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  #1  
Old 09-05-2021, 11:28 AM
mopwr mopwr is offline
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Chiloschista Lunifera Culture
Default Chiloschista Lunifera Culture

So I've read what little I can find on this species and a lot of what I've found is a bit conflicting. The only constant is that humidity needs to be high. I have that easy since I'm growing it in a terrarium where I can control the humidity. Lighting and feeding is where I see a lot of different information. I've heard "grow it like a vanda" in terms of strong light - then I've heard it likes light at or even below optimal phal levels. Regarding feeding, I've heard rainwater, very little minerals, etc. - which makes sense, but the "grow it like a vanda" advice would imply that it is a pretty good feeder.

For reference, my culture to date is this:
Light: It's bascally getting the same light as my multifloral paphs.
Temp: 80-85F day / 68-72F night
Humidity: ~85%
Feeding: It's on the same schedule as my paphs & phals and seems to be doing well with it as far as I can tell;
There's no root burn, no brown on the roots, etc.
Watering: Water everyday, sometimes every other. Even though I keep it humid, there's a ton of air movement, so it dries out in a couple hours even with daily watering.

It's been growing roots constantly since I got it (which is good since it's mostly roots to begin with) which I take as a good sign - good growing tips all over, but I suspect I might be growing it a bit too bright - as the tiny leaves it has have a purplish hue (and I even see a little bit of purple on the root tips). It did lose a leaf, but it looks like it's growing a new one - you'd need a magnifying glass to see it, but pretty sure it's there.

Basically, I've read what I feel is as much as I can about these plants, but have not found much personal experience with growing them indoors and blooming them successfully. Regarding blooming, do they need a temperature drop like some varieties or does the day length impact it?

I've attached photos of the plant for reference.
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2021, 02:02 PM
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I don't have your answers, but I think it looks very healthy.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2021, 02:13 PM
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I don't have one, but I want one!

I think is a +Vanda/-Phal light and humidity requirement.

Let see if anyone can help you!
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2021, 02:16 PM
rbarata rbarata is offline
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I don't grow it but I can give you the info taken from OW:

LIGHT: 1200-1800 fc. Plants need rather shady, filtered, or diffused light. Strong air movement should be provided at all times.

TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 83–86F (28–30C), and nights average 70–71F (21–22C), with a diurnal range of 12–16F (7–9C). The warmest days of the year occur in spring at the beginning of the wet season.

HUMIDITY: 80–85% in summer and autumn, dropping to 60–65% in late winter and early spring. WATER: Rainfall is moderate to heavy from late spring into autumn. Monthly averages then drop rather abruptly, resulting in 4 very dry months. Cultivated plants should be watered often while actively growing, but water should be reduced after growth slows in autumn.

FERTILIZER: 1/4–1/2 recommended strength, applied weekly. A high-nitrogen fertilizer is beneficial for vegetative growth from spring to midsummer, but using a high-phosphate fertilizer in late summer and autumn helps new growths mature and provides nutrients essential for blooming the next season.

REST PERIOD: Winter days average 80–86F (27–30C), and nights average 52–53F (11–12C), with a diurnal range of 27–33F (15–18C). Rainfall is low in the habitat in winter, but for most of the dry season heavy dew and late-night mist provide some moisture. For a month or so in late winter or early spring, however, conditions are so dry that even moisture from dew is uncommon. Cultivated plants need fairly regular early morning mistings between infrequent light waterings in winter. They should dry out between waterings but they should never remain dry for long periods. Fertilizer should be eliminated until heavier watering is resumed in spring.

GROWING MEDIA: Because these plants have no leaves, the photosynthesis activity of the plant is performed in the roots. Therefore, the roots must be exposed to sunlight, and these plants cannot be grown in pots. The plants seem to prefer mounting on rather smooth surfaces, so cork or fairly smooth-barked branches seem to be the preferred mounts.
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Old 09-05-2021, 03:42 PM
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I don't have that particular one but have had decent success with the closely-related species Chiloschista sweelimii. Mine is in the greenhouse (summer highs about 90 deg F, winter lows about 60 deg F., humid) I don't think that I have ever seen a leaf on it. It's all about the roots, that do the photosynthesis as well as the "normal" root functions. The more roots the better. I grow it fairly shady. (Can't put a number on it, I'm not that "quantitative" in my greenhouse, but it is hanging from the bench, the whole greenhouse has pretty subdued light) Fertilizer? It gets what everything else gets, which isn't much.
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:09 PM
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Thanks for all the repllies. I hadn't seen that particular segment on orchidweb, but it is a little helpful in that they at least give a baseline on light. I'd say I'm towards the upper range on the footcandles, I'm probably keeping it right around 1500, so lower than cattleya / vanda light for sure. The temps in winter may be a challenge as I don't plan on letting m my terrarium drop much lower than the low to mid 60s. Most of my plants in there wouldn't be too happy with anything under 65 degrees and the coldest my unheated basement gets all year is probably 62-63 in the dead of winter.

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Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
I don't have that particular one but have had decent success with the closely-related species Chiloschista sweelimii. Mine is in the greenhouse (summer highs about 90 deg F, winter lows about 60 deg F., humid) I don't think that I have ever seen a leaf on it. It's all about the roots, that do the photosynthesis as well as the "normal" root functions. The more roots the better. I grow it fairly shady. (Can't put a number on it, I'm not that "quantitative" in my greenhouse, but it is hanging from the bench, the whole greenhouse has pretty subdued light) Fertilizer? It gets what everything else gets, which isn't much.
Thanks Roberta. In general, what season does it flower for you? My plant is definitely bloom size and is throwing new roots in every direction - so for that much, it seems happy. I can't seem to find anything on blooming these. Since I grow this and others indoors, some plants require a little work to get to bloom - especially if thy require a temp drop. I get day / night temperature swings (that I create) and I do shorten the day length under lights to match the given season, but I don't know if it matters for these plants.
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:25 PM
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If you're willing to take it out of the terrarium most nights in winter that might be all the cooling it needs. Most unheated basements are fairly humid so humidity should be fine.
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:27 PM
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Mine blooms in January/February/March. Last winter I had a particularly good bloom. (and bloom was early February)

Temperatures are actually pretty even, just a little cooler in winter than summer because that's what Mother Nature does (I can cool the greenhouse somewhat in summer with a fogger, heat in the winter but I don't have anything that can't manage 60 deg F) So those aren't ideal temperatures, they are just what exists and the plant tolerates it. (I don't have plants that don't tolerate the conditions... the ones that can't manage it don't survive, I do the best I can...)
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Old 09-05-2021, 04:48 PM
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Quote:
Mine blooms in January/February/March.
That's consistent with IOSPE.
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Old 09-05-2021, 05:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbarata View Post
That's consistent with IOSPE.
See? Plants CAN read!
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