Angraecum Didieri is a forgiving orchid that can tolerate extreme conditions, like low humidity and low watering frequency.
If you are on the lookout for a hardy orchid, then this is the one for you. Our experts have prepared this holistic guide to help you learn all about it.
What Is Angraecum Didieri?
Angraecum Didieri is a very tough orchid native to eastern and central Madagascar. It is popular for its attractive, white flowers with a sweet fragrance. Its common names include Didier’s Angraecum, Perrierangraecum Didieri, and Macro Plectrum Didieri. Rudolf Schlechter described it first in 1915.
– Size and Growth
Angraecum Didieri grows as an epiphytic orchid in moist, tropical, evergreen forests. It is found growing at elevations of 1950 to 4900 feet in areas with cool and dry winters. It is a miniature to small-sized orchid with a 7 to 8 inches long stem. It is a very slow-growing orchid. So, do not expect it to grow big too soon!
Like other vandaceous orchids, it also has a monopodial growth habit. They grow from the tip or crown of the plant.
Some expert growers propagate it using angraecum didieri seeds, but it is too difficult for beginners to try this process at home.
Angraecum Didieri carries five to seven obtuse, apical leaves. The leaves shrink when the soil mix stays dry for longer periods. The dry and damaged leaf tips are a sign of too much fertilizer. Fertilizer burn makes the leaf tips dark and dry.
Angraecum Didieri has small, white flowers that are fragrant at dusk and during the night. The flowers can be 2 to 3 inches in size. Each inflorescence bears only one flower.
For blooming Angraecum Didieri, you have to reduce watering and fertilizing during the winter rest period. These orchids are not sequential bloomers and rarely do they rebloom. Sometimes, for a bud to become a flower, it might take up to one year.
The flowers have a beautiful fragrance, similar to jasmines but with a slightly woody fragrance. They are the most fragrant at night and pollinated by nocturnal moths. Initially, you might find the fragrance overpowering, but it gets pleasant over time. The blooms can last for a long time, to make up for the patience you had in caring for this orchid!
Angraecum Didieri has viable roots which are prone to dry out. Keep the humidity level up to keep them from drying out. Keep the soil mix airy to keep the roots moist and healthy. Healthy roots have a bright green color whereas dehydrated roots look gray and turn brown when dead.
Angraecum Didieri Care
Angraecum Didieri care will depend on your environment and the conditions in your area. Read the exact growth requirements of this fragrant orchid.
– Light Requirements
Angraecum Didieri needs bright, indirect light to bloom. It grows well both indoors and outdoors if you can provide it with the optimum level of light. Direct sunlight is fine, as long as the leaves do not burn.
The leaves can get slightly warmed up but, as long as they are not sunburnt, the plant grows well. It can easily tolerate morning and evening sunlight but avoid placing it in the direct noon sun.
– Water Requirements
Angraecum Didieri needs frequent watering in summer, ranging between one to two times a week depending upon the conditions in your area. Keep the soil mix moist and not soggy most of the time in summer to prevent the plant roots from burning. Do not water heavily and keep the soil barely moist in winter. With higher temperatures, increase the watering frequency and vice versa.
Angraecum Didieri is prone to crown rot because of its leaves. If you water the plant from the top of its leaves and the excess water stays there for long, the plant will definitely suffer. So avoid watering your plant from the top and always water from below the leaves. Maintain good airflow around the plant, with a high watering frequency to keep the plant healthy. Keep a fan in your setup to avoid the issue of rotting roots.
– Soil Mix
Use bark chips and a little bit of perlite to grow these orchids in pots and containers. You can also grow them in only charcoal, as they need good air movement around the roots.
These plants will grow well if you grow them in hanging baskets. But be prepared to water them every day in the summer if the air is too dry in your area. You can also mount them on tree fern or cork but mounted orchids need frequent watering. You have to mist and spray them several times a day in the summer.
In the case of potted orchids, add sphagnum moss on top of the soil mix to keep the roots moist. Some people suggest using just lava rocks to grow this orchid. You can pick and choose your soil medium according to the availability and the weather conditions in your area.
Angraecum Didieri prefers intermediate to warm temperatures. Some people think that it prefers cool and dry conditions. Maximum flowering happens when the temperatures are moderate and neither too hot nor too cold. If the winters are too harsh in your area, consider shifting your plant inside to a warmer spot.
In summer, it can tolerate 70 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit at night. The nighttime temperature must be significantly lower than the daytime temperature to induce blooming.
A humidity level of 50 to 60 percent works well for Angraecum Didieri. Lower humidity levels inhibit new growth. Try to keep it above 50 percent by misting and spraying the plant in the summer. Keep a humidifier or a humidity tray around the plant to keep it humid. The leaves turn yellow in lower humidity levels.
Fertilize your orchid once every 7 to 10 days with a well-balanced liquid orchid fertilizer during the active growing season from spring to late summer. Fertilizers that are rich in calcium, magnesium, nitrogen, and potassium work fine for the plant’s growth.
Reduce or eliminate fertilizing in winter, as a slight winter rest period works well for their growth. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer at the beginning of the growing season and a phosphorus-rich one later in the fall.
Flush your plant with fresh water every three weeks or so to avoid any salt buildup due to fertilization. Salt accumulation can burn the roots and eventually kill the plant. Washing the plant once a month also helps in keeping any unwanted insects and pests at bay. You can also use seaweed solution and RO water to avoid salt buildup.
Angraecum Didieri hates to get its roots disturbed. Repot it after two to three years, and only if it has outgrown the old pot. The plant may not bloom for another one or two years after repotting. So, repot the plant only when required. Use a pot big enough to sustain new growth for years to come. The ideal time is during the spring season.
Repot also when the soil mix becomes too compact because of breakdown or when the plant has outgrown the pot. Lift the plant straight out of the pot without removing the soil medium. Prepare a new soil mix of your choice in the bigger pot and keep the plant in it. Do not water the plant for a few days. Keep it in a shaded area for the next few days until the plant becomes acclimatized to the new environment. Later on, you can shift it to brighter light conditions.
Angraecum Didieri smells wonderful as soon as the sun sets down. It can be a great addition to the plant collection if it is given the right conditions to grow.
It is a slow grower but it will reward your patience with amazing flowers. We have summarized all the crucial points you need to keep in mind before growing this beauty.
- Angraecum Didieri is a miniature, fragrant orchid endemic to Madagascar.
- It does not get too big which makes it a great choice for balcony gardens.
- It can bloom throughout the year but most frequently from spring to summer.
- Keep it in bright light where it receives curtain filtered sunlight.
- Remember to keep the soil mix damp and water the orchids when their soil mix dries.
- The lower part of the plant including its roots is prone to rot, so maintain proper air movement and water only when necessary.
- It likes intermediate to warm temperatures. In extreme temperatures, move the plant inside.
- Use only charcoal to grow this orchid. It does not necessarily need the regular orchid mix of bark chips and perlite.
- Maintain the humidity levels above 50 percent to keep the plant happy.
- Fertilize the orchid weekly with a liquid orchid fertilizer rich in essential nutrients in the growing season.
- Angraecum Didieri does not enjoy frequent repotting and changes in the soil mix. Repot the plant when the soil mix becomes too compact and tight or when the plant has outgrown the pot.
Now that you know all about this lovely and hardy orchid, we hope you will get one of these for yourself and try growing them!