365 days of orchids – day 169 – Masdevallia rolfeana

This floriferous masdevallis is native to Central America and we have seen it in Costa Rica growing on the trunks and lower branches of trees in dense forest at 1200m on the slopes of the Poas Volcano (see photo below)

The photo shows the mossy trunk that was covered in Masdevallias. The temperatures here go down to a minimum of around 12C with no distinct dry season. We grow the species both mounted, like the plant at the top which was an award winner at the Malvern Show, and in pots. We spray plants daily.

We are often asked about black spots that appear on Masdevallia leaves and it is interesting to note that wild plants have these spots on older leaves too. One of the reasons for black spots in our greenhouse is excessively high temperatures causing heat stree in the leaves so dont forget to shade plants and keep them well watered when weather is like our current hot spell.


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