Hailing from the warm climes of Borneo and Malaysia, the Bulbophyllum inunctum is a dazzling epiphytic orchid. Small in stature, it displays conical, rugose pseudobulbs, about 1 3/4 to 2 inches apart, each holding a single, uniquely shaped leaf, broadest in the middle and tapering to a petite petiole.
This orchid, however, truly sets itself apart with its striking flowers. Emerging unpredictably throughout the year, with a grand display in summer and fall, each bloom is a masterpiece. Imagine an expansive three-inch blossom, hued in soft cream and adorned with daring red stripes. The petals gracefully arc downwards, reminiscent of the elegant sweep of an oriental mustache, alongside the bottom-fused sepals.
The lip of the flower, mobile and vivid, is a spectacle. It begins in a bright, sun-kissed yellow, slowly transitioning to a deep, passionate red at the base.
The Bulbophyllum inunctum's beauty extends to its growth habits. Its rhizome rambles freely, sprouting handsome, six-inch veined leaves. Its vigorous growth coupled with its magnificent blooms, paint a picture of a truly thrilling orchid, a jewel for any collection.
Light: Bulbophyllum inunctum prefers low to medium light, ideally in a place where it is shielded from direct sunlight. Indirect bright light is perfect for this species.
Temperature: This orchid does well in intermediate to warm temperatures. Aim for daytime temperatures between 70-85°F (21-29°C) and nighttime temperatures of 60-65°F (15-18°C).
Humidity: High humidity is beneficial for this species, so aim for humidity levels of around 60-80%. It might be necessary to use a humidity tray or a room humidifier, especially during dry periods.
Water: Bulbophyllum inunctum likes to stay moderately moist. Water it thoroughly when the top inch of the potting medium begins to dry out. Be careful to avoid waterlogging, as this can lead to root rot. If the plant is mounted it will need more frequent watering that if it is potted.
Fertilizer: Feed your orchid every two weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) and reduce feeding to once a month during fall and winter. Use a balanced orchid fertilizer and follow the package instructions.
Potting: This orchid prefers a well-draining potting mix, such as a blend of fine bark and sphagnum moss. The pot should have plenty of drainage holes. Repot every 1-2 years as the potting medium starts to decompose, ideally in the spring just as new growth is starting. Alternatively, it may be mounted, however, needs attention since it will tend to wander off the mount.