🌿Maxillaria tenuifolia🌿 is the FAMOUS Coconut Orchid! 🥥
✅This orchid is MY TOP PICK FOR BEGINNERS!✅
Why coconut orchid? Because its gorgeous oxblood red flowers fill up an entire room with the delightful fragrance of coconuts! 🥥
Hailing from Central America🌎, this tropical lowland orchid grows in hot weather as an epiphyte on trees. It grows in both dense forests🌴🌳 as well as openings, and tolerates a wide range of conditions.
They grow in an ascending way, with each pseudobulb growing roots that are covered by the bracts, but extend and grow once in some media. Their branches are occasionally broken by the wind, and they can be found growing terrestrially underneath the mother plant. For propagation, this is an excellent adaptation that we take advantage of.
Grow in part orchid bark mix and part sphagnum in an East, West, or South window where they’ll get at least some direct sunbeams to a full day of direct sunbeams indoors☀️🌤⛅🌥☁️. Can tolerate ambient light, but won’t grow much or flower. They don’t care about humidity, but tend to flower and grow faster with higher humidity💦💦💦. Water when the media dries out 💧💧and only fertilize in the spring.
This orchid is by far one of my easiest to grow, and I am shocked that they don’t sell this one more commonly in stores. I mean, who wouldn’t love waking up to the scent of coconut cream pie every morning this plant is in bloom? Interestingly, the scent changes throughout the day – it starts in the morning with fresh coconut, then eases into cocoa butter fragrance. Towards the late afternoon, the sweetness eases off, and the flowers are scented like popcorn butter. There is little to no fragrance at night.
Flowers that are musky/buttery tend to attract beetles, and the red color of rotting flesh helps support that. But that’s not going to stop any butterflies or other critters from pollinating the flower. Typically, flowers with lots of fragrance attract all kinds of pollinators, and this one is no exception.
The flowers last for about a month, month and a half, and typically bloom in April in the northern hemisphere. This plant will make more blooms with more light (like any plant, surprise, surprise).
One thing I will say is that this plant is abuse-tolerant. It shows dehydration via wrinkles in the pseudobulbs, and can take quite a bit of overwatering and underwatering. Though it tolerates dry, it prefers wet except in the winter, where you ease up a bit (but don’t stop) watering.
The plant takes on a great form with chunky, chaining pseudobulbs offset by the floofy grassy upper part of the plant. I honestly think that this is a gorgeous foliage plant, and is far superior to the looking-like-bugs-ate-it Monstera obliqua that’s all the rage nowadays. One thing to note is that the plant does indeed respond to its conditions pretty strongly – if you divide it, like I did last year, it may skip a year of blooms…but maybe that’s because I divided half the plant (lol).
Have any questions? You should message me @botanictonic on Instagram! If you like what I am writing, please leave me a tip on Venmo! @C-Sat (if it asks for a number, it’s 9898)
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