Plant of the Month

Plant of the Month – Life Style of a Winner

August 12, 2012

August’s Plant of the Month was Brian Donovan’s Paph. Hiro Luna. Below he describes the conditions he uses to grow this winning plant:

Orchid’s full name: Paph. Hiro Luna (Paph. S. Gratrix ‘Magic Bell’ x Paph. Bella Lucia ‘Burgundy Fusion’).

Watering. This Paph. is in the Brachypetalum Alliance and they’re a little bit tricky. I’ve killed a few with overwatering. I suggest keeping it a little drier than the other Paphs in your collection. Perhaps water the Brachys a day or two after you normally water your Paphs. I use RO water about half the time.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Intermediate to warm – I keep it indoors all year.

Light: Brachys like a little bit more light compared to most Paphs. I had my plant growing in a windowsill. When it started to spike, I relocated it a few inches in front of a 75W CFL bulb so it was receiving a mix of natural light and fluorescent light.

Fertilizing: I worry about over-fertilizing my Paphs., so I tend to do it lightly (1/4 tsp. per gallon, about once a week – more in the summer and less in the winter). I’m currently using Jack’s 30-10-10.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.): I lost a Brachy to brown rot and I think it’s because I didn’t have enough air movement. Now I have a small fan running constantly.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.): I love these plants because the foliage looks great all year.

Where can this orchid be purchased? I purchased it from Sam Tsui (Orchid Inn) when he visited the OSGKC in 2010. I don’t think he has more Hiro Luna, but he has other Brachy hybrids for sale on the Orchid Inn website.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid: Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid. I have several blog posts about Brachys. This post is especially helpful about Brachy hybrids.

June 10, 2012

June’s Plant of the Month was Rick Day’s Masdevallia triangularis. Below he describes the conditions he uses to grow this winning plant:

Orchid’s full name: Masdevallia triangularis.

Watering: Rain water every 1-2 days with hand pump type sprayer.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs):  Summer 75-78 days, 68-72 nights. Winter 65-70 days, 52-55 nights.

Light: T5 florescent at 24-in. Winter-16 hrs.  Summer 13 hrs.

Fertilizing:  Weakly/weekly. MSU formula. Foliar spray ½ strength.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Very breezy 24/7.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.): Can be quite floriferous.

Where can this orchid be purchased? Internet, Ecuagenera, Colombian Orchid, etc.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid: Potting mix seems to be important. I use high quality sphagnum moss in plastic pots packed fairly loosely.

October 9, 2011

Two Plant of the Month winners were selected for October: Doug Martin’s and Glenn Lessenden’s  Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester  (Rossioglossum grande x Rossoiglossum williamsianum). The plants’ owners describe their growing conditions below.

Doug Martin’s Cattleya Brian Carwile ‘Sparky’ AM/AOS (C. Mini Purple x C. violacea):

Watering. I use rain water plus fertilizer about every 5 -7 days. I let it get dry for a day or so between watering.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): It’s outside in my lath house in the summer, so it gets the ambient temps. In the winter it’s in my light room which runs in the mid 80’s during the day and about 70 at night.

Light: Bright!

Fertilizing: I fertilize with every watering; 100 parts per million nitrogen, except once a month when I flush with about one-quarter strength.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.):  Definitely breezy. Fans run 24/7.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.):  Nicely scented.

Where can this orchid be purchased?: I bought it from Sunset Valley Orchids when the owner, Fred Clark, was here as a speaker in 2007.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid:  I purchased it as a seedling. It was awarded on its first blooming in 2009. I named after our old cat.

Glenn Lessenden’s Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester (Rossioglossum grande x Rossoiglossum williamsianum)

Watering: I have this plant in a 6-inch plastic pot and water it weekly or perhaps a little more in the summer.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Typical intermediate temperatures. This plant stays in the greenhouse so summer max temps are 85-90 and winter lows are 42-45.

Light: Ambient. Shade cloth in the summer is 40-60% depending on how much I’m trying to keep things cool. No shade cloth from Oct- March.

Fertilizing: I use R/O water or rain and Scott’s Excell fertilizer with cal-mag mixed half strength year round. I cut down both water and fertilizer in the winter.

Atmosphere(i.e., breezy or not, etc.): In the greenhouse fans are running 24/7.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.): Large showy flowers

Where can this orchid be purchased?:  Santa Barbara Orchid Estate and probably other vendors.

Other helpful information about this orchid?:  I had seen Rossioglossums with their large attractive flowers at regional orchid shows. I tried a Rossioglossum grande and killed it. I read an article in Orchids magazine about this plant, a primary hybrid that was supposed to be easier than either parent to grow and thought it would be worth the effort.

[Thanks to Susie Hanna for providing the photographs.]

September 11, 2011

The September 2011 Plant of the Month winner was Mary Ann Stevenson’s  Oncidium sphacelatum. Mary Ann provides cultural tips below.

Watering:  Outside in spring/summer–mist two times a day. inside–let dry out and use city water to drench, about once a week

Temperature:  Indoors–moderate

FertilizingGrow More products, weakly, weekly, usually once a week.

Atmosphere:  Indoors–60%

Lighting:  High intensity, 10-12 day

Special features:  Tall flower spike (36 inches or more), needs staking

Where purchased:  Vicli in October 2007

Other helpful info:  Blooms once a year, lasts approx. 2-3 months

in medium bark mix.

August 14, 2011

Susie Hanna’s Phal equestris var. aurea  was the August 14, 2011, Plant of the Month winner. Below are the details of the care she gives her award-winning plant.

Watering: Almost dry between watering.  Good quality water.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): 60-85 degrees.

Light: Indirect, phalaenopsis light

Fertilizing: Michigan State Fertilizer when growing a new leaf.

Atmosphere(i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Good air movement.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.): This is the uncommon, yellow or aurea form of the species equestris. What’s really remarkable is how clear and strong the yellow lip is against the white background.

Where can this orchid be purchased? Contact Peter Lin, Big Leaf Orchids,

Other helpful information about this orchid? This is the first time it has made three spikes. I bought the plant as a young seedling three years ago, so it’s grown quickly. This is its third time to bloom for me.

June 12, 2011

Lorinda Walters’s Phalaenopsis Jackie Debonis was the June 12, 2011, Plant of the Month winner. Below are the details of the care she gives her award-winning plant.

Watering. In fir bark: once a week with luke warm water, drenching the fir bark for several minutes. (This one is in fir bark.) In sphagnum moss: when the moss gets dry and crusty (every two weeks in warm weather, longer in cold weather).

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Cool in the late fall, winter and early spring, in the 60s, day and night. (My ideal temperature range was 68 day, 59 night.) In late spring, summer and early fall, no higher than 75 degrees during the day, and upper 60s at night. Even though Phalaenopsis are warm-loving plants, they bloom longer for me when not exposed to high summer temperatures in the 80s and 90s.

Light: In east windows: direct sunlight filtered through large trees. In west windows: one or two sheer curtains when the afternoon sun is bright.

Fertilizing: Grow More orchid fertilizer every two weeks year round, at full strength, after watering: 6-30-30 starting the month before I begin the fall cool-down period, during spiking and blooming; and 20-10-20 when the orchids are not in bloom.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Box fans in each room keep a gentle breeze blowing at all times on the orchids. I try to keep the humidity levels at 50% to 75%.  In winter, at least 50% humidity (central heat and space heaters destroy humidity, so monitor carefully).

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.): The vivid purple stripes drew my attention to this orchid. (It is my “dream” orchid, one I would buy anytime, anywhere for any price, even if I had no space at home to keep it.)

Where can this orchid be purchased? I bought this orchid at Family Tree Nursery in Overland Park, Kansas.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid: I grow inside my home, and grow cooler and slower than most people would recommend for Phalaenopsis. The cooler temps help the orchid spike better, produce more buds, and the flowers have brighter and more vivid colors. The cooler temperatures also make the flowers last longer, sometimes six months or more. My orchids seem to thrive in high humidity. I have found that if I meet their humidity needs, the orchids will do almost anything for me, even under less than ideal conditions

May 15, 2011

Doug Martin’s Cypripedium macranthos was the May 15, 2011, Plant of the Month winner. Below are the details of the care he gives his award-winning plant.

Watering: I water it before the medium dries out. The roots should never be allowed to get dry.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): It’s a cool growing hardy species from northern Asia.  It doesn’t like temperatures above 80 F. I keep it outside most of the year except for the summer. Them I keep it under lights in my basement where it stays in the mid 70’s.

Light: Bright shade. About like Cattleyas.

Fertilizing: Very light. I use the same fertilizer as on my tropicals, but at one-quarter the strength; about 25 parts per million nitrogen.  I water it with this solution once a month and apply it as a foliar spray two weeks later.

Atmosphere(i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Yes, breezy.

Where can this orchid be purchased? Seedlings are available from Spangle Creek Lab, which is where I got it. Itasca Ladyslipper farm has blooming sized plants.

Other helpful information about this orchid? I grow it in a large container so the roots, which naturally grow wide and shallow, have room run.  The container has a solid bottom and drainage holds on the side.  The space below the holes acts as a reservoir that helps maintain a consistent moisture level around the roots.

March 13, 2011

Glenn Lessenden’s Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester  (Rossioglossum grande x Rossoiglossum williamsianum) was the March 13, 2011, Plant of the Month winner. Below are the details of the care he gives his award-winning plant.

Watering: I have this plant in a six-inch plastic pot and water it weekly or perhaps a little more in the summer.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Typical intermediate temperatures. This plant stays in the greenhouse, so summer max temps are 85-90 and winter lows are 42-45.

Light: Ambient. Shade cloth in the summer is 40-60% depending on how much I’m trying to keep things cool. No shade cloth from Oct. to March.

Fertilizing: I use R/O water or rain and Scott’s Excell fertilizer with cal-mag  mixed ½ strength year round. I cut down both water and fertilizer in the winter.

Atmosphere(i.e., breezy or not, etc.): In the greenhouse, fans are running 24/7.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.):Large showy flowers.

Where can this orchid be purchased? Santa Barbara Orchid Estate and probably other vendors

Other helpful information about this orchid? I had seen Rossioglossums with their large attractive flowers at regional orchid shows. I tried a Rossioglossum grande and killed it. I read an article in Orchids magazine about this plant, a primary hybrid that was supposed to be easier than either parent to grow and thought it would be worth the effort.

February 6, 2011

Brian Donovan’s Brassavola Little Stars ‘Yasuji Takasaki’ was the Feb. 6, 2011 Plant of the Month winner. Below are the details of the care he gives his award-winning plant.

Watering: This plant likes to dry out completely before being watering, which means I water it about every other day during the hottest weeks of July, and I water it about every 5-10 days during the winter.

Temperature: I’ve read that Brassavolas grow well in an intermediate temperature range (55-60º F at night and 70-75º F during the day). My growing environment is close to this, but I’ve often struggled to get a 10-15º day/night temperature difference. You can read more about my efforts in that regard here.

Light: B. Little Stars occupies the center stage of West-facing window with about 100 watts of compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) directly above, about four inches from the top of the pseudobulbs. I kept it outside in near-full sun during the summer. I give it as much light as I can.

Fertilizing: I’ve used Jack’s 20-20-20 for the last year or so. I water with a very light blue solution during the Fall and Winter (approx. 1/8th tsp. – ½ tsp. per gal.) and a darker blue solution during the Spring and Summer (approx. ½ tsp. – 1 tsp. per gal.). I try to error on the side of under-feeding, especially during the winter, but my fertilizing regimen could probably benefit from greater standardization. I’m working on it.

Atmosphere: About 70% of my collection are Paphiopedilums, so I keep The Orchid Room (formerly known as The Guest Bedroom) extra breezy. I’m sure all of the plants benefit from it, but the Paphs seem to appreciate it the most. For this, I run a small circular fan (24/7) about three feet behind the plants at a 45º diagonal to a front corner of the room (in other words, it’s not pointed directly at the plants). At the other front corner, opposite of where the fan points, I run a humidifier (a Sunbeam Cool Mist Tower) 24/7 during the Fall and Winter, and as-needed during Spring and Summer afternoons. Since the influx of Paphs, I’ve run an oscillating fan in the back of the room for 2-3 hours after I water (most of the time).

Special features: Like its parents B. subulifolia (formerly B. cordata) and B. nodosa, B. Little Stars gives off a heavenly scent about two hours after nightfall. I’ve heard that some people don’t like the perfume of B. nodosa and that makes no sense to me whatsoever. I absolutely love the look of the flowers. Individually, they look like little space ships. As a whole plant, with the right amount of low light, I can see the little stars and the logic behind the naming strategy.

Where can this orchid be purchased? I bought mine in December 2009 at Bird’s Botanicals after attending one of David Bird’s orchid classes.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid: The AOS gave two flower awards to B. Little Stars (one HCC and one AM) and eight cultural awards (all CCMs) since the hybrid’s registration in 1983 by Fred Stewart. The CCMs had an average number of 380 flowers. My Little Stars, with 42 flowers, seems like a galaxy away from the award photos on OrchidWiz, but it’s come a long way in a single year (see last year’s flowers here) and it brings me immense happiness (despite a growing slipper orchid obsession).

January 9, 2011

Susie Hanna’s Cattleya Hilda Battle was one of two winners for the January 2011 Plant of the Month. Susie provides information on the steps she takes to maintaining her award-winning plant:

Watering: Once a week in cool months, lots of rainfall in the summer.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Being a Cattleya, heat tolerant, with lows in the winter of 50-55.

Light: Full sun in the morning before 10 am, then filtered light.

Fertilizing: 20-20-20 in Spring, Summer, early Fall, weekly, with less frequency in the winter.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Outside in the Summer, and air circulation with fans in plant room in the winter.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.): A classic, 7-inch frilly corsage orchid with a lovely scent 

Where can this orchid be purchased? This is an old cross, from 1966.  Mine came from the Missouri Botanical Gardens.  Otherwise, I haven’t seen it commercially available.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid: Hilda Battle is the daughter of Cattleya General George Patton.


Jami Parkison’s Paph. St. Swithin (Paph. philippinense ‘Alfrod’ AM/AOS x rothschildianum ‘Admiral’) was one of two winners for the January 2011 Plant of the Month. Susie provides information on the steps she takes to maintaining her award-winning plant:

Watering: Every week. Most of the time the saucer, which I keep under it, has at least a little water in it. (The pot is quite tall, so the root system is not in a blog, but does have access to moisture 90-95% of the time.).

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Warm. Summer: 60/70 – 80/90 degrees. Winter: 40 rarely, mostly mid-50s low to high 80s.

Light: I’ve noticed that my St. Swithin requires more light than most paphs I own – almost as much as a cattleya. I keep it near the cats in the winter greenhouse. It lives in the orchid house (a screened and shaded coop) in the summer.

Fertilizing: Every other week, throughout the year, except for about a month after the last bloom drops.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Fans on all the time. Always exposed to summer breezes (and storms)..

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.): Long lasting blooms.

Where can this orchid be purchased? Most places that sell slippers will sell St. Swithin. I bought this at the April 2005 OSGKC auction. It was from Mark Prout’s collection.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid: It is the most reliably blooming slipper in my collection. For all my slippers, I use the mix that Marilyn LeDoux’s Mexipedium blend, which calls for, among other things, blood meal.

December 12, 2010

Mary Ann Stevenson’s Dendrobium Stephen Batchelor ‘Mark I’ was the December 2010 Plant of the Month. Mary Ann provides information on the steps she takes to maintaining her award-winning plant:

Watering: Outside in spring and summer – mist two times a day. Indoors – use tepid tap water two times weekly on grate for drainage.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Outside, it is under maple tree, dappled sunlight, on house’s west side. Inside, it is in about 85 degrees, regulated with ceiling and floor fans and an open window when needed.

Light: Inside, it is under high intensity, approx. 12 hours daily.

Fertilizing: I use weakly weekly, (Grow More) 6-30-30 autumn to spring, and 20-10-20 in the summer. Flush with tap water every fourth week.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Inside humidifier is at 60 percent.

Where can this orchid be purchased? I got this plant at our October 2008 raffle. It had one spike with four flowers.  Now it has four spikes with many flowers and will need repotting soon.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid: It does seem to need a bit more water than others.  It is a tall plant and tends to be top heavy so stakes are needed.  Flowers are long lasting.

November 14, 2010

Mary Ann Stevenson’s Brassocattleya Maikai ‘Mayumi’ HCC/AOS (Brassavola nodosa x Guarianthe bowringiana) was the November 2010 Plant of the Month. Mary Ann provides information on the steps she takes to maintaining her award-winning plant:

Watering: Outside May – Sept., Independence city water, mist twice daily, 15 min. each. Inside on pebbles, city water usually once a week

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Inside: upper 80s daytime, 60s nighttime. Outside: in shade on west side of house, indirect sunlight.

Light: Inside: four 40-watt cool white inflorescent lights, 13 hours daily.

Fertilizing: Weekly weakly, 6-30-30 Sept. – March; 20-10-20 April – August. Once a month purge with plain city water instead of fertilizing.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Indoors: humidifier and fan.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.):  Multiple blooms over entire plant so it gives a ‘mounding’ effect (like a mum). Blooms last approximately two months.

Where can this orchid be purchased? Bought this one in July 2007 at ViCli sale. I have seen similar ones on the internet and also as a cross.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid:  It seems to like to be crowded in the plastic pot. I use Miracle Gro medium bark mix for this plant. I appreciate its dependable blooming habit and spectacular look.

October 10, 2010

Cattleya Alarcon (Canhamiana x Dupreana) was the October 2010 Plant of the Month and raised by Doug and Beth Martin. Doug offers growing tips below.

Watering.  I use rain water plus fertilizer about every 5 -7 days.  I let it get dry for a day or so between watering.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs) It’s outside in my lath house in the summer, so it gets the ambient temps.  In the winter it’s in my light room which runs in the mid 80’s during the day and about 70 at night.

Light: Bright!

Fertilizing.  I fertilize with every watering; 100 parts per million nitrogen, except once a month when I flush with about one-quarter strength.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.)  Definitely breezy.  Fans run 24/7.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.)  Its color is “blue” or coerulea.  The fragrance is delightful and fills our family room in the mornings.

Where can this orchid be purchased? I got it from a breeder about five years ago, but he has gone out of business.

September 2010

Susie Hanna and Al Clinton were out Plant of the Month winners for September 2010. Culture information about their winning plant,  Catasetum fibriatum, is below.

Watering: After new growth is well underway in the Spring,  begin to water.   The key is not to begin watering too early when  new growth starts.  I wait till the new growth is 4” long.  Reduce watering gradually through the fall and stop completely around Thanksgiving.  You can leave the pseudobulbs in the pot or take ’em out and remove the medium . I like to put them in an empty clay pot for the winter.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Intermediate

Light: 2000 fc or at the low end of Cattleya light.  If you give it more light, it will produce female flowers, less light and it produces male flowers.  The male flowers are more complex and interesting.

Fertilizing: This is a fast-growing orchid that requires a hefty dose of fertilizer in the growth phase. I  mix a few teaspoons of osmocote time release fertilizer into the media in the spring as well as fertilize once a week with Michigan State RO formula, 1/2 teaspoon per gallon weekly.  I use NZ sphagnum moss; keep the plant moist, don’t let it dry out.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.) Breezy.  Grown outdoors after the weather warms and then brought inside when the flowers are about to open.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.) Pleasant fragrance. Also, a well-grown plant will produce multiple sequential inflorescences from the same pseudobulb. It’s easy to propagate new plants by separating the pseudobulbs in the fall after the plant becomes dormant.  Each single pseudobulb should produce a new growth the following spring.

Where can this orchid be purchased? This is commonly available from orchid specialty nurseries. Try Sunset Valley Orchids (Fred Clark). I purchased my plant from Windy Hill Orchids , St. Louis about six years ago and have never divided it.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid. Great plant for those with limited winter growing space since it is deciduous.  Plant loves to be really pot-bound, so pot in a size that just accommodates the roots.

August 8, 2010

Holly Hall’s Dendrobium “Uniwai Pearl” was the August 2010 Plant of the Month. Holly provides information on the steps she takes to maintaining her award-winning plant:

Watering: Outside on south facing patio during the summer it is watered daily if really hot, to a couple times a week if cool and cloudy. During the winter it is inside and watered usually once a week.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs):  It likes to be outside until the temperature starts dropping to below 50 at night.  I leave it out with the phragmapediums.

Light:  It likes more light than I realized.  I kept it in the middle under the shade cloth.  I should have it closer to the edge with the cymbidiums.

Fertilizing: I am horrible at fertilizing.  I try to fertilize during the summer.  It is an infrequent occurrence though.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.):  Unless it is blooming, it is outside on a south-facing patio all summer. They all are under a shade cloth to keep them from burning.  They are all happier outside, I hate having to bring them in. When I bring the orchids in for the winter I have to arrange them next to a sliding glass door and keep the cat from making them his salad bar.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.):  I do not detect any scent with this orchid.

Where can this orchid be purchased? I do not know. I won it as a raffle plant several years ago.

Other helpful and/or interesting information about this orchid:  I think it is easy to grow and get to bloom. It has bloomed for me the last three years, without any special efforts.


June 13, 2010

This month’s OSGKC Plant of the Month was awarded to two growers.

Glenn Lessenden’s winning plant was Rossioglossum Rawdon Jester  (Rossioglossum grande x Rossoiglossum williamsianum)

Watering: I have this plant in a 6-inch plastic pot and water it weekly or perhaps a little more in the summer.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Typical intermediate temperatures. This plant stays in the greenhouse so summer max temps are 85-90 and winter lows are 42-45.

Light: Ambient. Shade cloth in the summer is 40-60%, depending on how much I’m trying to keep things cool. No shade cloth from October- March.

Fertilizing: I use R/O water or rain and Scott’s Excell fertilizer with cal-mag  mixed ½ strength year round. I cut down both water and fertilizer in the winter.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.):In the greenhouse, fans are running 24/7.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.):Large showy flowers

Where can this orchid be purchased? Santa Barbara Orchid Estate and probably other vendors.

Other helpful information about this orchid? I had seen Rossioglossums with their large attractive flowers at regional orchid shows. I tried a Rossioglossum grande and killed it. I read an article in Orchids magazine about this plant, a primary hybrid that was supposed to be easier than either parent to grow and thought it would be worth the effort.

Doug Martin’s June 13 winning plant was Paph. Woluwense (niveum x rothschildianum). See the OSGKC Photos page for a picture of Doug’s flowering plant.

Watering: I water my Paphs every 3-5 days.  Just when they’re drying out.  I use rain water.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): About 80 while the lights are on and 70 while they are off.  That’s in the winter.  The plant goes outside for the summer.

Light: This and my other Paphs get bright light.  Almost as much a s my cattleyas, for 14 hours per day.  They’re under an eight bulb T-5 fixture.

Fertilizing: I fertilize at 100 ppm Nitrogen with every watering.  Once a month I use pure water to flush any accumulated salts.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.): Lightly breezy. I have a fan blowing above the plants but below the light fixtures.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.): The blooms last a long time. It had been in bloom for two months when it got Plant of the Month.

Where can this orchid be purchased? I grew it from seed.  You could check the Paph growers like Sam Tsui or Marilyn LeDoux.

Other helpful information about this orchid? This is the first time it’s bloomed. I took out of flask in 1996.

May 16, 2010

Plant of the Month grown by Glenn Lessenden

Plant’s full name: Lycaste deppei

Watering: I have this plant in an 8” plastic pot with  a sphagnum moss/perlite mix over plastic peanuts for drainage, and keep the plant evenly moist during the growing season. I allowed it to dry out during the winter.

Temperature (include info on differential temp needs): Typical intermediate temperatures. This plant stays in the greenhouse so summer max temps are 85-90 and winter lows are 42-45.

Light: Ambient. Shade cloth in the summer is 40-60% depending on how much I’m trying to keep things cool. No shade cloth from Oct- March.

Fertilizing: I use R/O water or rain and Scott’s Excell fertilizer with cal-mag  mixed ½ strength year round. I cut down both water and fertilizer in the winter.

Atmosphere (i.e., breezy or not, etc.):In the greenhouse fans are running 24/7.

Special features (i.e., scented, etc.):Mildly scented

Where can this orchid be purchased? Santa Barbara Orchid Estate has a selection of Lycastes, both species and hybrids. Also, our June speaker, Leo Schordje, will be talking about Lycastes and will be bringing plants for sale.

Other helpful information about this orchid? I have grown this plant for 2 growing seasons and it flushed  with blooms better this year. I made an effort to keep it dryer this past winter. That may have helped.

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