Laelia anceps Culture

Laelia anceps, a native of Mexico but also occurring more rarely in Guatemala and Honduras, is one of the most common, yet one of the most satisfying orchids to grow outdoors in San Diego.  It's ease of care makes it an ideal plant for the beginner as well as the expert. Laelia anceps is one of the hardiest for cold tolerance of any of the Cattleya alliance, tolerating reported lows of 22F without any damage, and high temperatures over 100F rarely trouble it.  It's blooming season is customarily November through January. It is grown in pots or mounted, and in subtropical areas is noted for being one of the best to naturalize on trees around the garden, where regular watering is usually adequate.  Many trees (except pines) are well suited for L. anceps.   Oaks are among the best of trees, and jacarada, palms, citrus, fiejoa, dracinias, and white birch are quite good.  Plants should be tied or stapled to trunks and branches.

Light: This laelia likes medium to high light, about 2000-3500 foot-candles. Bright light to some sun must be given to the plants, but no direct sun in the middle of the day. Leaves should be a medium green color. Very low light is not adequate for successful blooming.

Temperature: Laelia anceps is one of the more temperature tolerant orchids in cultivation today, making it a natural for outdoor growing in southern California and comparable climates.  It has been known to survive winter nights of down to 22F unharmed, higher day temperatures can be tolerated (up to 100 degrees F), if humidity, air circulation and shading are increased.

Water: Water frequently throughout the growing season, which is mostly April through November.  Mounted plants may be watered daily during spring and summer. Water may be reduced in the winter dormant time.  Washing off the flower buds by rain or hose is often needed to keep buds from sticking together.

Fertilizer: Regular feeding with a balanced fertilizer will enhance growth, particularly during the growing season of April to November.

Potting: Potting is necessary when 1) the rhizome of the plants protrudes over the edge of the pot, or 2) the potting medium starts to break down and drain poorly (usually after 2 to 3 years). It is best to repot 1) just before new roots sprout from the rhizome, 2) after flowering, or 3) in the spring time.

 

Laelia anceps

Culture information courtesy of Santa Barbara Orchid Estate.
Photo by Webmaster.

 

 








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