Friday, May 31, 2013

Another purpurata

This one the result of an alba x sanguinea cross. Flowers on the small side this year and only 3.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Cattleya gaskelliana alba

According to the blog, this didn't bloom in 2011 or 2012. Looks like it will bloom on at least three growths this year.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sedirea japonica

I am not growing this very well but it still manages to bloom every year. Nice scent.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Dismantling an ailing specimen plant - Cattleya Stonehouse

I had been growing a large Cattleya Stonehouse in a basket for few years. In the summer of 2011 I dunked it in a tub of water, fairly dirty water, and then unfortunately got distracted and forgot about it for over 24 hrs. That is when the problems started. I believe lots of roots (most?) rotted as a result of this mistreatment. What were the obvious signs of decline? Two. First, the pseudobulbs weren't as fat as they used to be - the plant was unable to absorb sufficient moisture. Second, when the next growth cycle started the new growths were smaller than the older ones and of course there were fewer flowers and they were smaller. These are signs of trouble. I gave the plant a year to see if it could recover. One of the things about specimen plants is that not only do they produce lots of high quality flowers but they have lots of stored resources in the old growths, so I hoped it could get over the hump. By Spring of 2013 after a second growth cycle, which was worse than the first, I decided to abandon this strategy. Something was going to have to be done. Last weekend I took apart the basket and chopped up the plant. Time to start over! The only live roots were near the top of the basket.
Even it its poor state the plant made some nice flowers.

The plant was growing over the basket so something was going to have to be done eventually. I was hoping that I could remove growths while leaving much of the plant in the basket. My realization that the plant was in steep decline meant those plans had to be abandoned. Here you can see the pseudobulbs are shriveled.

And here, more shriveled p-bulbs.

I cut off all the flowers - around 10 or so.

Then I started cutting up the plant after dismantling the basket. Here is a division with some nice new root tips

Here is a big pile of divisions with no roots. Most have two to four p-bulbs.

Here are the divisions with root tips - most are two or three p-bulbs.

I have potted up five divisions with growing root tips. I am looking forward to growing this vigorous plant again.

I have at least 10 backbulb divisions. Ideally I could give these away or get them established - that's why I held on to them instead of composting them. But do I have the time and space for this?

Saturday, May 4, 2013

First purpurata this year

This is a baby I received as free plant a couple of years ago. It is blooming at a small size for a Cattleya purpurata - about 12 inches tall. It is a carnea form. As I already have two carnea purpuratas I will probably trade or sell it.