easily grown group of fascinating orchids have showy often highly
perfumed flowers 10 - 15 cm across which are produced at the base
of the pseudobulbs. They grow vertically downwards through the potting
media and flower underneath the plant. Flowers can appear from Spring to
Autumn with older plants flowering a number of tunes over the season.
The spectacular waxy, heavily textured flowers are relatively short
lived (up to 1 week) but are guaranteed to create interest and pleasure
for the grower and their visitors.
are found from Mexico through Central America to the orchid rich forests
of Colombia, Equador, Peru and Brazil. They grow at a range of altitudes
from 500 feet to 7,000 feet. Approximately 50 species are currently
described, many of which are now becoming available to collectors all
over the world.
flower underneath the plant, a wire basket lined with paperbark (a thin
layer) and a medium pine bark (orchid bark) produces excellent results.
However they can be grown as specimens on cork or fern slabs, mounted
with a small amount of sphagnum moss or similar fibre.
is best done in spring as the new growth appears. Older plants can be
divided to a minimum of 3 bulb pieces. Best results are obtained with
5 - 10 bulb pieces. Water frequently during the growing season
(Spring, Summer, Autumn) reducing to approximately weekly intervals in
the colder months.
with Osmaocote Plus every 6 months and orchid feed with a suitable
orchid fertilizer (eg. Peters Yellow). Plenty of water and feeding in
the growing season will be greatly appreciated by these plants and will
repay the grower with rapid growth and a spectacular fragrant display of
flowers from late spring to early autumn.
Stanhopeas grow best in enclosed areas or areas protected from the
weather. They can be grown on patios and covered areas, ferneries and
under trees, but growth will be slower. Species from higher altitudes,
eg. S. nigroviolacea, S. tigrina, S. wardii, and S.
oculata are very happy given some protection for their large leaves
from the sun and wind in summer and from heavy frost in winter.