Tolumina care

Chicago Suburbs, IL(Zone 5b)

I recently acquired a Tolumina tequila sunrise. From what I have read I know these like to be planted in very small pots and in something that is very fast draining. My plant is pushing itself up out of the pot and there are a couple old soft pieces of bark on the top but no media is in the pot. It is just a mass or roots. After it is done blooming what if anything should I do with it?

Thumbnail by plexippus
Starkville, MS(Zone 8a)

If it is in sheath/spike, wait until after the blooms fade - then repot. If it is not showing signs of blooming, repot now. First check the roots, cut off all the dead ones (hard brown and/or mushy), and move it to a pot 1" larger than the one its in. Use a fast draining mixture, such as equal parts Douglas fir bark, horticultural charcoal, and coconut fiber chunks. I like to wet my orchid medium before repotting. It packs down a bit better, washes off "dust", and you know the repotted plant has adequate moisture to help acclimate it to its new pot. Ken

Sarasota, FL(Zone 9b)

Here's a little Tol that just opened today. I've had it over a year and it was in bloom when I got it. It's in a tiny clay pot less than 2in. across - same one it came in. There are 5 more in the candle holder along with it, all in the same tiny pots. I have no plans to repot them anytime soon. But yours might like a pot. Mist it every day until it finishes blooming, then go for it.

They do tend to push up out of the pot like that, but as long as you maintain good humidity around it, it will be fine. I've had one jump right out of the little pot, and I just tipped out the medium, put the plant back in, and placed the pieces of medium back in/around the roots. I've got one that has a rock sitting on top of the roots to keep it from exiting the pot. Some people grow these mounted on wood or cork with some coco fiber, and they do fine like that, but do require more diligent watering. I've seen them in the tiniest size of cedar slat basket, too.

You can get a bag of "special orchid mix" at HD or Lowe's if you decide to re-pot. It has all those components Ken listed. I wouldn't repot it in a pot an inch larger - that would be 'way too big. These are small plants and like to be root bound.

Tequila Sunrise is a gorgeous one, be sure to post a pic when it opens for us to see.

Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy Thumbnail by dyzzypyxxy
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

I have been growing Tolumnias since they were called mini-Oncidiums and years later renamed Equitants. They now have a home of their own aka: Tolumnia. I agree with Ken about not repotting until after they bloom and cutting away dead roots. I also agree with Elaine that Tequila Sunrise is gorgeous. That said, my Tols. are potted in 2" thumb pots and I do not move specimens up to larger pots but rather divide and add more small pots and then cluster specimens. They grow in situ from various citrus trees as twig epiphytes in Mexico and like high light. They get drenched almost daily with passing storms during the rainy season and dry out an hour later. For that reason I never mist them, but water daily on sunny days, and grow them on a chunk of charcoal (burnt wood and not BBQ briquets) in a two inch terracotta pot. An optional mix that I like and am using more often is a chunk of lava rock from those bags you get for landscape decor at the big box store in a tiny pot. I don't use orchid mix with these orchids as they have very wiry roots that absorb ambient moisture.I would say never try to engage the roots with the medium because they exist to collect humidity from ambient air. This is not a genera that appreciates continuous moisture but would like to get wet and then dry fast. They are heavy feeders and need regular fertilizer.

Chicago Suburbs, IL(Zone 5b)

Thanks for all the advice. How often do you recommend fertilizing them?

Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA(Zone 7b)

Plex, everyone does there own thing when it comes to fertilizer. Mine are fertilized year around twice a week with one tsp. MSU per gallon. When I was using Better Grow orchid fertilizer I mixed it the same. I'd rather use a weaker concentration than recommended and fertilize more frequently. The Vandas, Oncidium alliance and Dendrobiums that are in active growth get fertilized twice a week. Catts, Phals and shade lovers get fertilized once a week. Though Tolumnias benefit from regular fertilizing you need to be careful not to burn those delicate roots. Water the plant well first then fertilize ten or fifteen minutes later. This is a good practice for all orchids whose roots are in a dry medium or are mounted.

Odessa, FL(Zone 9b)

And I use just a half teaspoon and fertilize as a mist every day. I think the main thing is to be consistent.


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