursday evenings.  As of 5/13/21 Kelly is fully vaccinated and ready to travel to societies to speak! If your society is still meeting remotely, Zoom and Google Meet are still an option  

Click this link for a Bio and Photo of Kelly for your society newsletter


Speaking Topics:

1. Artificial Lighting 

Many growers have discovered the opportunities that the recent drop in price and increase in availability of LED lights has provided. But there is relatively little information about how much artificial light orchids need and what kinds of lights are best. This talk will go over the unique HDO grow space, which is entirely under LED lights, how we set it up, the lights we use, and some tips we have discovered while growing a commercial sized grow space all under artificial light. The talk will answer questions such as 

  • How much light?
  • What kind of light?
  • What spectrum of light? 

2. Miniature Orchids 

HDO specializes in Miniature plants for the home grower. This talk focuses on species orchids which are 3" and smaller. Kelly will talk on the culture of each plant, as well as discuss any fun anecdotes and tips she's learned from years of cultivating them. This isn't a "Pretty Picture" talk with slide after slide of scientific names that will make your members' eyes glaze over. The talk focuses on providing actionable information that members can use to improve their growing skills and curate their collections to be top notch miniature growers. 

3. Miniature Cattleyas 

This talk focuses on what we still call Sophronitis and Laelia. Yes, yes, these are all now Cattleya, but you'll have to listen to the talk if you want to know why we think they should be separate. We love tiny plants with big flowers, and Sophronitis, the rupiculous and hadro Laelias all fit that bill. Kelly will discuss the different species available on the market, how to grow them and why you need them.

4. Mounted Orchids 

Orchids are epiphytic, and yet the vast majority of us grow them potted! In this talk, Kelly discusses mounted orchid culture, with some tips for the home grower. The talk also includes an in-depth demonstration of mounting several types of orchids such as monopodial, sympodial, as well as large and small. Kelly will also discuss techniques and materials needed to mount your own plants!

For an additional $25 fee (per kit), members can order a Mounting Kit, complete with a plant, fishing line, moss, and a beautiful chunk of cork. These need to be pre-ordered for delivery at a society talk. Help mounting from Kelly is included. 

5. Fragrant Miniature Orchids - NEW!

The most common question we get asked about plants is “is it fragrant?”  It seems that many orchid growers select their plants based on whether or not the plant is fragrant. For those of you who grow in limited space, but still love a nose full of floral fragrance, this is the talk for you. Kelly will go over several dozen fragrant species that will stay small (6” and smaller) and their culture. She will also describe their unique fragrances.