The name Dracula means “little dragon.” Dracula’s orchid plant originated in Mexico, Central America, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru. It has 118 different species that are native to these regions.
Among the species available in the world, the most common include;
- Dracula simia
- Dracula gigas
- Dracula celosia
Dracula simia is also known as the Monkey face orchid because it has simian-shaped blooms. Dracula gigas also have simian-shaped flowers, but Dracula Celosia has cockscombs instead of petals like the other two.
This plant is unique because of its unusual blooms that can flower for up to 10 weeks. Other than that, the flowers can grow 6-7 inches long on top of each plant. It is a good plant for your garden to improve the aesthetics of the environment.
Follow this guide to the end to know how to care for Dracula plant.
How to care for Dracula plant
It can be hard to care for a plant as unique as this one, even if you are an experienced gardener. Everyone needs tips once in a while, and it won’t hurt to learn something new.
Dracula is a plant that works well in warm and humid areas with a temperature of 68 degrees F during the day and 43 degrees F at night. Such a plant can require more attention than you think because of a few conditions.
So, here is how to care for Dracula plants.
Temperature and Humidity
The ideal growing condition for a Dracula plant is warm and humid conditions. The temperatures should range above 70 degrees for a healthy plant. It can also grow in areas with hot temperatures.
Other than that, the area should have a humidity of 70% for the best growth. If growing indoors or in a greenhouse, you can increase the moisture using a humidifier. If the humidity drops below the required conditions, the leaves will collapse.
On the other hand, ensure you don’t make the room more humid than it should be. Excess humidity can cause the growth of mold and fungi. Cool it down with a fan from time to time to improve air circulation.
When growing Dracula in a pot or an enclosed container, ensure that you give it enough space between the plants. Better yet, plant it alone in a container.
The plant requires enough space for its roots to spread in the soil without restrictions from other plants. So, to care for the Dracula plant, ensure the pot is large with enough space.
Also, make holes in the pot as drainage holes for excess water. It ensures that your plant doesn’t have stagnant water at the top of the soil. Too much water in the soil can lead to root rot.
Remember to add stones at the bottom of the pot to ensure water doesn’t sit at the bottom.
The growing medium is the soil you are using to plant Dracula. You should use soil made explicitly for orchids because it has good moisture retention and water drainage capabilities. Soil with good drainage also has better air circulation.
The best soil for Dracula plants should have a pH of between 5.5 and 7, have proper drainage, and be rich in nutrients. You can purchase potting soil to ensure you have the correct soil; however, if you don’t want to, you can make your soil using:
- Fir bark
- Sphagnum moss
The plant requires warm temperatures to grow; thus, you must plant it in an area with exposure to direct sunlight. Some orchids grow well in the dark but require the sun to mature.
Before you start planting, check the type of species you are planting to confirm whether it requires full sun or partial sun. That way, you can know where to place your plant.
Other orchids require at least 8 hours of sunlight per day. It helps them grow better. If it is indoors, you can give it light using an artificial lighting system.
Dracula plants require moist soil to grow. You can create a watering schedule to ensure the soil is always moist. But don’t overwater it.
Suppose you don’t know how to determine when to water your plant, use a finger test or purchase a moisture meter to check if the soil is dry. This test checks if the soil is dry so that you can water only when the soil is dry.
Check your drainage holes to ensure they remove excess water from the soil.
Like other plants, to care for the Dracula plant, you need to give fertilizer that contains Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium. You can purchase it or use organic fertilizer from the garden mixed with urea.
Apply fertilizer to the plant once a month if you use standard fertilizer and weekly if you have diluted fertilizer. It can affect its blooming. Follow instructions to avoid giving the plant excessive fertilization.
Now that you know how to take care of Dracula plants, it is time to make your plant healthy and ensure it grows to maturity. Compared to other plants, this is the easiest plant to take care of. You don’t have to put too much effort into making it healthy.