Manuel (Manny) Aybar

Phone: 214-934-9104 Email:

SpecialtiesOrchids of Dominican Republic, Orchids of Peru, greenhouse growing, Tolumnia
FormatOnline and in-person
Provides plants for sale?No


Manuel Aybar works in the Technology Industry. He is originally from the Dominican Republic (A grower’s paradise, as he describes it). He has been growing orchids for approximately 26 years. The genus that got him started was Dendrobium in which he specializes (phalaenopsis-type). Member of the American Orchid Society since 1997 and the Greater North Texas Orchid Society since 2000. Manuel Aybar is an Accredited Judge of the American Orchid Society Judging program, and serves currently as a Chair for the AOS Dallas Judging Center. His current research includes the orchids of the Dominican Republic, for which he has gone in numerous orchid collecting trips back to his home country. He has been extensively involved in the judging of many shows around the US, including the Miami International Orchid Show and most of the southwest region (SWROGA) shows (New Orleans OS, Baton Rouge OS, Shreveport OS, Greater North Texas OS, Fort Worth OS, Oklahoma OS, and Arkansas). He has also served as an international judge for Orchid Shows in Taiwan (TOGA 2010,2011,2013,2015,2016), Peru, Costa Rica, Colombia, as well as the World Orchid Conference in Miami (2008), Singapore (2011), South Africa (2014), Ecuador (Judging Chair-2017) He is affiliated with the Southwest Regional Orchid Growers Association (SWROGA), and within this association he belongs to the publications committee and serves as the Webmaster for the organization’s web site. He has given several Orchid Seminars and Potting classes at Smith and Hawkins, North Haven Gardens, and other popular gardening stores. He offered a series of orchid workshops for Range Rover, US as a part of the Land Rover Destination Tour. He is a regular lecturer for the local orchid societies and visiting speaker for societies around the country.

Talks and Abstracts


Orchid Species of the Dominican Republic

The Orchids of the Dominican Republic boast a captivating array of colors and shapes, adding a touch of exotic beauty to the island's lush landscapes. With over 200 species identified, these delicate flowers thrive in the diverse ecosystems ranging from coastal areas to mountainous regions. The diverse microclimates within the Dominican Republic provide ideal conditions for orchid cultivation, making it a haven for enthusiasts and researchers alike. Orchid gardens, such as the one in Santo Domingo Botanical Garden, showcase a stunning collection of native species, offering visitors a chance to witness the breathtaking diversity firsthand. Despite their aesthetic appeal, many orchid species face threats from habitat loss and illegal harvesting. Conservation efforts are underway to protect these treasures, emphasizing the importance of preserving the unique flora that defines the Dominican Republic's natural heritage. In this this talk, Manny covers the diverse species of Orchids and takes us to a journey into the orchids of his home country.

Dendrobium: A look at the Phalaenanthe Section

The Dendrobium Phalaenanthe section encompasses a captivating group of orchids celebrated for their grace and diversity. Known for their epiphytic nature, these orchids are found predominantly in Southeast Asia, where they thrive in various climates, from lowland rainforests to montane regions. The hallmark of the Dendrobium Phalaenanthe section is its elegant, often pendulous flowers. These blooms, which can range from pure whites to vibrant pinks and purples, create a visually stunning display. The combination with other sections of dendrobium such as the Spatulata Section adds pizzaz to the wonderful hybrids available. Cultivation of orchids from the Phalaenanthe section has gained popularity among enthusiasts worldwide. Their adaptability and ability to thrive in both intermediate and warm conditions make them attractive additions to orchid collections. Orchid enthusiasts often appreciate the challenge of fostering these captivating species, which may require specific care to encourage optimal growth and flowering.

Orchids of Peru

Peru, a country renowned for its breathtaking biodiversity, boasts an astonishing array of orchids that grace its diverse landscapes. With over 3,000 species, Peru is an orchid paradise, home to some of the world's most captivating and rare blooms. The mist-shrouded cloud forests of the Andes Mountains harbor an extraordinary variety of orchids, including the elusive Masdevallia veitchiana species known for their intricate and jewel-toned flowers. In the Amazon rainforest, vibrant Cattleya species thrive, their bold colors contrasting against the lush greenery. One of Peru's iconic orchids is the "Lady Slipper" or Phragmipedium kovachii, discovered in 2001. With its large, slipper-shaped lip and vibrant hues, this orchid captured global attention for its beauty and rarity. Peruvian orchids have not only captured the hearts of enthusiasts but also play a crucial role in local ecosystems. Some species form symbiotic relationships with pollinators like bees and butterflies, contributing to the intricate dance of biodiversity in the region. This talk includes many Peruvian orchid pictures in situ from Manny’s many trips to this beautiful country, from the higher altitudes of Machu Picchu to the lower elevations of Tarapoto and Moyobamba.

Greenhouse and Orchid Growing Automation

Orchid greenhouse automation has revolutionized the cultivation of these delicate and exotic flowers, bringing precision and efficiency to the art of orchid care. With advancements in technology, growers now employ automated systems to regulate temperature, humidity, irrigation, and light levels, creating an optimal environment for orchid growth. One key aspect of automation is climate control. Greenhouse automation systems can adjust temperature and humidity levels, mimicking the orchids' natural habitats and promoting healthier, more robust blooms. These systems also enable growers to create specific microclimates tailored to different orchid species, ensuring their diverse needs are met. Irrigation automation is another critical component. Precision watering systems can deliver the right amount of moisture directly to the orchids' roots, preventing overwatering or drought stress. This not only conserves water but also minimizes the risk of diseases associated with excessive moisture. Orchid greenhouse automation not only enhances efficiency but also allows for remote monitoring and control. Growers can access real-time data on environmental conditions, making timely adjustments without being physically present. As technology continues to evolve, orchid enthusiasts can anticipate further innovations, ultimately contributing to sustainable and thriving orchid cultivation practices. In this talk, Manny dives into his own experience testing many different devices for greenhouse automation that could help any grower have better monitoring and control of the orchids in their collection.

The Genus Tolumnia

The genus Tolumnia, a captivating group of orchids, enchants enthusiasts with its vibrant colors and unique growth habits. Native to the Americas, particularly the Caribbean and parts of South America, Tolumnia orchids are known for their small size, intricate flowers, and remarkable adaptability. Tolumnias are epiphytic orchids, often found clinging to trees in their natural habitats. Their compact size and vivid blooms make them popular choices for orchid enthusiasts with limited space. The genus includes around 50 species, each displaying a distinctive charm. Tolumnia variegata, for instance, showcases a delightful mix of colors in its petite flowers, while Tolumnia henekenii captivates with its bumble bee appearance. Despite their ornamental appeal, several Tolumnia species face threats due to habitat destruction and illegal collection. Conservation efforts aim to safeguard these orchids and their natural environments, emphasizing the importance of preserving the biodiversity within the Tolumnia genus. As orchid enthusiasts continue to explore and appreciate the beauty of Tolumnia orchids, their conservation becomes integral to ensuring the enduring splendor of this distinctive genus. As many Tolumnias come from the Caribbean, Manny has taken many trips for conservation efforts to his native Dominican Republic to photograph and promote protection of these small but beautiful orchids. This talk delves into the genus and the outstanding hybrids produced.