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  #1  
Old 03-11-2022, 12:23 AM
HiOrcDen HiOrcDen is offline
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Substrate for Masdevallia C. &amp; Anacheilium C. Male
Question Substrate for Masdevallia C. & Anacheilium C.

So I have received two new plants, mentioned in the title.

The Masdevallia came in 100% sphagnum moss. Is this a suitable long term substrate? If not, what mix should switch to. The Anacheilium came in a substrate I do not recognize. I will add a picture, hope someone recognizes it haha. Is this a long term substrate?
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  #2  
Old 03-11-2022, 12:40 AM
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Generally, sphagnum is a good medium for Masdevallias. I like sphag with clay pots - the clay stays moist, which helps to cool the roots. Which species of Masdevallia? Most like to stay on the cool side, but there are some warmer growing ones as well. They do best with good water - RO or DI. The goal is to keep them damp, but with air... they are epiphytes, mostly from a cloud forest environment. Note that for most of these (except for the relatively few lower elevation species) that the challenge isn't low temps (most are fine a few degrees above freezing) but summer highs. With a lot of trial and error, I have found a fair number of species that tolerate my conditions, but the best Masdie growers in California are mostly in the Central Coast and San Francisco areas, and also a few microclimates around San Diego like Point Loma, areas where summers are a little cooler.

The Anacheilium looks like it is potted in coconut fiber. Which species? Again, you need to know the habitat of the particular species to get it the right conditions. These do tend to grow a little more moist than some other members of the Cattleya tribe, but still need to dry out between waterings. But some are more tropical, others come from higher elevation and can grow cooler. So it is important to get down into the details. Note that Anacheillium has been lumped into the genus Prosthechea, which helps to know if you have trouble finding info on the species under the original genus,
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Old 03-11-2022, 01:26 AM
HiOrcDen HiOrcDen is offline
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Substrate for Masdevallia C. &amp; Anacheilium C. Male
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Generally, sphagnum is a good medium for Masdevallias. I like sphag with clay pots - the clay stays moist, which helps to cool the roots. Which species of Masdevallia? Most like to stay on the cool side, but there are some warmer growing ones as well. They do best with good water - RO or DI. The goal is to keep them damp, but with air... they are epiphytes, mostly from a cloud forest environment. Note that for most of these (except for the relatively few lower elevation species) that the challenge isn't low temps (most are fine a few degrees above freezing) but summer highs. With a lot of trial and error, I have found a fair number of species that tolerate my conditions, but the best Masdie growers in California are mostly in the Central Coast and San Francisco areas, and also a few microclimates around San Diego like Point Loma, areas where summers are a little cooler.

The Anacheilium looks like it is potted in coconut fiber. Which species? Again, you need to know the habitat of the particular species to get it the right conditions. These do tend to grow a little more moist than some other members of the Cattleya tribe, but still need to dry out between waterings. But some are more tropical, others come from higher elevation and can grow cooler. So it is important to get down into the details. Note that Anacheillium has been lumped into the genus Prosthechea, which helps to know if you have trouble finding info on the species under the original genus,
Hi again, and thanks again! So it's a Masdevallia Coccinea, and an Anacheillium Chimborazoense. From my research, I have the impression this Masvedallia will be okay at 50+, is this correct? Though since it just arrived in the mail, and it's down near 50, should I keep it inside for a night? The AC I've determined 56+ is okay, correct or not?

So DI water I presume is distilled. What does RO water stand for?

Well thus far I have just been consulting care guides. But I will definitely start studying habitats, as you mentioned...

Thank you!

Last edited by HiOrcDen; 03-11-2022 at 01:43 AM..
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Old 03-11-2022, 02:31 AM
Dimples Dimples is offline
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DI = deionized water. Thatís actually a specific type of very pure water thatís been treated to remove all ions. It doesnít conduct electricity and itís used in scientific and industrial processes. I wouldnít expect youíd find it for sale outside of a specialty shop.

Distilled water was boiled and the steam was collected and condensed leaving impurities behind. Itís very pure too.

RO = reverse osmosis. Water is passed through a membrane and the dissolved substances are left behind because theyíre too big to pass through. This is also very pure water.
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Old 03-11-2022, 06:18 AM
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DI = deionized water. Thatís actually a specific type of very pure water thatís been treated to remove all ions. It doesnít conduct electricity and itís used in scientific and industrial processes. I wouldnít expect youíd find it for sale outside of a specialty shop.

Distilled water was boiled and the steam was collected and condensed leaving impurities behind. Itís very pure too.

RO = reverse osmosis. Water is passed through a membrane and the dissolved substances are left behind because theyíre too big to pass through. This is also very pure water.
Sorry if this is a stupid question lol... but if a plant is not accustomed to or does not require distilled water, specifically, is there any harm in using distilled water?

We do have a place called 'Gourmet Water' nearby. Maybe there?

What is a cost effective method for treating water yourself, for better water for the plants?
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Old 03-11-2022, 08:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HiOrcDen View Post
Sorry if this is a stupid question lol... but if a plant is not accustomed to or does not require distilled water, specifically, is there any harm in using distilled water?

We do have a place called 'Gourmet Water' nearby. Maybe there?

What is a cost effective method for treating water yourself, for better water for the plants?
If a plant doesn't need water low in minerals, it does no harm to use it. Some people actually prefer to use pure sources of water for everything because you can better control the nutrition. But for those that have suitable tap water, the salt sensitive plants get pure water while the rest get tap water.


As to cost effective ways of getting pure water, rain water is the cheapest, if you are lucky enough to live somewhere where it rains regularily. Otherwise a small RO unit can be installed at home, it usually works out cheaper than buying distilled water in a store.
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Old 03-11-2022, 12:14 PM
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Southern California... the last significant rain was in December, and there probably won't be much until next October or November...
One can often buy RO water from a machine outside a grocery store. Or buy RO or distilled in gallon/4L bottles (OK for a small collection) For an even smaller one, there's a cartridge system called "Zero Water" that is actually a deionizer. (Other"filters" like Britta don't remove minerals)

For the OP, southern California tap water is, to varying degrees, liquid rocks. Fine for Cattleya tribe, Cymbidiums, and most of the rest of the more common orchids. Masdevallias and other Pleurothallids on the other hand, don't do well, at least long term, with that hard water. Those do need pure water. (I had very poor results with the whole group until I got an RO system) Temperature, that Masdevallia will be fine with whatever low temperatures Mother Nature provides... down to occasional frost. The bigger concern for that one is summer highs, and also low humidity. The OP hasn't said what part of southern California they live in, some areas are more conducive to Masdevallias than others. (Right now, humidity where I live is 12%... time to be generous with water drought or no drought.. )

---------- Post added at 08:14 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:38 AM ----------

Anacheilium chimborazoense, IOSPE has no elevation information, but the name indicates that it grows on the Volcan Chimborazo in Ecuador.. so likely tolerant of the chill of southern California. This is a good time of year to grow a new plant outside - nights are no longer particularly cold, and so it will have a chance to acclimate before next winter.
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