Saturday, May 3, 2014
Encyclia Orchid Jungle (Ency. alata x Ency. phoenicea)
I brought this Encyclia as a tiny seedling. It grew vigorously and eventually turned into a large plant. Then root rot struck and almost all the plant died. Only a single scrawny two pseudobulb piece with hardly any roots survived the debacle. Having learned my lesson, I potted the pseudobulbs using medium sized pieces of charcoal and a few stones so that even if the media decayed somewhat it would still remain relatively open. The plant responded well to the repotting and has been blooming for the last two years. This year inflorescence is larger than the one it had last year. The plant has develop a good root system and I expect and even better blooming next year. After I water this plant I don't water again until the media is approaching dryness.
These plants grow well in the hot coastal lowlands of Puerto Rico. I live near the coast and the wind and humidity is favorable for these orchids. They tolerate the worst of the dry season and, if potted in the right media, the wettest spells of the rainy season don't bother them either. Perhaps the only thing that can be a bit bothersome is the long inflorescences which can become damaged when the wind blows strongly.