Barkeria skinneri

Barkeria skinneri is an absolute picture during the winter months. Its sprays of deep pink flowers are filling the roof of the greenhouse.

Barkeria skinneri is native to Mexico where it grows in open deciduous oak forrest. Each year long can like stems grow and produce spikes covered in glorious pink flowers.

We find that we have to grow barkerias mounted as roots quickly rot when we pot them. The abundant roots seem to thrive when out in fresh air where they dry quickly after watering. We spray plants heavily during the summer when in active growth but reduce watering in the winter when the plants become semi-deciduous.

The species is reportedly found from altitudes of 900m to 1900m which indicates a tolerance of a wide range of temperatures and althopugh it would probably appreciate a higher winter minimum that the 12C we provide in our cloud forest glasshouse it flourishes grown really high where it experiences a dryer, brighter and warmer conditions than our cooler growing species below.  We find that the key to growing a mixed orchid collection is to make the most of environmental niches within you growing space just as plants find environmental niches in their native habitats.