Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mediocalcar decoratum

I don't really need to be reminded that I am an orchid addict. It is all too plain. A few days ago I was at Napa Valley Orchids and bought an overflowing saucer of Mediocalcar decoratum. I don't have space for the plants I have and when I have to find indoor space in the fall I may be in trouble.

These are a group of cuttings in sphagnum over peanuts in 2 1/2-inch pastic pots.Mediocalcar decoratum grows in Papua and New Guinea in moist mountain forests. It is cold to cool growing and blooms in spring. The genus Mediocalcar (Medi) contains about 20 species from New Guinea.

It was growing happily in a fairly bright spot in an intermediate greenhouse. I got it home and found that this species is cold to cool growing. These do not do well in my greenhouse.

And just to make the problem worse, I made some divisions. I will find a place for then at the bottom of the greenhouse and try to get them growing. If they are ok after a month or two, I will try to sell them.


  1. Richard, I've heard anecdotally that this species does okay with intermediate-warm temps, maybe not HOT, but I don't think it necessarily needs to be kept cool at all times. I've also been told by another source that it does well in medium-low light, and that blooming is cued by a cooler, drier (but not DRY) period.

    I have a tiny little division of one (bonus plant with another order) that I keep moist and intermediate year-round, with lows of probably 58 F and highs of maybe 78 F. It hasn't grown much but it's not declining, either, and I got a couple of blooms this past winter. I bet yours will do fine in a low spot with ample water...


  2. Richard, I've been pretty successful at getting this species to grow, sprawl, and bloom for me. By default, it most likely gets intermediate temps, since I keep it indoors all year (thermostat set to 65 in the winter, and 80 in the summer). Mine's from Andy's, and the tag says intermediate for temp, with a note that reads "will tolerate cool winter nights."

    The tag reads "shade to bright," although as a "windowsill grower," I find that some direct sun is okay, but only in the morning or late afternoon, and don't let it dry out for more than a day or two.

    In fact, at the last SEPOS show, Andy (Phillips) recommended a Mesospinidium incantans to me, based upon what I told him about my success with his Mediocalcar decoratum (same, temp, light, and watering). I've only had the Meso for 3-4 months, but it's growing like a weed, and seems happy in my garden window.

  3. Thanks for that. It will do well for me then. I have it low and somewhat shaded. Still pretty bright.