Ascocentrum Ampullaceum Plant: Care, Habitat, Ultimate Guide

LATIN NAME: ASCOCENTRUM AMPULLACEUM

Primary genus : Ascocentrum (epiphytic monopodial orchids)

Growth MotherlandButane
Laos
Myanmar
Nepal
Thailand
The soilWithout soil or substrate for epiphytic orchids
Sizefrom 7 to 13 cm
flowering timeJanuary to December
Possible colorsRed
pink
purple
illuminationMany // West, south orientation, may require several hours of direct sunlight
WateringPlenty // Needs constantly moist soil (watering more than 3 times a week)
Complexity of careModerate // Generally unpretentious, may have specific requirements for the species
Air humidityMany // High humidity (60% or more: tropics year-round; typical mid-summer humidity)
Fertilizer frequencyMany // Requires frequent fertilization (including all year round)
Content temperaturewarm content (+22 – +27°C)
ascocentrum ampullaceum

ascocentrum ampullaceum natural habitat

ascocentrum ampullaceum is widely distributed in the Himalayas, including areas of Nepal, Sikkim, Bhutan, in the Khasi mountains in northeastern India, as well as in Myanmar (Burma), Thailand, Laos and the Chinese province of Yunnan.

Climate in natural habitats:

  • Fixed temperature range from +4°С to +43°С.  
  • Average humidity ranges from 50% in late winter to over 80% in summer and autumn.  
  • Precipitation from 8 mm. in January – March up to 299 mm. in June.  
  • Average temperatures (day/night) from +30°С/+12.8°С in January to +36.1°С/+23.3°С in May.  

ascocentrum ampullaceum Plant description

Size and type of plant:

This is a dwarf epiphyte with a monopodial type of growth, 7.5–12.5 cm high.

Pseudobulbs/Stem:

Pseudobulbs are absent. Shoots can reach a length of 15–25 cm. Branches often grow at the base of the main stem, which leads to a fairly rapid growth of the orchid. Numerous long thick fleshy roots grow along the lower part of the stem.

ascocentrum ampullaceum Leaves:

Leaves are 12–15 cm long and 1.2–2.0 cm wide. On the shoot there are, as a rule, 8-10 oblong leaves. They sit close to each other, in two rows, and their bases tightly wrap around the shoot. The leaves are thick, fleshy, leathery, irregularly serrated, serrated at the top, dull green, sometimes with a purple tint, especially if the orchid grows in bright light. Over time, the lower leaves fall off.

Peduncle:

Peduncle 8–20 cm long. It is rigid, horizontal or hanging. On each shoot, several peduncles are formed. The flowers are densely arranged along almost the entire length of the flower shoot.

ascocentrum ampullaceum Flowers:

Flowers in inflorescence 20 or less. Flowers last a long time. Their diameter is 2.0–2.5 cm. Ascocentrum vesicular has two color varieties. The type variety has bright pink or pink-purple flowers, another variety known as Ascocentrum ampullaceum var. aurantiacum, dark orange-red flowers. The flowers of the pink variety are wide open, while those of the orange variety are cup-shaped or bell-shaped. The petals are broad, ovate, with a rounded apex. The narrow, recurved, tongue-like lip is lighter and shorter than the petals.

Flowering period: from January to August with a peak in April-May.

ascocentrum ampullaceum Care

Temperature:

The plant is thermophilic. In summer, average daytime temperatures are +29–31°С, nighttime temperatures are +22–23°С. The warmest days are during cloudless weather at the end of winter and in spring, before the monsoon season. At this time, the average daytime temperature is +33–36°С, and at night +17–23°С.

Lighting:

25000-35000 lux. Moderately bright light should be slightly filtered or diffused. Plants should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Good ventilation is required.

Watering:

In nature, rainfall is plentiful from late spring to autumn. Then the amount of precipitation decreases and a four-month dry period begins. It lasts until early spring. Plants in cultivation should be well watered during active growth, but the roots should dry out quickly after watering. The substrate around the roots should not be caked or soggy. When new growths reach maturity in autumn, the amount of water should be gradually reduced.

ascocentrum ampullaceum Fertilizer:

During the period of active growth, the plants should be fed weekly with 1/4-1/2 of the recommended dose of fertilizer for orchids. Some orchidists use a balanced fertilizer all year round, and some use nitrogen fertilizer from spring to summer, and switch to phosphorus fertilizer in late summer and autumn.

Substrate:

This species can be grown in well-draining containers or on cork or tree fern blocks. Plants on blocks need high humidity, they are watered at least once a day in summer, and even several times a day in hot and dry seasons. Most people find it difficult to maintain this watering regime, so usually these plants are planted in pots or baskets with a very loose, quickly drying, rather rough substrate of medium-sized pieces of bark. Perlite and charcoal add air permeability to the substrate, prevent it from souring and retain some of the moisture. These orchids are very sensitive to compacted and decomposed substrate. As soon as the substrate begins to decompose, they must be transplanted immediately. If the transplant is carried out at the time of the growth of new roots, then the plant will take root faster.

Air humidity:

80–85% in summer and early autumn, then gradually drops to almost 55–60% for 2–3 months in late winter and early spring.

rest period:

In winter, the average daily temperature is +29–32°С, at night +13–14°С. In the north of India, however, it is colder. Daytime temperatures there are +19–21°С, nighttime temperatures are +7–10°С. In culture, plants can easily adapt to such temperature conditions. In nature, there is little precipitation in winter, but during most of the winter, abundant dew and night fogs provide additional moisture. However, at the end of winter, for about a month, the air is so dry that there is not even dew.

Cultivated plants should be water-limited in winter so that they dry out between waterings, but do not remain without water for long periods of time. Additional moisture can be provided by intermittent misting in the morning between occasional, light waterings. But in late winter and early spring, for about a month, only periodic morning spraying is enough. When orchids are not in a state of active growth, top dressing is limited or completely stopped. At low temperatures, plants cannot absorb fertilizer, which leads to the accumulation of minerals in the substrate.