related genera have large, pleated leaves and
bear incredible flowers with intricate, complex
structures and mechanisms for pollination,
ranging from channeled walkways for insects to
buckets of a watery solution. Most have
inflorescences that grow downward, so the plants
must be potted in hanging baskets or similar
containers. Flowers are often spicily fragrant,
and although the flowers are short-lived, each
plant may produce many inflorescences throughout
the year. Related genera Paphinia and Peristeria
grow warmer than others in this group, and
may produce upright inflorescences.
L I G H T
should be bright, with direct sunlight diffused
so as not to burn the leaves. Most growers
suspend these orchids due to their pendulous
inflorescences. This also brings the plants
closer to the light. Light levels approximating
those for cattleyas, around 3,000 foot-candles,
T E M P E R AT U R E S
should be moderate: 52 to 60 F at night, with day
temperatures 68 to 75 F in the winter Plants can
stand short spells of higher temperatures, but
air movement, humidity and shading must all be
increased. Many species flower in the summer, and
putting them outside in the summer may be
beneficial. Move into higher light slowly to
W A T E R in
ample quantities is important to produce strong
pseudobulbs and prevent foliar spotting.
Stanhopeas and their relatives can be sensitive
to salt accumulation in the medium, so should
never be allowed to dry out entirely, even during
the winter months when growth may slow or stop.
Poor watering habits are also conducive to root
loss in these types, and some may be very slow to
re-establish once they have lost their roots.
F E R T I L I Z E
at regular intervals. Most growers fertilize with
a diluted concentration every week to two weeks.
For plants in bark, use a 30-10-10 high-nitrogen
formulation , alternating with a 20-20-20
balanced formulation; in the blooming season,
which is mainly summer, use a 10-30-20
blossom-booster formulation. Plants grown in
osmunda need fertilization only infrequently.
P O T T I N G
is done best right after summer flowering, as
most plants seem to grow year round. Plants that
rest in the winter can be repotted in the spring.
The best flowerings come from large clumps of
plants, so large baskets are usually used. An
airy, yet moist medium seems to work best, such
as medium-grade fir bark (often mixed with
sphagnum peat) or osmunda fiber. Vigorous plants
may need repotting every three years or so.
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