Micks Masdevallias

FAQ's

I must have received 5 phone calls 3 emails today alone, all I can recommend is what I do so I hope it helps. Firstly each morning under these conditions I use a mister and spray everywhere in the greenhouse, I then use a hosepipe (Tap water) and soak the greenhouse floor about five times a day this really helps keep the humidity up and also saves your fogger from being on constantly, I open the door periodically to allow the temps to drop and then close them again I repeat this regular throughout the day I find this works quite well for example if its 28ºc out side you can bet its about 30-31ºc in the greenhouse. My roof opening window vents open once the temps rise this also allows hot air to escape. I added additional fans to help circulate and disperse the heat they’re connected to a timer to come on during the hottest part of the day, you could also add additional shade netting to the greenhouse roof. You may find additional help on the facebook group as I know its a popular topic this month.

When all signs of Ground frosts have gone usually late May you could put your Massies out side in a shelterd spot away from direct sunlight and blistery winds, a slight breeze works wonders, I personally bring mine back into the greenhouse at night, check for any signs of pests slugs, snails etc, and never leave them out in torrential rain as this would certainly cause root rot over a period of time and stand the pot off the ground to allow good drainage.

If your asking about Masdevallias then we are looking at Cool, I’ve added a guide from a recommended book, hope this helps explain the growing temperatures.

Temperature CategoryNighttime MinimumDaytime Maximum
Warm62-70°F   (17-21°C)75-95°F   (24-35°C)
Intermediate – Warm60-65°F   (16-18°C)78-83°F   (26-28°C)
Intermediate55-60°F   (13-16°C)73-80°F   (23-27°C)
Cool – Intermediate52-58°F   (11-14°C)68-75°F   (20-24°C)
Cool50-55°F   (10-13°C)62-70°F   (17-21°C)

Firstly when did you last repot your Massies, I recommend between every 1-2 years, or have you recently moved your plants to another location this is called a micro climate remember they get used to their environment. I also find long periods of cloudy days and cooler temperatures in early spring can change the blooming habit of a plant, this can also happen if the plants got too warm during the summer months, hope this helps a little and good luck.

Sounds good to me! But I’m sure a lot of channel creators will tell you, its not like the old days a lot of channels including my own tend to struggle with the competition especially with an orchid channel even the more established channels would probably agree with me. If you want to share your knowledge and growing tips with fellow growers that would be great, but if you are thinking of making money by monetisation of the channel (creating a small business venture) I think you will find it hard work in the current climate to get sufficient followers if this is the case I would say it’s viewers you want more then subscribers once you’ve reached 1000 Subs, but there again thats only my opinion. So go for it you’ll enjoy it and get a lot of pleasure from sharing your vast knowledge. Looking forward to seeing your channel and of course I’d subscribe and share it on my channel.

Not really being familiar with other types of orchids I would say you could try Dracula’s, Miltoniopsis, Odontoglossums, Restrepia and Pleurothallis, I also believe there are also some Paphiopedilums and cymbidiums that also like cooler growing conditions. Always ask the seller for growing conditions if its not stated in the advert, I’m sure you’ll find a good growing companion for your massies.

As a keen amateur grower I give my Masdevallias low to medium light levels with dapple shade, remember I grow in a greenhouse not in the home, I have never considered additional supplimentary lighting however I’m sure a lot of growers do (mostly in the home) and you may get help from asking members of the face book group. I’ve realised over the years that my Masdevallias can handle more light then the books tell us, I’ve found that if some of my Massie don’t get good light through the growing season they do not bloom for me (the same as not getting a nighttime drop in temperatures), so if you are thinking of adding additional lighting just be cautious try for about 2-4 hours a day to start with then increase when your happy to up to 8 hours a day, try to keep the lights at about 2′ to 3′ or 61 mm to 91.5 mm above the plants to prevent possible leaf burn.

The current climate dictates the relative humidity during the winter months, to be fair there’s not a lot we can do about it mine is currently also high at 89% and my masses are doing fine, a local grower / friend uses a de-humidifier during winter but I think thats an additional unnecessary electrical cost but thats his choice. I tend to hold back on watering and of course do not use my fogger/humidifier during winter, however I do open the greenhouse doors when outside temperatures are about 15ºc to allow good air exchange for a couple of hours a day.

Two main reasons why I post on Mondays, firstly plants will arrive mid week which ensures they are not stored in a postal depot over the weekends especially if the weather conditions change and secondly it makes life a lot easier for me as a small independent grower to send all packages out on the same day, rather then being back and forward to the post office daily which is very time consuming.

No not all masdevallia orchids are fragrant, however there are quite a few that are so I’ll mention the ones in my collection.

M Strobellii smells fruity like vanilla. M Meijiana smells spicy. M Glandulosa smells spicy. M datura very sweet smelling. M Caudata another sweet smell and lets not forget M caesia reminds me of rotting meat. There are too many to mention but I’m sure a good seller could advice better prior to purchase.

Micks Masdevallias

Thats a difficult one for me, as you know I don’t like using sphagnum moss as it remains too wet for me during the winter months but a lot of growers have tremendous success using sphagnum, So depending on the individual plant for example is it epiphyte or terrestrial will depend on your media choice. Masdevallias can be grown successfully in a variety of medium so long as its fast draining & moisture retentive which is essential for a healthy root system. I use small bark & a perlite mix which I find meets my requirements and have reasonable success. I would ask the seller what they recommend as they may well have just used sphagnum moss for a recent division to encourage root growth prior to selling.

I would say annually and never over pot your Massie, select a pot which will take the root ball mass without excessive space left around the roots. However you may need on occasions to repot due to growing problems, like your media breaking down, rotting or media crumbling between your fingers or giving off a mushroom smell these signs mean it’s also time to repot. Always remember allow your Masdevallia time to recover after repotting. I usually do mine in early spring allowing it time to recover during the growing season, I try to avoid repotting during the winter months, however this is sometimes unavoidable.

Remove your plant from its pot and inspect its roots remove all the old media from around the roots, a useful test is to pinch the root between your thumb and forefinger and gently pull away from the plant. If the Velamen (outer root sheath) comes off leaving a wiry root behind the root is dead and can be removed, do this to all the roots until you have removed all dead or dying roots.

Firstly let’s not forget YouTube is a free media platform which allows creators to show their growing methods / hobbies and should not be mistaken for professional advice and remember some you-tubers receive paid promotions to (push) sell products, and have amazon associated links in their video description, so be very careful what you buy.

Orchids need a good balanced fertiliser that includes trace elements, look for the NPK Labels and it should not “in my opinion” contain Urea, it is recommended by many growers to feed “weakly weekly” at 1/4 strength. Fertilisers are a personal preference and remember it should be readily available to purchase. I only mention what I use in my videos and thats what I was advised to use when I first started Growing and I have continued to use it, sorry I cannot be more specific.

I would suggest the Phalaenopsis (Moth Orchid) which I think would make a great starter plant and be ideal for a beginner, they are available in all different colours and pattens and the flower spike can last for several months and with the right care can re-bloom shortly after, they can be found quite reasonably cheap at most Garden centres and nowadays in most supermarkets.

I think your referring to the percentage of protection of eliminating light from your plants, I would recommend a 75% shade cloth/Netting either draped over the greenhouse or attached internally above your plants, mine is external and I find it easier to install in early spring and remove in late autumn. Shade cloth helps reduce both light and heat during the summer months.

Browning of leaf tips usually means your Masdevallia needs more humidity, if your growing in your home set your plant on a gravel filled saucer filled with water (Humidity Tray) to add more humidity to the surrounding air, or if you have a humidifier move it closer to your plants. Chlorinated water (Tap) and over fertilising can also cause browning of the tips.You could try running clear clean water through the potting media (Flushing) until it runs clear out of the drainage holes, then hold off fertilising for a couple of months. Any damaged leaves can be trimmed off.

Most masdevallias like a night-time drop in temperatures, which sometimes does not happen in a terrarium. I personally do not grow in a terrarium however I’m sure with the right environment and conditions some Massies will do well in your terrarium why not try with a couple of miniature hybrids, sorry I cannot be more helpful, but you may be able to get additional help from members of our Facebook group. By the way thanks for watching the channel.

It’s what I call pleated leaves and is usually caused by a lack of moisture reaching the growing part of the plant. This can be caused by not watering enough or even watering too much.Check the roots gently tip the plant out of it’s pot and examine the roots, if they are white or tan coloured, firm and spread out around the pot, you’ll need to increase your watering frequency. If the roots are brown and mushy trim them off, repot in new media and reduce your watering frequency.

There are many causes which can make bud’s blast and I’ve found its usually associated with your own growing environment. Under or over watering, extremes in temperatures can influence developing buds, high light levels can also be a problem so can humidity too dry an air can lead to buds dropping off and of course a poor potting media not allowing the roots to breath being too compacted and finally you may have Botrytis blight you’ll need to research this on the Internet.

Micks Masdevallias

This is another question I get asked a lot, I can only answer from my own findings. Firstly older leaves usually turn yellow and fall off this happens around the winter months and should not be a concern. Secondly it could be caused by too much light this also causes yellowing of the leaves, and too little light will make the leaves turn a darker Green and elongated, the ideal would be a nice light Green in colour.Thirdly over watering can also cause yellowing of the leaves, but usually the leaf’s drop before they turn yellow and fourthly, check your roots you may well have a problem with root rot usually caused by being too wet for to long remember they need to be moist at all times and not saturated so review your watering frequency, and finally do you have good air circulation, fans etc. You never said where you grow your Masdevallias?

Like all Masdevallia growers here in the UK we sometimes use eBay and I have to agree there are some dodgy sellers on there, However I wouldn’t normally recommend a seller but I’ve found Spicesotic plants to be reasonable in plant quality, postage and cost, you can view them on their website at www.spicesoticplants.co.uk or visit there eBay shop at stores.ebay.co.uk/spicesotic-plants. But this is the only seller I would use and recommend. Good Luck with future purchases.

I’m sorry to hear that you are considering selling off your collection of about twenty Masdevallias due to being unable to get them to bloom, it may well be that you have purchased really young divisions which are not yet blooming size or that your growing conditions are not suitable for them, remembering they are cloud forest dwellers and as such need similar growing conditions, I have emailed you a more in-depth answer, however if you feel that you still want to sell them, yes I would buy your collection.

Whilst in my opinon one of the best Masdevallias it is also one of the least tolerant of heat as it originates at very high elevations, they usually flower late winter & early spring, I would certainly suggest high temperatures are definitely why your plant is not flowering very similar to M. Veitchiana, not being familiar with your growing conditions I would suggest you find the coolest part of your grow space and move the plant out of the heat I would also repot into a new fresh media ASAP. You may get additional help from members of the facebook group ! Try them as well.

I get asked this question many times, the only answer I can give you is what I do, summer two or three times a week, winter once a week or longer, its a very difficult question and will also depend on your own growing environment. They should be watered frequently and not be allowed to fully dry out, it also depends on the time of year and the ambient temperatures. A good observation will be if the frequency is correct or requires modification a clear sign is a loss of foliage (leaf drop) would indicate irrigation problems, too much or too little.

Ask away! Yes, you might have seen me selling carnivorous plants on a farmers market, when we could before this pandemic, I enjoy the atmosphere and was with my grandson, hopefully will be on again when things are back to normal, if you see me again please introduce yourself I love to meet viewers and other growers.

Three in total. One which is my massie house, the second my temperate for my collection of Dionaea Muscipula “Venus fly traps” and all my carnivorous plant seedlings and the third one which I intend to make my Nepenthes House but currently I still use it for my summer tomatoes and chilli plants.

Great news I’m sure you’ll enjoy your Dracula, have you read my Dracula growing guide on this site, I’m sure you’ll find all the relevant information there, I’ve also added several videos on my youtube channel including a Dracula play list.

Unfortunately I don’t use my youtube channel as a form of income, its purely for entertainment and general care guides to help other growers care for these beautiful little orchids and I personally think adverts spoil the viewing for many people especially when in the middle of a video. If youtube decide to put adverts on my channel “Which they have implied they will” please feel free to skip through the adverts I’m sure hundreds of people already do the same, personally I’m an amateur orchid grower who likes to share my hobby with like minded growers and enthusiasts, lets face it youtube is a free online platform for many video creators who are trying to share their enjoyment with others. Being a huge youtube fan I sometimes think that some creators/channels just do a video for financial rewards and not necessarily in the interest of the viewing audience, I wouldn’t want to find myself in that position. I often think to myself would the channel still be around if it wasn’t receiving cash generated by advertisements?

Micks Masdevallias

Bellavilla is a new cultivar of Masdevallia being grown specifically by a german nursery over several years of intense reproduction, in fact its supposed to be a more warm tolerant Masdevallia, so I suspect its a hybrid cross between several warm growers, they say the Bellavilla is more suitable for the home grower similar to a house plant. I assume you have seen one advertised on a European website, and will usually have BV Prefix before its hybrid name.

Having read you question (Twice) I think it would be a brilliant idea to allow other growers to sell on my site, Orchid and carnivorous plants related obviously, so I’ve spoken to my friend who designs my website and he will work at adding a UK Sellers page / Free ads to this site and once up and running will be available to viewers to sell their plants and other growing equipment, but they will have to arrange packing and postage direct, they’ll have to provide me with contact details, price and a picture and I will approve the ad and display it on this site, hope that helps.

Thinking about it I’m sure it will help many growers here in the UK now we are no longer members of the EU.

Having worked away from home for many years before retiring I never found the time to join one, however I do get involved with other Massie growers locally who share the same interests and they are looking at forming a midlands Masdevallia society “watch this space for more info” which would hold four society meetings annually and would be an opportunity for growers to meet up, exchange, and sell their spare plants. I’ll give out full details on my channel and on here when registration is open.

Thanks very much for your kind offer of sponsoring my Youtube channel but I’m an amateur grower who creates videos for like-minded growers of this beautiful genus of orchid and carnivorous plants and feel it would be inappropriate to accept funding from youtube viewers, I think I would feel obligated to produce content more regular however you may be interested in buying a small item from the shop under my merchandise for example a coffee / tea mug these small amounts of minimal profit help me purchase new Plants, video and recording equipment, however you may want to donate a small amount each month or a one-off donation to help run this website, that really would be appreciated just look at the donation button at the bottom of this page. I hope you understand and once again Thank you for your kind offer.

I grow cool to cold Orchids which includes Masdevallia, Dracula’s, Restrepia’s and a few odds as well, I’ve always been interested in Masdevallia and that’s my choice of genus I grow, I love watching other peoples orchids on YouTube, but for me it’s the masdevallia every time they truly are a beautiful little orchid and my wish is for more growers to grow Masdevallias.

When I know temperatures will rise in the greenhouse or the weather forecast indicates a warm day over let’s say 28°c I mist using a spray mister each morning around all the leaves, but I do not mist any flowers or buds.

I have on occasions sold some of my divisions locally to other growers, but in or around February 2021 I intend to open my website Shop and any divisions I have available I will sell to UK Growers only, these will be displayed on my shop “so check back regular” and I will also advise viewers on my YouTube channel when I have some to sell hope this helps and looking forward to you being a future customer.

I have purchased on occasions from Germany and the Netherland’s and have received some very good quality plants, however looking forward towards Brexit, Sellers will need to have acquired an export licence or CITES certificate or similar, but even if this is overcome, I believe we will have to pay an import Tax if we receive plants from Europe, and I think it will take a couple of years to calm down, please check out the Government department website DEFRA for more information.

If you’ve followed my YouTube channel you will notice I water on a three-week cycle, Week 1 Rain mix feed, Week 2 Seaweed extract, Week 3 plain RO Water this also flushes out any nutrients that have not been absorbed by the plants, I use to use Cal-Mag every third week these days I use the old traditional method of crushed egg shell to provide my plants will calcium.

To be open and honest NO, paraffin heaters give off a lot of fumes and can damage your plants, you may also get a smoky soot like deposit all over the internal glazed panels of your greenhouse. pollutants often associated with paraffin heaters might include Carbon Monoxide, Nitrogen Oxides and sulphur dioxide. So, I would strongly suggest you use electric heaters or other alternatives to Paraffin.

There are several options to store rainwater these being, standard Garden Water butts, IBC’s, water Carriers, some people even use buckets to capture and store rainwater but remember to have a good supply of stored water during the summer months, so you don’t run out and it will need to be regularly cleaned out to prevent algae growth. I had this problem so I decided to install a R.O system (Reverse Osmosis) and to be honest have never looked back and I think it cost me about £50.

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