How to Grow: Grammatophyllum Orchid Care

Updated: Feb 5


General Information


The generic name Grammatophyllum is derived from the Greek words gramma, meaning "a mark or character," and phyllum, "a leaf." This probably refers to the varied markings on the petals and sepals of the flowers, which resulted in Grammatophyllum frequently being called the "Letter Plants." The species produce several racemes, arising from the base of the pseudobulb, with many yellow-green to olive-green, waxy flowers with dark purplish-red marks. This epiphytic genus occurs in the dence rainforest from Indo-China to Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, and the Southwest Pacific Islands.

grammatophyllum orchid care india

There are two distinct growth forms in this genus. The first has very long pseudobulbs, resembling sugar cane, bearing many leaves, arranged distichous. The second has rather short thick pseudobulbs which are not covered leaf bases and bear a few leaves around the top of the pseudobulbs. The pseudobulbs are sympodial in growth, with each new growth arising from the previous growth. The flowers of most Grammatophyllum Species are generally yellow and brown.


Grammatophyllum Orchids are not only the biggest Orchids in the world, they’re the Fastest-Growing Orchids

Light Requirements


Grammatophyllum grows well in moderate light intensity. Morning sun is best, until about noon. Observation of the leaf structure can be your best guide to the correct light conditions for which a type is particularly suited. The conditions are similar to Dendrobium and Cattleya, which means that 60-80% of sunlight.


grammatophyllum care light requirement
Optimal Colouration Indicating Sufficient Sunlight

Lime green-coloured foliage is an indication of proper light. Dark green foliage, while very attractive, is not conducive to the plant reaching its full blooming potential. Yellow-coloured foliage indicates too much light. In very mild climates, most members of this can be grown out of doors, with protection from the hot summer sun, and the colder nights of winter. A light green leaf with just a hint of yellow indicates the maximum amount of sun the plant can take, and a dark green leaf indicates not enough sun.



Temperature Requirements


Grammatophyllum will tolerate considerable summer heat as long as they get cool, mild night temperatures between 10-18 °C. Cold weather, even down to minus 2°C for a few hours each night, will not damage an acclimatised plant, but once the plant spikes or flowers, it should be protected from such low temperatures. Regardless, plants should always be kept free of frost. The ideal annual temperature range for most members of the genus Grammatophyllum are 24 to 30°C during the day and 13 to 16°C at night. At higher temperatures, air circulations and humidity must be increased, or damage can occur.

"The Higher the Temperature, the Greater the Plant's need for Humidity"

Water Requirements


Grammatophyllums enjoy frequent watering, during their growing period, but will not tolerate wet feet for extended periods. However, when growth is completed, a 2 or 3 week rest period should follow to allow the growths to mature. Generally speaking, the growing season extends from March to October. The frequency of watering is relative to the container, the temperature, air circulation, and the amount of water retained in the medium in the container. Watering should be done, so the roots are approaching dryness before re-watering. In the warmer periods, several watering a week can be done, without worry, if the roots can dry quickly. Require plenty of water and high humidity during the growing season. All species come from distinct wet/dry habitats. Less water is required during the cooler mon