Growing Angraecum orchids

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Growing Angraecum Orchids

Angraecum - pronounced - ann gray come

Warm Growing
15 - 28 C (60 - 82F)

Angraecum are warm growing and exotic orchids from Eastern Africa and the island of Madagascar. They vary in size from around 6 inches to 36 inches high and have large leathery leaves spiraling around a central tough stem (similar to Vanda). Typically the flowers are large, showy and in the main white or ivory in colour, many are also fragrant. Virtually all the Angraecum flowers have a large spur at the base of the lip, this contains nectar to entice pollinating moths and other insects to the flower.

When growing on the Island of Madagascar these orchids would be found in the deepest jungle growing along side and co inhabiting the lush forests with Mantella frogs. Only recently discovered on island nothing was know about these fabulously colourful and small jungle amphibians. It is believed that some are as deadly poisonous as the Dendrobate or Poison Arrow Frogs frogs of South America.

Tropical Nepenthes pitcher plants, commonly known as Monkey Cups would also be growing in the warm and humid atmosphere of the Madagascan forest with Hissing Cockroaches scurrying around the forest floor.

Angraecum eburneum

Light requirements

Angraecum are epiphytic orchids and grow high up in trees where they receive plenty of light, they should be given the maximum light available which should be diffused to prevent scorching of the leaves which are the food store for the plant.

left: Angraecum eburneum

Watering requirements

Angraecums should be kept evenly moist at all times of year as they don't have water storing bulbs. They should be watered at 7 to 10 day intervals and sprayed with clean water daily from late spring through early autumn and every 10 to 14 days at other times of year. They thrive on good humidity so whenever possible you should damp down the greenhouse staging and paths during the hottest months.

Feeding requirements

The plants are moderate feeders and a general purpose plant food can be applied from April to September at 1/4 the pack recommendation, feed these plants every third watering. Flush the pot or basket out once a month with clean water to remove any unused plant food and salts which can build up in the compost and harm the roots. During late August and September you should water with a higher potash feed (again at 1/4 strength and every third watering) which will encourage the new leaves to harden in readiness for the darker winter months. Feeding should cease by late October and no more should be given until the following late winter (Feb/Mar) at which time normal feeding can resume.

Re-potting schedule and Compost

Angraecum are naturally epiphytic and can be grown either in a pot, basket or mounted on to bark. If planted in pots then large open grade compost or bark with the addition of 1/4 sphagnum peat should be used to allow swift drainage whilst holding moisture, in this case you should re pot the plants every year or every other year depending on it's size, this should be undertaken in spring as growth re starts. If grown in baskets or on bark then re planting can be left for two to three years or until they become unmanageable before being re planted.

Here's some useful equipment you may need with summer on the horizon
Thermometers | Thermostats | Humidity Gauges

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