Wednesday, March 30, 2011


More impending blooms.  A C. intermedia I picked up 2 years ago - will be first bloom for me - and an Oncidium splendidum that was a first time bloomer for me last year.  Looking for significant improvement in the Oncidium bloom - we'll see.  The spike is much taller than last year and has a branch, so I am optimistic.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Recent acquisitions

'Tis the season!  Got a few bareroot plants from Floralia last week:
C. gaskelliana tipo
C. trianae Rolf Altenburg x Premier
C. trianae amesiana Floralia x alba
C. chocoensis alba
C. lueddemanniana (color overlap x irina) x tipo
C. percivaliana alba x aurora
C. Veriflora
Lc. C.G. Roebling

The last two are primary hybrids, labiata x trianae and purpurata x gaskelliana.

With the exception of the chocoensis, they are all large and very healthy plants.

Here they are sitting out on the bench.  I'll spray them everyday until I have a chance (this weekend?) to pot the ones with active roots.  The others will remain in this state until root growth initiates.

Monday, March 21, 2011

I really, really hate my greenhouse

A spike on what would have been a first-bloom Encyclia cleanly severed near the base, along with the offending gastropod.  Bummer.  The guilty party was exiled to the nether-regions of the backyard.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Cattcylaelia Banana Split

I've sworn off hybrids, not because I have anything against them, but simply because if you have limited space and want to build a nice collection, it helps to have a smaller universe of potential plants. 

But as I was going through the H & R Nurseries catalog, I couldn't resist giving this hybrid a try.  The name is strange.  I went to the RHS Orchid database to figure this out.  Well, according to H & R this hybrid is a cross of Lc. Pixie x Encyclia cordigera.  So, what is Lc. Pixie?  It is a cross of Cattleya crispata x Guarianthe Guatemalensis.  So, what is Guarianthe Guatemalensis? It is a cross (also a natural hybrid) between Guarianthe aurantiaca and Guarianthe skinneri.  These two species were in the Cattleya genus for many years, and if you ask me, they should have just left them there - many people still refer to then as Cattleya, including Jay Pfahl's site.  Cattleya crispata has also been known as Sophronitis crispata and Laelia flava.  That is why H & R refers to one of the parents as Laeliocattleya Pixie - traditionally, the parents of that cross have been known as Laelia flava and Cattleya Guatemalensis - L and C.  Anyway, the botanists have created a taxonomic mess. 

So, why did I buy this hybrid?  The description from H & R made it sound good.  But to really see why this hybrid is appealing, I suggest you check out the description at Marble Branch Farms - while you're there you'll see their name for this plant is slightly different from that at H & R.  It sounds like a terrific little hybrid.  By the way, Marble Branch Farms is a great nursery and the only reason I didn't buy these plants there was that I was looking to H & R for the walkerianas and ended up getting two of these just for the hell of it.  MBF has lots of interesting hybrids for those of you that grow hybrids.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cattleya walkeriana

For an orchid nut, unused growing space doesn't remain unfilled for long.  After sending a few plants Richard's way,  I acquired a few plants.  Most important among them, C. walkerianaI only have one tiny little division I acquired last year.  Somehow I got it in my head that I wanted to try a few more - my skills are better and my growing conditions are better than they used to be.  The first one is a three-bulb division I got on ebay.  It has just initiated new root growth and I decided to stick it in a four inch basket filled with coconut husk chips and put that four inch basket inside a six inch basket.  This is a pretty quick drying situation, but if more water is needed I can stuff some sphagum in the open spaces.  We'll see how this works.

The second and third pics are two plants I just got in from H & R Nurseries.  The second one, which looks very vigorous, is growing in a plastic net pot filled with bark and perlite, with that pot slipped inside a regular plastic pot.  I haven't seen this potting strategy before but I immediately see the logic - very fast draining, but maintaining additional moisture around the roots because of the second "layer" of plastic.

The third plant is not as nice as the second one - it only has two leaves.  Not thrilled with the condition of this plant, but the bulbs are large.  Looks like it has tried and failed to initiate a bloom.  This one is potted in a regular plastic pot with very large chunks of bark - again, very fast drainage.

Many people grow this species mounted.  When root growth starts on the second and third plants I will gingerly move them to six inch wood baskets, as it is easier to alter the amount of moisture around the roots compared to a mount.  If I had a greenhouse I would probably go for mounts.

I have more new plants here or on the way to report on in upcoming posts.  My wife thinks we already have too many things to take care of.  She is right.  But orchid fever is a disease - it can be suppressed - I'm trying (!),  but there is apparently no cure...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

C. trianae buds

Another C. trianae to bloom soon.  First bloom for me and it looks like its going to be nice.