Saturday, January 12, 2013

Stanhopea Winter Culture Checklist

  • Water these species (S. hernandezii, S. jenischiana, S. leitzei, S. maculosa) sparingly during the winter and stop fertilizing them.These Stanhopeas will need less water and a little more sun in order to provide them with a rest period that will enable them to produce more flowers the following spring/summer.
  • Fertilize other species that are still actively growing. I prefer to use the low nitrogen “fish emulsion” at this time of the year.  Make sure to purchase the deodorized form, for a more pleasant growing atmosphere. I only fertiilize with half of the recommended strength of all fertilizers I use on Stanhopeas.
  • Weed baskets to prevent ferns and other plants from taking up space in the baskets.  While these plants often improve the aesthetic appearance of an orchid basket, they can often steal vital nutrients from the orchid.
  • If you grow your Stanhopeas outdoors, ensure that the trees providing them shade have been pruned to let the plants receive more light at this darker time of year.
  • Store away saran shade cloth until spring if no direct sun reaches the plants.
  • Use of metaldehyde products is advised on a weekly basis to prevent slugs from disfiguring new growth and impacting inflorescence and bud growth on Stanhopeas.  There are also several other methods discussed on the American Orchid Society website at this link AOS Orchid Snail and Slug Treatment.  This link also includes environmental friendly slug control products.  These alternative methods are something to consider if pets or other wildlife can gain access to the growing area.
  • Check often for damage done by wind, storms, or pests such as spider mites.
  • If extreme cold is forecast [temperatures below 32F (0C)] make sure to provide overhead protection for your Stanhopeas or move them to a warmer location.  Frost can also have detrimental impacts on the foliage of some species, especially maturing new growth.


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