Saturday, December 15, 2012
Bulbophyllum Melting Point (Doris Dukes x longissimum)
The flowers of this Bulbophyllum can reach twelve inches long or more.
This Bulbophyllum has been easy to grow and generally trouble free in its culture, except for scales, which have been a recurrent problem with this one. It blooms during November and December. It produces from seven to nine inflorescences over the course of six week to two months. During this span of time it typically has a few inflorescences in development and one or two open at the same time. The flowers are quite long, at 12 inches they are about an inch longer than the flowers of my Bulbophyllum longissimum. Inflorescences last in perfection about a week if protected from the weather and insects. Because I cultivate these orchids outdoors they are often damaged by small curculionid beetles. I have not detected any fragrance and the flowers seem to be ignored by local pollinators such as flies, which are often seen around other Bulbophyllum flowers. Because the pseudobulbs are growing in an untidy clump I have to be on the look for developing inflorescences as they can get trapped in the tangle of roots and stems.
Media: It was initially potted in medium bark. But as time went by the bark decayed and now it is growing mostly on a tangle of the remains of its own roots and a few left over pieces of bark that have not been washed away by watering.
Potting: It is growing in a plastic twelve inch wide dish that is about two inches deep. It has been in this dish for about six years and has formed a tangle of pseudobulbs growing in all directions. Some stems grew over the rim of the dish and then under the dish, but these were removed when large enough to survive on their own.
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 high nitrogen content is used two times a week when this plant 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 Cattleya, 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: Scales are a recurrent problem, in particular some that are yellow and flat. A few pseudobulbs have been lost to rot, but the rot appears to have occurred mostly on old and damaged pseudobulbs.