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Doritis Pulcherrima The little Orchid that defied my negligence!

This is a discussion on Doritis Pulcherrima The little Orchid that defied my negligence! within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; That would seem the best idea, but many growers insist that normal phalaenopsis pot culture ...

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  1. #11
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    serama is offline Senior Member
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    That would seem the best idea, but many growers insist that normal phalaenopsis pot culture with extra light is the best way of growing them. I tried twice and wasn't very successful with this plant when I used to grow all my plants indoors (about 10 years ago), probably because I couldn't give it enough heat and I didn't know that it needed more light than phalaenopsis (I've learnt a LOT about orchids growing since. LOL).

    They need consistently high temperatures, which I'd guess need to be higher than for most phalaenopsis because I think doritis would probably get "baked" at ground level, where there is less wind and more light than phalaenopsis get in the low hanging trunks of the large tropical forest trees that they inhabit. I mention this because I think you grow most of your plants outside, where it might get a bit too cold for it during the winter months, which can quickly lead to root rot if the compost in the pot stays too moist during a cold night. However, if you can give it high temps all year round, then I would definitely try a rock mixture with added perlite and some bark as well ... maybe add a little bit of sand but I would generally stay away from the sand and the humus as they might retain too much moisture.

  2. #12
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    catttan is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by serama View Post
    Doritis pulcherrima seeds germinate directly in sandy soils or in humus-filled cracks of rock surfaces, a bit like lithophytic paphiopedilums do. That way the protocorms will root directly into the crack or soil and anchor the plant. Unlike epiphytic phalaenopsis, doritis can form large colonies as the plant branches readily and once the central plant of the clump has outgrown the crack it germinated in, then the roots of all the pups/keikis/side shoots travel over the rock surfaces until they reach other cracks where to bury themselves. Remember that the plants grow on stony, sandy ground at sea level (they are often found near beaches) and not on vertical stone surfaces in mountain areas, therefore the roots are not needed to keep the plant "glued" onto a vertical surface from which it would otherwise fall if the roots didn't "stick", as would be the case with epiphytic phalaenopsis growing on tree trunks.

    BTW, I still use the old name Doritis pulcherrima, but I think it was lumped in with phalaenopsis not that long ago and now it's Phalaenopsis pulcherrima. If you google "Phalenopsis pulcherrima in situ" you'll see some pictures of it growing in its natural habitat.
    You are correct, Tony re the natural habitat and mode of growth of Doritis pulcherrima. Many years ago there used to be sizable colonies of both Doritis pulcherrima and Paph niveum growing in the Langkawi Islands (which I mentioned previously). Unfortunately the same locations have now been turned into areas for resorts and hotels.

  3. #13
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    Miller is offline Senior Member
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    Thanks for the additional info! I do grow outside but bring everything in during any cold winter days. I am in the gulf coast area of Texas so winter for us is no where near what winter is in the Midwest and northeast. Most of my stuff is still out side in December! I reported in a basket with a normal orchid mixture. Our temps are in the mid to upper 90s now so I think it is good on that front.

    miller





    Quote Originally Posted by serama View Post
    That would seem the best idea, but many growers insist that normal phalaenopsis pot culture with extra light is the best way of growing them. I tried twice and wasn't very successful with this plant when I used to grow all my plants indoors (about 10 years ago), probably because I couldn't give it enough heat and I didn't know that it needed more light than phalaenopsis (I've learnt a LOT about orchids growing since. LOL).

    They need consistently high temperatures, which I'd guess need to be higher than for most phalaenopsis because I think doritis would probably get "baked" at ground level, where there is less wind and more light than phalaenopsis get in the low hanging trunks of the large tropical forest trees that they inhabit. I mention this because I think you grow most of your plants outside, where it might get a bit too cold for it during the winter months, which can quickly lead to root rot if the compost in the pot stays too moist during a cold night. However, if you can give it high temps all year round, then I would definitely try a rock mixture with added perlite and some bark as well ... maybe add a little bit of sand but I would generally stay away from the sand and the humus as they might retain too much moisture.

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