To provide the best care for Masdevallia 'Tourmaline' consider the following guidelines:
Light: These orchids thrive in bright but indirect light. Place them in an east-facing window or provide filtered light to prevent leaf burn. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day.
Temperature and Humidity: Masdevallia orchids prefer cool to intermediate temperatures. Maintain daytime temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C) and slightly cooler temperatures at night. Adequate humidity is crucial for their well-being, with levels around 50-70%.
Watering: Masdevallia orchids require consistent moisture. Water them regularly, keeping the potting medium evenly moist but not waterlogged. Avoid allowing the roots to dry out completely between waterings. Use room temperature water and thoroughly saturate the potting medium, always allowing excess water to drain away.
Potting Medium: Use a well-draining orchid mix specifically formulated for Masdevallia orchids. The ideal medium may include ingredients such as fine bark, sphagnum moss, perlite, or other components that promote good drainage while retaining some moisture.
Fertilization: Feed your Masdevallia regularly with a balanced orchid fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength and apply it every two weeks during the growing season. Reduce fertilization during the resting period to once a month.
Air Circulation: Good air circulation is essential for Masdevallia orchids to prevent the development of fungal or bacterial issues. Provide adequate ventilation around the plant by ensuring proper spacing and avoiding overcrowding.
Resting Period: Like other Masdevallia orchids, yours may have a resting period during the fall and winter. During this time, reduce watering frequency and lower the temperatures slightly to mimic their natural seasonal conditions.