Fred Clarke

Phone: 760-310-0778 Email:

SpecialtiesCycnoches, Mormodes, Catasetums, Cattleya, mini cattleya, Aussie Dendrobiums general culture
FormatOnline and in-person
Provides plants for sale?Yes


Fred Clarke has dedicated over 44 years to developing orchids hybrids and producing select species for the orchid enthusiast. These hybrids are one-of-a-kind plants, like original pieces of art. Fred began growing orchids and built his first greenhouse in 1977. He is committed to the education of orchid hobbyists from around the world in the culture of their plants. He is also a professional grower and manager in the horticultural industry; he applies these skills at his orchid nursery, Sunset Valley Orchids, located in San Diego, California. He is a passionate orchid grower whose curiosity in orchids is broad and varied. Although developing Cattleya and Catasetinae hybrids has been his sustaining interest, he is also actively creating new Paphiopedilum, Australian Dendrobium, Zygopetalum, and a few others to be named if they come out good! His pioneering work in Catasetum intergeneric breeding has led to the development of many notable hybrids, including the grex, Fredclarkeara After Dark, which produced “the blackest flower ever witnessed”, and received an amazing number of awards with 17 First Class Certificates and over 100 awards worldwide! Fred is an acclaimed speaker and travels extensively within USA, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, and Central America. He is an accredited American Orchid Society Judge. His hybrids have received hundreds of quality awards for orchid enthusiasts from the American Orchid Society and Orchid Judging organizations from around the world.

Talks and Abstracts


Cycnoches, Mormodes, Catasetums recent trends

This is a lively and entertaining presentation, amazing pictures and the making of Fredclarkeara After Dark ‘the blackest orchid seen.' Also includes a thorough review of plant culture. Cycnoches, Mormodes, and Catasetums are three related genera from the Tribe Cymbidieae. Individually, each has been considered an orchid oddity, or “botanical”, of interest mainly to the seriously addicted enthusiast. These robust orchids have occupied a small niche on the edge of a sea of Cymbidiums, Cattleyas, Phalaenopsis, Dendrobiums, Epidendrums. Until recently, they have not attracted much attention, but in recent years interest has exploded! Spectacular hybrids are been produced, receiving great acclaim from hobbyists around the world.

Catasetinae Species and their Cultivation

The genus of Catasetum is reviewed, learn about the fascinating sexually dimorphic flowers and their plant culture. These plants have a brief deciduous period in winter, when the plants need a definite dry rest period bordering on neglect. This talk will feature many species and hybrids of Catasetum. Learn about the fascinating sexually dimorphic flowers, with a thorough review of plant culture.

Venezuela's National Flower, Cattleya mossiae

Cattleya mossiae is the queen of Venezuelan Cattleyas. Once a popular corsage flowers for Mothers’ Day, it is now rarely seen in the cut flower trade. This is a beautiful expose of C. mossiae in the wild, amazing pictures of thousands of flowers covering the trees. Learn about the habitat and the perils that await C. mossiae.

Today’s Mini and Compact Cattleya’s

A detailed look at the species and latest developments in new hybrids available for the orchid enthusiast. In conclusion we cover the ‘best growing practices’ in the cultivations these little gems.

Spotted and Splashed Cattleyas

What a fascinating group of orchids! This talk is a detailed look at the latest developments in breeding these colorful flowers. Spotted and splashed Cattleyas come in many colors and shapes. Learn about the important breeding plants and what hybrids are available for the orchid enthusiast. In conclusion we cover the ‘best growing practices’ for cultivation of these showy orchids.

Aussie Dendrobiums and their Cultivation

Our friends down under have been keeping a secret, they have been breeding their native Dendrobiums creating some fantastic flowers; now the word is out! Aussie Dens are easy to grow, tolerant of heat and cold, have fragrant flowers, and they re-bloom from the old bulbs!!! They grow well in a wide variety of conditions, they are perfect plants for summering in the shade house and then bringing indoors once nights are in the low 40’s, or stay outside year-round in frost free areas. In conclusion we cover the ‘best growing practices’ for cultivating these remarkable plants.

Becoming an 80 Percentile Grower

Ever wonder what the most important requirements are for growing the best orchids? Learn why orchids grow the way they do and the underlying reasons for successful epiphyte plant culture. Then explore the fundamentals and advanced growing techniques to best grow them. Orchid plant culture is explained as you have never heard it before. Learn how to become an 80 percentile grower, expect to be wowed by this talk!