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-   -   Sarcochilus (ceciliae) care (https://www.orchidboard.com/community/vanda-alliance-others/105997-sarcochilus-ceciliae-care.html)

neophyte 02-15-2021 12:39 AM

Sarcochilus (ceciliae) care
I was reading about the care this particular species requires. Most websites seem to recommend scoria/bark; would sphagnum work? I ask mainly because sphagnum has historically worked well for most of my plants, so I haven't ventured much into other media. Also, apparently the species prefers to have its roots sit on top of the medium? Is this a tricky species/are there easier members of its genus that I might start out with?

3rdMaestro 02-15-2021 11:48 PM

Fred Clarke of Sunset Valley Orchids offers a variety of these for sale and has a good care sheet for them. A friend of mine grew them similar (but not exactly) to phals, and they bloomed well for her. Personally I don't see why moss shouldn't work, as long as you don't pack tightly in the pot. But Fred would be happy to help you grow these things and answer questions, give him a call!

Ray 02-16-2021 08:15 AM

As a general comment, “the plant” is not what determines what potting medium to use, and what works for one grower may not work for another.

You have to consider what the plant would see in nature, then consider the potting medium that works with the rest of your growing conditions and watering capabilities to deliver that.

wisdomseeker 02-16-2021 02:59 PM

Have only grown this one in a terrarium. Initially I was using a plastic net pot with sphagnum moss (not tightly packed, but not loose either). The plant seemed to be doing okay and had produced a few new leaves. Moss was kept damp, letting it dry before rewatering.

Further down the road ~ nothing seemed to be happening with this orchid, except for a couple of yellowing leafs that fell off. I pulled it out of the pot and took a look at the roots (the plant had a very robust root structure when first potted up in sphagnum). To my surprise there were only a few roots still attached. The ones that remained were healthy.

I re-potted (still using a plastic net pot, but used bark mixed with small pebbles as a medium). I had to water it more frequently than the sphagnum, but over the course of time, both the plant and root system greatly improved. Trial & error... had to figure out what would work best with the growing conditions/environment I was providing.

Roberta 02-16-2021 08:09 PM

Sarco cecilae needs to be on the drier side. I got one from Santa Barbara Orchid Estate that was growing very happily in chunks of granite chips. It's more of a lithophyte than an epiphyte. Without any organic it was hard to keep it adequately watered... pebbles mixed with bark sounds like a good mix.

neophyte 02-16-2021 11:05 PM

Thanks so much for the tips! :biggrin: I'll be trying a pebble or scoria mix then, probably with something else thrown in to retain a bit more moisture.

ArronOB 02-17-2021 01:13 AM

If you follow this link there are some photos of this orchid growing in the wild.

Sarcochilus ceciliae – TheRockLilyMan

The author goes further to point out that this is its normal situation of growth - on rock faces, but seldom bare rock, usually with quite deep leaf litter surrounding its roots. I think these are quite exposed rock faces, with scattered canopy cover. I think this is what you should be trying to duplicate, to the extent that you can in cultivation.

SouthPark 02-18-2021 02:16 PM

I grow Sarco. ceciliae as well. Growing very successfully in big chunk scoria that I water each morning. Then the scoria surface is all dry by sun-down. This doesn't mean all the scoria is all dry though. The layers down toward the bottom of the pot can still be moist at night time.

My watering method I use is the same as for all my other orchids ------ most water applied to the outskirt regions of the pot. And then I also spray the full surface later a little bit with some water --- essentially to get the roots a bit wet.

The roots of the ceciliae generally grow really well like that --- and the roots can actually grow at a pretty good rate.

My growing conditions for my ceciliae is under a balcony --- and they get full morning sun - several hours of morning direct sunlight. My conditions are tropical here. Doing really well. They appear to be quite hardy orchids under these conditions here - which is the usual case for all orchids growing in conditions that supports them well.

I've also been growing 3 juvenile ceciliae in a humidity tub ----- in scoria too. Also doing well. So I think that they may be able to actually grow in sphagnum - as most orchids can. As long as their roots have adapted to it. Because - when I think about it ----- baby orchids are supported by agar etc in flasks. So should be able to handle sphagnum - when adapted that is.

SouthPark 02-18-2021 05:01 PM

Also - interestingly - when I first started growing Sarcochilus --- I didn't know how Sarcochilus was supposed to be pronounced.

Eventually learned that the chilus portion is pronounced kigh-lus ...... as in kigh rhyming with high and thai (tie) etc. Not Sarco-kill-us.

Fairorchids 02-19-2021 07:07 AM

This was my first Sarc. I grew it successfully in a spagnum/bark mix (about 50/50) in small plastic pots for 6-7 years.

Then I attended a talk on Sarcs, by someone, who has grown Sarcs extremely well for 30+ years. He mentioned that ceciliae tends to suffer from SSDS (Sarc Sudden Death Syndrome) - in part because it hates getting repotted.

Within 30 days he was right.

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