Thursday, December 13, 2012

Bulbophyllum blumei also know as B. masdevaliacum

Close up of the lip of the flower, it is mobile.

This Bulbophyllum is found from west Malasya to the Solomon Islands in the Pacific ocean.  SInce local conditions resemble its natural habitat it grows very well in my garden.  Perhaps this is both a blessing and a curse.  It quickly escapes from pots and posts and baskets, even relatively large ones.  If you allow the plant to grow entirely out of the pot, with all its pseudobulbs out in the air, it can deteriorate and die, this almost happened to my plant as I grew complacent about it.  It blooms frequently, in fact it will bloom and bloom and bloom, even if the plant is not in good shape.  It can produce a big clump of growths if given good care.  The only fault I find to this plant is its tendency to grow out in the air, away from whatever place you have planted it.   

In the above photo you can see the plant growing out of the dish all the while blooming riotously.

Media:  Has grown equally well in fine bark and on tree fern

Potting:  it grew very well in a ten inch shallow dish and bloomed constantly.  Unfortunately it grew out of the dish and into space relatively fast.
Watering:  During the summer this plant gets rain every single day in the afternoon, the media stays constantly wet for months.  During the dry season, if it is not growing it gets a soaking once a week or a bit more frequently if the bulbs start to become furrowed.
Humidity: The local weather provides the right amount of humidity for this plant most of the year.  Humidity locally fluctuates between 70% and 90% during the day.  At the height of the dry season humidity might go down to 50% for a few hours a day but climbs over 70 at night.  At the height of the wet season it can stay close to 100% during the night.

Fertilizing: A fertilizer with a high nitrogen content,  two times a week when it is producing new growths.  I stop fertilizing when the new growths achieve mature size.  I don’t’ fertilize if the plant is not producing either new growths or roots.

Light: It gets bright light, it is with my Cattleyas, it gets full sun early in the morning and the rest of the day it is under the shade of trees.  It is not in deep shade.

Temperature: From 95 F high day to 75 F at night during the summer, 80F to 60F during the night in winter.

Care: Under my conditions, this plant thrives with routine care.
Pests:  None so far, insects have not attacked the plant, it is in a place innacesible to slugs.  Black rot has been an issue when transplanting pieces to new media, it usually starts when one of the leaves of the piece gets damaged.  For some reason this never happens with established plants.

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