This is a fascinating genus (Bauhinia) of tropical shrubs, trees, and vines which produce spectacular fragrant flowers. Often, many tropical plants are described as having "orchid-like" flowers. In most instances, a great deal of imagination is needed to arrive at that description. Not so with the Bauhinias. All produce flowers of different colors and sizes, which resemble the Cattleya or corsage orchid. Birds are attracted to their fragrant nectar.

Orchid trees are relatively quick growers and once you are familiar with their special quirks, they are not difficult to care for. Because they are tropical plants, Bauhinias do not tolerate temperatures lower than 50F degrees for extended periods. More importantly, they love bright light! If it becomes too dark, the leaves will fold up, so a sunny, well-lighted location is essential. During winter months, you can use foil to increase the lighting levels during the day. At night, the leaves will also fold-up but will unfold the next morning. 

Daily misting is helpful to avoid spider mites since these pests seem to take a special liking to Bauhinias.

Fertilizing and watering should be done as needed and will be dependant upon light amounts and temperatures. Organic fertilizing (10-10-10) is the best to use as a top dressing. I have not had good luck with foliar feeding and I recommend not doing it.

In the Northeast, I have found that some Bauhinias will experience a substantial leaf drop in late December and early January. If this happens, don't panic. Continue to mist on a daily basis and keep the plant well watered. By the end of January, new leaves will be budding up.