Question and Answer


Date sent: Mon, 11 Feb 2002
Subject: Schomburgkia


Hello from Rochester, MN, USA!

I found your website while searching for Schomburgkia culture information.

I am really a Phal. grower. After being hassled by Orchid Society friends, because I don't grow other things, I purchased several Schomburkias. I had seen one in bloom at a conservatory last summer. I figured they would do ok
in the bright area just under the HID lights, and go outside in the summer. I had no idea that there isn't much information available on them. I have a book ordered, but need a little advice as soon as possible.

Do you mount your Schomburgkias? If so, on what ? Do you put a bit of moss between the mounting material and the roots? How should I care for them while they are growing new roots and getting established? Mist the roots? keep them dry? Have you mounted any on ceramic/clay roofing tiles? Or would the outside cuts from trees work? They are about 10" across, with bark on one side, they may be oak, (not really sure what they are from).

I have two splendida and a rosea.

Sorry to ask so many questions. I don't want to loose these new plants.
I really appreciate will any helpful advice I can get.

Sincerely,
NOTE Questions from original message. Answers in bold


Hi Jeanne

Thanks for the message and sorry for the short delay in replying.

Schomburgkia.

You are correct that there is not a lot of information on these plants. I have not personally grown them, but have a friend who has successfully grown and flowered them for a number of years. A lot of the information on the web site comes from material in the Orchid Digest and any other sources I could find, as well as habitat information. The following notes should be used as a guide, but should give a reasonable idea of their requirements.



There is some relevant informaltion on my schomburgkia page http://www.geocities.com/orchidsnzcats/schomb.htm which also links to the the basic culture information. You may also find it useful to refer to the habitat information, especially that for the arid habditat, at http://www.angelfire.com/or3/orchidsnz/habitats/habframe.html

I will answer your sspedific questions as inserts into your message as far as I am able.

Good luck. If you can grow successfully you will have some spectacular orchids

With kind regards

Phil


From:

> Hello from Rochester, MN, USA!
>
> I found your website while searching for Schomburgkia culture information.
>
> I am really a Phal. grower. After being hassled by Orchid Society friends, > because I don't grow other things, I purchased several Schomburkias. I had seen one in bloom at a conservatory last summer. I figured they would do ok in the bright area just under the HID lights, and go outside in the summer.
> I had no idea that there isn't much information available on them. I have a book ordered, but need a little advice as soon as possible.
>
> Do you mount your Schomburgkias? If so, on what ?
A critical requirement of these plants is for them to have perfect drainage, and they need to dry out between waterings. The thick heavy foliage indicated an arid native habitat so they will need a fairly pronounced wet/dry cycle.
In NZ I have only seem them mounted on slabs of tree fern fibre, but a good piece of cork bark or similar should be satisfactory. The material must be able to dry out, but apart from that is really there only to support the plant in an attractive way.

>
Do you put a bit of moss between the mounting material and the roots?
I would suspect that during early establishment you will have to watch the plants, but if they are desert plants perhaps misting would be better than moss which can get soggy if care is not experienced.
They are generally noted to be high light requiring plants, and I suspect a fairly strong diurnal temperature range would be appropriate for optimum flowering. I believe they come from areas with comparatively heavy summer rainfall, with conditions for the rest of the year comparatively dry.


> How should I care for them while they are growing new roots and getting established? Mist the roots? keep them dry?
The strong wet/dry cycle is important, but I would suggest heavy watering once dry, with misting to ensure dehydration does not occur. I would suspect this should be controlled as you want to ensure rapid root establishment, and this will not occur if you keep misting too much.

> Have you mounted any on ceramic/clay roofing tiles? Or would the outside cuts from trees work? They are about 10"
> across, with bark on one side, they may be oak, (not really sure what they are from).
I have never seen them mounted on ceramic tiles or similar; in fact you so not see them very often here and the ones you see are either in pots with large bark pieces , or mounted on tree fern slabs. Artificial material should be suitable and certainly it would have the advantage of long life and avoid the need for remounting.
Reading habitat information and thinking about the habitat, I think I would only surface mount. Tree slabs can be OK although often the bark will detach from the underlying timber which can cause problems.

>
> I have two splendida and a rosea.
>
> Sorry to ask so many questions. I don't want to loose these new plants.
> I really appreciate will any helpful advice I can get.
I trust these comments assist. It may be worth posting to a newsgroup; such as rec.gardens.orchids to see if you can find someone who has more practical experience with these plants and the particular species you have. That group has some very good members and detailed knowledge of your environment and experience with the plants is what you want.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Jeanne
 


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