Let’s talk about Monkey Faced Dracula Orchids. Isn’t that such a great name? These unique orchids have been trending lately and I’ll admit, my curiosity was piqued. The more I saw them, the more I wanted to learn more about these funny looking orchids.
Monkey faced Dracula orchids have triangular-shaped blooms that picture a smiling (or howling) monkey. These unique orchids can be found in South America and come in a variety of colors. Part of the genus Dracula, there are over a hundred species of this orchid. Each species has its own unique bloom with a different look and personality.
I was quite surprised to learn that monkey faced Dracula orchids actually do exist. I dug deeper to find out more about these one-of-a-kind orchids. Keep reading to learn more!
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Table of Contents
What Are Monkey Faced Dracula Orchids?
Monkey faced orchids are part of the Dracula genus of orchids. This particular orchid genus includes over 100 different species. Some of these species include the Dracula giga, Dracula saulii, Dracula simia and the Dracula amaliae orchids.
Monkey faced orchid flowers come in a variety of colors. These colors range from red, yellow, and orange, to white, brown, black and purple. Some Dracula orchid species have variations in their flower shape or design. For example, some Dracula orchid flowers look “fuzzy,” while others have stripes or dots.
Each triangular bloom on the monkey faced Dracula orchid has three distinct petals. Each petal has an end that tapers off into a trailing spike that hangs down. These fang-like spikes hang down on the bottom two petals and give the flower it’s “Dracula” appearance.
It can take several years for a new monkey faced Dracula orchid to flower. Once this happens, a healthy Dracula orchid will continue to produce flowers every year for the rest of its life.
Monkey faced Dracula orchids are incredibly rare. In fact, some varieties of Dracula orchids are considered to be endangered or are extinct. If you ever come across one of these beautiful orchids, just take a picture and leave it alone.
Don’t try to remove one of these orchids to take home. It is probably illegal to do so. More importantly, it is unlikely that a wild orchid will survive outside its natural habitat. It is very difficult to replicate the exact growing conditions this orchid needs.
Where Do Monkey Faced Orchids Grow?
Monkey faced orchids are native to southeastern Ecuador and Peru. These orchids live in the tropical cloud-covered forests on the side of the mountains. They thrive at an elevations between 1000 to 2000 meters, or 3,280 to 6,562 feet. You will need to hike to see these beautiful orchids in their native environment.
Are Monkey Faced Dracula Orchids Real?
Contrary to what you may think, these orchids were not Photo Shopped. Monkey faced Dracula orchids are actually real. The petals come together in the center of the flower to form what appears to be a monkey’s face. Just take a look and you can see two eyes, a long nose, and a smiling monkey’s mouth. How it looks to you will depend on the species’ attributes and how you interpret the flower’s appearance.
Fun Facts About the Monkey Faced Orchid
- Monkey faced Dracula orchids produce flowers throughout the year. They are not tied down to any specific blooming season.
- The flowers of monkey faced orchids smell like ripe oranges.
- Most Dracula orchids can live up to 20 years.
- These orchids grow to be about 2 feet tall.
Monkey Faced Dracula Orchid Care
As you may have gathered based on the growing location, monkey faced Dracula orchids prefer cooler climates and temperate conditions. Let’s talk more about that below.
Monkey faced Dracula orchids have a temperature tolerance range between 40 degrees to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. These orchids require a distinct 20 degree temperature difference between day and night temperatures. This temperature difference is what triggers bloom production.
To thrive, monkey faced Dracula orchids require high humidity levels of about 80%. Remember, these orchids live in the tropical cloud forests of South America. The clouds surrounding these forests provide lots of natural humidity. The orchid roots absorb water and nutrition from the surrounding environment.
Now, an 80% humidity level may be hard to maintain in a household setting. If you have a monkey faced orchid, use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your home. Mist your orchid daily and use humidity trays or a humidifier to keep humidity levels high.
In addition, make sure your orchids have good air circulation around them. Proper air circulation will prevent mold, bacterial and fungus growth, and rot. Keep a nearby window open or use a small fan to circulate the air in the room.
A greenhouse would be a more ideal place to keep a monkey faced orchid, assuming you have both. It is easier to maintain high humidity levels in a greenhouse setting.
Monkey faced orchids require partial to almost full shade. They do not like bright light. Remember, these orchids grow in the highland forests. They live under a canopy of trees, where it is very shaded and dimly lit.
Where Can You Buy a Monkey Faced Orchid?
These orchids are incredibly rare. Your neighborhood flower shop will definitely not be selling monkey faced Dracula orchids.
So, where can you buy these orchids? A quick search online will yield multiple eBay and Amazon listings for monkey faced orchid seeds. These seeds are priced at just a few dollars per package.
The question is, are they worth buying? Sadly, the answer is no. Keep reading to learn more.
Monkey Faced Dracula Orchid Seeds
The truth is, orchids are extremely difficult to grow from seeds. This is the case for all orchids, not just monkey faced Dracula orchids.
Growing orchids from seeds is the least reliable method for most beginner orchid growers. Even experienced orchid growers have difficulty finding success with growing orchids from seeds. You are best off propagating orchids from stem cuttings, keiki growth or pseudobulb division.
Orchid seeds are tiny, ranging anywhere from the size of dust particles to the size of a pinhead. This makes them difficult to grow and easy for scammers to fool unwitting buyers. It is easy to be tricked because buyers cannot verify what the package actually contains.
Problems with Buying Orchid Seeds
Do not buy orchid seeds from sellers who are claiming to sell a certain number of seeds. Also avoid buying from sellers who sell orchid seeds by weight.
First of all, it is nearly impossible to count or weigh these seeds with any measure of accuracy. I mean, these seeds are the size of dust particles or pinheads.
Second, growing orchids from seeds require special techniques, sterilized tools and a specific growing environment. It is not as straightforward as planting flower or vegetable seeds.
Many orchid seeds require sterilization of the tools and seeds and laboratory-like conditions and tools. Experienced orchid growers utilize agar medium to grow orchid seeds (yes, they are that tiny!). Orchid growers also use artificial lighting to germinate these seeds. It can take close to a year for the seed to grow to an orchid large enough to transplant. This is assuming all the growing conditions were optimal.
Third, monkey faced Dracula orchids are rare. They only grow in southeastern Ecuador and Peru at specific elevations, in the cloud-covered forests. It is very difficult to replicate the growing conditions necessary for these orchids, unless you are an experienced grower.
Unfortunately, the majority of attempts at growing these orchids from seed will fail. For these reasons, I heavily caution you against buying these orchid seeds from online sellers. Remember the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Monkey faced Dracula orchids are a beautiful and rare orchid. If you visit the mountains of southeast Ecuador and Peru, keep an eye out for these orchids. Take lots of pictures and enjoy the monkey faced orchids, but be sure not to pick them!
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