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Phalaenopsis lobbii Sweet

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ORCHID SPECIES CULTURE
Charles and Margaret Baker

Phalaenopsis lobbii Sweet

AKA: Phalaenopsis decumbens var. lobbii, Phalaenopsis listeri,
Phalaenopsis parishii var. lobbii.

ORIGIN/HABITAT: Eastern Himalayas. The habitat occurs in Bhutan as well as
the Indian states of Assam and Sikkim in foothills at 1200-1500 ft.
(366-457 m). Also found near Darjeeling in the Khasia hills and in Burma
near Nampakon. Plants grow on especially rough-barked trees with decaying
material filling the deep fissures where the roots grow.

CLIMATE: Station #42398, Baghdogra, India, Lat. 26.7N, Long. 88.3E, at 412
ft. (126 m). Temperatures are calculated for an elevation of 1300 ft. (396
m), resulting in probable extremes of 101F (38C) and 33F (0.6C). 

N/HEMISPHERE    JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN  JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC
F AVG MAX        71   74   82   87   87   86   86   86   85   84   79   74
F AVG MIN        47   51   57   65   70   73   74   74   73   67   57   50
DIURNAL RANGE    24   23   25   22   17   13   12   12   12   17   22   24
RAIN/INCHES     0.3  0.7  1.3  3.7 11.8 25.9 32.2 25.3 21.2  5.6  0.5  0.2
HUMIDITY/%       73   68   57   58   74   84   86   85   85   79   75   76
BLOOM SEASON      *    *   **
DAYS CLR @  6AM  21   18   15   11    5    0    1    1    4   13   23   19
DAYS CLR @ 12PM  23   16   16   11    2    2    0    1    2   10   21   18
RAIN/MM           8   18   33   94  300  658  818  643  538  142   13    5
C AVG MAX      21.7 23.4 27.8 30.6 30.6 30.0 30.0 30.0 29.5 28.9 26.1 23.4
C AVG MIN       8.4 10.6 13.9 18.4 21.1 22.8 23.4 23.4 22.8 19.5 13.9 10.0
DIURNAL RANGE  13.3 12.8 13.9 12.2  9.4  7.2  6.7  6.7  6.7  9.4 12.2 13.3
S/HEMISPHERE    JUL  AUG  SEP  OCT  NOV  DEC  JAN  FEB  MAR  APR  MAY  JUN

Cultural Recommendations:

LIGHT: 1200-1800 fc. Plants are more tolerant of higher light than most
Phalaenopsis species. 

TEMPERATURES: Summer days average 85-87F (30-31C), and nights average
70-74F (21-23C), with a diurnal range of 12-17F (7-9C). The plants are
unusually tolerant of temperature extremes.

HUMIDITY: 75-85% during the summer.

WATER: Plants should be kept moist during the growing season. The rainfall
pattern is wet/dry.

FERTILIZER: 1/4-1/2 strength, applied weekly during the growing season.
Phalaenopsis lobbii is healthiest if given frequent feedings during the
short growing season.

REST PERIOD: Days average 71-82F (22-28C), and nights average 47-57F
(8-14C), with a winter diurnal range of 22-25F (12-14C). Night
temperatures frequently approach 40F (4C) during the dry winter, when
humidity falls below 60%. A 2-4 month cool, drier rest with increased
light is necessary for blooming and plant survival. Water should be
reduced to occasional misting, but humidity should be sufficiently high to
prevent dehydration of the leaves. Fertilizer should be eliminated during
the dry period. As temperatures cool, the plants require less moisture. 

In the habitat, the period of low rainfall is extremely long, but except
for 2 months, the humidity levels indicate frequent fog and morning dew.
In addition, the decaying material around the roots in the plant's natural
habitat helps collect and hold additional moisture during the dry season
and increases nutrient levels during the growth period. 

GROWING MEDIA: 1/2-5/8 in. (12-16 mm) fir bark. Repotting is best done in
early spring, immediately after flowering.  Unless the roots are damaged,
they should not be trimmed when repotting. In nature, they grow to great
lengths over the host tree, continuing to elongate and branch with age.
Plants also grow well when slabbed on cork or tree fern, providing high
humidity is maintained.

MISCELLANEOUS NOTES: N/A.

Plant and Flower Information:

PLANT SIZE AND TYPE: A small, monopodial epiphyte.

LEAVES: 1-2 per plant, occasionally more. The elliptical leaves, which are
4-5 in. (10-13 cm) long, may be deciduous in nature.

INFLORESCENCE: 4 in. (10 cm) long. Inflorescences are usually slender and
suberect. Healthy plants may produce more than a single spike.

FLOWERS: 4-5 per inflorescence. The blooms develop sequentially. Each
blossom lasts about a month if kept cool, so several are open at a time.
The blossoms are 1.0 in. (2.5 cm) or less across, fleshy, creamy white,
and star-shaped. The semicircular lip is white, marked with 2 wide,
vertical brown bands.

HYBRIDIZING NOTES: N/A.

REFERENCES:

Pradhan, U. C. 1977. The natural conditions of Phalaenopsis mannii and
Phalaenopsis parishii (with notes on their jungle mimics). Orchid Digest
41(3):94-97.

Pradhan, U. C. 1979. Indian orchids: guide to identification and culture.
Vols. I-II. Udai C. Pradhan, Kalimpong, India.

Sweet, H. R. 1972. Observations on the genus Phalaenopsis. Part X,
Phalaenopsis cornu-cervi and Phalaenopsis mannii. Orchid Digest 36(5):167.

Sweet, H. R. 1980. The genus Phalaenopsis. The Orchid Digest, Inc., 1739
Foothill Blvd., La Cañada, CA, U. S. A. 91011.


Copyright 1998, Charles O. Baker and Margaret L. Baker
Sheet version 27150302

.........................................................................
Please remember that this sheet is for your use only, and though it was
provided free of charge, it may not be reproduced or retransmitted in
any way without permission.
.........................................................................

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 "Orchid Species Culture" Charles & Margaret Baker, Portland, Oregon USA

    Orchid Culture & Pollination site    http://www.orchidculture.com
                     
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Go Back to Free Culture Sheet Index -- Baker's Home Page

This culture sheet was provided by Charles and Margaret Baker.
Please visit their web site to find out about their Orchid Species Culture books,
Pollination Database, and culture sheet subscription service.