Monday, March 1, 2010

Osmoglossum pulchellum backbulb sprouted too

Osmoglossum pulchellum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergNow that the growth season has started for Osmoglossum pulchellum I am inspecting the backbulb divisions I made about six months ago every time I go into the Sonoma greenhouse. Up to this point there has been nothing happening beyond some algae growing on the surface of the sphagnum.

Osmoglossum pulchellum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergOsmoglossum pulchellum grows in Mexico down into Central America in mountain forests above 3500 feet. It is cold to warm growing, very fragrant and blooms in the fall and winter.

Yesterday I saw the first of what I hope to be several sprouts. I was just guessing as to how to pot these backbulb divisions. This was based on what I thought were the conditions where they grew naturally.

The rhizome on this plant is very short, so I cut only where I could get a clean division without damage to the pseudobulb. I half filled a 2-inch pot with rocks and potted the backbulbs on tightly packed sphagnum.


  1. Constantly in amazement by how determined orchids are to survive and grow. How many backbulbs of pulchellum did you pot?


  2. I have six pots, all about the same, most with more than one connected pseudobulb in some of them. It will be interesting to see how they do.

    I am having good results with tightly packed sphagnum which doesn't get wet like loose sphagnum.

  3. Sounds like a good idea. I had just bought a small bail of sphagnum to try this with for some backbulbs I got in Mexico. I am trying to cultivate old ones and "rescues" in my bodega where I stay when in MX. Just something different from what most gringos are growing, anyway. I also am trying old coconut husks and bark. I am returning to orchid growing after a hiatus of 30 years, so retirement is good. I once had an extensive collection of species. I have enjoyed reading your posts and photographs.

  4. Rescues are fun and very fulfilling. Welcome back to orchid growing.

    The only problem with the tightly packed sphagnum is that I go through a lot of it. I have to buy it in the largest bail size.