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Draculas are a type of orchid. The orchid genus Dracula consists of 123 species. The strange name Dracula literally means "little dragon", referring to the strange aspect of the two long spurs of the sepals. They were once included in the genus Masdevallia, but became a separate genus in 1978. This genus has some of the more bizarre and well-known species of the subtribe Pleurothallidinae.


Dracula inexperata - © Daniel Jimenez

Culure of Dracula Orchids

Temperature

Generally, draculas demand cool growing temperatures. A handful of draculas can tolerate slightly higher temperatures, altough most cannot. Take note of the origin of the paticular plants you are growing for a hint on their temperature requirements. Higher elevation plants tend to thrive in an a cooler environment than lower elevantion plants. In general, a range of 55 - 70 F is good for draculas. Try to avoid temperatures above 80 F for a sustained period of time. If higher temperatures cannot be avoided, ensure that the night temperatures drop at least 10 degrees to give your draculas a break.

Light

Draculas tend to be happy anywhere from 600 - 1500 foot candles of light. However, some folks have been known to successfully grow draculas a bit "harder" with up to 2000 footcandles of light.

Air Movement

A subtle breeze will keep your draculas happy and will help keep the bacterial infections away.

Fertilization

A very light feeding of a well balanced fertilizer will keep your draculas blooming. Too much fertilizer will cause the tips of leaves to turn brown or black. A feeding of 100 ppm N every other watering or 2 out of 3 waterings is ideal.

Water Quality

Draculas require a high quality water. An investment in an RO system will make your draculas happy. Rain water is also good. Try to keep your water below 50 ppm TDS, if possible.

Humidity

Humidity is one of the most important factors in successfully growing draculas. A range of 80% - 90% is ideal.