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P. stuartiana Culture Needed

This is a discussion on P. stuartiana Culture Needed within the Genus Specific forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I recently purchased a Phalaenopsis stuartiana online and am anxiously awaiting for my little prize ...

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  1. #1
    V-W's Avatar
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    Default P. stuartiana Culture Needed

    I recently purchased a Phalaenopsis stuartiana online and am anxiously awaiting for my little prize to arrive.

    This will be my first Phal species plant, any tips on culture? I had expected to grow it like other hybrid Phals but am curious if it will need any extra attention?

    I grow all of my orchids in S/H but have had poor luck with Phals in this medium and am still undecided what I will put this little guy in.

    And yes, I was so excited to own it that I recklessly purchased him with doing any beforehand research. Thanks all!

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    Grow in warm temperatures. Pot in medium fir bark and keep in partial shade. Water about once a week. Keep plant fairly moist but not wet. However my other phals are not in shade. My Stuartiana is hardly a seedling, having now lost 1 leaf of 2 and can not decide if it wants to grow roots or not.

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    tucker85 is offline Senior Member
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    I grow my stuartiana just like all my other phals. I've had mine for a couple of years in medium coconut husk chips with a little charcoal and a little sponge rock. I'm changing some of my phals to 50/50 chc and Orchiata bark with some sponge rock and charcoal. Stuartiana has been a vigorous orchid for me.

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    Congrats on your first species phal!! I am a species phal collector, but I happen to not have a stuartiana yet. I can, however, tell you what I've noticed about the differences between growing species vs. hybrid phals in general in my house. (I grow indoors because of the climate here in Pennsylvania.)

    Here in PA, my species phals require more sunlight to grow and bloom than NOIDs. My NOIDS will bloom under all sorts of varied conditions, but if the species plants don't get extra sunshine, they just sort of sit there. I grow them closer to Catt light than what you'd call "normal" phal light. (Just make sure you experiment with sun exposure slowly so you don't give your plant a nasty sunburn right away). They like to grow warmer, too, and when they are initiating a spike and forming buds, they need a LOT of water and humidity to keep those spikes going (vs. NOID phals, which will just sort of "do their thing" no matter what).

    For example, my Phal schilleriana was doing nicely in its clay pot with bark... it had a spike going and was forming buds, but then we had a cloudy week and the buds started to blast. I moved it under the artificial lights, and it took off again. But then another couple of buds shriveled, and I realized the plant wasn't getting enough humidity in its clay pot, so I put the clay pot inside a larger cache pot to hold in moisture. It went back to being happy, and ultimately, the consistent light and humidity was what finally got it to bloom. Unfortunately, by the point I figured all this out, I only had two buds left... but I did get two nice flowers out of it.

    I've never done semi-hydro, but if you are comfortable with it, I'm sure you'll be able to make your stuartiana happy. Just remember that species phals are slower growers than hybrids, so don't get too discouraged if yours takes a little while to take off... my NOIDs will bloom several times over before a species plant will... but personally, I think the best you can do for your stu is give it as much light as it can handle without burning it and make sure it has lots of humidity and frequent watering.

    Having said all that... everyone's growing conditions are a bit different. My culture is going to be rather different than that of outdoor growers in tropical locations... so do what works for you! But basically, if you can grow a hybrid phal, you can grow a species one. They're not super-delicate, and you won't kill it by not having perfect culture, so just experiment to see what makes it happy! For me, high light, frequent watering, and high humidity has been the "magic combo." Make sure to check back in and let us know how your stu is doing!

    Congrats on your new plant!

  5. #5
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    I have just purchased this plant. It arrived two weeks ago. It is sitting with all my other Phals, but the others are hybrids. Jenn's note above is really helpful. I would add another bit of information that I learned from a hobbyist here in Fort Wayne. She advised I put the plant in a little bit more light than solid green Phals because of its variegation.

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    An update on my Stuartiana - after all my loving care over the past 4 months my little guy has grown one leaf. He also shed one old leaf. So far a draw. Otherwise he just sits there. No new root growth at all.

    After re-reading this post I decided to move him to a slightly sunnier location. He's now sitting by my Oncidiums and Maxillaria. I yelled at him a little bit this morning, hopefully he gets the hint and makes a root!

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    Desdinova is offline Senior Member
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    Like a lot of things, including C. walkerianas: water when it's growing, hold off when it's not. Likewise for fertilizer. A good rule of thumb that works for most water tetchy species.

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    I've never had orchids before where I had to moderate watering depending on growth cycles. Mostly they get water then I care about them and less water when they're being little jerks (growing in S/H makes my watering a little more forgiving then other mediums).

    Thanks Julie for piping in, I haven't given it too much thought before to water this species differently from my other orchids! Maybe I'll pay him a little more attention and love.

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    Thankfully they're not TOO fussy. Used to have one. As long as you keep it warm and bright, it should be a trooper. I keep most of my plants in sphagnum and water by color and touch.

  10. #10
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    Congrats it's very easy to grow dont worry you can use mixture of charcoal and coconut chips also ok one thing the beauty about this species the broken roots if you are very lucky it will give you small plant only occur in this one and schilleriana.

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