Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Tuberolabium kotoense in flower 11/18/08

Tuberolabium (used to be classified as Saccolabium) kotoense grows in trees on the Island of Taiwan. It is very difficult to bloom in captivity because of it's extreme cultural requirements. It needs to be very humid (almost constantly) yet the hanging roots need to dry off soon after watering. It needs to be warm and not too bright (say 1800 foot-candles light). It really needs a constant breeze, like a small fan blowing directly on it 24/7. These conditions cannot be met anywhere except on Taiwan :) or in a large wardian case, such as the one I described near the start of this blog. The flower spikes can take over 4 months to develop. Once the flower buds start to swell, however, it is less than a week till the lower ones (the first to develop) emerge. These spikes took approx 4 days from first buds to the state you see in these photos.
Culture for this plant in my tank: 90-95% humidity year round and 24 hours per day. Misting for 5 seconds every 4 hours. Temperatures range from summer range of low 70s at night to 80s during day and in winter (now) low 60s at night to high 70s day temps. In addition the plant is soaked in a solution of fertilizer water mixed to 125ppm nitrogen by volume every-other-day. This is year round (no winter rest). It is mounted on a slab or Port-Orford Cedar and it occasionally is sprayed for algae and gnats.
Tuberolabium kotoense is slightly fragrant - not the "heady - sweet fragrance of, say Cischweinfia sheehanae - but a mild fragrance difficult to describe. Not sure if nocturnally, it is stronger. Some of my plants are, but I'm not normally a night person to check on them.


Plant theivery at its best. said...

beautiful photographs.

Arija said...

Great information and beautiful Orchids and photos.