How to Grow Stanhopeas

Edited 23 April 2007
by Nina Rach

Photo by Weyman Bussey

Stanhopeas are generally raised from seed in sterile flasks containing agar and nutrients. After deflasking, they do well in community pots containing bright (light gold) long-fibered sphagnum moss (copmmonly from Chile or New Zealand). They will often have tiny pseudobulbs when coming out of flask.

After compots, they can be moved to 2-3" diameter pots. I prefer to use plastic to keep the media moist. Then on to 4" pots, and they will often start spiking over the side, a sign that they need to be moved to open baskets, or perhaps mounted, if you grow in sufficiently humid conditions.

Different kinds of baskets can be used. At left, the photo shows simple chicken wire baskets being used in northern Mexico.

Baskets can also be crafted from "hardware cloth," a hard wire cloth with rectangular openings, sold on rolls.

Commercial baskets are available in simple wire, plastic, ceramic, or even decorative iron, many of which may require permeable liners.

From Joe Shragge (Salt Lake City, Utah):

"When raising Stanhopea seedlings in community pots, I have found they like lots and lots of water. So I place the compot (usually 4 pot) in a 32 oz Dannon Yogurt container. Then pore water over the plants and fill up the Yogurt container until the compot slightly raises. The seedlings stay in the water/bath for approximately 30 minutes. Then the compot is taken out and left to dry until the next watering, which is usually in 2 to 3 days. When fertilizing, they soak for 15 minutes in plain water, followed with the fertilizer bath for 15 minutes. I use the same container with the same compot each time. This may not be practical for large amounts of seedlings. But it does work well and the seedlings grow quickly..."
"...I have been making several Stanhopea crosses for the past several years. I have been using a fertilizer that is called Bloom Plus 10-60-10, my thinking is strong roots has to have a bearing on the health of the seedlings."

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