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How to Grow Sarcochilus

Sarcochilus are native to Australia and have been popular with hobbyists there for many years. For good culture, here are the basic requirements for moisture, temperature and light. Sarcochilus need to be watered in a way that keeps the medium slightly moist at all times, similar to Phalaenopsis. They don’t have pseudobulbs to store water, and it’s the leaves and roots that are responsible for this function. I water these plants every other day in summer and once to twice a week during winter.

Sarcochilus need a well drained potting medium, since watering will be frequent; I have found medium orchid bark to be ideal. The best time to repot is in the fall, when new roots are emerging.

Summer temperatures should range from 75-85 degrees during the day and 60-70 degrees at night, with winter temperatures of 60-75 degree days and 45-55 degree nights.

Plants prefer lower light levels of 1000 to 1500 foot candles (fc). In hot, humid conditions, plants benefit from increased shading, air movement and watering, as this helps keep the foliage cool.

Sarcochilus generally flower in late April and early May. I am always reminded that Mother's Day is not far off when I see the first blooms.


Fred Clarke, Sunset Valley Orchids

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