pondeeza at enternet.co.nz
Fri Aug 1 10:06:17 EDT 2003
Haven't seen any postings as yet but guess there are a few other
Massie freaks joined up out there? Anyway here goes...!
We've been growing and hybridizing Masdevallias here in New Zealand
for about 20 years or so. Compared to a lot of countries our climate
in the north of NZ makes it easy to grow all but the warmer species.
We started with species Masdevallias and still have them but now
concentrate on hybridizing the sub section Coccineae types. Breeding
bigger and brighter hybrids for cut flower export to the Northern
Hemisphere during its cooler months is our goal. Also we make pot
plant types using a few "squitty" species that flower well like M.
caudata, triangularis, instar, datura and yungasensis.
Our plants are grown on mesh benches under a PVC roof with open
shadecloth sides from ground to eaves. We have plastic on the south
side (cold side here) which is rolled down on a winch on frosty
nights or in times of cold driving rain. Substrate varies from 1 cm -
2 cm pine bark with or without shredded oasis to 100% shredded
sphagnum moss or moss/shredded styrene foam and oasis 1:1:1. These
latter plants are grown in hydroponic tanks.
Our temperatures rarely go over 28°C or lower than light frosts of -1
to -2°C. A couple of weeks ago we had two frosts down around -6°C
which we haven't seen for about 5 or 6 years. Only damage to the
Masdevallias was to drop all the buds off Masd tovarensis and knock
some leaves off Masd bicolor. Both were at flowering stage here. No
Massies are heated. Well I do take meijiana inside for a month or
two during winter to keep it alive, but it obviously needs a bit more
heat to flower well!
To put our climate in perspective - this is the centre of kiwifruit
growing in NZ. Rainfall and sunshine hours are good. Other
commercial fruits around here are avocados, macadamias, citrus,
persimmons, passionfruit and feijoas. Ornamental bananas, a black
taro and my huge Sobralias outside under shadecloth were badly
frosted last week. We also grow thousands of Disas for cut flower
export in the same houses as the Massies.
Sorry no Pleurothallis here but we do have several Restrepias! Anyone
else out there growing Masdevallias?
Weather here today was wet with 14°C max and a 6°C low predicted for tonight.
Ron - Paradise Orchids, New Zealand
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