My Stanhopea Culture
Firstly, I grow my Collection of plants in a mixture of Sphagnum moss and Perlite. The ratio that I use is 75% Sphagnum moss to 25% of Perlite.
I have found in this compost the plants make lots of roots and new growths.
The temperature I maintain for all my species & hybrids of Stanhopea, is a minimum of 55 degrees F to keep the plants growing all year round, I don't like to let the temperature go above 80 degrees F, I have plenty of air movement provided by 2 fans 3/4's of the way up in the Greenhouse one end and an extraction fan the other end to remove hot air, I also have a misting system to try and keep the inside of the Greenhouse like a Cloud Forest, as in their natural habitats in South America, as a last resort I have double doors each end which I can fully open, to create very good air circulation/movement.
The inside of the Greenhouse is insulated with a double thickness of bubble wrap.
On the outside of the Greenhouse in the summer months I have 50% green shade netting.
I feed with a very week liquid fertilizer every time I water, which is all year round.
Winter months, I water every other day, I don't ever let the moss dry out.
Summer months, I water every day, sometimes twice a day.
The brand I use is called Orchid Focus and is made by a Company called Growth Technology,
I use the Growth formula from October through to the end of March and the Bloom
formula from April through to the end of September. I repot at a maximum
timescale of every 2 years, basically if a plant is not growing very well after
6 months I repot it.
Basic Morphology of a Stanhopea Flower
Pollinating a Stanhopea can be very rewarding and is well worth a go, if you run a toothpick down the underside of a Stanhopea flowers column you will find that the sticky substance on the stipe will adhere to it, thus extracting the pollinias from the hinged pollen cap, put them to one side to allow them to dry out for a while, you will then need to chose another plant that is in flower, remove it's pollinias and discard them, before pushing the original ones into the stigmatic cavity, once again to be found on the underside of the plants column, the best way to insert them is with your toothpick. A pair of tweezers can be helpful during this procedure too. Make sure that the pollinias are firmly pushed in. Remember to make a note of the date of this procedure and what the Pollen and Seed parent names are. I prefer not to self pollinate a plant, although sometimes you may have too, if it is one of the rarer Stanhopea species which are difficult to obtain.
Please see my photo's of what a successful pollination and forming seed pod should look like.