A Burst of Sunshine

Masdevallia

While I’m on the orchid theme, and not talking about phalaenopsis, I thought I’d show another easy to care for orchid that I’ve had forever, that I plunk outside in the spring and bring back inside in the fall and that reliably blooms for me at least once a season if not twice.

This is Masdevallia Copper Angel ‘Highland’ AM/AOS x ‘Maui Titan’ CHM/AOS. With a name like that, it’s a wonder the thing just doesn’t wilt away and die!

But no, it’s ridiculously easy to care for. It goes outside at Memorial Day (or a week or so before if it’s been mild in my part of the world–what I look for is nights that are reliably no lower than 50 degrees) and it stays in a shady northern exposure that might get brushed by a beam or two of late afternoon sun until Labor Day or a week or two later (again, those night time temperatures are the key. It’s not so important for orchids, really, but for leafy green plants it’s absolutely key!)

Indoors I keep it in an eastern exposure. I may have repotted it once or twice in the last 6 years but I’m not as good about that as I should be. If it stops blooming obviously I’ll care more.

And I ignore the orchid “experts” who advise the “weekly weakly” fertilizing with commercial food–because I just don’t do that sort of thing. It’s not organic, and fish emulsion isn’t going to help me get flowers. If I want flowers, the best thing I can do is put it outside–and change my potting medium more often, I’m sure!

As the days grow shorter and darker, this is certainly a burst of sunshine!

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