Bulbophyllum Tremulum Care: How to grow Bulbos in your home

Bulbophyllum Tremulum is originally from Sulawesi and Borneo; grows on trees in riverine and primary forests at an altitude of 600-1200 meters.

It is a sympodial species, with pseudobulbs up to 5 cm in height, each bearing a 10-20 cm long leaf.

Vegetative cycle

It is a species that in nature spends a period of rest caused by little rain in the winter months. In cultivation it is sufficient to reduce the watering from December to the beginning of February (but only if the plant is not growing), however keeping the air humidity around the plant at 80% and vaporizing it daily. If the pseudobulbs start to shrivel up, the watering increases a little. At the end of winter the orchid comes out of rest and starts growing again.


The Bulbophyllum echinolabium has a compact growth, so it can be grown both in pots (using the medium-sized bark (2-4 cm) as a substrate) and on rafts (with sphagnum moss or live moss over the roots). Transplants must be carried out with utmost caution, because this species suffers from root disturbance. The best way would be to remove the whole substrate / plant from the old pot, remove the pieces of substrate that can detach without damaging the roots, and transfer the plant with the rest of the substrate attached to the roots to the new pot by adding fresh substrate to fill it.

IMPORTANT: If the transplant is carried out for reasons of root rot, the old substrate must be replaced completely, even sacrificing part of the roots. It is normal that after such a drastic intervention the flowering of the specimen will be compromised for the following 1-2 years.

To avoid having to decant the orchid often, I advise all those who grow it in pots to use premium quality bark (e.g. Orchiata), because it maintains its characteristics for several years and does not decompose easily.


The ideal temperatures are +26-28°C during the day and +18-20°C at night throughout the year. A temperature difference of 6-8°C between day and night is important.


18000-22000 lux. If the orchid leaves are dark green and the plant does not flower, you need to increase the light intensity or photoperiod a little. If, on the other hand, the leaves turn yellowish or reddish, the light intensity must be reduced.

Air humidity

Around 80% all year round.


During the growth phase, the Bulbophyllum echinolabium gets wet regularly and abundantly as soon as the substrate has become dry (but before it becomes completely dry). After the maturation of the new pseudobulbs (usually in autumn) it would be advisable to gradually reduce the frequency of watering to help the orchid enter the rest period which would last about two months. During rest, the plant is watered so that the substrate remains completely dry for 4-5 days between waterings. However, let us remember that in nature water is also available from dews and mists, therefore the orchid must be vaporized every day and the air humidity must be maintained at 80%. When the orchid shows signs of growth, the rest period is over and watering returns to summer levels.


This species is fertilized every 4-5 waterings (but not more often than once every 10 days) by adding 1/4 of the dose of a special liquid fertilizer for orchids to the water used for wetting. During the resting phase, fertilizations are not carried out.


Blooms in spring / summer. The inflorescence develops from the base of the pseudobulb and can reach up to 70 cm in length. This Bulb has revolver flowering (when the same inflorescence is used by the plant several times, stretching to produce the next bud) with one flower at a time. The flowers are beautiful but have a bad smell (typical for Bulbophylum), which is quite strong in this species.

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