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Leptotes

This page is meant to give you information and some useful tips about the care of the Leptotes. You will also find all the Leptotes species we offer in our assortment.

» Straight to care

Derivation of the name

The name of this gender derives from the Greek ‘λεπτότητα’ (delicate), which refers to the appearance of the flowers of these plants.

Features and origin

Leptotes is a gender with 9 species that occur in the dry jungles of South and Southeast Brazil, but also in Paraguay and Argentina. They are small, stick-like, epiphytes that sometimes look like small Brassavola, because they have the same thin, cone-shaped leafs. They carry one to some relatively large flowers compared to their size. The petals and sepals all look alike and the trilobal lip has a short claw on every side lob, that is connected to the gynostemium. The gynostemium contains 6 wax-like pollinia, 4 large and 2 small. Because Leptotes are extremely delicate plants, it’s best to maintain them tied up. 

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Care tips

Place

Leptotes require a very light and warm place. The plants should be sheltered, so that the leafs don’t overheat.

Temperature

In summer, the temperature should not be higher than 29°C or lower than 14°C. A cooling down of temperature at night of a few degrees is ideal for these plants. In winter, we advise to keep the temperature below 21.5℃.

Humidity

We advise a humidity in between 40-70%. This varies per species within the gender.

Water

Tied up: Sprinkle on a daily basis, on hot days in summer even multiple times a day.
In a pot: Let dry almost completely before watering again.

Fertilizer

In spring and summer, fertilizer can be used lightly once a week while watering. The rest of the year, fertilizing once every 14 days is enough.
The fertilizer is important, because there won’t be enough sunlight for the Leptotes. Normally, the sunlight provides the Leptotes with sugars that are essential to create the growth of flower branches. Therefore it’s harder for the Leptotes to start blooming without the fertilizer.

Repotting

Leptotes grow best on cork. In case the plants are being kept in a pot, it requires to be repotted every year in a mix of rough bark, fine bark and a little sphagnum.