Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Rodriguezia decora

Rodriguezia decora - Flower photo by Richard LindbergRodriguezia decora - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Rodriguezia (Rdza) contains about 30 species mostly found in Brazil. They are part of the Oncidiinae subtribe.

Rodriguezia decora grows in Brazil in cool to warm mountain forests and grasslands. It is mildly fragrant and needs bright light.

This was one of the plants that was available at the SCOS potting party. The piece I got had two pseudobulbs connected by a VERY long rhizome. I mounted it and placed it in a very warm, wet and bright location.

The plant has grown well and has sent up two spikes. In addition, I am happy to see that the new rhizome is much shorter. I attribute this to the light level being high enough rather than stunted growth.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Kefersteinia tolimensis

Kefersteinia tolimensis - Flower photo by Richard LindbergKefersteinia tolimensis - Plant photo by Richard LindbergOrchids are not "set it and forget it". In a dynamic greenhouse where plants are coming and going, every plant must have its micro-climate re-evaluated from time to time.

Kefersteinia tolimensis grows in Colombia, Ecuador and Venezuela. Warm to hot growing, low light, even watering.

I got this from the raffle table at the Napa Valley Orchid Society two years ago. It has grown well for me and has been divided a couple of times. But this summer, although it has bloomed, it has not been particularly vigorous.

I am pretty sure that the problem is light level. Several of my mounted plants have moved into the area above it and are shading it. Even though it is a "low light" plant, that doesn't mean "dark". Light level is the key to growing and blooming all orchids. I will find it another spot.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Encyclia bracteata

Encyclia bracteata - Flower photo by Richard LindbergEncyclia bracteata - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThis is a long-time member of my collection. It is trouble free and blooms every year in the summer. This year it is blooming again now.

Encyclia bracteata grows in Brazil in low elevation forests. It is fragrant, warm growing.

In the process of arranging plants so that they have a favorable micro-climate, sometimes I have to make compromises. With this plant, I moved it up a notch in light level even though literature doesn't list as a very high light plant. It seems literature was wrong.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lowara Trinket 'Peach' x Lc Gaudi-digbyana

This is the first of these plants from Lillian's greenhouse to bloom. There were 2 or 3 of them, all badly over potted and in poor shape. In addition, the tags were very hard to read.

This is another case where the flower is coming off for the long-term health of the plant.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Dendrobium Blue Violetta

Dendrobium Blue Violetta - Flower photo by Richard LindbergDendrobium Blue Violetta - Plant photo by Richard LindbergDendrobium Blue Violetta is a plant I have had for several years. It has had a rough time.

Most recently it got knocked over and had a spike broken off. It went through years of over watering. Only four buds left, and they are openning now. It has been growing fairly well for the past couple of years since I learned what to do with Dendrobium hybrids.

My greenhouse is bright and wet. Too wet for Dendrobiums. I have had them in a "dry" area and I have done best with those Dens that are in limestone chunks. I am amazed at how much water lava rock holds.

This plant is in lava rock. It needs to be repotted and it will move to rock. Then I will take it to Sonoma, which is a more normal greenhouse.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Weather report and random picture

Paphiopedilum Greyi 'Fritzie Sherwood' x niveum 'Pristine Snow' - Flower photo by Richard LindbergIt was a dark and stormy night. Two of them, actually, with 4 hours of power outage during the day yesterday. I learned that I need to change my watering timer batteries.

The automatic timers are off now, probably until the end of March. I can run it manually and augment with the pump sprayer. There will still be some warm days but I have learned that watering needs to taper off, even for the plants that need even moisture. They are not using as much water now.

I have a bunch of Paph seedlings that have not grown well. I don't know what they need exactly, but it is different from what they are getting. They need more light, no doubt about that.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Laelia anceps 'Figment' AM/AOS x 'Marble Queen'

Laelia anceps 'Figment' AM/AOS x 'Marble Queen'Laelia anceps 'Figment' AM/AOS x 'Marble Queen' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergI have groups of backbulbs growing in various stages of development. There are Coelogyne mooreana that are well developed and mostly gone. There are the Maxillaria picta pots that are sprouted and growing and will be on eBay next spring.

And there are other large groups of small divisions. But the one getting the most attention, the where each one gets picked up and closely inspected are the Laelia anceps.

Laelia anceps grows well and blooms well. It grows in Mexico and Honduras. It is warm to hot growing and needs a dry winter rest and bright light. If it is dry it can winter outside if there is no hard freeze.

This week there were six sprouts. I am especially concerned that these get sprouted soon because the growing season is coming to an end. We are having our first winter storm right now and the temperature in the greenhouse has remained in the low 60s for the last two days.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Epidendrum ruizianum

This Epidendrum ruizianum rescued itselfI have been working in the Sonoma greenhouse almost exactly a year now and it is coming along well. It has gone from a growing scale infestation and over watered plants to a healthy and broad based collection.

In the process of repotting we went for those first which were being stressed but we saw could bounce back. This Epidendrum ruizianum has not had attention until now because it looked dead and we didn't get around to throwing it out.

Epidendrum ruizianum grows in northern South America on rocky slopes in full sun above 3500 feet. It is cool to warm growing, is fragrant and blooms in late spring.

Yesterday I saw this great new growth among the dead canes. This plant had rescued itself!

I unpotted it and found some respectable roots to go with the green on top. I washed it and carefully cut off the dead parts. Then I potted in a pot 4 inches smaller than the original.

Like most rescues, this plant is not recovered yet. Still, it is well on its way and in a couple of years we may see a mass of white flowers hanging off the side of the plant.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cattleya bowringiana

Cattleya bowringiana - Flower photo by Richard LindbergCattleya bowringiana rescue - Plant photo by Richard LindbergWith Cattleya hybrids I can assume that as far as culture goes, one hybrid can be treated pretty much the same as any other. That is not true at all for Cattleya species.

Cattleya bowringiana grows in Belize and Guatemala at low elevations on rocky cliffs. It is cool to warm growing and blooms in the fall. It needs a short rest after blooming.

I have had this plant for several years but by the time I started a formal inventory it had declined in health. It continued to decline until this spring when I took it off its mount and put it in the hospital in a last-ditch effort to save it.

Over the summer it has started a new growth and even has a bud. Of course, the bud is gone now. I don't want it using any energy blooming. Still, it is a hopeful sign.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Laeliocattleya Caprice

Laeliocattleya Caprice - Photo by Richard Lindberg

This has grown well since it bloomed for Lillian last year. It is due for repotting on the next new growth cycle. I like the way that the other petals carry the coloring of the lip. It works as well on this flower as on any I have seen.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Winter is sneaking up.

Miltassia Shelob 'Webmaster' - Photo by Richard Lindberg

Even inside a greenhouse, winter is approaching. It is time to adjust watering and fertilizer. It is time to find the "dry winter rest" plants.

I have learned that reduced hours of light is a more important factor than temperature. And by 'learned', I mean the hard way. Killing plants by over watering.

I will take down some of the shade cloth and more at the end of the month. I will reduce the watering to every other day now. I will move the plants off of the bench near the door, take in outside and clean the greenhouse floor.

Pleurothallis schweinfurthii - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe low temperature in the greenhouse is 58 degrees and it will not go below 50 even on the coldest night. But there are going to be days where the temperature doesn't get to 60 all day. These are days when a wet plant will start to lose roots.

I also have a number of Pleurothallidinae in the collection. These rely on the foggers for most of their watering. The foggers have stopped coming on very much because the greenhouse is in very little need of cooling. These need to be inspected, repotted and gathered to where they can be hand watered.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Osmoglossum pulchellum

Osmoglossum pulchellum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergOsmoglossum pulchellum - Plant photo by Richard LindbergUnless there is a good reason not to, I repot new plants soon after I get them. Yesterday I repotted this Osmoglossum pulchellum that I got at the SCOS BBQ about 10 days ago.

Osmoglossum pulchellum grows in Mexico down into Central America in mountain forests above 3500 feet. It is cold to warm growing, very fragrant and blooms in the fall and winter. When spikes appear, set a stake since it will need support.

The plant had almost 20 pseudobulbs and two leads. It had the potential to make two very nice divisions. At least that was what I intended to do until I saw the roots. The idea that you can tell nothing about a plant from just looking at the top proved to be true one more time.

Two lead divisions. The rest are backbulbs.When I got the plant out of the pot I found that there were no live roots except for a few roots on the new growth. These were not enough roots to support the whole plant. I decided to treat this as a rescue and to maximize its potential.

After I removed the two new growths along with three pseudobulbs each to form a minimal division, I separated the rest into backbulbs. I have found that I can end up with more sprouts by doing one or two backbulb pots. The divisions are in bark while the backbulbs are in small pots half filled with rock pieces and tightly packed sphagnum on top.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Bifrenaria aureo-fulva

Bifrenaria aureo-fulva - Flower photo by Richard LindbergBifrenaria aureo-fulva - The plant this yearAbout a week ago I noticed a spike coming from a group of plants on the bench. It was from a plant I had won at the opportunity table at the San Francisco Orchid Society last November.

The genus Bifrenaria (Bif) is 30 small epiphytes or often terrestrials from South America. Partial shade and wet humid conditions especially while growing.

Bifrenaria aureo-fulva grows in coastal moutain rain forest from central to southern Brazil. It is warm to hot growing and fragrant, blooming in the summer. It needs a dry winter rest.

Bifrenaria aureo-fulva - The plant last yearThe plant had been added to the inventory and put on the bench in an available space. Normally I would repot right away and from looking at the literature, the spot was really too shady. Still, it bloomed.

The plant is in decline and this year didn't help. The pseudobulbs have been getting smaller since it was repotted last, and the one I grew is also slightly smaller. The leaf is too dark green.

I really shouldn't repot now. This is not because of the flowers, I have no problem cutting off flowers for the long-term health of the plant. But it will be starting a dry winter rest period and it would be better to wait for new growth to start.

Monday, October 5, 2009

More about Cymbidium dayanum backbulbs

Cymbidium dayanum backbulb from last springWhen I saw the progress of the Cymbidium dayanum backbulb that I almost killed due to peeking, I decided to peek some more. I couldn't help it.

When a backbulb or division has no roots it is important to hold it still in the pot. If the pieces are short careful handling may be enough. If the pieces have any height to them, I use a stake.

This pot has a stake in it and from looking at the top, I thought it might be multiple small pieces in the same pot. When I pulled it out of the pot I found that it was all one piece.

About 2/3 of the pot was filled with rockOver potting is always a danger with backbulb propagation. Without roots to extract water, the medium stays wet a very long time. That's why I use rocks in most cases. The rocks hold some moisture without having the backbulb be wet. You can think of it as a variation of sphag-n-bag.

Now that the roots are developed I can pot it. Since this species wants even conditions and comes from a generally wet environment, I potted it back in tightly packed sphagnum moss. It will not get sopping wet and takes a long time to dry out. The general water level can be determined simply by touching the surface.