As we have said before, Christmas is very pink in the Orchid Project and for volume of flowers there is none to compare with our old specimen of Barkeria skinneri.
This plant arrived as a seedling twenty years ago and has grown into a terrific specimen. The species is native to Mexico where it grows in open deciduous oak forrest. Each, 1m year long cane like stems grow and produce spikes covered in glorious pink flowers and this year we have more than ever.
We find that barkerias have to grow mounted as roots quickly rot when we pot them. The abundant roots seem to thrive when out in fresh air where they dry quickly after watering. We spray plants heavily during the summer when in active growth but reduce watering in the winter when the plants become semi-deciduous.
This plant has become a monster specimen and is rather difficult to keep tidy as it sprawls around a bit but the species has the great habit of flowering on very young plants and this first flowered two years out of flask with just two flowers. We will be dividing this plant next month as it needs to get its roots to fresh cork bark.
Last year there are 237 flowers and this year we have topped it with 368 flowers.The stems often produce a second flush of flowers after the first flush finishes.