Bulbophyllum acuminatum

Bulbophyllum species and hybrids generally grow easily in my conditions. Their containers sit in growbag trays, usually in a centimetre or so of water. Most of them like to be kept quite damp and they can react badly if they are allowed to dry out. Potting medium is mostly fine bark. I used to use sphagnum moss but this can turn acidic if it isn’t changed regularly. I also experimented with rockwook cubes which work OK but they seem to grow a very healthy crop of moss which can in time outgrow and smother the orchid. My B. acuminatum is still growing in rockwool cubes at time of writing. Bulbophyllum enjoy good air movement and humidity which is provided by the copious water they receive. One has to be somewhat creative with Bulbophyllum containers because of their often sprawling habit and shallow root systems. Wide and shallow containers work best, and I often find myself raiding the recycling bin for mushroom trays or old fruit punnets. They are shaded by the hangers above them as their light requirement is mostly lower than Cattleya or Coelogyne and too much light can burn them, especially if you rely on natural light. Some do flower better under higher light, though, so it pays to experiment if they are bloom shy. Bulbophyllum acuminatum is a small, quite well behaved species with rhizomes that are not too long. The leaves are born singly on top of a small pseudobulb and are generally below 10cm long. An adult plant will grow comfortably in a 12cm pot, though I have mine in a wide but shallow mushroom container with holes cut in the bottom. Flowers are short lived and not prolifically produced but are very beautiful and, perhaps mercifully, unscented. They are usually produced in early spring in my conditions.

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