Group : Bulbophyllum
Covers these genera : Bulbophyllum (Bulb.) , Cirrhopetalum (Cirr.) , Cirrhophyllum (Crphm.) , Trias (Trias)
General information for this group :
Most members of this group require nearly identical conditions. They are easy to grow and bloom when provided with the right environment. You can find some of the strangest and most bizarre flowers of the orchid family in this group. The initial discussion is for Bulbophyllum and any hybrid which has Bulbophyllum in it's background. For subgroups that have additional information, it will appear under individual headings near the bottom of the page. Alternatively, you can click on the genus name above to take you directly to that subgroup.
Bulbophyllums without a doubt are one of the easiest genera to cultivate and bloom. Many have very dramatic and exotic looking flowers. In general they enjoy high humidity and are very resistant to pests and other afflictions of orchids. Bulbophyllums have a very wide global distribution, with the heaviest concentrations in Africa and South-east Asia, but they can also be found in South America as well. This genus is one of the largest in the orchid family, numbering in excess of 3,000 species.
Moderate to bright light suits the vast majority of these species. If the shift between light-levels is gradual, these plants will adapt easily. If you find that your plant is reluctant to bloom under your current conditions, make sure first that the fertilizer you're using is appropriate, and then increase light levels slowly to see if that addresses the problem.
Intermediate conditions suit most of these species. The South American species appear to be more finicky than the others, and may require cooler temperatures or mounts to do well.
Bulbophyllums are not deep rooters, so a shallow pot is the most suitable. Ideally the mix should be free from salts and fairly moisture-retentive. We find that high-quality Sphagnum Moss, or a blend of ProMix/Perlite to be good choices. Miniature species may prefer growing on mounts if you can provide high humidity.
These plants will not tolerate hard water, so use rainwater, distilled water, or dehumidifier water for them. Never use well water, bottled water or softened water, otherwise growth and blooming will come to an abrupt stop. They prefer high humidity if possible, so they are ideal candidates for terrariums depending on the mature size of the plant.
A properly balanced orchid fertilizer is ideal (3:1:3 or 4:1:4 ratio). During the heavy growth cycle, you may want to increase the concentration to 1/2 or 3/4 strength of label directions.
Most species tend to bloom intermittently throughout the year, usually with one or two major flushes. Fragrance varies greatly from one to the next, some being very pleasant, while others are downright nasty. Flower durability varies from 1 to 6 weeks, depending on the species.
Same as for Bulbophyllum, except :
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