Friday, January 29, 2010

Laelia anceps backbulb update

Laelia anceps striata type - Flower photo by Richard LindbergLast summer I decided that some of my Laelia anceps were getting unmanageable. I started with the largest and found that most of the plant with the leads removed was still not attractive. I pictured new growths starting and didn't like the projected result. So I took it apart.

Laelia anceps striata type just starting the spring growth cycle"This is a truly great hardy drought-tolerant species from Eastern Mexico with fantastic flowers" is part of the description of Laelia anceps found in orchidspecies.com. It comes in wide variety of color forms. I have more than a dozen different varieties.

To make a long story short I took all of my Laelia anceps apart into leads and backbulbs. I now have a hundred or so Laelia anceps in plastic pots and tightly packed sphagnum moss.

The anceps spent the summer in the Sonoma greenhouse in just about the warmest and brightest spot I could find. There is more space than my greenhouse and the watering is all by hand so I could control the moisture level in the sphagnum moss.

The Laelia anceps striata backbulb not only has roots on the surface but also going down in the potWhen fall came I transferred them back home into the spot where I had been growing hard cane Dendrobium hybrids. The automatic watering was off for the winter and they got a splash now and them but remained quite dry.

Now I see new root growth not only at the top of the pot but the new growth is sending roots down into the pot as well. I took these pictures yesterday. Mouse over the photo on the left to see inside the pot.

The old backbulb has roots too but there is still a lot of sphagnum compared with the root mass so I need to be careful about restarting the watering and feeding. The tightly pack sphagnum will help with that since it is slow to absorb water.

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