Monday, November 17, 2008

Stanhopea orchids – mature plants vs. seedlings

Over the years I’ve had many times an opportunity to purchase stanhopea’s orchids flasks or very small seedlings and always reluctant to do it. The reason is of course because it takes such a long time to raise plants from flasking or seedling stage.

On the picture I’ve captured stanhopea’s seedlings at various growth stage – one year old, two year old, three and four years old ones. As you can see, they are very far from flowering stage.

Stanhopea orchids take approx 7 years to mature and to start flowering and raising stanhopeas from small seedling requires a lot of patience and dedication. Patience – because one can not harry up Nature and it will take as long as it takes for the plants to mature. Dedication – because during these 7 years of growth plants will require a lot of maintenance and looking after. The changing weather conditions, changes of seasons, insects, snails and fungus can destroy precious seedlings overnight, and if anything, personally I would not recommend raising stanhopea’s from seedlings to a beginner.

At times, certain variety only available as a small un-flowered seedling and in that case, if you have to have it ( as we all do), go ahead and purchase it, providing you prepared to spend a lot of care and attention on that seedling. Mature flowered stanhopea plants will always cost more than seedlings, but reward of seeing your plant with beautiful scented flowers in spring or summer and discovering its essence and its place in Nature will bring you joy and happiness beyond belief.

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