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Laelia furfuracea

4th December 2020

In the last few years I have returned to some of the more traditional glasshouse orchid genera, following the realisation that some species are more cold tolerant than I had previously thought.
The Mexican species of Laelia can occur at high altitudes in the mountains and I thought it was worth a trial. Laelia furfuracea is one of the smaller species growing up to 3,000m asl in Oaxaca and blooming in autumn before entering winter dormancy. It seemed like an ideal species to experiment with and so I bought this small plant.
Unfortunately the plant rapidly demnstrated its dislike of low temperatures, turned black at the end of January and was clearly dead by the time spring temperatures started to rise. I am uncertain whether the species is intolerant of my conditions or whether the individual plant had been grown in a warm greenhouse and did not have enough time to establish/adapt before winter struck.

I am still convinced that it is worth another try but plan to start in late spring if I get another chance (find another cheap plant) so that it has a full summer season to grow before it faces the rigours of winter.