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Sophronitis (Cattleya) coccinea

Discussion in 'Orchid Culture' started by Marni, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I would love to hear from people who grow this species well. How are you growing it, what do you think is important for success? I really do very poorly with most of them that I have and want to do learn what to do. I suspect this has been covered in some threads, but couldn't find anything in the archives for this. Thanks.
     
  2. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    I don't know that I grow it exceptionally but I've started growing a number of them when they were not at my place of employment. The main factor I noticed was their response to being flushed. Very intolerant of salts. On the issue of water, the frequency is letting them be like a day from approaching dryness. Good humidity isn't something you struggle with. Temperature differential probably isn't a problem either. They are right against the water wall so temperatures in the day are probably in the mid 70s and lower 60s as a night temperature during these summer days.

    I've got a couple from the old 4N lines of warmth tolerant ones mounted and some of the ones imported from Japan by Golden Gate Orchids and Cal Orchid growing in clay and moss. I try to keep the mounted ones wet and just spray the potted ones down in hopes of dissipating conducted heat through evaporation.

    I go back to them a couple hours after fertilizing rinse them with RO. I think that is my success in growing them is to keep healthy roots.
     
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  3. mini-catts

    mini-catts Member

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    Daniel is right-on on the culture. If you grow in moss, they don't seem to like being constantly wet. If you have moss or algae growing on your medium, I would say they are too wet. I like to water when the moss is almost dry. I have found sometimes that keeping them dry in the summer is better than keeping them moist or wet. If they are dry, they seem to put out roots in search of moisture. If they are wet, the roots rot. My best ones are grown hanging...they seem to like plenty of air circulation.
    If they are mounted or have roots exposed, they need higher humidity and more frequent misting (every other day for me).
    Pure water is a must. Very light fertilizer and then occasional flushing is good. Moss much be changed out yearly. Those in moss should be in small clay pots with enlarged drainage hole. Do not overpot. Keep the moss tight around the roots, not loose.
    I agree with Daniel that keeping the roots is very important. Once you lose the roots the plants will slowly decline and they are hard to bring back to life. They tend to form roots in late summer (now), so it is a good time to change the moss just as new roots are forming.
    PS. I hope to write an article on S. coccinea for the Orchid Digest.

    Pete
     
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  4. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thank you both. I do need to make some changes. It would be easiest to acommodate some of these needs if I grow them in my big greenhouse which is 56F minimum. Do you think that is optimum or should they be closer to 50F at night in the winter? The reading I've been doing isn't to specific about that, just that it can get very cold in habitat.

    Daniel, what is the night temperature in the winter where you have yours?
     
  5. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    I don't think it regularly gets below 55. In the winter however, since the cooling is shut off and the declination of the sun makes light come in at a weird angle, the temperatures will spike into the 80s. Coupled with low humidity, the temperature difference is a bit greater.

    Apart from the wetness, I grow them the same way/area as my cuthbertsonii.
     
  6. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Marni, I have one and it is still an unbloomed seedling so only time will tell if I am growing it well for blooming. I can say though that the plant is thriving. It is still mounted just like I bought it (about a year ago) on a cedar shingle with a pad of sphagnum. The roots have grown up and over the top of the shingle now. I grow it between Dendrobium nobile and D. victoria-reginae and it is hooked on to the basket of Coel. fimbriata. I drench it daily with dilute (1/4 strength) fertilizer.
     
  7. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Kelly. I think that not enough light is one of the problems. I am trying to figure out if I can justify (to myself) buying a fogger for that greenhouse.:rolleyes: I'm sure that would help as well. I bought one from my big greenhouse and it makes a huge difference to have the stable humidity. My reading on these indicates that good humidity is important.
     
  8. MattWoelfsen

    MattWoelfsen Active Member

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    image.jpg image.jpg I'm adding my interest to this orchid. I bought one of these plants from a grower in Manchester, Michigan. The label says: Soph. cochinea "4N". I have owned it for a month now. I have it growing in a warm environment 75*F day time and around 65*F at night. It is in bright light. I have watered it with RO water. It has a lot of little growths. I have planted in a Neofinetia pot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
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  9. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

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    When I read someone call 75F warm, it is a reminder of the trouble I had initially with the cultural advise on the orchid books available when I was starting. 75F is the daily low temperature for most of the year where I live. The books were made for orchid growers in temperate zones. I have tried many "sophronitis" hybrids, some lived for a time, all eventually died probably because of the high temperatures. I read in an old AOS magazine, I think of the eighties, that they grow in places where the ground has huge waterholding bromeliads.
     
  10. MattWoelfsen

    MattWoelfsen Active Member

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    Hello Ricardo, this is an interesting point of view, and it reminds me that this forum is international. The irony is that this plant is a species endemic to Brasil. If I hadn't lived in Brasil, I would have thought that its climate would be similar to yours--tropical. However these plants come from the mountain region of Brasil and they require cooler temperatures. I lived in Rio de Janeiro for several months and I saw many of these plants growing in gardens.

    Based on your observation, and your reference to an American Orchid Society article, I started looking around the Internet and found the article you mentioned. I hope it is okay to post a link. http://www.aos.org/Default.aspx?id=334

    This article has shown me I was doing somethings right and somethings wrong. Another irony, my plant was bred in Japan and was imported from there to Manchester, Michigan. This is mentioned in the article that the Japanese have been the largest market for these plants, outside of Brasil. They find the diminutive size of this plant appealing, and the flowers rewarding. And that is why I bought mine in the first place. Thank you Ricardo.
     
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  11. LJeziorska

    LJeziorska New Member

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    Vey nice healthy looking orchid :) she seems lo love the spot ... Post a pic when it has blooms
     
  12. Ricardo

    Ricardo Slave of demanding bird

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    When I was starting in the orchid growing hobby, back in the eighties, all that was available in my locality were very basic books, some of which were written in England. Their advice was good if you had a green house or were growing at home in a temperate zone. I was seduced by the bright color of sophronitis hybrids and tried to grow a number of them. Their slow, slow deaths were a great lesson of trying to grow plants on a climate that was not suited for them.