Sunday, April 13, 2008

In Bloom: Masd. wagneriana var. pteroglossa

Masd. wagneriana var. pteroglossaThis is Masd. wagneriana var. pteroglossa. Its a miniature Masdevallia. Its growing in a 2 inch pot of sphagnum and I keep it in my basement under fluorescent light. The basement is cool and mildly humid, so the Masdevallias do OK down there, although admittedly they'd probably do better if I watered more often.
Masd. citrinella
When this opened I was confused because I thought I'd never bloomed the plant before but it looked very familiar. After checking my images I find that I have a Masd. citrinella (second photo) that looks very similar, although the plant is slightly larger and it doesn't have the red racing stripe in the dorsal sepal.


swamprad said...

Your masdevallias look great! I recently got a couple of masdies, supposedly warm tolerant hybrids with rex and glandulosa in their heritage. It is unheard of to grow masdevallias here in the South, but I don't see why not, inside with a/c. A basement sounds ideal, but I don't have one. I also got a few miltoniopsis, also on the cooler end of the spectrum. It will be interesting to see how these guys fair through the summer.

SapphireChild said...

A trick that some people don't know is to put them in a clay pot with sphagnum. Then if you have a little fan going: instant swamp cooler! Roots stay cool, plant is happy.

swamprad said...

So you're saying, pot the masdevallias in a clay pot in sphagnum ONLY? Do you wait until the sphagnum is completely dry to water, or just almost dry? I have been leary of potting in sphagnum, being fearful of root rot, but your suggestion intrigues me. These guys will need all the help they can get to make it through a summer in Memphis, air conditioning or not! I have lots of swollen buds ready to open any minute. When they do, I'll send you a link to their photos.

SapphireChild said...

So first off, I don't water enough. I grow almost all of my phals in sphagnum and I let that dry out completely (as in, crunchy on top and dry in the middle). The stuff lasts and lasts and my phals have masses of roots. Except the violaceas and stuff which are contrary little buggers.

Anyway, with a Masd I would expect you could water it a little more often, maybe let it almost dry out. But honestly I haven't tested that. I always forget to water mine until they're all the way dry. But my basement is cool anyway so it doesn't matter.

But if you don't use the sphagnum, I imagine the pot won't stay damp through and that's what offers the evaporative cooling effect.

I saw someone grow a Dend. cuthbertsonii in sphagnum/clay/evaporative cooling in an average MD windowsill. The thing looked pretty fabulous.

Yes! Please share your photos! :)

ara133photography said...

These are gorgeous!!!