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HomeFlowerMonkey Face Orchids (Dracula simia): Your Full Information

Monkey Face Orchids (Dracula simia): Your Full Information

Take one take a look at monkey orchids, and also you’ll haven’t any query concerning the which means behind their names. Their flowers resemble a monkey’s face! Whereas these vegetation are a delight to take a look at, they’re a bit difficult to correctly look after. On this information, I’ll take you thru all the pieces you should find out about efficiently rising and nurturing Monkey Face Orchids at dwelling, plus find out about their historical past, origins, which means, and symbolism on the planet as we speak. 

Ultimate Guide to Monkey Orchids (Dracula simia)

Monkey Orchids – Key Takeaways:

Widespread Title: Monkey Orchids, Monkey Face Orchids
Scientific Title: Dracula simia
Native Vary: Cloud forests of Ecuador and Peru
Soil: I all the time use an ordinary Orchid soil combine, sometimes composed of sphagnum moss and fern fibers, with wonderful drainage is important.
Gentle: Low to medium gentle; shiny, oblique gentle will be tolerated, however direct daylight must be averted
Watering: Goal to maintain the soil moist however not soggy; excessive humidity (above 70%) can be important.
Temperature: These orchids want cooler temperatures ranging between 50-75°F (10-24°C); nights must be cooler than days.
Fertilizing: Feed with a balanced orchid fertilizer diluted to half power each 2-3 weeks throughout energetic development; cut back fertilizing throughout dormant durations.
Pruning: Take away lifeless or yellowing leaves and spent flower spikes to keep up look; use sharp, sanitized shears.
Pests: Widespread pests embrace aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs; they are often managed with common cleansing, applicable watering, and insecticidal soaps or neem oil if wanted.
Toxicity: It’s non-toxic to pets and people; nonetheless, it’s all the time greatest to maintain vegetation out of attain of pets and babies.

About Monkey Orchids

About Monkey Orchids

Monkey Orchids – Household, Genus, and Taxonomy

  • Household: Orchidaceae
  • Genus: Dracula
  • Species: simia

Monkey Face Orchids – Botanical Traits

Dracula simia flowers resemble a monkey face, nevertheless it takes some nearer investigation to see why.

If you first take a look at these vegetation, you’ll discover purple flowers. When you might imagine the purple components are petals, they’re really sepals. The three sepals all comprise elongated and slender suggestions, which individuals check with as tails.

Two small, darkish petals sit contained in the sepals. These act because the eyes of the monkey’s face. The flower’s lip is light-colored and set inside the massive sepals. It varieties the monkey’s nostril and lips.

Monkey orchids emerge from an underground rhizome. A number of stalks develop from the plant, and every stalk develops a single flower. The entire plant can develop as much as 20 inches tall.

These orchids have a candy citrus scent that resembles oranges.

Monkey face orchids are non-toxic to people and animals like canine and cats.

Historical past & Origins of Monkey Orchids

History & Origins of Monkey Orchids

Up till 1978, monkey orchids belonged to the Masdevallia genus. This genus identify pays tribute to Spanish botanist Jose Masdeval.

Whereas the Masdevallia genus nonetheless exists, the monkey orchid now not belongs to this genus.

In 1978, Carlyle Luer realized the Masdevallia genus contained numerous sorts of vegetation. He established a brand new genus and named it Dracula, the Latin identify for a dragon.

All members of the Dracula genus have lengthy, slender tails on their sepals. This issue results in a dragon-like look and the genus identify.

The monkey face orchid is only one of 118 species within the Dracula genus. Different species, akin to Dracula aphrodes, additionally resemble monkey faces.

Dracula simia nonetheless exists within the forest of Ecuador. It’s cultivated as a houseplant, however it’s moderately uncommon.

Some orchid collectors have monkey face orchids of their houses. Nevertheless, these vegetation are most frequently present in conservatories and botanical gardens.

Etymological Which means

As we talked about above, the genus identify Dracula refers back to the dragon-like look of the prolonged sepals. The species identify simia means monkey.

What Areas Are Monkey Orchids Native To?

Orchids of the Dracula genus are native to the mountains of Columbia, Ecuador, and Peru. The monkey face orchid is native to Ecuador.

Within the wild, it thrives in cool, mountainous areas.

When Do Monkey Orchids Bloom?

Monkey orchids produce a number of blooms on separate stalks. These flowers usually bloom at completely different occasions all year long.

10 Enjoyable Info About Monkey Face Orchids:

  1. The Monkey Orchid will get its identify as a result of the flower’s intricate construction and markings resemble the face of a monkey.
  2. The genus identify “Dracula” is derived from the Latin phrase “draco”, which implies “dragon” or “little dragon”.
  3. These orchids are present in high-altitude areas of Ecuador and Peru, rising at elevations between 1,000 and a couple of,000 meters.
  4. Monkey Orchids thrive in cool circumstances. Of their native cloud forest habitats, they expertise cooler temperatures, frequent rain, and low gentle.
  5. The Monkey Orchid has a particular relationship with mushroom gnats, which it lures utilizing its mushroom-like look and aroma. The gnats assist in the pollination technique of the orchid.
  6. Rising a Monkey Orchid outdoors of its pure habitat will be fairly difficult (see under). It requires particular humidity, temperature, and lighting circumstances to flourish. Therefore, they’re usually thought of a plant for superior orchid fanatics.
  7. Not like many vegetation that bloom within the spring or summer time, the Monkey Orchid blooms within the winter.
  8. As soon as the Monkey Orchid begins blooming, the flowers can last as long as a number of weeks with the right care.
  9. The Monkey Orchid was found within the early Seventies, however as a consequence of political unrest and difficult terrain in its native habitat, it wasn’t launched elsewhere till the Nineteen Nineties.
  10. With the destruction of their native habitats as a consequence of logging and local weather change, Monkey Orchids are in danger. Efforts are being made to domesticate them elsewhere to scale back the strain on wild populations.
Popular Monkey Face Orchid Cultivars

There is just one cultivar of the monkey face orchid, Dracula simia. Nevertheless, different Dracula orchid species resemble monkeys as effectively.

Dracula gigas has pinkish-red sepals with faint stripes. The purple petals and pink lips kind a monkey face.

Many individuals suppose Dracula gigas flowers resemble the little capuchin monkey.

Dracula benedictii has darkish maroon sepals with a lightweight yellow inside and tremendous lengthy tails. The petals kind a cute monkey face.

Dracula wallisii has beautiful gentle yellow sepals speckled with maroon. The flower has a big light-colored lip that offers the looks of a big-chinned monkey.

Makes use of and Advantages of Monkey Face Orchids

Monkey face orchids are used as decorative orchids. Nevertheless, since they’re not the simplest orchids to develop, they aren’t quite common in extraordinary houses.

Whereas people don’t eat these orchids, pollinators love them. Within the wild, bees, ants, and moths pollinate these flowers.

For extra, see our in-depth information to orchid plant makes use of and advantages.

Monkey Orchid Which means & Symbolism

Monkey Orchids Meaning & Symbolism

Whereas these orchids are fairly cute, their symbolism may be very completely different. Regardless of what it’s possible you’ll suppose, they don’t result in happiness and pleasure.

Many individuals suppose that these vegetation symbolize evil and loss of life. Nevertheless, loads of folks have saved them of their houses with out sick results!

Since these flowers are fairly uncommon and tough to look after, in addition they symbolize perseverance and power.

Methods to Develop and Take care of Monkey Face Orchids at House

How to Grow and Care for Monkey Face Orchids at Home

Potting Concerns

If you select a container for monkey orchids, you’ll need to search for a pot that different orchids would really like. Be sure that the roots have room to unfold.

A vital part of a correct pot is drainage holes. These holes permit extra water to flee, stopping root rot points.

Monkey Orchid Soil Preferences

Of their native habitats in Ecuador, monkey orchids don’t develop in soil. Somewhat they develop atop different vegetation. They don’t damage these vegetation however use them as structural assist.

In case you develop a monkey face orchid at dwelling, you most likely received’t develop it on one other plant. As an alternative, you’ll use a mixture that’s well-suited for these orchids.

A potting combine particularly designed for orchids is a good alternative. These are well-draining mixes that comprise loads of chunky materials. The All-Pure potting combine by Excellent Vegetation is an efficient one.

To make your personal combine, mix 3/4 bark chips with 1/4 peat moss.

For extra, see our important information to the very best orchid plant soil combine.

Monkey Face Orchid Gentle Preferences

Light Preferences

Since these orchids are tropical vegetation, you would possibly suppose they love numerous gentle. Nevertheless, this isn’t the case!

Monkey orchids thrive in shady circumstances that mimic the habitat current within the forest understory. They are going to undergo if they’re uncovered to shiny gentle and even an excessive amount of oblique gentle.

It’s greatest to maintain monkey orchids in an space that receives just a few hours of oblique gentle every day. The inside of your private home is often a very good location for these vegetation.

For extra, see our important information to orchid plant gentle necessities and the greatest places to place orchid vegetation within the dwelling.

Temperature and Humidity Preferences

Not like a variety of different houseplants, monkey orchids want cool temperatures. This is sensible since these vegetation are native to excessive elevations in Ecuador.

The utmost temperature these orchids can deal with is 70ºF. Nevertheless, they may do significantly better at temperatures between 50-60ºF.

Like most houseplants, you’ll need to maintain monkey orchids away from cold and hot drafts. Don’t place them close to heating or cooling vents.

Monkey orchids thrive in excessive humidity. If their atmosphere is barely dry, they may undergo.

One of the best ways to extend the humidity of an space is with a humidifier. A humidifier is an efficient funding if you wish to develop these temperamental vegetation.

Excessive humidity brings the hazard of mildew. To stop an outbreak of fungal illness, use a fan for elevated air circulation.

When and Methods to Water Monkey Orchids

Watering Needs / Frequency

Monkey orchids don’t have water-storage organs generally known as pseudobulbs. Subsequently, they will’t retailer a considerable amount of water to make use of throughout occasions of drought.

Whereas monkey orchids can final a few weeks with out water, they may carry out greatest with common watering.

plan is to water your monkey orchid each one to 2 weeks. In case you discover any indicators of root rot or different fungal points, it is best to lower the frequency during which you’re watering.

If you water, you need to make sure that extra water is escaping via drainage holes. If this water collects in a saucer, empty it so the plant doesn’t take up it again up.

For extra, see our complete information to watering orchid vegetation.

Fertilizing Monkey Orchids

Monkey orchids will profit from fertilization. It’s greatest to make use of a balanced houseplant fertilizer that you just dilute to half-strength.

Fertilize your orchid as soon as each two weeks from spring via fall. Scale back fertilization to as soon as a month through the winter.

Pruning and Staking

Whereas monkey orchids are difficult to look after, they don’t require complicated pruning. As soon as a flower stalk dies, you may rigorously lower it again. That’s all of the pruning this plant requires.

Whereas many orchids profit from staking, monkey orchids don’t want it. Since they kind just one flower atop every flower stalk, the flowers aren’t heavy. Subsequently, the stalk can assist the flower’s weight with none further assist.

Widespread Issues, Pests & Ailments and Remedies

Common Problems, Pests & Diseases and treatments

Monkey orchids undergo from most of the identical issues as different orchids. Preserve your eyes out for the next points.


In case you discover your monkey orchid appears prefer it’s lined with cotton, you’re doubtless coping with mealybugs. These soft-bodied bugs suck plant juices which weakens the plant and opens it as much as illness.

You may handpick small numbers of mealybugs and place them in soapy water. Another choice is to spray the pests with insecticidal cleaning soap or neem oil.


Aphids are one other sort of soft-bodied sucking insect. They suck a plant’s sap and unfold illness as they feed.

There are a whole lot of several types of aphids that seem in a wide range of colours. Nevertheless, all are small with delicate our bodies.

Aphid populations can shortly spiral uncontrolled, so it’s greatest to deal with aphids once you first spot them. In case you solely have a small quantity, you may squish them along with your fingers.

For bigger aphid infestations, spray the bugs with neem oil or insecticidal cleaning soap. You will have to repeat functions to kill the entire pests.

Root Rot

Since these vegetation stay within the shade, they’re particularly inclined to root rot. Overwatering is the primary reason for root rot.

In case you discover your orchid is popping yellow or wilting, it is likely to be coping with root rot. Mushy roots are a certain signal of rot.

In case you spot this situation, it’s greatest to repot your monkey orchid into recent soil media and an appropriate orchid plant pot. Take away the plant and thoroughly trim any contaminated roots.

Shake off any previous soil and repot your orchid utilizing recent potting soil. To stop additional root rot, lower the quantity you water. Additionally, make sure that the pot has correct drainage holes.

Monkey Orchids FAQs

Completely! Whereas some folks suppose these flowers are painted or photoshopped, they’re actual.

Are Monkey Orchids Perennials?

Sure, monkey orchids are perennials. Which means they stay for a number of years so long as you present them with the fitting atmosphere.

How are Monkey Orchids Pollinated?

Within the wild, monkey orchids are pollinated by bugs. These could embrace flies, butterflies, and bees.

Cultivated orchids will be pollinated by bugs, however people may also hand pollinate the flowers. This ensures the flowers will kind seeds.

Can I Develop Monkey Orchids from Seed?

Whereas rising monkey orchids from seed is feasible, that is extraordinarily tough to do at dwelling. Until you’re a severe plant skilled, buying monkey orchid vegetation moderately than seeds is greatest.

Monkey Face Orchids – Wrapping Up

In case you’re in search of a difficult but pleasant orchid so as to add to your plant assortment, you may’t do significantly better than a monkey face orchid. What’s extra, with a bit of care, orchids can stay for a few years to come back.

For extra, see our in-depth information on methods to look after orchid vegetation dropping leaves.

Briana holds a B.S. in Plant Sciences from Penn State College. She manages a small market backyard the place she grows greens and herbs. She additionally enjoys rising flowers and houseplants at dwelling.



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