Bulbophyllum frostii care infographicBulbophyllum Frostii is one of the most exotic-looking orchids out there. (And yes, they are also quite easy to care for and cultivate!)

For this article, we contacted our expert florists and orchid gardeners for advice regarding growing these.

We aim to equip you with their knowledge gained over years of experience. We have tried to be concise and straightforward and answer all your little queries regarding this orchid.

Bulbophyllum Frostii: Identifying Features

In all honesty, it’s hard not to notice (and be in awe of) the Bulbophyllum orchids. Wherever they may be present, Frostii is no exception!

This orchid species is native to the lowlands rainforests of Vietnam and Thailand and has captured the fancy of orchid lovers for centuries.

Bulbophyllum orchids are surely one of the most unique and weird-looking plants you can have as your houseplants.

So what are you waiting for? Dive right in as we present its identifying features;

– The Plant: Size, Stems, and Shape

Bulbophyllum Frostii is a small-sized orchid. They are epiphytes in nature, growing on larger plants and trees for support and protection.

Just like most orchids, it comprises pseudo bulbs rising from rhizomes on which leaves and flowers grow. Each pseudobulb is only 0.3 to 0.5 inches long and 0.75 inches thick.

Their color ranges from olive green to purple.

– Flowers: The Dutchman’s Shoe

The flowers of this plant are unlike anything you have ever seen before. For one, they are shaped like Dutch wooden footwear, hence their name.

Bulbophyllum frostii propagation

The petals of each flower fuse together, leaving an opening into which the lip is located.

Rich-red in color, these flowers are only one inch across in diameter and hang horizontally from stems. The inflorescence of frostii is horizontal, short, and contains only a few flowers.

– Leaves and Foliage

Each pseudobulb contains a single leaf that is dark green in color and broad oval in shape. Just like its flowers, frostii produces fleshy, beautiful leaves.

– Fragrance

Bulbophyllum Frostii produces a somewhat unpleasant smell. The only consolation we can provide in this regard is by assuring you that this smell is a faint one and will not linger on.

Now that you know what this orchid looks and smells like and have decided to include it in your collection, the next question is: how to properly take care of it?

The good news is: caring for Bulbophyllum Frostii is super easy. Read on below to find out how!

Bulbophyllum Frostii Care Requirements

Each plant has its own particular taste for water, light, and soil requirements. After years of experience, our experts bring you the tips and secrets to help you in caring for Bulbophyllum Frostii. Growing this orchid as a houseplant has never been easier!

– Water Requirements

Watering Schedule During the Week

Bulbophyllum Frostii has a fine root system, so it grows best in moist media. Water it abundantly, at least three to four times per week.

The Best Type of Water to Use

Good news for the lazy ones out there! This is not one of those fussy orchids that need a particular type of water. Any water within a healthy range of pH will do!

Watering During the Year

You don’t really need to decrease watering during the winter season as this orchid doesn’t exhibit any rest period during that time. However, if it looks like the plant has stopped growing, then slightly decrease the amount and frequency of watering.

Dry Period Between Each Watering

After watering the plant each time, allow the substrate to dry a little (but not completely dry) before watering the next time. Even during winter, if you choose to decrease watering a bit, ensure that the plant does not remain dry for more than one whole day.

– Soil and Substrate

  • These orchids are epiphytes in their natural habitat. Therefore, they can be mounted on bark, in baskets, or potted in pots.

Bulbophullym frostii orchid

  • If you mount them in bark or rafts, you will need to provide very high humidity levels so that these orchids don’t dry out.
  • Should you choose to pot Bulbophyllum Frostii seeds, we recommend using fern with sphagnum moss as a medium.

– Light Requirements and Needs

  • Bulbophyllum Frostii orchids need only lux levels of 14,000 to 16,000 for normal growth and flowering.
  • Do not expose them to direct sunlight.
  • These plants will grow best indoors with filtered light.
  • We suggest you use them as indoor houseplants and use fluorescent light as an energy source.

– Temperatures Needs

Finding the right temperatures is one of the trickiest parts of growing Bulbophyllum orchids.  Keep reading to learn the ideal temperatures for your orchids and how to maintain them.

  • Native to tropical lands where the climate is hot and humid throughout the year, Bulbophyllum Frostii grows successfully in moderately hot temperatures.
  • The most suitable daytime temperatures are 71-76 F.
  • At nighttime, the ideal temperature range is 64-69 F.
  • The fact that these are best grown indoors makes maintaining the required temperatures even easier!

 – Potting Bulbophyllum Frostii Seeds And culture

  • It is best to buy a grown Bulbophyllum Frostii plant or a plant an already divided one than try to plant seeds and germinate them
  • The seeds of Bulbophyllum Frostii are extremely difficult to plant and often get easily damaged. Moreover, the entire process is relatively slow and cumbersome; it can take months for the first leaf to grow and years before you experience your first flower!
  • The most used and time-tested potting media in our nurseries is a mixture of sphagnum moss and perlite. Take both in an equal amount. Place a bottom layer of charcoal or pure perlite underneath this mixture first.
  • You can also mount them on barks and corks if your area has adequate humidity. For dry regions, this isn’t such a good idea.

– Repotting the Dutch Shoe Successfully

Discover classic tips on repotting from orchid enthusiasts from all over the country below:

  1. Bulbophyllum genus doesn’t take kindly to frequent repotting. Their delicate root system can easily get damaged, and this, in turn, can hinder the growth of the plant for years.
  2. Our orchid experts advise that you pot them once and keep them that way for several years until the roots outgrow the pot.
  3. Repot during early spring as it is the beginning of the growth period.
  4. They can be repotted only if new growth and roots begin to emerge from the rhizomes.
  5. If your plant is mounted in bark or slabs and begins to outgrow them, simply add another piece of bark to it instead of repotting the whole thing.

Growing Bulbophyllum Frostii: Humidity, Fertilizer And Air Circulation

– Humidity Needs

  • Bulbophyllum Frostii is also known as the greenhouse orchid. Naturally, they require high levels of humidity.
  • Potted Frostii needs about 50 to 60 percent humidity throughout the year.
  • Keep in mind that if your Frostii is mounted on barks or slabs, humidity levels up to only 75 percent will be needed. This is in comparison with pots which retain moisture and, consequently, require less humidity.

– Fertilizer And its Correct Amount

  • Bulbophyllum Frostii needs nutrients as much as the next plant. However, they are extremely sensitive to anything related to their roots, so proceed with caution.
  • We suggest you use only one-sixth of the usual fertilizer strength for these orchids.
  • Fertilize only once per month.
  • Carefully follow the instructions on the fertilizer pack.
  • After each fertilization, flush the soil and substrate with copious water to prevent the build-up of toxins.

– Air Circulation

  •  All plants love good ventilation and air circulation. This consideration enables them to breathe. It also allows water droplets to evaporate from their surface: preventing fungal rot.

natural ventilation for Bulbophyllum frostii

  • It is best if the air around your Frostii is humid. Humid air will prevent the plant from drying out as well as keep it fresh.
  • The best way to provide good air circulation is to place your orchids near an open window.
  • If you cannot provide natural ventilation for these plants, use a small fan that can blow air on them, both during the day and night.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do I ensure proper air circulation around Bulbophyllum Frostii?

To ensure proper air circulation around Bulbophyllum Frostii, place it in a well-ventilated area with good air flow and avoid crowding it with other plants.

2. What type of support should be used for Bulbophyllum Frostii?

A sturdy support like a wooden stake or a trellis should be used for Bulbophyllum Frostii to help it grow upright and prevent the delicate stems from breaking.

3. What is the hardiness zone for Bulbophyllum Frostii?

Bulbophyllum Frostii is hardy in USDA zones 10 to 12, which means it can tolerate temperatures down to 30°F (-1°C) but may require protection from frost.


Now that we have covered the basics of Bulbophyllum Frostii care and culture, let us sum it all up to make sure we haven’t missed anything.

  • Bulbophyllum Frostii, also known as the dutchman’s shoe, is an orchid native to the rainforests of Vietnam and Thailand.
  • These are miniature plants with very short pseudobulbs and horizontal stems.
  • They are water-loving and require constant irrigation.
  • Don’t put them under direct sun or any other strong light.
  • Bulbophyllum Frostii needs high humidity levels and thorough ventilation.
  • We suggest against repotting them often.
  • These orchids have very sensitive root systems and should be handled very carefully while repotting.
  • They can be fertilized only once per month with one-sixth the usual strength for orchid fertilizer.
  • Thorough air circulation is a must. Place them near an open window or use a small fan to blow air on them.
  • Bulbophyllum Frostii is a pretty easy orchid to care for, and we’re sure anyone can grow it. Its exotic flowers and leaves will surely brighten up your indoor space once in bloom.

So, why not use what you have learned here and give it a go?

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