73-year-old Richard Sipko is called the “Cattleya King,” he has been growing Cattleya orchids for 45 years. It started with a request for a garden from his mother, which is when he realised he had a talent and liking for growing flowers.
Sipko recalls, “Everything I tried to grow, grew. I read an article about a woman in Wyoming who grew an orchid in the winter by putting on the radiator, and it bloomed in three months. I’m always up for a challenge, so I thought I could grow them.”
The Cattleya is one of the toughest orchids to grow and some of Sipko’s prized flowers will be put on display at the Fall Orchid Festival at the Phipps Garden Center in Shadyside.
This species is rarely put on sale but visitors will have the opportunity to buy a few flowers from this species.
Sipko will also be speaking about his methods for growing this flower. He is truly an expert on this flower as he has about 1500 examples growing in his greenhouse.