Transition from backbulb to collection

The genus Cyrtochilum contains 50 species of terrestrials separated from Oncidium for technical reasons. They grow at high elevations in the Andes from Venezuela, Colombia and south to Ecuador and Peru. Keep cool and moist.

Cyrtochilum serratum grows in western Ecuador in mountain cloud forests at high altitudes. It is cool to cold growing and has a very long, spectacular spike.

As the backbulb gains roots and a new pseudobulb develops, the conditions it requires changes. As a backbulb needs were minimal. There were no roots to absorb water and nutrients and metabolism was at a very low level. Normal light levels just tended to dry it out.

With the ability to absorb water begining, the plant must now be watered. More important, it should not develop too far before being potted. Roots that develop outside the pot don't always do well in a potting medium. Therefore, the plant should be potted so that the new roots can grow and not have to be disturbed later.

The general rules for re-potting apply with one exception. Instead of allowing for two years growth, allow for only one year. The space for two years growth would be over potting. Otherwise make the same choices for a pot and potting medium as for any plant of that type.

Start moving the plant gradually to more and more light until you get it to the normal light level for a blooming size plant. If a couple of month pass and the plant continues to grow, it has made a successful transition to a being a full member of your collection.