Another repotting adventure

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Masd. Huayna Picchu (vietchiana x princeps orange) Photo from lehuaorchids.com

I don’t have a picture of my own of this flower, but the above is what it looks like. (picture is borrowed from lehuaorchids.com). I saw the blooms nice and fresh at Orchid Fever, but I did not buy it. I met this florist there who maintains other people’s display areas, and when they go out of bloom, she has nowhere to put them. She offered them to me when the flowers started getting wonky about a month later, likely because it was only maintained once a week and there wasn’t enough humidity in the house. I really didn’t think she would follow through, but she did!

Anyway, I let the wonky flowers finish up, and I’ve finally got around to repotting it. Unfortunately it was another promix battle.

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This is as far as I got, and then I gave up. I left some of it in there. As you can see, Masdevallia roots are pretty shallow. They like to grow on the surface of the substrate.

It’s still pretty cool in the Los Angeles area right now, but I foresee it becoming warm suddenly. I’m pretty sure this guy will not like it, considering his parentage. So I decided to pot it into a clay pot, to take advantage of evaporative cooling. I’ve never potted an orchid directly into clay before, so we will see if it will be a difficult repot. I heard, though, from somwhere (aka take this with a grain of salt) that Masdevallia roots aren’t as sticky as others.

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As you can see, it is a pretty large variety of masdevalia. I have also heard (take that salt out again) that the cooler growing varieties also tend to have large leaves and flowers. I potted this guy up in fine bark and sphagnum (60/40) and then topped off with sphagnum. I put sphagnum at the bottom of the pot to stop the bark from falling out. I think the drainage will be okay as it’s in ta clay pot, which is porous, and Masdevallias like it moist.

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So this is the finished product after I’ve watered the media down. The pot quickly picked up moisture from the inside after I brought it in. My tentative plan is to water it from below when to keep the pot moist when it gets hot. I usually mist the top everyday to keep the humidity up. I find that the masdevallia leaves have trouble getting out of the sheaths (or sarongs?) when it’s not moist enough.

Any tips on the Masdies in clay pots?

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