Oeoniella polysthachys

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Angraecum sesquipedale

Angraecum sesquipedale

     The Latin interpretation of Angcm. sesquipedale is "measuring a foot and a half" (referring to the length of the flower from the tip of the dorsal sepal to the bottom of the nectary or spur as it is often referred to).  It is also referred to as the King of Angraecums. 
     It is from the east coast of Madagascar and grows on the trunk of trees (epiphyte) in slight shade or diffused light.  The plant can exceed 4 - 5 feet in the wild and will often grow in clumps.  Very seldom though will it grow that high in culture.
     One VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: this angraecum, along with so many others in the genera do not take kindly to having their roots messed with.  It is not uncommon for the plant NOT TO BLOOM for several years if the roots are disturbed (especially during re potting).  I highly recommend that when potting or placing in a basket that you use something at least 8 - 10 inches wide to start (even a seedling that may be only 4 - 6 inches high).  The sesquipedale has no dormant time, it grows year round.  The plant will eventually grow into whatever you may have place it in.  The media that I use is a combination of coconut husk, perlite or alifore, charcoal and pieces of tree fir.  Bark breaks down to rapidly here in So. Fla. and can cause problems within a year or two.  I also put some weight in the bottom of the container to try and prevent the wind from blowing the plant over and possibly snapping the stem.
     From mid May until mid November, I water the plants that are in pots or baskets at least twice a week.  Three times when the temps start hovering and exceeding the 90s.  In cooler months, I water no less than once a week.  I fertilize every 7 - 10 days and keep about a tablespoon of dynamite in the pots and baskets so that the plant is fed a minimal amount through each watering.  About once every 4 -6 weeks I will spray the plants with a systemic fungicide (particularly the bottom of the leaves).  I do keep a topical fungicide on hand always.
     The sesquipedale will bloom at any time from late November into early February.

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