365 days of orchids – day 588 – Restrepia purpurea

The summer can be quite a quite time for flowers in the orchid house as most species are busy getting on with growing rather than flowering. However a small restrepia collection can be relied upon to give you flowers throughout the year. This is Restrepis purpurea (new to 365 days) which is endemic to southern Colombia where it grows in cloud forests at around 1650m.

It does well with us either mounted, in baskets or small pots and propagates easily by division or from leaf cuttings. To propagate from a leaf we remove a leaf and its stalk, using clean scissors, and pot it deeply in a 3cm pot so that the base of the leaf is about 5mm below the top of the compost (moss and bark). With luck a new plant will grow from the base of the leaf after a few months.


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