Calanthe hybrids produce graceful, arching stems of flowers in late fall through the winter. They come from an area of Asia that has a monsoon type climate, and they need different care during the fall-winter period from that given in the spring and summer.
In the fall, leaves turn yellow and shrivel. The bulbs remain plump. When the leaves turn yellow, they may be removed. At this time, or soon after, the flower spike emerges from the base of the bulb. During this fall/winter period, water should be given only enough to keep the bulbs from shriveling, and no fertilizer should be given.
In the spring, new growths will emerge from the base of the bulbs. When the new growths start to make roots, they may be repotted into fresh media. We recommend media similar to our seedling mix with fine fiber bark. The calanthes are terrestrial in nature, growing in leaf mold or humus. When new roots are into the soil, watering and fertilizing should be increased.
During the summer months the plants need considerable water and a good amount of fertilizer. Avoid getting water into the crown of the new growths. Watch for spider mites. If the leaves show silvery areas or webs the mites are present. Use a strong spray of water to wash to wash the leaves thoroughly to remove the mites.
Note: This guide is only applicable to Calanthes. For other varieties, please click on one of these links: