Barkeria skinneri is a native orchid of deciduous oak forests in Mexico. Unlike many of our other orchids Barkeria skinneri does not grow well in pots. This is because the roots rot if they cannot dry out quickly after watering. For this reason we grow them mounted on bark. We use virgin cork bark from Portugal, a sustainable product traditionally harvested. Using cork bark is a good way of supporting cork forest conservation. Below is a small Barkeria skinneri from our collection that is growing well on its mount.
Our seedlings are tiny compared with the monster orchid Barkeria skinneri they have the potential to become. The photo shows a twenty year old orchid grown from a seedling.
Our Barkeria skinneri seedlings have been growing in flasks for about two years. They have grown healthy roots and leaves and are now ready to be deflasked.
The first thing to do is to remove the little orchid from its flask and gently wash off the media from the roots using tepid water at, 18 degrees celsius, taking care not to damage the roots.
For the mounting you will need a piece of cork bark, a drill, thin wire and something to cut it with and a label.
You will need to drill at least three holes in the cork. One at the top and two lower, slightly apart, where you wish to tie the orchid. Thread one piece of wire through the top hole and attach the label. Make a hook so you can hang the mount up if you wish.
Take another piece of wire, thead it through the two holes so that it holds the orchid in place on the bark. The wire should be tight enough to hold the orchid to the bark without cutting into the orchid.
It is a week since this little Barkeria skinneri, shown below, was deflasked. It has already started to grow new roots. Hopefully all the newly mounted orchids, shown above, will survive to become strong, healthy orchids.