Sobralia decora, unlike most orchids that grow in the wild on rocks or on trees, is an earth-dwelling orchid that sends its many roots directly into the soil. It is a native of the highlands of Central America.
Blooming Time: Spring. Flowers are rose-lavender and white and last only one day.
Culture: Although Sobralia decora grows best in intermediate temperatures of 55 to 60° at night and 65 to 75° during the day, with humidity of 50%. Give the plant bright sun or high artificial light 14 to 16 hours a day. Grow in 2 parts coarse peat moss, 2 parts sandy loam and 1 part each perlite and fir bark. Keep the soil moist, but not soggy, during the growing period, reduce watering for a month or more when leaves have finished growing. Do not, however, allow the soil to dry out completely. Once a week fertilize with a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20 diluted to half the strength recommended on the label.
Propagation: Sobralia decora bloom most freely when the plant is large. Therefore only specimens with 8 to 12 stems should be divided in order to obtain new plants.
Sobralia decora was featured as Plant of the Week February 19-25, 1999.
Guide to Past Plants-of-the-Week:
Cal's Plant of the Week was provided as a service by the University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology and specifically the late Cal Lemke, who used to be OU's botany greenhouse grower and an avid gardener at home as well. If the above links don't work, then try the overview site. You may also like to look at the thumbnail index. ©1998-2012 All rights reserved.