Monday, May 31, 2010

Bulbophyllum facetum

Bulbophyllum facetum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThis Bulbophyllum facetum came from the member sale table at our annual show and sale in 2009. It has nice single flowers that show up well in the plant. There was room for growth on the mount. I considered it a real find and put it in a moist location partially shaded by other mounted plants.

Bulbophyllum facetum divided itself when the older generation diedBulbophyllum facetum grows throughout the northern island of the Philippines in the mountains. It is warm to hot growing.

During last year's growing season it added a new pseudobulb on each of the leads. It is close to outgrowing the mount. At the same time, the oldest two generations died so we have two plants on the same mount. The plan for this plant has three parts. 1) Remove the lower part of the mount where the dead pseudobulbs are; 2) Cut vertically to separate the right and left sides; 3) Remove the outer lead from each half; 4) Mount each of leads.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Cattleya Laurie Lynn Westenberger

Cattleya Laurie Lynn Westenberger - Flower photo by Richard LindbergCattleya Laurie Lynn Westenberger - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThere is a big difference between a rescue and a backbulb division. A rescue may or may not sprout. A backbulb division will likely sprout and will often skip that survival mode year that yesterday's Lc needed.

The Cattleya Laurie Lynn Westenberger in the Sonoma collection is a good example. Eight months ago I divided a fairly healthy plant and got two lead divisions and three backbulb divisions. All of the backbulb divisions sprouted this spring and one of them is ready to be moved out of backbulb status.

The new growth is well developed and it has strong roots.All the old roots and the older backbulb have been removed.This was a two-pseudobulb division in rock. Both were in good condition but with no live roots. I cut the dead roots to a length of a little over an inch to help hold the plant in place. It is important that the plant not move around in the pot.

Once I had removed the dead roots from before, I decided to also remove the oldest pseudobulb. There were no live roots and the leaf was broken. The new roots were strong but it might be better to have the new energy go into new growth. Mouse-over the picture to see what went into the pot. Always mouse-over pictures, lots of them have a pop-up.

Is that light spot at the base an eye? I'm hoping it is.All that remains is the question of what to do with the oldest backbulb. With no leaf and no roots it is not a hopeful sight. The easy answer is to toss it. While this is not a rare plant, being registered in 1958 makes it historically interesting. And the flower can compete with any modern hybrid.

I might be imagining an eye at the base of that pseudobulb. No matter, I am going to try for a second sprout. It is going back into a pot of rocks where it will remain until it sprouts or it turns brown.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lc Pacific 'Red Fountain' x C Summer Stars 'Circassian Angel'

The first year the plant survived. The second year it is coming back strong.This Lc Pacific 'Red Fountain' x C Summer Stars 'Circassian Angel' was one of the sickest plants in the Sonoma collection when I started taking care of it a year and a half ago. It had a lot of bugs on it and it was in a pot far too big for it. When I took it out of the pot I didn't find any live roots at all.

I trimmed the dead roots to about an inch and a half. I left that much to help hold the plant in place. After it was cleaned and any brown parts removed, the plant went in a small pot with lava rock. Then I put it with a group of other rescues and waited.

Rodriguezia decora - Flower photo by Richard LindbergNice roots are developing in the second growing season since rescue.When I saw a strong new growth last week I peeked at the roots again and this time found a good amount of actively growing roots. Now I will trim off a couple of the original pseudobulbs that have turned brown and finish removing the dead roots. After that it will go into a small pot in fir bark.

Orchid rescue is not a fast process. It often takes two or three years, sometimes longer, to bring a plant back to blooming. An orchidist must get enjoyment out of the growing process to make this worthwhile. I enjoy the flowers, but for me, flowers are an award a plant gives me for good care.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Rodriguezia decora

Rodriguezia decora - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe SCOS organizes some fun events outside of the regular monthly meeting. One of the most fun is the potting party held in May. I got a piece of Rodriguezia decora from the potting party two years ago. There were two pseudobulbs with a 4-inch rhizome and I mounted it on a 14-inch piece of cork bark.

Rodriguezia decora - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Rodriguezia (Rdza) contains about 30 species mostly found in Brazil. Rodriguezia decora grows in Brazil in cool to warm mountain forests and grasslands.

My idea in putting a relatively small plant on that big piece of cork was that it would last a few years before it outgrew the mount but it has taken only two years. It is an attractive plant and it has a nice fragrant flower, but in a greenhouse where I am looking for space and all the easy decisions have been made, it may have to go.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Miltonia (spectabulis x Jim MacKinney)

Sprouting backbulbs

Miltonia (spectabulis x Jim MacKinney) - Flower photo by Richard LindbergAs the growing season was about to start I shaped the mounted Miltonia (spectabulis x Jim MacKinney) in the Sonoma greenhouse to improve the flower display later in the year.

Miltonia (spectabulis x Jim MacKinney) - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThe mount is a log hung horizontally on two cables. It is well established and had growth hanging off in all directions. I cut it back taking 4 or 5 years growth in some cases. Old pseudobulbs don't produce flowers.

After I potted leads there were about 40 leafless pseudobulbs. I put these in community pots, about a dozen in each. They didn't look that good but were not dried out so I threw a little bark around them to hold them up and waited.

There are some sprouts after only three months. The percentage yield remains to be seen but I am guessing at least half will sprout. It will be another two years before they look like something. With backbulb propagation I am trading time for money. And there is the fun of watching them grow of course.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Maxillaria callichroma

Maxillaria callichroma - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThis particular plant came from Hanging Gardens just over two years ago at the end of the "Maxillaria Mania" phase of my orchid collecting. Dan was speaking and had brought some plants for sale. It is blooming now and is one of my favorite Maxillaria species.

Maxillaria callichroma - Plant photo by Richard LindbergMaxillaria callichroma grows in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, blooms in winter, cool to hot growing.

This was about the time I was Maxillaria species were losing their charm. I was deciding that the Grandiflora complex species take up more space than I was willing to give them and they seemed to be bug magnets.

This plant will stay long after the Grandifloras are gone. It is a medium sized plant that shows the flowers well and has bloomed both years that I have had it.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vanilla buds

When I was watering in Sonoma yesterday I saw a Vanilla flower. More exciting was that there was a string of buds following it. That means that the fact that I didn't have the camera with me did not mean a missed opportunity. Even though Vanilla flowers last only one day there would be more chances to get a picture.

The problem for me was the location. The greenhouse is very tall and with the bench between me and the plant I wasn't going to get close at all. Then I thought to look at the other Vanilla plant.

Vanilla buds

This plant had died back two summers ago and was smaller. This plant also had buds which were only about 6 feet off the ground and located where I could get to them. Normally I would wait until I had the flower picture, but this is just too exciting to wait.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Cattleya Empress Bells

Cattleya Empress BellsThe collection that I maintain in Sonoma has some treasures such as this Cattleya Empress Bells I just discovered. I must have looked at it at some point but there were others that needed more urgent attention. This week it bloomed and that got me to take another look at it.

The tag said simply "Empress Bell" so I used the RHS Grex name search to verify the name and find more information about the plant. That gave me two possible crosses, 'Empress Belle' and 'Empress Bells'.

Since I had an open flower, I went to Google looking for pictures. That can be a bit unreliable, but I was able to find a good picture of Cattleya Empress Bells that matches the flower I have.

Cattleya Empress BellsNow it became interesting. This is not some random Cattleya hybrid, it was developed by Clint McDade and registered in 1952. It is Cattleya Bow Bells x Edithiae.

The pseudobulb with the flower was very dried out as was the whole plant. Normally I would wait until Lillian can enjoy the flower, but I thought I should not wait. Roll over the plant picture to see what I started with.

When I un-potted the plant I found that the plant had rescued itself. Like the whole collection it had gone through a period of neglect and over watering in 2008. All the roots from before were dead. Since it had been watered on a more proper schedule it had developed new roots. There were great roots from the single pseudobulb even though the pseudobulb itself looked terrible. I decided that it would be better to not have it try to support the whole plant so I trimmed it to two pseudobulbs. I am hoping that it will now plump and a new growth will start.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Barkeria spectabilis 'Bob Hoffman'

Barkeria spectabilis 'Bob Hoffman' - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI have had this Barkeria spectabilis for several years. I got it from a raffle table. It was almost down to a bare table and I got it because it was a species and the other choices were hybrids. No other reason. This was before I built the greenhouse.

Barkeria spectabilis 'Bob Hoffman' - Flower photo by Richard LindbergBarkeria spectabilis 'Bob Hoffman' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergBarkeria spectabilis grows in Southern Mexico, Guatemala and El Salvador on oak trees above 4000 feet. It is cool to warm growing, needs bright light with even brighter in winter and blooms in spring.

This plant has done much better since I moved it to Sonoma. Light and temperature are similar but the greenhouse is much dryer. In Napa it was growing algae (too close to the misters) and just hanging on. It has just bloomed with more flowers then ever.

I am going to keep trying with this plant. A well grown specimen plant is truly spectacular and well worth the space. This picture I took at the San Francisco Orchid Society show-and-tell is my inspiration.

Barkeria spectabilis specimen plant