Alphabetical Plant Listing

Maxillaria tenuifolia (Coconut Orchid)

Coconut Orchid, Delicate Leafed Maxillaria, Maxillaria gracilifolia, Maxillariella tenuifolia


Maxillaria tenuifolia (Coconut Orchid) is a medium sized, epiphytic or occasionally terrestrial, orchid species boasting single flowered inflorescences giving rise to coconut-scented flowers. Blooming in spring, the deep red blossoms, 2 in. across (5 cm), are mottled with yellow in their center and feature a lip yellow marked with red. They last for a week to ten days or longer if kept cool. The grasslike dark green foliage makes an attractive houseplant even when not in flower. Native to Mexico and Central America, Maxillaria tenuifolia is a warm to intermediate growing orchid species found in rainforests, tropical forests with trees partly losing leaves, at low elevations from the sea level to 3300 ft. (1000 m). A suitable choice for beginner orchid growers, Maxillaria tenuifolia is one of those orchids that belongs in every collection.

  • Grows up to 24 in. tall (60 cm).
  • Grows best when exposed to very bright light, but should never be exposed to direct sunlight. Lower light will produce long whip-like foliage and a more straggly plant as it reaches for the light. Provide strong air movement.
  • Needs an average night temperature of 68°F (19°C) and daytime temperature of 82-84°F (28-29°C) in summer.
  • Needs an average night temperature of 55-59°F (13-15°C) and daytime temperature of 73-75°F (23-24°C) in winter.
  • Maintain adequate humidity (80%) throughout the year. Set the plant on a tray of gravel, partially filled with water.
  • Water thoroughly during the active growth period, with only slight drying between waterings. Watering should be gradually reduced in late fall.
  • Feed every week or two with 1/2 of the recommended dose of balanced fertilizer for orchids during the active growth period. You may want to use a high-nitrogen fertilizer during the period of intensive growth, switching to a high-phosphorus fertilizer in late summer and fall to promote flowering. No fertilization during the rest period in winter.
  • Propagate by division when the plant overflows the pot.
  • Once the flowers have faded, remove the spent flower spikes.
  • Repotting should be done every couple of years in the spring. Use a coarse medium, whether osmunda, fir bark, coconut husk fiber or chunks and of course, fir bark mixes, and work it around the roots.
  • Generally disease free. Keep an eye out for aphids, glasshouse red spider mite and mealybugs.
  • Native to Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and Nicaragua.

Tip for reblooming

  • If your orchid does not flower, move it to a location where it will receive more light. This may resolve the problem.

Buy Maxillaria tenuifolia (Coconut Orchid)

Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Patio and Containers

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While every effort has been made to describe these plants accurately, please keep in mind that height, bloom time, and color may differ in various climates. The description of these plants has been written based on numerous outside resources.


Requirements

Hardiness 9 – 11
Plant Type Orchids
Exposure Partial Sun
Season of Interest Spring (Early,Mid)
Height 1' – 2' (30cm – 60cm)
Water Needs Average
Maintenance Average
Soil Drainage Well-Drained
Characteristics Fragrant, Showy, Evergreen
Garden Uses Patio and Containers

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