Masdevallia is a genus belonging to the Orchidaceae which includes over 500 species, divided into several sub-genres.
These orchids are relatively small with real gems of flowers in beautiful colors.
They are epiphytic, lithophytic or terrestrial.
The plant grows from a short creeping rhizome from which small pseudobulbs are issued. Some are hemicryptophytes: pseudobulbs form at the surface or just below the surface.
Each pseudobulb wears smooth and fleshy leaves that grow in clusters. The green leaves are oval or lanceolate.
They usually bloom during the summer. The flowers are triangular, borne on short stalks and are about 6 cm wide. On each stem there is usually a single flower. The petals and lip or tongue-shaped shell are small and partially hidden deep within the flower. The three sepals are fused along their edges and often have long tails. The sepals are often very colorful, large and lights while the rest of the flower is discrete.
From Mexico to southern Brazil
Masdevallia orchids are epiphytic, lithophytic or terrestrial and grow at 2,400-4,000 m altitude in the cloud forest in the Andes, in a relatively cold, wet and foggy atmosphere.
Masdevallia is named after Jose Masdevall, a physician and botanist in the court of King Charles III of Spain.
Species that grow at more than 3,000 m above sea level should be grown in cool or cold conditions.
Species that grow between 1,000 m and 1,500 m can be grown at intermediate temperatures.
Very few species of Masdevallia grow well in warm temperatures.It is also important to have a distinct difference between day and night temperature.
Most species are satisfied with a shaded area. The leaves should be bright green. They turn yellow when they receive too much light and dark green when there is not enough light.
In general, the substrate should not dry out. The water quality is also very important as Masdevallia is very sensitive to salts in water. So certainly do not use water that has been treated by a softener. If your water contains many minerals, a regular shower to rinse the minerals from the substrate is useful.The roots should always be damp but not wet. They should be watered a little every morning and and dried by the evening.
Ideal air humidity is 70-90%. Mature plants can settle for less but the growth and flowering will be much slower. A bowl of water or misting is not effective enough. It is better to use an enclosed area with adequate ventilation, such as an orchidarium.
Masdevallia can be grown in a moist mix of fine fir bark and peat moss or mounted on slabs of wood or sticks. The important thing is that they have good air circulation.
In large pots, you can use a coarser mix but the top layer must be composed of a mixture of fine fir bark and peat moss. They are also very suitable for hydroponics.
Provide a general liquid fertilizer for houseplants once a week, but diluted to 1/8th compared with the recommended dilution.
Repot annually to prevent the substrate from rotting, Masdevallia does not resist that.
The bloom lasts about two weeks. When the flower stalk begins to appear, do not turn the pot so that the same side remains turned towards the light.Yellowing and falling of the flower buds before they hatch are usually due to excessively high temperatures or dry air.
- Masdevallia amabilis: Orchi