Care of Neofinetia falcata (“Furan”), the Japanese Wind Orchid
Neofinetias prefer medium to low light levels, from 1500 – 2500 foot-candles. If you are growing under fluorescent lights, keep the plants about 8″ (20 cm) from the tubes. Under high-intensity lamps, grow approximately 4′ (1.2 m) from the fixture. This plant can be grown on windowsills, given a north, east, south, or west exposure. Plants may be grown outdoors in the summer with filtered sunlight.
This plant can tolerate a wide range of temperatures from 110-33 degrees F. While some growers report leaving their fukiran out in freezing temperatures, I found that was destructive to many of my plants, so I do not suggest doing that. In summer, fukiran enjoy being grown outdoors when possible as that increases air circulation and temperature fluctuation.
Humidity should be kept above 40%. Use humidity trays or a small room humidifier when growing on windowsills in a dry house.
Water & Fertilizer
Use clean water, such as rainwater, spring water, or reverse osmosis water if possible. Never use artificially softened water on any plants. Let the plants dry out between watering; the faster your plants alternate between wet and dry, the better your roots will grow. Use ample water in spring and summer while the plants are in active growth and in flower, reducing quantities during cooler winter days. Use a balanced fertilizer year-round, preferably urea-free. If using rain, spring, or reverse osmosis water, add some municipal or well water to supply the necessary calcium and magnesium. I have begun top dressing my plants with oyster shell for added calcium to prevent center leaf rot. Fertilize very lightly every other watering during the growing season, once a month during the winter rest period should do.
Neofinetias bloom once a year, typically from spring through fall. The inflorescence may have 3-9 flowers. Most forms have white flowers with a long nectary spur. They will last 2-4 weeks and are extremely fragrant, especially at night. There are also pink-, green-, and yellow-colored forms, and flowers with additional and missing floral parts.
Repotting is typically done in the spring and early summer every year when potted in moss. Any type of pot is acceptable as long as the plants dry out in 1-4 days, preferably. Fukiran are traditionally grown in high-quality sphagnum moss; however, people successfully grow them in every possible growing medium imaginable. To pot in moss, place the root ball over a small amount of moss or a foam peanut. Wrap the root ball loosely but securely in sphagnum moss so that the plant does not wobble. Keep the top half of the plant higher than the rim of the pot if you want a more traditional look, and use longer strands of moss to secure the moss ball neatly.
Plants may also be mounted on cork or tree fern plaques. You can mount the plants with a little sphagnum to help keep them moist. If kept humid, some growers plant Neofinetias on rocks with live moss.
Ran = Orchid
Furan = Wind Orchid
Fukiran = Rich and Noble Orchid