Bulbophyllum Orchid Plants: Varieties, Care, Planting, Pests

Bulbophyllum is a perennial plant belonging to the Orchid family. It belongs to the most numerous genus of orchids. These are mainly epiphytic plants, but lithophytes are also found.

It was first discovered in 1822 and described by the French scientist botanist Louis Marie Du Petit-Toir. Received this name due to its structure. Bulbophyllum from Greek means leaves with tubers (bulbs). The genus includes about 2000 species and many hybrids have been bred. Some species are on the verge of extinction.

Check out different varieties of Orchids.

There is no rest period when pseudobulbs do not bloom to grow roots.

bulbophyllum orchid plants

where do Bulbophyllum grow in nature

They live in the wild in North, Central, and South America, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, New Guinea, Vietnam, India. It grows on trees in swampy forests, stones, in crevices of rocks, on the ground, on the banks of rivers and lakes.

Bulbophyllum Orchid Plant

Refers to orchids with a sympodial type of growth. It comes in a miniature, medium, and large sizes. Pseudobulbs of various shapes, depending on the species. Mostly pear-shaped and slightly flattened on both sides, round. Each pseudobulb bears one or two leaves.

The leaves are elongated, fleshy, different in shape. They can be standing or hanging down. Peduncles are formed from the base of the pseudobulb, like new growth. The roots are thin, short, do not contain a thick layer of velomen, as in phalaenopsis.

Bulbophyllum Orchid Flower

Their flowers can hardly be called flowers because of the architectural fantasy of Mother Nature. Absolutely different in size, depending on the type of Bulbophyllum. The flowers also differ significantly in the shape of the petals. They have bizarre petals that resemble animals, marine life, birds.

Some have a bright and pleasant aroma, while others have an unpleasant one. For example, some species smell like spoiled meat, dried fish, etc. This smell attracts insects. The lip is mobile, pubescent. Bloom racemes or revolving one flower at a time.

Flowering does not last long – from several days to one month. The color palette is varied, as is the shape, size of flowers.

You may also like Types of Outdoor Orchids.

Bulbophyllum Home care

Care for Bulbophyllum is created by temperature conditions for him, regular watering, proper lighting, timely transplanting and fertilizer.

Temperature regime

The temperature of the content for Bulbophyllum will depend on their habitat in natural conditions. Some grow in the mountains at high altitudes, where the daytime temperature is above 20 degrees, and the nighttime drops to +5, +10 degrees. These types of Bulbophyllum are cool.

Others, on the contrary, grow on the plains, where it is always warm. Such species need to create a suitable temperature, as they are thermophilic. Before buying a Bulbophyllum, you always need to find out all the required conditions for a given species.


  • in the afternoon + 20-25;
  • + 18-20 degrees at night.

In summer, they withstand elevated temperatures with frequent watering and air circulation. In the warm season, all Bulbophyllum can be kept outdoors, shading from the sun.


  • in the afternoon about 20-22 degrees;
  • from +5 to +15 degrees at night.


The required humidity for this type of orchid is 60% -80%. The higher the humidity, the better. From a lack – the edges of the leaves dry out, the flowering period may be postponed and, in general, the plant will not feel very good.


You need bright lighting without direct sunlight. Lack of lighting will affect the abundance and duration of flowering.


Bulbophyllum love abundant watering, they do not need to dry the soil completely until it crunches and will be detrimental to the root system. They do not store water, therefore drying will cause great harm to the plant. A slightly dried-up substrate indicates water in the near future.

The irrigation method is different depending on the temperature, the composition of the soil in which the plant is located. Water by soaking, spilling, or spraying the topsoil. The water should be clean, free of harmful impurities, at room temperature.

To prevent the roots and tuberids from rotting in almost always moist soil, it is necessary to ensure a constant flow and circulation of fresh air.


Bulbophyllum needs subcrustations all year round, except for the flowering period. Therefore, it is worth feeding with each watering in a reduced concentration of the solution several times.

Complex fertilizers with an equal content of trace elements nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), potassium (K) are suitable. Organic fertilizers are also suitable.


Extremely negative about transplants. Adapts for a long time, stops growing, and is under stress for a long time. Therefore, it is often undesirable to transplant for this type of orchid. Experts recommend infrequent transplantation, every 5-6 years.

Growing Mix

Since he does not like transplants, it is worth choosing the soil components very carefully. The following high-quality and long-decomposing components are suitable, mixed with inorganic components of the substrate:

  • pine bark;
  • coconut chips;
  • expanded clay;
  • foam glass;
  • volcanic lava and others.


Suitable for planting wide, shallow pots of any material with drainage holes. The pot does not need to be high in height, since the roots of Bulbophyllum are short.

Also, you can plant in baskets and on the block, adding moisture-consuming components – sphagnum moss, fern roots.


Bulbophyllum propagates by dividing the bush into several pseudobulbs. The rhizome is cut with a sterile instrument. Places of cuts are treated with hydrogen peroxide, cinnamon, crushed charcoal. Then, transplant the delenki into a container or block.

However, the bush looks lush and blooms profusely without separation..

Want to know Why Are My Orchid Buds Falling Off indoor?

Diseases and pests

Bulbophyllum pests, like other orchids, include many sap-sucking insects that cause great damage to plants.

There are also many types of viruses, bacteria and fungi infecting orchids. They cause such troubles in the form:

  • root rot;
  • decay of new growth;
  • pseudobulb rot;
  • different spotting throughout the plant.


  • springtails;
  • sciarids;
  • thrips;
  • mealybugs;
  • scabbards;
  • aphid;
  • wood lice;
  • snails.

Timely inspection of plants, determination of the presence of diseases, pests, increases the effectiveness of the fight against them. It is also necessary to carry out preventive treatments of plants to suppress the growth of pathogens and an increase in the number of insects.

As a rule, the appearance of diseases and pests on orchids is the result of a violation of the quarantine regime, care, and growing conditions.

In residential premises, it is recommended to use drugs of biological origin, which are less toxic and will not harm the health of people, pets.

Bulbophyllum Orchid Species and Varieties

Bulbophyllum Lobbii

Named after the famous orchid hunter Thomas Lob, who lived in the 15th century. He discovered orchids, took them out of Indonesia, Malaysia and brought them to England. The plant is miniature, each rounded pseudobulb bears one fleshy leaf. Blooms in large yellow flowers.

bulbophyllum lobbii

Bulbophyllum sumatranum

Found in Malaysia, Borneo at an altitude of 900 to 1500 meters above sea level. Cold content. Pseudobulbs are pear-shaped. Each pseudobulb has one large, spreading leaf. The diameter of the flower is 7.5 cm. The flowers smell not very pleasant, but not intense. The smell is perceptible if you come close to the flower.

bulbophyllum sumatranum

Bulbophyllum Fascinator

It has an incredible bloom that moves, fluctuates, sways. You can find it in the Philippines, Malaysia, Borneo at an altitude of 1000 meters above sea level. The diameter of the flower reaches 20 cm. Long and unusual, in the form of a girl with crossed legs.

bulbophyllum fascinator

Bulbophyllum virescens

A miniature species found in Malaysia of warm content. Flower diameter 14 cm. Smells very unpleasant.

bulbophyllum virescens

Bulbophyllum plumatum

Flower diameter 15 cm with waxy leaves. Found in Malaysia, Philippines, in swampy forests. Leaves of miniature size.

Bulbophyllum carunculatum

It has wax flowers 9 cm with a revolving bloom. Found in Sulawesi at an altitude of 900 meters above sea level.

Bulbophyllum echinolabium

Flower 40 cm with a movable lip. Found in the forests of Borneo from 600 to 1200 meters above sea level. Cool content. It smells like rotten meat very intense.

Bulbophyllum Phalenopsis

A rare species of large bulbophilums. In adulthood, the leaf reaches 120 cm. The smell is barely noticeable. Easy to adapt. The color of the leaves is olive with red edges. Found in New Guinea at 500 meters. Cold content. Pseudobulb are rounded.

Bulbophyllum medusae

Orchid of cool temperatures. Found in Thailand, Malaysia, Borneo up to 400 meters above sea level. The flower is 15 cm long. The aroma is not strong. It got its name because of its resemblance to a marine life. The spread of the leaves is not small. Very hygrophilous. It grows quickly and adapts.

Bulbophyllum frostii

Small orchid with rounded bulbs. Grows in Vietnam at an altitude of 450-1200 meters. Flower size 2.5 cm.

Bulbophyllum Elizabeth Ann

Grows in Malaysia, Thailand. Flower size up to 37.5 cm. The smell of rotten fish.

Bulbophyllum macranthum

Has a clove scent, a small flower 5 cm. Intense pleasant smell. The rhizome is pubescent. Grows in Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand. Growing rapidly.

I am an avid plant enthusiast and horticulture aficionado with a deep passion for houseplants. With years of nurturing green companions, my expertise in caring for indoor foliage is well-rooted. Through my journey, I've cultivated insights into optimal plant care, propagation techniques, and creating vibrant indoor ecosystems. Join me as we explore the verdant world of houseplants together. Let's turn your living space into a thriving oasis of botanical beauty. Connect with me on admin@houseplantspro.com and Facebook and explore more at Houseplantspro. 🌿🪴