Learn Maxillaria Tenuifolia care and tips with our comprehensive guide. Find tips on watering, soil, light, and temperature requirements for this beautiful flower.
A. What is Maxillaria Tenuifolia?
The epiphytic orchid Maxillaria tenuifolia, often known as the coconut orchid, is indigenous to Mexico, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. It grows connected to rainforest trees, although it can also grow on the ground.
It is known by the common names Delicate-leafed maxillaria and Coconut pie orchid, and it is a member of the Orchidaceae family and the Maxillaria genus. This species was first described by John Lindley in 1837.
Growth and Size
The coconut orchid is a sympodial orchid that grows at lower elevations with greater temperatures. It can grow to a height of 25 inches. The plant grows bushy over time. This orchid develops quickly compared to other orchids, and it grows upward in the jungles to reach the light.
The proliferation of Maxillaria tenuifolia’s pseudobulbs on top of each other is a distinctive trait. One pseudobulb appears to be growing on top of the other. Yet, each pseudobulb has roots that develop into the soil mix. The pseudobulbs have a papery layer that can be left on.
Maxillaria tenuifolia has grass-like leaves that are linear and thin. Even when not in bloom, the plant’s grass-like foliage makes it look appealing. At the base of the leaves are flat pseudobulbs. Low light circumstances cause whip-like leaves, giving the plant an untidy appearance. If the plant becomes too leggy, it is necessary to relocate it to a brighter location.
The Coconut pie orchid blooms in the spring and summer with small, triangular flowers. They are dark crimson in color with yellow or brown spot. Colors may differ slightly from plant to plant. The coconut-scented flowers are what gave this orchid the name Coconut pie orchid.
The blooms range in size from one to one and a half inches across. Furthermore, each spike has only one flower. The pseudobulb produces a single flowered inflorescence. From summer to spring, the flowers bloom for 10 to 12 days.
B. Benefits of Caring for Maxillaria Tenuifolia
Don’t be concerned about breaking the budget if you want to liven up your house or business with a gorgeous plant. Care for Maxillaria tenuifolia (also known as the The Coconut pie Orchid) and you’ll be rewarded with a lovely, low-maintenance plant that will brighten up any space.
It’s crucial to note that many plants require special care if they’re to grow in your house, so do your homework before making any purchases. If you’re new to plant care and want to learn more, read our article on how to care for some popular flowering houseplants. Consider what kind of habitat is best for your new plant.
Maxillaria tenuifolia is a tropical plant that requires moist soil and high humidity levels. It also requires a lot of sunlight, so keep it away from drafty windows or doors and, if necessary, invest in some good artificial light. Flowering houseplants might be difficult to care for, but if you provide them with what they require, they will repay you with gorgeous flowers and leaves year after year!
II. Light Requirements
A. How Much Light Does Maxillaria Tenuifolia Need?
Maxillaria tenuifolia, also known as the “coconut pie orchid,” is a type of orchid that needs moderate light levels. Though they are not high-light plants, they will flower optimally if they receive 4 to 6 hours of medium to strong indirect light every day.
If you reside in a location with extremely hot summers, keep your plant in the shade and provide only 2 hours of light per day during the months when temperatures frequently exceed 85 degrees F. These plants will develop leggy and may not blossom in low-light settings. It may be tempting to place this plant in a south-facing window because it requires so much light, but because it requires indirect light, this would actually make it difficult for the plant to take benefit of the sun’s rays through the leaves. It would be preferable if you could find a place between two windows with good lighting on both sides.
Aside from how much light you offer your plant each day, you should also consider the season. Your plant should receive more hours of light throughout the summer when temperatures are high and days are long. If you are growing this orchid indoors, try to provide it with at least 14 hours of light per day.
But, if you reside in an area where winter temperatures do not fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit and days are short, six to eight hours of sunlight per day may be sufficient for your plant.
B. Tips for Providing the Right Amount of Light
It might be difficult to provide the correct amount of light for an orchid. Fortunately, there are some general guidelines you may follow to bring out the best in your orchid
The most common reason an orchid does not bloom is that its light source is insufficient. In this instance, consider putting the plant near a window that receives direct sunlight—if you live in a region where daylight hours are longer throughout the winter months, you’ll have optimal daytime hours for blossoming! Otherwise, place the plant near a bright light or beneath a grow light fixture that simulates natural sunshine.
If you plant your orchid in a south-facing window, provide filtered light during the day because the direct afternoon sun can burn the leaves.
Place your orchid in a location that has good ventilation and receives indirect light throughout the day. It also thrives in the presence of grow lights and fluorescent sodium lamps.
Maxillaria tenuifolia, like other Cattleya orchids, thrives in bright light. Never place your orchid in direct sunlight during the day, since this will cause leaf burn.
If you’re growing an orchid on a cork or tree fern slab, make sure it gets water on a regular basis. A location beneath a tree would be ideal because it will provide a near-natural setting for the orchid while also allowing it to get rainwater.
III. Water Requirements
A. How Often Should You Water Maxillaria Tenuifolia?
The short solution is to water your Maxillaria tenuifolia when the soil around the edges of the pot feels dry. Most of the time, it’s better to err on the side of too little watering rather than too much. This plant requires less water than plants like African violets and spider plants, which demand much more.
“How often should I water my plant?” is a frequently requested question. The appropriate watering schedule will differ depending on the type of orchid and its light exposure, but here are some general guidelines:
Water orchids as soon as the top layer of soil is dry. Place your finger about 1/2 inch into the medium and see if it is dry all the way through to check the moisture level in your orchid. Your finger will indicate how wet the potting medium is:
• If it feels extremely dry, immediately apply water.
• If it feels just moderately dry, do not water right away; instead, check again tomorrow.
• If it is damp but not wet
B. Tips for Watering Maxillaria Tenuifolia
Avoid using a sprinkler or hose, and avoid submerging the roots or leaves in water. Instead, use a watering can and, if possible, water from the bottom. Keep the potting medium moist but never damp. Water the plant once a week, or once every two to three weeks if you’re using bottom watering.
With proper Maxillaria Tenuifolia care and attention, Maxillaria tenuifolia can provide a long-lasting addition to your home or yard. Check the potting medium for moisture and alter the watering schedule based on your plant’s demands. This will provide your orchid with the ideal setting for growth and flourishing.
IV. Temperature Requirements
A. What Temperature Does Maxillaria Tenuifolia Need?
Maxillaria tenuifolia is a warm-growing plant that can also endure colder conditions. It thrives in temperatures ranging from 58 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night.
Although the orchid can withstand temperatures higher than 75 degrees Fahrenheit, we recommend that you avoid overheating it.
B. Tips for Maintaining the Right Temperature
In fact, the ideal temperature range for this orchid is 65°F (18°C) to 80°F (27°C). Keep an eye on your thermometer and adjust as needed. Too much heat or cold can damage the plant and cause the flowers to fall off prematurely. So, if you want your Maxillaria tenuifolia to stay healthy and blooming, make sure the temperature stays in that sweet spot.
The Maxillaria tenuifolia is a gorgeous plant, but it needs lots of sun and warmth to stay happy. Make sure you pick a spot for it that gets plenty of sunlight and is free from drafts. If you’re planning to place it outdoors, find a spot that’s sheltered from the wind and direct sun.
V. Fertilizer Requirements
A. What Fertilizer Should You Use for Maxillaria Tenuifolia?
Once a month, fertilize your Coconut pie orchid with 20-10-10 NPK fertilizer. Apply one spoon in one liter of water monthly or bimonthly.
B. Tips for Fertilizing Maxillaria Tenuifolia
Use one-fourth to one-half of the recommended dose on the fertilizer package during the vigorous growth period. Use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer during this time to promote growth. During the autumn, switch to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer to aid in blossoming. Throughout the growing season, it should be applied every two weeks, and once a month during the winter. For optimal fertilizer application, always follow the recommendations on the fertilizer packaging. Also, you should ensure your Maxillaria tenuifolia is placed in well-draining potting soil.
The soil should be slightly acidic, with a pH ranging from 5.5 to 6.5. A pH meter or test kit can be used to determine the pH of your Maxillaria tenuifolia soil. Finally, it is critical not to over-fertilize your Maxillaria tenuifolia. Too much fertilizer can cause the plant’s roots and leaves to turn yellow and discolored. If you find this happening, flush the soil with plenty of water to dilute the fertilizer.
A. Summary of Expert Advice for Maximizing Your Maxillaria Tenuifolia Care
If you enjoy soft scents and want to give your home garden some color, Maxillaria tenuifolia is the plant for you. Even when the orchid is not in bloom, its grass-like leaves are appealing.
Let us summarize all of the important aspects you should bear in mind before cultivating this gem.
- Maxillaria tenuifolia, often known as the coconut pie orchid, is found only in South America, from Mexico to Honduras.
- It is a type of epiphytic orchid known for its coconut-scented blossoms.
- With pseudobulbs stacked on top of each other, it can reach a height of 25 inches.
- The blooms are red with white or yellow lips and grow on a single stem.
- To thrive, the coconut orchid requires bright, filtered, dappled light.
- Water the soil four to five times per week to keep it moist, and limit watering in the winter.
- Intermediate temperatures between 55 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit work well for its growth. It can also withstand temperatures outside of this range.
- The key to keeping your orchid healthy is good drainage, constant moisture, and aeration in the soil mix.
- Keep a humidity level of 50% or above to keep the orchid healthy; in dry weather, use humidity trays.
That’s all you need to do to care Maxillaria Tenuifolia – good luck!