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Microcoelia gilpinae - dry winter dormancy?

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Uluwehi, Dec 23, 2010.

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  1. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    I've got a healthy Microcoelia gilpinae that is growing vigorously. I have read in various places that generally members of this genus like to be bright, dry and very humid during the winter time. I haven't dried mine off before because it never seems to ever want to stop growing. I'm timid about drying it off mainly because I am scared, considering how rare this plant is, how much I love it and how difficult it is to replace. I've got 6-8 beautiful 1cm root tips. Should I disregard this and dry it off anyway? I've had my plant for 11 months and it doesn't seem to mind that I haven't given it a drying off yet, despite winter daylight hours and lower temps (18°C at night).

    I ask for advice (and courage). :confused:
     
  2. mini-catts

    mini-catts Member

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    I have no experience with gilipinae (wish i did!), but I grow stolzii, exilis, and gracile. I reduce the water by about half in the winter. So about once or twice a week vs. every day.

    Good luck...you must keep this beauty ALIVE!! It is so rare.
    Pete
     
  3. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Thank you Pete! In the summer I water 2x per day, every day. I find that I have to water more than folks who have greenhouses. The HID lights make it so 1x a day is not enough when days are warm and there are 14 hours of consistent light. Right now I am watering 1x day. I may cut it down to every other day and see what happens. I appreciate that advice on the three species you grow.
     
  4. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I haven't grown this species but I had a Microcoelia (Solenangis) cornuta. It was growing well until I gave it a drier winter. I lost it within a few weeks of the beginning of winter and now can't find another to replace it. These obscure little Angraecoids are very interesting and you have another great one.
     
  5. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    I grow M. stozii & I treat it about the same as Peter - water once every morning except in winter, when I cut back to about twice a week. Mine never really seems to slow its growth during winter. Seems happy enough although it hasn't bloomed for me yet.
     
  6. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Thank you both for sharing your experiences. Goods, I am sorry you lost your Solenangis cornuta.

    In truth I would much rather see these plants grow wonderfully and never bloom, than risk killing them by trying to induce bloom. Of course my gut feeling is that this "drying off" is more of a subtle difference in moisture availability than the more drastic drying off that some other (chiefly sympodial) orchids require.

    The question I ask myself is, do angraecoids that require a drier period to bloom also need this drier period to sustain healthy plant growth over the years? Or is it that the plants will grow fine but never bloom in the absence of a drier period?

    I would like to try to water mine every other day for a few weeks and see how the plant responds but I still don't have enough courage.
     
  7. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Ok. I have decided to stop being a wimp about it! I've moved it to a bright place where I can water it every other day.
     
  8. gg68

    gg68 Angraecoid addict

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    When the roots stop growing, I reduce the watering but don't stop it and give more bright light!!
     
  9. mini-catts

    mini-catts Member

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    I would go with water as long as the root tips are active. Once they go inactive, reduce water. As you say, in nature there is still high humidity, so they still get moisture from the air.
    Pete
     
  10. Kitty

    Kitty AKA\Debby

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    quote:

    In truth I would much rather see these plants grow wonderfully and never bloom, than risk killing them by trying to induce bloom.

    I know what you mean. I remember years ago, before I had a grnhs and was going outdoors under the patio. I had bought a number of Laelia's from Andy that he said I could grow outside year round. The first few years I chickened out and brought them in, they were getting big and looked strong. The next winter I decided to be tuff and leave them out even though my instinct's told me it was just too cold (down to low 30's). Well they survived the winter but they looked so ruff I said never again, I want my plants to look pampered not beat up.
     
  11. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    I appreciate you all weighing in on this. Gilles and Pete, the 'problem' is that this is mid-winter now and the roots tips look as vigorous and green as ever. This is the coolest it is going to get this year [78°F (25.5°C) day/64°F (17.7°C) night] and the solstice just happened so it is also the shortest day-length (9 hours) that the plant will see all year. If my simulated winter conditions aren't enough to help it enter a winter slumber, then I think it may never bother doing so. Unless the missing factor in its going dormant is that water needs to be come less available. And of course there is the issue, to water as I have all year, or to scale it back even if it is still growing nicely as if it were summer.

    Here is something to consider. I just checked with Angraecoid Orchids (Stewart et al.) and its mention of M. gilpinae. It says that it blooms throughout the year in habitat and the elevation is between 200-1800m. I wonder if because it blooms throughout the year, this infers that there really isn't a significant period of dryness for this species of Microcoelia. In that case, perhaps my plant is doing exactly what it should be, growing year-round? Also, 1800m is pretty high! Unfortunately these Malala plants do not come with accession data. I wonder what elevation my particular M. gilpinae is from, though I doubt I will ever know.

    Maybe this winter I will continue to water it daily, and hopefully by next year I will have learnt more from others about its cultural needs.
     
  12. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    All this talk about Microcoelia promted a visit to the greenhouse. The one I have that's never bloomed (that I obviously don't inspect very often) has 14 small spikes on it. We'll see if I can keep 'em on.
     
  13. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Wohoo!! Yeehaw! 14 spikes!!
     
  14. Judy

    Judy New Member

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    I'm interested in trying Microcoelia stolzii. Does anyone know where there might be one available. I emailed Andy and am waiting for a reply. If someone has a keiki they want to part with please PM me. Thank you.
     
  15. Tyson

    Tyson Ex-Situ

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    Hi everyone,
    Are there any new developments on Mcrcoel. gilpinae culture? I have a specimen which I recently got from our speakers at the HOS meeting. Tin told me it grows in "bright to very bright" light; more than bulbocalcarata, which I grow in "bright" light (maybe too bright?). So I've positioned it in my IW terrarium with MH lighting...

    It's big and has never stopped actively growing roots and is now putting out several flower spikes. But, I haven't had the plant for very long, so I'm suspicious. Are there any other cultivation threads out there? I like can't find anything.

    I also would like to hear about it if anyone has pollen for me, or pollination advice.

    may have triggered the flowering:

    increased light (went from a greenhouse in winter at laorchid to bright MH lighting indoors)
    photoperiod of the lighting (12 on, 12 off - same as the sun at the moment, and several other plants in the growroom are also blooming right now)
    increased temperature
    CO2 enrichment
    simply the change of venue

    Thanks,
    Ty
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2016
  16. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    It's worth attempting a selfing. Or see if LOC has a sib they can do at another time.
     
  17. goods

    goods Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I would be inclined to think the "trigger" to flowering may have occurred previously since you say you haven't had it all that long, and the flowers are forming now as a result of that past trigger and not necessarily a very recent trigger.

    I'm not sure where in the LOC GH these are growing now, but I believe they were on the drier, sunnier side at one point when I visited, so they likely receive a seasonal reduction in moisture simply based on the fact that everything is staying more moist longer in cooler weather. It would be worth shooting them an email and asking if they purposely reduce water on this species, though.