Masdevallia coccinea


About four months ago I purchased a plant of Masdevallia coccinea. I live in the Sacramento, California, area where summer temperatures go over 100º F. I keep the orchid outside in my shade garden, where it does not go above 85º F and where it is kept moist. However, since I purchased the plant I have not had any new flowers or leaves coming up —Mel Piercey

Masdevallia coccinea 'Lois Posey' AM/AOS — photo © Greg Allikas


Masdevallia coccinea, while one of the loveliest of the genus, is also one that is least tolerant of heat as it originates at fairly high elevations. High temperatures are definitely why you are not flowering the plant. Days under 80º F and nights in the 50s will much better suit this plant. It does not seem to have any particular resting period, and tends to flower in late winter and early spring. I am not sure what to tell you about cooling, as even with good evaporative cooling, this may prove to be too difficult for long-term success in your area —Ned Nash