My plant refuses to flower! The image of my plant above shows its rambling growth habit and its vagrant aerial roots wandering around. Plants with this type of growth pattern make good candidates for mounting of a board, a tree fern trunk or some other type of wooden slab. Obviously, a pot is going to be a very temporary home. It is also difficult to grow a plant like this into an attractive specimen sized display plant.

Coelogyne cumingii was named after Hugh Cuming, an early Philippine collector. It is also native to Malaysia, Loas, Thailand and Borneo where it grows on trees or on the ground at altitudes to around 2000 metres. It is closely related to Coel cristata and therefore as would be expected, it has white, fragrant flowers with yellow markings but nowhere near the size.

Growing Suggestions: This plant has not flowered for me yet so I will reserve any suggestions. I currently have it growing in medium coco chips in a hanging basket in a slightly heated glass-house where the temperature ranges from 80C to 400C and the humidity is constantly high because of misting and fogging. As can be seen from the image above, it seems more than happy in this environment but might be a bit of a rambler.

Suggested Cultivation:

The green tips on the end of the roots is an excellent sign of health. This means it is growing actively and is the time when you can feed it a little bit of some slow release fertiliser. Feeding an orchid when it is not growing runs the risk of making the soil too rich and it becoming toxic. A very small feed of any fertiliser will do but I like to feed twice a year (spring and autumn) with any general slow release fertiliser.

Many growers will wax lyrical about their special mixes and routines but remember that these plants have survived several million years in the wild before we started manufacturing fertilisers. In nature the rain washes dead insects, beetle and bird poo etc. down the tree trunks and past the roots as well as the odd dead and rotting leaves that get caught in the plant. The only real rule to keep in mind is that the orchids only want very small doses.

Negatives: It is not readily available. It may have trouble competing against several other similar Coelogynes such as Coel nervosa or the hybrid Coel Unchained Melody.

Rating:  Researching web links indicate a large mass of possibly untidy plant to produce a very limited number of smallish flowers.

Sometimes sold as: Coelogyne casta or Coelogyne  longebracteata

Varieties: None known


1. Coelogyne Shinjuku (Suwada Orchids 2001) using Coelogyne speciosa as the pod parent.

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