Stanhopea habitats are quite variable - ranging from the warmer climates of Mexico to the
cooler elevations in the Andes Mountains. Luckily they are quite adaptable in cultivation and
do well in a wide range of conditions. For best results and optimum blooming, it's best to
tailor your growing conditions to suite the individual species your are trying to grow, but
because they are so adaptable, ideal conditions aren't necessary in order to have a happy
healthy blooming plant.
Most blooms last only a few days to a week, but multiple inflorescence's, their unique flowers
and the excitement of their blooming more than makes up for the short lived flowers. If
you're lucky enough to see the flowers open, they actually pop open like popcorn on
inflorescences that bloom through the bottom of the pot or basket they are planted in. All
have strong fragrances that most people would describe as chemical in nature - but not
unpleasant. All will agree, however, the aroma of chocolate mint from the species
panamensis is the most pleasing of them all.
Light: Most species grow well in a wide range of light conditions, but will bloom best when
given intermediate to high light conditions. Many growers like to grow their Stanhopeas in
low light, so when introducing them to your collection, acclimate them slowly so not to burn
Water: Stanhopeas like to remain moist but not wet. They grow very well in sphagnum moss
if you are able to keep it from drying out and can repot every 6 to 9 months. This allows for
the inflorescence to penetrate the mix and exit the bottom of the pot or basket in order to
flower. A bark mix can also be used as long as you are able to keep it moist and loose for
the emerging inflorescence.
Temp: Again, Stanhopeas are quite adaptable and can be grown in intermediate to warm
conditions. Individual species will do better when grown in temperatures they are endemic
Air Movement: Good air flow around your Stanhopeas is important to keep the leaves from
spotting and new growths from rotting. This will, however cause your mix to dry quickly and
more frequent watering will be necessary to keep the mix moist - but not wet.