FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

 

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.

I’ve just bought two masdevallias from eBay what should I pot them in ? They’re currently in sphagnum moss.

Thats a difficult one for me, as you know I don’t like using sphagnum moss as it remains too wet for me during the winter months but a lot of growers have tremendous success using sphagnum, So depending on the individual plant for example is it epiphyte or terrestrial will depend on your media choice. Masdevallias can be grown successfully in a variety of medium so long as its fast draining & moisture retentive which is essential for a healthy root system. I use small bark & a perlite mix which I find meets my requirements and have reasonable success. I would ask the seller what they recommend as they may well have just used sphagnum moss for a recent division to encourage root growth prior to selling.

When should I repot My Masdevallia orchid?

I would say annually and never over pot your Massie, select a pot which will take the root ball mass without excessive space left around the roots. However you may need on occasions to repot due to growing problems, like your media breaking down, rotting or media crumbling between your fingers or giving off a mushroom smell these signs mean it’s also time to repot. Always remember allow your Masdevallia time to recover after repotting. I usually do mine in early spring allowing it time to recover during the growing season, I try to avoid repotting during the winter months.

How do I know which roots are dead?

Remove your plant from its pot and inspect its roots remove all the old media from around the roots, a useful test is to pinch the root between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull away from the plant. If the Velamen (outer root sheath) comes off leaving a wiry root behind the root is dead and can be removed, do this to all the roots until you have removed all dead or dying roots.

I watch a lot of YouTube videos by orchid growers and they all use different fertilisers, what do you think I should use ?

Firstly let’s not forget YouTube is a free media platform which allows creators to show their growing methods / hobbies and should not be mistaken for professional advice and remember some you-tubers receive paid promotions to (push) sell products, and have amazon associated links in their video description, so be very careful what you buy.

Orchids need a good balanced fertiliser that includes trace elements, look for the NPK Labels and it should not “in my opinion” contain Urea, it is recommended by many growers to feed “weakly weekly” at 1/4 strength. Fertilisers are a personal preference and remember it should be readily available to purchase. I only mention what I use in my videos and thats what I was advised to use when I first started Growing and I have continued to use it, sorry I cannot be more specific.

Mick I would like to start growing orchids in my home, what would you suggest as a starter plant, remember I have very limited experience.

I would suggest the Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) which I think would make a great starter plant and be ideal for a beginner, they are available in all different colours and pattens and the flower spike can last for several months and with the right care can re-bloom shortly after, they can be found quite reasonably cheap at most Garden centres and nowadays in most supermarkets.

I want to add shade netting to my greenhouse for my masdevallias, what strength do I need ?

I think your referring to the percentage of protection of eliminating light from your plants, I would recommend a 75% shade cloth/Netting either draped over the greenhouse or attached internally above your plants, mine is external and I find it easier to install in early spring and remove in late autumn. Shade cloth helps reduce both light and heat during the summer months.

My leaves are going Brown, what can I do? I grow in the home.

Browning of leaf tips usually means your Masdevallia needs more humidity, if your growing in your home set your plant on a gravel filled saucer filled with water (Humidity Tray) to add more humidity to the surrounding air, or if you have a humidifier move it closer to your plants. Chlorinated water (Tap) and over fertilising can also cause browning of the tips.You could try running clear clean water through the potting media (Flushing) until it runs clear out of the drainage holes, then hold off fertilising for a couple of months. Any damaged leaves can be trimmed off.

Mick I love your YouTube channel can I grow Masdevallias in a terrarium?

Most masdevallias like a night-time drop in temperatures, which sometimes does not happen in a terrarium. I personally do not grow in a terrarium however I’m sure with the right environment and conditions some Massies will do well in your terrarium why not try with a couple of miniature hybrids, sorry I cannot be more helpful, but you may be able to get additional help from members of our Facebook group. By the way thanks for watching the channel.

Why are my masdevallia leaves wrinkled and partly opened?

It’s what I call pleated leaves and is usually caused by a lack of moisture reaching the growing part of the plant. This can be caused by not watering enough or even watering too much.Check the roots gently tip the plant out of it’s pot and examine the roots, if they are white or tan coloured, firm and spread out around the pot, you’ll need to increase your watering frequency. If the roots are brown and mushy trim them off, repot in new media and reduce your watering frequency.