Galeandra is a small genus of epiphytic orchids from the American tropics, centred on the Amazon region. They enjoy intermediate or warm conditions (some species grow terrestrially with some elevation). They are not commonly grown, which is a shame as they are quite small and seem easy to grow. They have strict growing and resting phases, and should be treated somewhat like Catasetum (to which the genus is allied), with heavy watering during the growing and flowering phase, but restricted (but not completely withheld) watering during the resting season.
My particular plant (G. baueri) is still on the small side. I bought it potted in coir chunks which I’m afraid I detest, so despite it being in its flowering stage, I potted it into medium bark chips. This is normally against the rules, I know, but the plant carried on regardless with no check in its flowering and no noticeable wrinkling of the pseudobulbs. In subsequent years, I may add some moss to the mix to retain more moisture. Vegetatively, it somewhat resembles a small Catasetum. It has narrow, elongate, spindle-shaped pseudobulbs with thin textured, but heavily veined, narrow leaves arranged in a distichous manner. In common with related genera like Catasetum, the foliage can be a bit of a magnet for spider mites, which in their turn allow fungal diseases to invade the foliage. It is important to be vigilant when it comes to pests and to treat them as soon as they are spotted (I try to avoid using systemic sprays if possible – I find that a spray made up of liquid soap flakes will kill most pests). Luckily, as these plants are deciduous, any damage is only retained for one season. Pseudobulbs are also only retained for one season once their leaves have fallen, at least on my plant.
Flowers are produced from the apex of the newly completed pseudobulb in an arching raceme that blooms intermittently for several weeks. There are never more than two or three flowers at a time, but they are long lasting. As blooms begin to fade, more are produced from nodes on the inflorescence, and one pseudobulb can produce several flushes of flowers. The blooms themselves are thinly textured, but are surprisingly long lasting. The name Galeandra refers to the helmet-shaped anther cap. The blooms are quite large for the size of the plant. My plant seems to produce blooms that are rather paler than most of the pictures I find on Google.