Monday, August 10, 2009

Anacheilium radiatum backbulb

Anacheilium radiatum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergAnacheilium radiatum - Plant photo by Richard LindbergBackbulbs don't need a lot of attention but they need to be inspected once in awhile. This is an Anacheilium radiatum backbulb pair that was harvested last fall and has done nothing. Now it is growing vigorously.

This is not all that surprising. The best time to take backbulbs is the same as the best time to repot. Backbulbs are not immune to the normal growth cycle. When they are separated from the plant at the right time they will often start right out with a new shoot.

I took these off the mother plant as part of cleanup and shaping. They were totally rootless and leafless. I propped them up in a pot full of rocks and set them under the bench with the other backbulbs.

The question now is can this backbulb start transition to being treated more like a part of the collection. The top is still small but the roots are green-tipped and growing strongly. The closest pseudobulb is still green and the farther one is turning yellow and will soon die.

Yes, it is ready based on the root development. As with any orchid, the roots determine the health of the plant, not the top.

This doesn't mean it can be thrown right into a once a week watering schedule. It will go in the smallest pot I have with about 2/3 of the space filled with styrofoam. The farthest pseudobulb will be cut off and the light gradually increased.

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