I have always liked the look of Spathoglottis, but until recently, I hadn’t seen one for sale at a sensible price. I knew I had appropriate conditions for them, so when I finally found some for sale at a German nursery I couldn’t resist ordering some. In fact, I got two plants, but one is much more advanced than the other, so I shall discuss the yellow one here.
Spathoglottis is a genus of around 49 species distributed mainly in SE Asia, but extending as far as north Australia. Spathoglottis plicata is the type species for the genus. They are terrestrial orchids, and in tropical climates they are a popular garden plant. Plants can get rather large, but potted specimens are easy enough to keep to a sensible size. The nominal species generally has purple flowers, but generations of breeding and hybridization have produced quite a range of colours from white, through yellows, reds and oranges to purple, with larger, well-formed flowers.
My plant appears quite happy provided it is given plenty of water and oodles of light. I did read somewhere that Spathoglottis will not bloom unless it is given very bright light, but it seems fine under my LED lighting. I have it growing in a mix that Burnham Nurseries sell for young plants which contains perlite, bark chips and a small amount of regular compost. It doesn’t like to dry out. I haven’t fed my plant as yet, but I imagine that it will respond well to a slow-release fertilizer being mixed into the potting medium.
As for temperature, I grow the majority of my plants warm. Under my conditions, the plant is evergreen and seems to put up new shoots at random (and hopefully will bloom regularly). Under cooler conditions, most Spathoglottis become dormant, and growth recommences only when more favourable conditions return.
The label for the illustrated plant says (in German) ‘Spathoglottis white’.