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...

1 comment:

  1. Hey Dave, I love walkeriana's. I have like 7 different varieties. H&R and Gold Country are great sources for walkerianas. I see we share a few interests. NPR is a great show. SVO has awesome plants, as does MBF. I have been reading Richard's blog for about a year. Keep an eye for your's, but you kinda hibernated for the winter. Thankfully spring is here. Happy growing.