Graham Wood of Lehua Orchids will be giving a presentation on Paphiopedilums and Masdevallias at the Kona Daifukuji Orchid Club monthly meeting on November 13.
Lehua Orchids is located on the slopes of Mauna Loa, half way between Hilo and Volcano in a community called Mountain View. This location enjoys the benefits of almost daily trade winds, and nightly from the cooling effects of our “mauka” winds (winds coming down from the top of the mountain).
In this location, Wood is able to specialize in intermediate temperature orchids. The daily highs in summer are about 85 degrees with a 20 degree drop at night. In winter, highs are around 75 and 60 at night. These conditions allow Wood to specialize in his favorite orchids, Paphiopedilums, Masdevallias, Angraecums and Lycaste.
Lehua Orchids have recorded a 45 minute DVD called “The Story of little bellatulum” which focuses on the difficulty of breeding and growing red complex paphs, also known as the bulldog paph.
Their website (www.lehuaorchids.com) has very informative article titled “So you’ve been told you can’t grow Masdevallias!”
Masdevallias can be tricky to grow, and it is true that not ALL Masdevallias will grow in your region – but this article will get you started on selecting the one that is right for you, and then how to take care of it once it does survive and grow.
Basically, Wood’s recommendation is go out and find a Masdevallia that you think will grow compatibly with the way you grow your other orchid genera. Treat it the same way as you treat your other orchids and watch it. Observation of any Masds will tell you very quickly whether it is happy or not. If you plant seems to be deteriorating try something a little different. Masds are very responsive, you will know very quickly whether you have improved the circumstance or have worsened the problem.The chances are you will be rewarded with a very happy plant that will provide you with cheerful, colorful flowers several times a year.
Before you know it, you will have an exhibit quality plant that will be the envy of all your fellow orchidists.