The famous Darwin orchid, native to the island of Madagascar. Large white flowers with up to 12 inch long spurs (nectary), this is the flower which Darwin predicted a moth with a 12" proboscis would be the pollinator of. Years later, it was discovered to be true as the moth called Xanthopan morganii was found to be the official pollinator.
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Intro:Angraecum sesquipedale is native to Madagascar and will grow in conditions similar to Cattleya. It is also known as the "Star of Bethlehem" orchid because of the large star shaped, white flowers that emerge every year in December. Charles Darwin observed this plant in the late 1800's and thought there had to be a large moth with a 13 inch long proboscis that pollinated this flower. The nectary on this flower can be over a foot in length. Over 50 years later this moth was discovered. Angraecum sesquipedale is a superb orchid and not difficult to grow, it is long lived and will reward the grower with flower displays that will only get better as the plant gets larger. The plants offered are over 20 years old.
Light:This plant prefers medium light conditions (2,500 to 3,500 foot candles). When growing on a windowsill, a bright east or south exposure is necessary. Grow at 4 feet under bulbs when growing under High Pressure sodium lights. When growing under fluorescent bulbs, this plant can be placed about a foot or two below the bulbs.
Humidity:50% or higher is ideal. The use of room humidifiers or humidity trays will aid this cause.
Water:It is best to use rain, distilled or reverse osmosis water. Municipal water with a pH of 7.5 or lower can also be used. Water as the mix just dries out, when in bloom water as the medium approaches dryness.
Fertilizer:We highly recommend
Green Jungle Orchid Food, especially formulated to work with rain, distilled, reverse osmosis water or water low in alkalinity. Fertilize with Green Jungle every time you water.
GrowMore 20-10-20 Ureafree for municipal or well water. Use at the rate of ½ teaspoon per gallon. If using GrowMore with rain, distilled, or reverse osmosis water, add back in 5 - 10% municipal or well water to supply the necessary calcium and magnesium. Fertilize every other watering in the summer and every third watering in the winter.
This plant blooms in the winter, usually in mid to late December. The pure white flowers are large, from 7 to 10 inches in size. They are waxy, thick, and fragrant, but only at night. It can produce from 2 to 6 flowers per stem. The flowers usually last two to three months. The unusual aspect of these flowers is the large 10 to 13 inch nectary attracting a very large moth (in nature) at night for pollination.
Repot this plant about once every two years or when the mix has broken down. Larger plants do best in clay pots with a medium orchid bark mix. These plants don't like to have the roots disturbed so be careful and try not to crack or damage any of the good roots. Allow the root system to stay dry for the first week to 10 days after repotting. This will allow any damaged roots to heal before water is applied. This will help prevent fungal infections.