FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

 

Please Help, how can I keep my greenhouse Cool ?

I must have received 5 phone calls 3 emails today alone, all I can recommend is what I do so I hope it helps. Firstly each morning under these conditions I use a mister and spray everywhere in the greenhouse, I then use a hosepipe (Tap water) and soak the greenhouse floor about five times a day this really helps keep the humidity up and also saves your fogger from being on constantly, I open the door periodically to allow the temps to drop and then close them again I repeat this regular throughout the day I find this works quite well for example if its 28ºc out side you can bet its about 30-31ºc in the greenhouse. My roof opening window vents open once the temps rise this also allows hot air to escape. I added additional fans to help circulate and disperse the heat they’re connected to a timer to come on during the hottest part of the day, you could also add additional shade netting to the greenhouse roof. You may find additional help on the facebook group as I know its a popular topic this month.

Mick can I grow my Masdevallias out doors here in the UK?

When all signs of Ground frosts have gone usually late May you could put your Massies out side in a shelterd spot away from direct sunlight and blistery winds, a slight breeze works wonders, I personally bring mine back into the greenhouse at night, check for any signs of pests slugs, snails etc, and never leave them out in torrential rain as this would certainly cause root rot over a period of time and stand the pot off the ground to allow good drainage.

Can you tell me what the different temperatures relate to for example what does a warm grower mean?

If your asking about Masdevallias then we are looking at Cool, I’ve added a guide from a recommended book, hope this helps explain the growing temperatures.

Temperature CategoryNighttime MinimumDaytime Maximum
Warm62-70°F   (17-21°C)75-95°F   (24-35°C)
Intermediate – Warm60-65°F   (16-18°C)78-83°F   (26-28°C)
Intermediate55-60°F   (13-16°C)73-80°F   (23-27°C)
Cool – Intermediate52-58°F   (11-14°C)68-75°F   (20-24°C)
Cool50-55°F   (10-13°C)62-70°F   (17-21°C)

Mick I’m doing the same things I’ve always done but this year my small collection of Masdevallias didn’t bloom for me can you help?

Firstly when did you last repot your Massies, I recommend between every 1-2 years, or have you recently moved your plants to another location this is called a micro climate remember they get used to their environment. I also find long periods of cloudy days and cooler temperatures in early spring can change the blooming habit of a plant, this can also happen if the plants got too warm during the summer months, hope this helps a little and good luck.

Mick I’ve been growing orchids for over 5 years and have been watching and subscribing to a lot of youtube channels, do you think I could start sharing my orchids on youtube.

Sounds good to me! But I’m sure a lot of channel creators will tell you, its not like the old days a lot of channels including my own tend to struggle with the competition especially with an orchid channel even the more established channels would probably agree with me. If you want to share your knowledge and growing tips with fellow growers that would be great, but if you are thinking of making money by monetisation of the channel (creating a small business venture) I think you will find it hard work in the current climate to get sufficient followers if this is the case I would say it’s viewers you want more then subscribers once you’ve reached 1000 Subs, but there again thats only my opinion. So go for it you’ll enjoy it and get a lot of pleasure from sharing your vast knowledge. Looking forward to seeing your channel and of course I’d subscribe and share it on my channel.

Just a quick one Mick what other orchids can I grow with my Masdevallias?

Not really being familiar with other types of orchids I would say you could try Dracula’s, Miltoniopsis, Odontoglossums, Restrepia and Pleurothallis, I also believe there are also some Paphiopedilums and cymbidiums that also like cooler growing conditions. Always ask the seller for growing conditions if its not stated in the advert, I’m sure you’ll find a good growing companion for your massies.

Do I need supplementary lighting for my Masdevallias?

As a keen amateur grower I give my Masdevallias low to medium light levels with dapple shade, remember I grow in a greenhouse not in the home, I have never considered additional supplimentary lighting however I’m sure a lot of growers do (mostly in the home) and you may get help from asking members of the face book group. I’ve realised over the years that my Masdevallias can handle more light then the books tell us, I’ve found that if some of my Massie don’t get good light through the growing season they do not bloom for me (the same as not getting a nighttime drop in temperatures), so if you are thinking of adding additional lighting just be cautious try for about 2-4 hours a day to start with then increase when your happy to up to 8 hours a day, try to keep the lights at about 2′ to 3′ or 61 mm to 91.5 mm above the plants to prevent possible leaf burn.

Mick my humidity is currently at 95% in my greenhouse here in the UK, during December, will my Masdevallias be OK?

The current climate dictates the relative humidity during the winter months, to be fair there’s not a lot we can do about it mine is currently also high at 89% and my masses are doing fine, a local grower / friend uses a de-humidifier during winter but I think thats an additional unnecessary electrical cost but thats his choice. I tend to hold back on watering and of course do not use my fogger/humidifier during winter, however I do open the greenhouse doors when outside temperatures are about 15ºc to allow good air exchange for a couple of hours a day.

Can I ask why your web shop only post plants on Mondays

Two main reasons why I post on Mondays, firstly plants will arrive mid week which ensures they are not stored in a postal depot over the weekends especially if the weather conditions change and secondly it makes life a lot easier for me as a small independent grower to send all packages out on the same day, rather then being back and forward to the post office daily which is very time consuming.

Are all Masdevallia orchids fragrant

No not all masdevallia orchids are fragrant, however there are quite a few that are so I’ll mention the ones in my collection.

M Strobellii smells fruity like vanilla. M Meijiana smells spicy. M Glandulosa smells spicy. M datura very sweet smelling. M Caudata another sweet smell and lets not forget M caesia reminds me of rotting meat. There are too many to mention but I’m sure a good seller could advice better prior to purchase.