Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Myrmecophyla tibicinis, cultural notes

In a basket, under the shade of a large avocado tree
Growing on a palm trunk in full sun
St. Croix Botanical Gardens

In areas with warm weather Myrmecophyla tibicinis does very well when grown in a basket or mounted on a tree.   This orchid can grow in full sun, in fact it needs a certain amount of full sun exposure or it will not bloom.  Keeping this plant in too much shade is a common error among beginners.  However, this plant seem to grow better when is given a slight bit of shade from the sun when it is at its most intense, which locally is between the hours of 11 am and 4 pm.

This orchid can produce a huge specimen plant if well cared for.  In one of the photos above you can see a truly humongous specimen in a Ceiba pentandra tree in the St. Croix botanical gardens.   To me the key to have a large and floriferous plant, aside from the right level of sun exposure, is giving it the proper fertilizing when it is producing new pseudobulbs.  This plant should be given a high nitrogen fertilizer when it is growing to help it produce full sized pseudobulbs.  Small, undersized pseudobulbs will not bloom.

The plant growing mounted in a palm trunk, in full sun all day long, produces relatively short inflorescences.  The plant in the basket, which is growing under an avocado tree with a comparatively open canopy, produces the typical long inflorescences.  The inflorescences grow until they emerge from the canopy of the avocado tree, then they produce the flowers.


Unknown said...

Hola Ricardo!

Unfortunately, not much is left of this Myrmecophyla tibicinis which Paul Storm identified as likely being grandiflora. The plant began dying off at least a year ago and no one has identified the problem. We are going to get a few botanists together and see if we can save it. Rudy O'Reilly is willing. Now to get the new E.D. at Botanical Garden to make it a priority!

Gracias a Dios, yo y varios socios de SCOS recibimos diviciones anos atras!


Ricardo said...

Hi Sonia. This same thing happened to my largest plant of Myr. humboltii, it was huge and green and in the course of a short time many of the old pseudobulbs died, only the recent ones survived. No other of my Myrmecophila plants were affected.