Group : Maxillaria
Covers these genera : Maxillaria (Max.) , Neomoorea (Nma.) , Rudolfiella (Rud.) , Scuticaria (Sctcria.) , Trigonidium (Trgdm.) , Xylobium (Xyl.)
General information for this group :
Most members of this group require nearly identical conditions, very similar to those needed by Lycaste. They are easy to grow and bloom when provided with the right environment. All members of this group have the same requirements as those for Maxillaria.
Maxillarias are very diverse in their coloration, plant size and habitats. They include some very attractive and interesting species that merit more recognition in hobbyist collections. They tend to be very tough, disease and pest resistent, with durable attractive and often scented blooms. There are many miniatures in this group, and their tufted growth habits make them excellent terrarium candidates for mid to upper levels.
Most Maxillarias prefer moderate light levels, as would be found in the average east or west window, or filtered south.
Intermediate temperatures suit most species best. Even the "cool" growers will do fine under intermediate conditions provided the humidity levels are high enough, and the medium used is moisture-retentive. Maxillarias resent excessively hot temperatures, particularly if the humidity levels are low. Under these conditions the plants will quickly show signs of stress and the leaves will go very leathery due to excessive moisture loss.
The miniature and crawling species do better on cork or treefern mounts, than they do in pots. The other intermediate growers do fine in bark mixes, graded accordingly with the size of the pot (see the Repotting page). Those that are considered "cool" growers like striata, speciosa, huebschii, etc. benefit from the addition of ample amounts of sphagnum moss to aid in moisture-retention. This also helps to keep the root mass cooler than their surroundings, hence addressing their temperature requirements.
Rainwater or dehumidifier water are best, followed by high-quality tap water. NEVER use bottled water, softened water or well-water for these plants. Avoid misting the leaves, as this usually leads to unsightly spotting.
Use a properly balanced orchid fertilizer (3:1:3 or 4:1:4 ratio) with micronutrients during the active growing season (usually Feb to Sept), at a concentration of 1/4 to 1/2 strength. If you notice that brown or black leaf tips appear, then reduce the fertilizer concentration. Also ensure that you flush the pots thoroughly with plain water at least every 4th watering.
Most species bloom intermittently throughout the year, with the heaviest flush in mid to late spring. If you use a fertilizer that has too high a concentration of nitrogen, then this can suppress blooming.
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