Restrepia citrina

I love growing Restrepias!  Restrepias are elegant and strikingly beautiful orchids, which despite their exotic appearance are easy to grow.  For me Restrepias bring a sense of wonderment and awe as each of their exquisite blooms open.

Restrepia citrina.

I have grown a variety of different Restrepia species inside my BiOrbAir terrariums, these miniature epiphytic orchids have flourished inside the humid environment that this specialised terrarium provides.  The BiOrbAir’s lights seem to be set at the perfect frequency and temperature for Restrepias, these orchids favour filtered, diffused light and have thrived when I have grown them inside the BiOrbAir terrarium.  My Restrepia purpurea ‘Rayas Vino Tinto’ and Restrepia sanguinea were almost always in bloom while they were grown inside my BiOrbAir terrarium, and in a noticeably marked contrast, these orchids have not flowered as often during the seven months since I moved these plants to my Orchidarium.

Restrepia citrina is an attractive Restrepia.  This orchid species’ specific epithet was chosen to reference the similarity of the pleasing yellow tone that we admire in the peel of some citrus fruits and in the synsepals and lip, or labellum, of this particular orchid species’ blooms.  Restrepia citrina is a miniature, epiphytic orchid, which produces large, lemon-yellow coloured flowers, which are decorated by nature and embellished with charming, deep maroon coloured, spotted markings.

A Restrepia citrina inflorescence.

I haven’t been able to detect any fragrance from the flowers of Restrepia citrina.  My Restrepia citrina plants stand at around 16 cm (6″) tall.  The Restrepia citrina inflorescences measure about 2.2cm (1″).  The flowers sometimes project themselves above the height of the plant.  As with other Restrepias, the flowers are borne on a slender peduncle, which originates at the base of the underside of the plant’s leaf.

Restrepia citrina is endemic to Norte de Santander, which is in the north of Colombia, where this miniature, epiphytic orchid can be found growing 2600m above sea level in cloud forests.  Here the environment is naturally very humid, the temperatures vary between 27C-38C in the summer, dropping down to an average temperature range from 22C-35C in the winter (data source here).  Humidity ranges from 45-65% RH, with rain experienced on most days – around 40mm in the summer, in contrast the weather is relatively dry over winter (these orchids experience an average of just 2-3mm of rain in the wintertime).  Restrepia citrina plants experience a marked degree of temperature fluctuations in their native habitat, which imbues in the plants a greater tolerance of a wider range of temperatures, thus enabling orchid growers to succeed in growing Restrepias in different climates and countries.

For me the Restrepia plants that grow in the wild are the most important plants and we should do all that we can to protect them and their habitat.  Orchids are very beautiful and fascinating plants, which are so interesting and rewarding to grow, but we must not lose sight of the result of this human interest, which can leave plants endangered or extinct from over collecting.

We also must not lose sight of the result of humans’ disinterest, which can equally threaten plants with extinction due to deforestation, logging, and human expansion.  It is vital that we give the care, respect and conservation of the remaining areas on earth where fascinating orchids and other beautiful, exquisite and magnificent plants and trees grow.  Please only purchase plants from reputable growers, who care about the native environment from which their plants hail and respect the fragility of the balance of nature.  Purchase plants that are propagated in reputable nurseries and not collected from the wild.

A Restrepia citrina inflorescence.

I have found that Restrepia citrina appreciates a very humid environment and grows well with frequent misting.  My plants are happy to be misted every day, or every other day.  I have found that my Restrepia citrina plants grow best when they’re mounted on cork bark with moss around their roots.  I grow all of my Restrepias at room temperature, which for me ranges from 16C minimum to 26C (60-78F).

If you grow Restrepias and find that your plant’s leaves have a somewhat pleated, concertina like appearance, rather than the smooth appearance that we look for in Restrepias’ leaves, this creasing and scrunching occurred as the plants were too dry and did not have sufficient moisture as the leaf was forming and developing, which led to this malformation.  You should increase your watering in future to prevent malformed growth, avoid unnecessary stress to your plants, and to promote healthy plant growth.

I fertilise my Restrepia plants using Orchid Focus Grow while my plants are growing, and Orchid Focus Bloom while the plants are in bud or flower.  I water my plants with rainwater.

Of all the orchids that are currently growing inside my Orchidarium, currently only my Restrepia plants receive additional misting and moisture, the rest of the ferns and orchids that are growing inside this terrarium are watered entirely by my orchidarium’s misting system.

Restrepia citrina flowers successively.  The longevity of each bloom varies, some flowers fade a few days after opening, while plants grown in optimum conditions produce flowers that will usually last for around two to three weeks, sometimes longer.  In the pictures below you can see my photographs of the same Restrepia citrina flower bud opening.

A Restrepia citrina flower bud.

A Restrepia citrina flower bud.

The same Restrepia citrina flower bud pictured four days later.

The same Restrepia citrina flower bud pictured four days later.

The same Restrepia citrina flower bud pictured four days later. In this image you can clearly see the dorsal sepal of the flower.

The same Restrepia citrina flower bud pictured four days later.

The following day this Restrepia citrina flower opens.

The Restrepia citrina flower pictured on the day it first opened.

A Restrepia citrina flower opening.

A Restrepia citrina inflorescence.


You may be interested in some of the trials I have conducted.

Terrarium, Vivarium, and Orchidarium Trials

To see how my Orchidarium was created, please click here.

To read the first part of my White Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To read the first part of my Madagascar BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To read the first part of my Miniature Orchid BiOrbAir Terrarium Trial, please click here.

To read about the general care I give to my orchids and terrarium plants, and the general maintenance I give to my BiOrbAir terrariums, please click here.

To read how I track the temperature, humidity, and light conditions inside my terrariums, please click here.

Compost Trial Reports

To see my various Compost Trials, please click here.

To read advice on planting up containers, please click here.

Sweet Pea Trial Reports

To read the results of my 2017 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

To read the results of my 2016 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

To read the results of my 2015 Sweet Pea Trial, please click here.

Scented Daffodil Trial Reports

To read the results of my 2017 Scented Daffodil Trial, please click here.

Other articles that may interest you……………….

To see my Orchidarium update and discover how this Restrepia citrina and the other plants inside this Orchidarium grew and developed, please click here.

To see a planting list of miniature orchids that thrive when grown inside terrariums, please click here.

To read about the new features of the new BiOrbAir terrarium, please click here.

To read a planting list of a variety of different terrarium plants, please click here.

Other articles you might like:

One thought on “Restrepia citrina

  1. John Rowbotham

    December 29, 2017 at 6:02pm

    What orchids could be grown in a sealed bottle garden?

    • Author

      Pumpkin Beth

      December 29, 2017 at 6:43pm

      Hello John,

      Thank you for your question, the answer depends on how large your bottle garden is (generally the bigger the better) how much light your bottle garden receives, how much rainwater you use, and on the temperatures the plants will experience. Lepanthopsis astrophora ‘Stalky’, Haraella retrocalla, Restrepia citrina, Restrepia purpurea, Restrepia sanguinea would be great orchids to try if you could provide conditions from 16C-25C, if your bottle garden receives filtered, diffused light and you have a large bottle garden. I would not limit yourself to a sealed bottle garden, as it’s easier to grow healthier happier plants in an open bottle garden, this way you can provide more moisture if necessary and the plants can dry out more easily too, also you can provide nutrients by feeding your plants. I hope this information is helpful. I wish you a happy new year! I hope it’s a great growing year for you.

      Best wishes, Beth

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