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Maxillaria

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

» Straight to care

Derivation of the name

The name of the Masdevallia derives from the Latin word ‘maxilla’ (jaw), which refers to the gynostemium and the shape of the lip of some species, which can make the flower look like a promiment jaw.

Features and origin

Maxillaria is a gender with around 300 species spread throughout the rainforests of the Neotropical area (tropical and subtropical America) at sea-level up to an altitude of 3500 metres. They are mainly epiphytes, but sometimes also terrestrial or even lithophytes. Many species are fairly large and grow exuberantly. The pseudobulbs are round or long-shaped and carry two lancet-shaped leafs each.
Some species grow in bunches on a short rhizome, while other species keep more distance and grow on a long rhizome. The short flower stems emerge at the base of the pseudobulbs and carry one flower each. Most of the flowers are small to tiny, but some species carry large, remarkable flowers. The petals and sepals are usually lightly bent and connected to the lip, that has 3 discrete lobs. The papillae and trichomes of the lip show a large diversity. The shape of the papillae that appears most is the conical shape wth rounded or sharp tops. Furthermore, some species have a soft scent.

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Care tips

Place

Maxillaria need a half-shadow place with high humidity. In winter, they should get as much light as possible. In summer, Maxillaria can also be kept outside at a sheltered place.

Temperature

In winter, the temperature for this gender should not be higher than 21,5°C and at night it should not drop below 15°C. In summer, Maxillaria can bare temperatures of even 35°C. however, the plant should be able to cool down at, so then a temperature of in between 10℃ and 15℃ is recommended.

Humidity

We advise a humidity in between 40-60%. This varies per species within the gender.

Water

In summer, they need much water. Never let the soil dry up completely. In winter, you can water less.

Fertilizer

During the period of growth in summer, use fertilizer lightly every week. In winter, this can drop to every 14 days.
The fertilizer is important, because there won’t be enough sunlight for the Maxillaria. Normally, the sunlight provides the Maxillaria with sugars that are essential to create the growth of flower branches. Therefore it’s harder for the Maxillaria to start blooming without the fertilizer.

Repotting

Maxillaria require to be repotted in a mix of rough bark (50%), fine bark (40%) and sphagnum (10%) at the moment they start to grow out of the pot.