growing cold climate masdevallias
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:32 AM
crestedgeckogal crestedgeckogal is offline
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growing cold climate masdevallias
Default growing cold climate masdevallias

Can anyone give me a few pointers? I am recieving in the mail tomorrow Masdevallia amanda from Andy's Orchids, and I just can't wait! My understanding is that it is a cold growing orchid, but unfortunately, I can't find any really good information on it. There is a book I was thinking of buying called "Masdevallias, Gems of the World" that I saw at amazon, does anyone know and like this book?
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Old 11-20-2007, 11:10 AM
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Tindomul Tindomul is offline

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Never hear of the book. Sounds cool though. With my limited experience I would say, keep the temps below 75 in the day and preferably around 70 and 55 to 60 at night.
Let the Masdies dry out at night. They don't seem to survive if kept wet even though they are high humidity lovers. Perhaps just adding lots of ventilation will do the trick? Lots of water and lots of air movement would be my next attempt at cold growing Masdies.
Also remember that water evaporates and as it does, it will cool your orchid. So perhaps it is possible to keep them at higher temps but allowing them to get wet and dry off would cool them off enough?
"We must not look at goblin men,
We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"

Goblin Market
by Christina Georgina Rossetti
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:22 PM
shakkai shakkai is offline
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More info on Masdevallia amanda can be found at:

It is also listed in the book that you mention, I'll copy the section into another post a little later after supper. I have the book, and if you are at all interested in growing in Masdies, its a good one to get.
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:36 PM
shakkai shakkai is offline
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"The epithet for this species derives from the Latin amandus, meaning lovable. This species is variable in size and coloration and is found through all three cordilleras of Columbia to southeastern Ecuador at elevations ranging from 1700 to 2400m. In the wild, this species is found on exposed rock faces and tree branches in cool cloud forests. This cool- to cold-growing small epiphyte grows in dense clumps. The ramicauls are very short and almost inconspicuous, with oblong-elliptic leaves that attenuate to the shortly petiolate base. The leathery, clear green leaf has a rounded, slightly indented apex. The plant blooms on an erect, scapose raceme, 12 to 16 cm long, bearing three to four flowers held well above the leaves. The campanulate (bell-like) flowers appear mostly in winter and spring."
p 68-69. Masdevallias, Gems of the Orchid World. Mary E. Gerritsen & Ron Parsons. Timber Press, 2005.

In this book, cold growing is described as:
Day: 10-16C/50-60F
Night: 4-7C/40-45F

Cool growing is described as:
Night: 7-12C/45-53F
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Old 11-20-2007, 01:40 PM
shakkai shakkai is offline
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I would also add that I agree with Tin, 90% of the time if I'm having trouble with a Masdie, its because it didn't dry out overnight. You can't let it stay dry for too long, but the rhizome shouldn't stay constantly wet. (The roots can stay moist, but if the rhizome stays wet, in my experience either new shoots will rot or existing leaves will drop.)
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Old 11-20-2007, 02:04 PM
masda masda is offline
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In New Zealand Masdeavillas are grown almost everwhere in cool conditions. I have grown them for over 20 years and have found that they grow best in damp sphagnum not soaking wet, this can be done by light watering 2 or 3 times a week, less in cooler months," never let the moss dry out" have good air movement and don't over feed as this is a cause of a lot of the problems that people have with them, feed every 10 days or so with half strength orchid food, they like liquid blood and bone , leaf drop is a sign that something is amiss with the roots. they can be repotted any time of the year. Remember that my growing conditions may not suit your conditions, so you create a micro climate suitable for you orchids. Happy growing and have a Merry xmas.
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Old 11-20-2007, 07:49 PM
Bolero Bolero is offline
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Masdevallias, Gems of the World is an awesome book and is pretty much the bible on these magic little plants. I grow close to 60 Masdevallias and I never get sick of growing them.

The advice given above is very good. I should say also that mine have hit 86F (30C) lately and seem to be coping ok. Some of them will tolerate warmer temps but if you want to grow them well, flower well and never lose leaves then you need some good culture.

As I said that advice given above sounds spot on.
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Old 11-20-2007, 10:24 PM
crestedgeckogal crestedgeckogal is offline
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growing cold climate masdevallias
Default Thank you!

I just want to thank everyone for helping me with this! I am getting my orchid tomorrow, so we will see how it works out! Have a happy thanksgiving everyone!
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