Brassavola cucullata

Brassavola cucullata

Brassavola cucullata has beautiful large, spidery flowers which are fragrant and very elegant.

The bloom lasts quite long and, with its solid growth, makes this a highly desirable orchid.

It is part of the family Orchidaceae, sub-family Epidendroideae, tribe Epidendreae, sub-tribe Laeliinae, genus Brassavola, section Brassavola sect. Brassavola.

Description:

Brassivola cucullata is an epiphytic orchid.

The leaves are cone-shaped and measure 20-45 cm long.

The flower is 17.5 cm long, very decorative, spider-like in shape and emits a sweet perfume at night. It is light yellow to white on the inside with a reddish brown tinge on the outside. The flower hangs from a long and thick flower stalk. Flowering occurs from summer to winter.

Origin:

Tropical America: Central America, northern South America and the West Indies

Habitat:

Tropical rainforests where they grow as epiphytes on trees limbs, 0 and 1,800 m altitude.

Etymology:

Brassavola: Antonio Musa Brassavola named, nobleman and botanist of Venice in the 19th century.
Cucullata: from Latin cucullatus (cap-bearing).



Care:

Temperature:

Diurnal: 20-30 °C
Nocturnal: 13-18 °C

Light:

Sunlight but no direct light, as in nature, where light is filtered through the treetops. Ideally, a window to the east or west or south window but filtered through a net curtain.

The leaves should be bright green. When the plant gets too much light, the leaves turn yellow and when the plant does not receive enough light, the leaves become dark green.

Water:

Once or twice a week during the growing season and fortnightly during the rest period. Let the substrate dry out between waterings: better too dry than too wet.

Prefers rainwater or non-alkaline water at room temperature. Do not use water from a water softener because it contains too much salts.

Shower the pot once a month to rinse accumulated salts.

Hygrometry:

75-85 %

At higher temperatures, the humidity must be higher. You can place the pot over a bowl of water without the pot soaking in the water.

Substrate:

Use a special orchid substrate composed of bark, peat moss and perlite or pumice.

This modified substrate provides the necessary support to the plant (so it does not fall), a good aeration of the roots and retains water.

Fertilizer:

Use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content: 30-10-10 diluted at 1/2 of the prescribed dilution.

You can also use a 20-20-20 fertilizer which must be diluted to 1/4 of the dilution recommended by the manufacturer.

Give every 2 weeks during the growing season and only 1 time per month during the rest period.

Repot:

When the substrate is digested, about every 2 years, or when roots begin to grow out of the pot.

Repot after flowering or in the spring. You can take the opportunity to divide the plant.

Flowering:

Blooms from summer to winter. During flowering, it is important to water less frequently to avoid rotting. Key factors for good flowering are light and a clear difference in temperature day and night.

Propagation:

When repotting in spring, the plant can be divided into groups bearing at least three pseudobulbs mature each.

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