Maxillaria sophronitis


My plant of Maxillaria sophronitis is growing on a west-facing window, with a supplement of an HID lamp (HQL de luxe 125 watts) that stays on for 12 hours each day. The temperatures are 65º F during the day going down to 55º F in the night. Humidity is very high, never being less than 70 percent with peaks up to 100 percent in the morning. I fertilize it every week with a low concentration of 8-15-20. The plant looks great having, in the year and a half I have had it, more than doubled its size. During that time, it has produced three beautiful red flowers, but mostly I see the new pseudobulbs mature and then produce a new growth. —Sergio Teodosio

Maxillaria sophronitis grown by Dale Borders, photo © Greg Allikas


Maxillaria sophronitis Rchb.f., is an enigma to most people who grow it; very easy to grow, but producing only an occasional flower or two at widely scattered intervals. In our experience here in our greenhouse, it grows better cool and humid. Dunsterville writes inVenezuelan Orchids Illustrated that it grows on the "edge of cloud forest," but this talented author doesn't give an elevation. We have grown it into a large mat on a slab, keeping it cool and bright, but it rarely flowers, and even then only sparsely. We've never experimented with resting it, which doesn't seem warranted for a cloud-forest denizen. —Ann and Phil Jesup