An Orchid Obsession OUR ORCHID DATABASE: Encyclia cordigera

Orchid Name: Encyclia cordigera

Species or Hybrid

(Image by Henryr10)
"Shot at the Krohn Concervatory, Cincinnati, OH 1/29/11"
[ Comment ]

Posted by Henryr10 on Feb 6, 2011 10:33 AM CST:

Encyclia cordigera is native to Guatemala and Panama. The best varietiey(rosea) from Panama, produces very dark colored purple lips and chocolate petals and sepals. The fragrance is of chocolate. This plant is easy to grow providing you give it adequate light. This plant blooms in the spring to early summer months. Of all the Encyclias, this is one of the best.

This plant prefers medium to high light with 2,000 to 3,500 footcandles being the best. East windows will suffice during summer months but during the dead of winter, if you are in the Northern Hemisphere, the plant will prefer a south window. Be careful not to burn leaves, especially during the month of March when the sun is at its closest point to the earth. This plant can be grown under fluorescents if you have at least four, 4' tubes and grow the plant no more than 12" from the tubes. It will also do well under high-pressure sodium lights if grown within four feet of the bulbs.

This plant prefers intermediate to warm temperatures, with winter nighttime lows of 58 to 62 degrees and winter daytime highs of 70 to 80 degrees. Summertime temperatures can be several degrees warmer. It is important to have a fluctuation of at least five to ten degrees between day and night temperatures to initiate flower spikes.

50% or higher is ideal, although during winter months which is normally its dormant season, the humidity can be somewhat lower.

It is best to use rain, distilled or reverse osmosis water. Water the plant just as it dries out at the roots. You can use the label in the plant to determine how moist the soil is. Simply pull the label out and if it feels wet on the end of it, don't water the plant. Be observant of the size and shape of the pseudobulbs. If the newest pseudobulbs are plump, shiny, and round, adequate water is being supplied. If they are somewhat shriveled you need to increase the frequency of your watering.

Use GrowMore 20-10-20 Ureafree for municipal or well water. Use at the rate of ½ teaspoon per gallon. If using GrowMore with rain, distilled, or reverse osmosis water, add back in 5 - 10% municipal or well water to supply the necessary calcium and magnesium. Fertilize every other watering in the summer and every third watering in the winter. We highly recommend Green Jungle Orchid Food, especially formulated to work with rain, distilled, reverse osmosis water or water low in alkalinity. Fertilize with Green Jungle every time you water.

Other fertilizers offered are as follows: GrowMore 6-30-30 (Cymbidium and bloom boosting formula) and GrowMore 20-6-16 (Tropical plant food with calcium and magnesium

This plant will produce a short, stubby sheath, which is the beginning of the spike, between the two stiff leaves that grow atop the pseudobulbs. This usually occurs during the summer months. The sheath, however, will remain there until the spring months before it elongates and produces flowers. The plant must go through short days in winter months, less than 12 hours of sunlight, and back into long days, during the spring and summer months, in order to initiate the flower spike. The flowers are large, three inches in size, with a heavy texture. Petals and sepals are chocolate in color and the lip a vibrant purple. The fragrance is of chocolate. Flowers are long lasting and it is not unusual for a spike to bloom for three months or longer. This plant flowers once per year.

It is best to repot this plant after flowering or when new growths emerge. Use a medium grade fir bark mix. Clay pots are best. Because this plant grows new pseudobulbs in a linear fashion, it is best to repot this plant with the oldest growth towards the rim of the pot so that there is room for at least one or two new growths. Repot this plant every one-and-a-half to two years, either as the mix breaks down or as the plant outgrows the pot.

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