AFRICAN

ORCHIDS

Read more of cultivation of Oeceoclades maculata (Lindl.) Lindl., Gen. Sp. Orchid. Pl.: 237 (1833).
Culture:
Light:
1200-2000 fc. Plants require shady conditions and filtered or diffused light. Strong air movement should be provided at all times.
Temperatures:
Summer days average 80-81F (27C), and nights average 69-70F (21C), with a diurnal range of 10-11F (6C).
Humidity:
75-80% year-round.
Water:
Rainfall is moderate to heavy all year, with the driest period occurring during 2-3 months in winter. Plants should be watered heavily while actively growing, but drainage must be excellent, and conditions around the roots should never be stale or soggy.
Fertilizer:
1/2-3/4 recommended strength, applied weekly when plants are actively growing. Many growers prefer to use a balanced fertilizer throughout the year; but others use a high-nitrogen fertilizer from spring to midsummer, then switch to 1 high in phosphates in late summer and autumn. Because these plants are very heavy feeders, many growers recommend including composted manure or other fertilizing materials in the potting mix.
Rest period:
Winter days average 76-77F (24-25C), and nights average 64-66F (18-19C), with a diurnal range of 11-12F (6C). Rainfall in the habitat is somewhat lower in winter, but there is not an actual dry season. Cultivated plants need less water in winter. They should be allowed to become somewhat drier between waterings, but they should not dry out completely. Fertilizer should be reduced when water is reduced.
Growing media:
Hawkes (1965) recommended growing the Oeceoclades maculata the same as Phaius species. Therefore, a mix of equal parts soil, rotted cow manure, leaf-mold, and peat or sphagnum moss should work well. A top dressing of additional rotted cow manure should be added each spring when growth resumes. A soilless mix of 1/3 fine fir bark, 1/3 perlite, 1/6 sand, and 1/6 peat moss is an alternate medium if growers object to using manure. Fertilizer must be faithfully applied, however, since few nutrients are available from this medium. Plants may be grown in the garden in dappled shade areas if suitable weather conditions prevail, but excellent drainage and ample moisture must be available. Plants grown in the greenhouse should be potted in well-drained containers large enough for about 2 years' growth. Repotting is best done in early spring as new growth resumes and should be avoided before the winter rest.
References:
This information is quoted from a Charles and Margaret Baker culture sheet, with permission from Troy Meyers This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The entire culture sheet can be obtained by subscription from Orchid Species Culture, http://orchidculture.com