Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Encyclia bractescens (Lindl.) Hoehne 1952
I brought this small Encyclia decades ago. I has not failed to bloom every year between April and May. I have two plants, both attached to pieces of tree fern. This plant grows well in the hot, sunny conditions of coastal Puerto Rico. I have it just under the shadecloth where it gets the brightest light possible without exposing it to direct sun.
The only problem that I have had with this orchid is that it loathes media that is too water retentive. I had a wonderful specimen plant that would produce hundreds of flowers at a time. I lost most of the plant because the tree fern plaque in which it was growing decayed so much that it started retaining water to the extent that it would dry very, very slowly. This caused rot in the center of the specimen plant, I had to cut it in pieces in the process of removing the decayed and rotting parts.
This orchid needs frequent fertilizer applications when it is producing its new pseudobulbs. If this is not done the pseudobulbs might not reach their full potential. Given that this plant do best in small mounts that don't retain much water, you have to work out on your own which schedule of watering will produce the best growth. I have seen plants of this species being grown on terracota mounts with absolutely no media.