Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Cattleya maxima

This is the last Cattleya maxima to bloom this year. A small seedling from Suwada Orchids in Japan. It has much potential.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Cattleya maxina

Here is another C. maxima. This one is blooming for the first time. I acquired it bare-root from Ecuagenera at the 2013 Pacific Orchid Exposition. It established very nicely.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Temporary greenhouse

I was unhappy about the cost of heating the temporary greenhouse last winter (I use a small electric heater). This year I made a few changes to the greenhouse. First, I built another bench that fits snugly in the greenhouse. Now I have three benches, one against each wall (fourth "wall" is the entrance). Second, I used bubble wrap to insulate. On the inner walls I used carpet tape to fasten the bubble wrap. On the outside I used duct tape to tape down sheets of bubble wrap over the roof. Then I put a layer of poly, also fastened with duct tape, over the bubble wrap to protect it a bit from the elements. I will add some more grow lights. I have almost everything on benches this winter, with only a few hanging baskets. This should allow me to regulate water more easily. In the past it was hard to water the hanging baskets and control in any way the amount of water getting to the plants on the benches below. I thought the addition of the third bench would leave me with lots of space. Nope. I need to get rid of some plants. Pics show the view from the entrance.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Cattleya mendelii

Cattleya mendelii by Mauro Rosim
Cattleya mendelii, a photo by Mauro Rosim on Flickr.

This is the best mendelii I've ever seen. Plant and photo by Mauro Rosim.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Cattleya schilleriana

Cattleya schilleriana by Flick Fer
Cattleya schilleriana, a photo by Flick Fer on Flickr.

I have a few small seedlings of this species. Nothing near blooming size yet.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Cattleya maxima 'Hercules'

This is a mericlone of the upland form, which is shorter and carries fewer-but-larger flowers compared to the lowland form. I prefer the lowland form. Only one flower this year - I will have to move it out its basket when new roots start.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Cattleya guttata coerulea buds

I acquired this in July in my trip to the Cal-Orchid open house in Santa Barbara. In general I find that gutttata blooms later in the year than leopoldii and blooms from a dry sheath after a growth has matured, while leopoldii buds emerge from the sheath even before the growth matures.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Cattleya guttata

This young plant has bloomed twice for me, both times
in early Fall. Very different from my leopoldii, which always bloom in Summer.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Orchid fail

This plant is growing very well, so I was looking forward to the flowers. Unfortunately, I discovered  too late that the sheath was slightly malformed such that the flowers were having trouble breaking through. The result is that the stems of the flowers were severely bent inside the sheath. Oh well.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Stanhopea jenischiana

Only one spike this year. Space hog and short-lived flowers, but still worth having, I think.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Cattleya guttata buds

This plant is doing OK, but not great. The newest growths are not as big as the previous ones, and I saw no sign of a sheath in the biggest (or smallest) new growths. Then, surprise, I saw a cluster of buds emerging.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Non-orchid post: Plumeria

If you go to Hawaii you see Plumeria all over the place, in landscaping and in leis. Fabulous fragrance. After one of our trips, I looked into how to grow them. Turns out there are lots of color varieties and forms. Also, lots of people crazy about Plumeria. Like, orchids, roses, etc, almost every plant type has a cadre of near delirious devotees. We get frosts here, so potting them up is the best strategy. I bought two NOID cuttings on ebay for about five bucks each and have been growing them for about two years in a cactus/succulent potting mix. No flowers yet, but the plants are now growing fast. I think they would be bigger by now if I had moved them up to big pots earlier.

Monday, August 19, 2013

High light

I have been trying to grow my Dendrobium speciosum in very high light, as this is supposed to improve blooming. Here you can see a leaf turning slightly yellow from intense light. In fact, two other leaves have small burns, one of which you can also see below. I have backed off on the light just a bit.