Coelogyne Usitana hanging down magnificently from a basket are the dream of every Coelogyne lover out there. But this orchid turns out to be trickier to grow and care for than it seems at first.
We bring you this comprehensive guide so that you do not experience another failed bloom ever again.
Coelogyne Usitana: Learn What It Looks Like
Coelogyne Usitana, an orchid species described as recently as 1995, has already taken the orchid world by storm. Learn what it looks like below.
– Orchid Size
Coelogyne Usitana is a medium-sized orchid that lives as an epiphyte or lithophyte in its natural habitat. What this means is that it typically grows on larger trees, ferns, or rocks as a form of protection and support.
– Pseudobulbs and Stems
Pseudobulbs are storage organs located at the base of stems and are present in nearly all orchids. The pseudobulbs of usitana are only about three inches long and barely an inch thick. They are covered by three to four bracts and are usually ovoid in shape.
The flowering stems that arise from each pseudobulb are zigzag-shaped and angular. Each inflorescence is approximately twelve inches tall and can bear up to twenty flowers.
The inflorescence of usitana orchids are initially erect but later become pendulous after the heavy bloom and start hanging down under their weight.
– Flowers and Leaves
The flowers of Coelogyne usitana are cream or white-green in color and don’t produce any fragrance. They measure around four inches across in diameter but often do not open all the way through.
Coelogyne usitana petals tend to be narrow and slender. Each pseudobulb produces only a single leaf that is usually sixteen inches long and four inches wide.
Coelogyne Usitana Care
– Light Requirements
Coelogyne usitana orchid’s light requirements are pretty basic. This is not a plant that you will need to constantly move around the house for ideal light provision.
Just like any other Coelogyne orchid out there, Usitana species too grow well under filtered or indirect bright light. Our florists always have great success growing them indoors in a brightly lit room.
You can also place them in or near a window for some direct sunlight. They tolerate early morning or late evening bright sunlight pretty well. Noon and afternoon sun, particularly in the summer and through a southern-facing window, is detrimental for them so beware of that.
Should you choose to plant them in a garden, always do so under the shade of a larger plant or tree. If you are growing them completely indoors, say in a basement, for instance, LED lights or overhead fluorescent lights work just as well.
Yellowing of flowers and foliage is an indication of sunburn and a reminder that you need to move your orchid out of the excessive light.
– Water Requirements
People often come up to us to complain about the stringent water requirements of orchids. We totally disagree! Coelogyne usitana, in particular, has very simple and easy to provide for water needs that you can learn below.
How Often Should You Water Coelogyne Usitana in the Summers?
This orchid needs an adequate amount of watering. Unless you live in an extremely dry environment, two to three waterings per week should be sufficient. If you live someplace dry, amp up the watering.
Between two watering cycles, the substrate should dry out well enough but not completely. In the beginning, you will need to check the substrate continually by sticking a pencil down it to see how dry it has gotten.
How Often Should You Water Them in Winters?
Winters are the resting months for Coelogyne usitana. Watering should be sufficiently reduced during this period to the point that some shriveling of pseudobulbs and leaves is evident.
What Is The Most Appropriate Type of Water?
Ideally, you should water your orchids with the cleanest and safest types of water: rainwater, reverse osmosis, or filtered water. If you can only spare common tap water, check that it is not mixed with toxic chemicals and has a pH below 7.5. You don’t want to be giving your orchids harsh alkaline water.
What Happens if Water Is Allowed To Stay On the Orchid and in the Pot for Long?
If Water is allowed to stay in the potting medium and the orchid surface for long periods, this can lead to severe bacterial and fungal infections. Here are a couple of things you can do to prevent this:
- Use a potting medium that drains rapidly and well.
- Do not overwater.
- Ensure proper air circulation.
- Mount your orchids instead of potting them.
Amongst the different types of Coelogyne orchids, usitana species is the one that grows best when hung down in baskets. You can use either plastic baskets or wooden ones. Our florists have had success with both.
For soil substrate, we strongly suggest using pure sphagnum moss. You can also mix sphagnum moss with pieces of charcoal and coniferous tree bark.
Coelogyne usitana needs warm conditions for growth as well as natural pollen propagation.
You should maintain daytime temperatures of 68-95 Fahrenheit and not let the night-time temperatures drop below 59 Fahrenheit.
Keep in mind that night-time temperatures should always be 39-41 Fahrenheit lower than day-time ones.
How To Grow Coelogyne Usitana at Home?
Even though it is a relatively newly discovered species, growing Usitana orchids is very easy. That is why you will often spot this orchid adorning homes, gardens, and greenhouses a lot these days. Find out how to cultivate and grow them yourself here.
– Cultivating Coelogyne Usitana Seeds
Most orchid lovers prefer buying a repotted plant or propagating them instead of cultivating seeds. This is because growing orchids from the seedling stage is a very tiring and long process. We picked the brains of our experts and brought you tips on how to cultivate seeds successfully at home.
Read below to find out how.
- Buy good-quality sterile seeds from a trustworthy vendor.
- Initially pot them in a mask filled with a nutrient medium such as peat moss or perlite.
- Ensure the right temperature and humidity in the surroundings.
- Wait. Seriously, you will have to wait a ridiculously long time until shoots and roots emerge after which you can transfer this whole thing to a small-sized pot.
– Repotting: When and How to Repot
This orchid shouldn’t really be repotted very often. You should only repot it if you start encountering any of the following problems:
- The substrate undergoes condensation and its critical pH drops below 5.5
- The potting medium becomes extremely saline.
- When your orchid seems to completely run out of space in the basket. This is indicated by pseudobulbs that start hanging down from the sides of the basket.
In case of the aforementioned conditions, you should repot immediately after the flowering season ends. Typical Coelogyne usitana blooming period is from spring till summer but they are known to bloom year-round too if you take proper care of them.
– Fertilizer: How Much and How Often
In our experience, Coelogyne usitana should be fertilized once every two to three weeks. Use the recommended strength on the fertilizer mentioned in the packaging. Along with roots, also spray a diluted form of the fertilizer on the foliage.
– Humidity: High Levels Required
This orchid germinates and grows best when the surrounding humidity is fifty-five to sixty percent. We suggest keeping a humidifier in the room along with orchids to maintain such high levels at all times. Do not forget to adequately ventilate the room, though.
Conclusion: Parting Thoughts
So far we have covered everything important there is to know about cultivating and successfully blooming the exotic Coelogyne usitana orchids. Here is a quick recap of all the important points:
- Coelogyne usitana is an indoor orchid species and should be exposed to a medium amount of filtered/ shaded light for most of the day.
- Regularly water your orchids. Don’t let the potting medium get dry in between watering.
- Decrease watering during the winter period. Overwatering should be refrained from as it causes root and stem rot.
- Provide high temperatures: 68-95 Fahrenheit during the day and above 58 at night. There should be a temperature drop of 39-41 Fahrenheit from day to night.
- This orchid is best grown in baskets using sphagnum moss alone or mixed with charcoal as a medium
- Do not repot it often.
- Fertilize every two to three weeks with the usual strength of orchid fertilizers. Also, spray diluted fertilizer on the leaves.
- Coelogyne usitana orchids need humidity levels of fifty-five to sixty percent at all times. Use a humidifier.
The only thing left for you to do now is to get yourself a beautiful basket and some Coelogyne usitana bulbs and get down to business. With our tips and information at hand, you really can not go wrong this time.
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