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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

My Macodes petola, successful experiment?

Macodes Petola jewel orchid species, leaf and shoot apex detail
Macodes Petola, jewel orchid species,
ditails of leaf and vegetative shoot apex
I came across this orchid by accident and it was love at first sight, its leaves are very dark green velvet and no pictures can make justice to the golden veins, it seems that an artist has painted with glitter, beautiful! The nice lady who sold it to me told me to keep it "more or less like a phalaenopsis," I was not familiar with the genus Macodes and I do not like the "more or less", so I trawled the depths of the web to find all the available informations, you can't find that much.
For sure it's a terrestrial orchid that loves the shade and always moist soil, relative humidity as high as possible, never standing water. The flowers are a minor detail, rather insignificant, the beauty of the plant are the leaves. Ok, I'll try, now I bought it, is also a young plant, who knows?

Macodes Petola, jewel orchid species, plant in pot with bark and sphagnum moss, just after purchasing
Macodes Petolajewel orchid species,
in a pot with bark and sphagnum moss,
full plant view
just after purchasing
I left it in its own pot because I believe that they repotted it recently, moving the bark also the hidden was perfect and I wouldn't have easily guessed the right "mix",it's my first terrestrial. I think I had the right amount of luck and a good eye for the location, I placed in the bedroom at about 3 meters far of the window, exposure to East.The temperature at that point is always quite stable, in winter there are min 19C° max 22C°, in summer min 22C° and max 25C°. The air humidity is a problem because the air here is really dry, even to breathe, so instead of the saucer I put a big plastic tray with expanded clay always kept moist (never hold water in contact with the vessel, or the rot is instantaneous and fulminant). I sprinkle water on the leaves almost every morning (unless I forget ...) and I spray a bit in the pot too when I feel that is light, just until it starts to come out from the bottom, then stop. If I prepare the fertilizer (NPK 20-20-20 or 28-14-14 NPK dose 0.5 g per liter) for the others orchids I use it for the shower in the morning, I seem to have guessed...

After 4 and a half months I have several new leaves and even a small shoot! Maybe in the fall I'll see these pleasant, although not very popular, flowers.

Macodes Petola, jewel orchid species, growth after 4 and 1/2 months of home cultivation
Macodes Petolajewel orchid species,
growth after 4 and 1/2 months

Macodes Petola, jewel orchid species, growth of a new shoot from the stem
Macodes Petolajewel orchid speciesgrowth of a new shoot

Links to information sheets about: Macodes Petola:

Go to sheets on IOSPE:
Macodes Petola - sheet on IOSPE

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