One of the blackest orchids to date! Very healthy plants with large pseudobulbs. Grow with plenty of heat, water and fertilizer during the spring and summer months. After or during the flowering season it is common for these plants to drop all of their leaves. Cut back water and fertilizer once the flowers have finished, then resume a normal watering schedule when new growth emerges.
This plant was awarded an FCC/AOS by the American Orchid Society on October 12, 2013 for its superb black flowers and floriferous habit. The plant had 2 spikes with 42 flowers. This is now simply the very best black orchid that exists!
These are single mature bulbs getting ready to start for the 2017 season.
Watch a video about this plant:
See Care Information
Catasetinae orchids have two distinct seasons: growing and dormant. Generally, we ship this plant in spike (or ready to flower). Although it sounds like work treating it differently each season, it is actually less work than most orchids because of the winter rest.
These orchids can handle intermediate to bright light conditions. If you aren’t using artificial light, an east or south window would be the ideal position.Temperature:
Intermediate to warm, with winter night temperatures from 58 degrees to 64 degrees Fahrenheit and winter day temps from 70 to 80 degrees F. Summer temps can be a few degrees warmer.Humidity:
During the summer, 50% or higher is ideal. During winter, after the plant loses its leaves, it can tolerate humidity as low as 35%.
Air movement: Catasetinae enjoy abundant air movement; if you are growing in a greenhouse, use air-circulating fans. They do best hanging, as this allows for maximum air movement around them.Water:
These orchids are thirsty during their growing season, which is generally spring through late fall. Water before the potting material completely dries out. Once to twice per week is normal. After the flowers are finished, the leaves on the main growth will turn yellow, drop off, and leave the pseudobulb (or cane). This is when the orchid can rest. This means not much water and no fertilizing. The bare bulb is holding the energy to produce a new growth after dormancy. When dormant, the plant can be kept dry (almost no watering) until a new growth emerges in the spring. Generally, we slightly apply water if we see the bulbs start to shrivel or wrinkle a bit (this means a light water or spritz of water to the potting media). In the spring, a new growth will start to emerge from the base of the largest bulb. Once it has reached 3 or more inches in size, the watering schedule can go back to normal.Fertilizer:
You can fertilize with an orchid fertilizer, such as Green Jungle Orchid Food, once the new growth has reached 5 or more inches in growth, all the way until the next dormancy period. If the orchid is in moss, fertilize once every third watering. If the orchid is in bark, fertilize two out of three watering times.Flowering:
Sometime after flowering, in the late autumn, the plants will begin to enter the dormancy phase. It is important to understand the signals of the onset of dormancy and the factors triggering it. The plant’s first signals are the yellowing and browning off of the leaves; at this time, stop fertilizing and reduce watering by ½ and when most leaves are yellow/brown and have dropped off, cease watering altogether. The general rule to follow is: by the 15th of November, stop fertilization and reduce watering by ½. Most leaves should have yellowed or fallen off by the 1st of January, however, if the plants still have leaves, all irrigation should be stopped at this time.
The onset of dormancy is caused by several factors: the maturity of the pseudobulb, shorter day length, cooler day/night temperatures and a reduction of root zone moisture. In most of the country, dormancy occurs naturally, however, when the plants are cultivated in warm growing areas such as in South Texas, Florida, Hawaii, or in the home or under lights, sometimes dormancy needs to be encouraged. Stopping watering in early January, regardless of the number of green leaves, will trigger the dormancy.Repotting:
Fine bark or New Zealand sphagnum moss works best. We choose to use sphagnum moss.
We use plastic pots as they have better moisture retention, however, if you have a very humid environment (75% plus), clay pots can also be used.