A couple of coelogynes

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Nov 28, 2009
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Cambridge, UK
Coelogyne cristata is rightly thought of as an orchid classic. Lovely pure white blooms and the plant improves immensely as it gets bigger.
This plant hasn’t been repotted for ages, maybe ten years. It has a reputation of hating repotting and does not produces many roots. If I pulled, it may come away from the pot. I just add blobs of sphagnum moss in between the bulbs as it grows to provide more moisture for what roots there are. Summer is outdoors and treated like a carnivorous plant, with water in the tray at all times. Indoors in winter it is kept moist but no standing water.
Next up is a sneak peek at the primary hybrid Willem Micholitz ( mooreana x lawrenceana). It a complete thug. Last season it had two growths and spikes. This year there are eleven. Wish my catts did that! It’s just getting going with the blooms. It’s a handsome plant with long shiny leaves that look good even when not in flower. The blooms are off white and quite pretty but the knockout for me is the scent. It has inherited this from mooreana and it’s almost identical to that of yellow freesias.
David, I like your Coelogynes, especially the C. cristata. When they are at the size of your plant and produce some flower spikes...the plants in flower are a real feast for the eyes. It's been said for many years C. cristata are plants for the beginners....but I think it isn't that way. Anyway. I like these pure white flowers. Not to forget your hybrid which has nice flowers, too. 👍
Agreed. Tom. That’s why it’s never been touched. A bit of moss and keeping it wet seems to work. I doubt that there are very many live roots in the old mix. They will mostly be in amongst the bulbs which must be four or five deep in places.
Your care for Coelogyne cristata is pretty much how I care for my Miltonias.

For the Willem Micholitz, how would you describe the fragrance? It sounds intriguing. Plus I'm a sucker for orange.
What a wonderful display, David! Interesting to know about your hybrid, too. It’s helpful reading your comments. I treat my C. cristata var. grandiflora in the same manner as you, stuffing in live green tree moss wherever it’s needed, and wet all summer. Bulbs growing on top of bulbs, every which way, in a net pot. Lovely scent, too.

It's been said for many years C. cristata are plants for the beginners....but I think it isn't that way.
Rudolf- I agree! The first couple of seasons I had mine, it produced only 2 flowers a year. Somewhere in there, I repotted it, though. This year, I stuck it in the garage nightly in November, and have to think that helped it along. Fourteen blooms now.
There is an excellent, (and I believe, little known) website dedicated to Cologne with lots of good info on both species and hybrids as well as some on culture.

(NOTE the ”s” on the end)
Happy rotter, it’s difficult for me to describe scents but here goes. The scent is light but quite sweet and floral, not at all heavy. If you pass a florist check out the yellow freesias!
A note on the Freesia fragrance: not sure if it works this way for the Coelogyne herein described but a percentage of humans cannot detect the scent of Freesia.