Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lc Marl's Song 'CMT217' HCC/AOS x Slc Circle of Life 'Artistry'

Lc Marl's Song 'CMT217' HCC/AOS x Slc Circle of Life 'Artistry'This is the first time this little plant has bloomed since I started taking care of the collection. The flower is pretty in color but very cupped. I am not one of those who insists that flowers be flat, but this is a little too much closed in my opinion.

Lc Marl's Song 'CMT217' HCC/AOS x Slc Circle of Life 'Artistry' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergPart of the problem may be cultural. The spike is very short, barely allowing the flower to show out of the fold of the leaf. We have had a very bright, very hot greenhouse this year.

Both of these conditions were my doing. The bright was that I opted not to put up the shade cloth over the entire greenhouse but used panels over specific areas. The hot was that I did not catch that the air conditioners were not coming on as a backup to the under-bench misters and vent fans.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Laelia lundii

Laelia lundii division- Plant photo by Richard Lindberg

Laelia lundii - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe first of the auction plants to be divided is the Laelia lundii mount. It was not firmly attached to the mount because there had been a lot of sphagnum and it seemed the plant in most need of attention.

Laelia lundii - Plant photo by Richard LindbergLaelia lundii grows in Brazil on the coastal mountains. It is warm growing, fragrant and blooms winter and spring.

The plant came apart into 6 lead pieces very easily. The overall health of the plant is good considering how few roots there are. I want to get these mounted so any root growth will be against the cork and will attach right away. I am not sure that there will be a lot of growth now but when it does start in spring I won't have to worry about it.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Laelia perrinii

Laelia perrinii - Flower photo by Richard LindbergLaelia perrinii - Plant photo by Richard LindbergMy Laelia perrinii plant is in bloom. It was badly injured when I didn't cut back the watering quickly enough one year.

Laelia perrinii grows in Brazil and needs bright light. It is cool to warm growing and blooms from late summer into winter.

Since the plant was potted in rocks I thought I was protected from over watering. Rocks don't hold water, do they? It turns out that the DO hold water, and most important, keep the roots from getting dry. I lost a lot of roots that winter.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Orchid BBQ and auction (cont)

As the saying goes, a good time was had by all. The 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. event was fun and a chance to socialize. And I love our host's greenhouse. It is the same size as mine and yet ever so much more attractive.

There was a silent auction, lunch and a live auction. There were lots of plants and some wine-related items (we ARE wine-country after all) to bid on. I know I bid like crazy, but since I only brought a little money, I tried to stop before letting emotion kick in too much. Even so, I won 12 plants for a total of $93. Roll-over flower are examples, none are in bloom.

Laelia autumnalis Mounted, five pseudobulbs, actively growing roots

Laelia lundii Mounted, about 30 pseudobulbs with about a half dozen leads and actively growing roots

Miltonia spectabulis var virginalis 'Frosted Pearl' HCC/AOS Mounted, 20 pseudobulbs with three leads

Ornithophora radicans Mounted, 6 pseudobulbs in spike

Epicattleya Rene Marquez 'Flame Thrower' HCC/AOS Four canes with a nice new growth

Dendrobium Roy Tokunaga x Silver Wings Nine canes, two leads with new growth just starting

Slc Hazel Boyd 'Apricot Glow' HCC/AOS • Fifteen pseudobulbs, two leads with new growth

Epidendrum rousseauae • Twenty pseudobulbs, crowded in pot

Bulbophyllum guttulatum • At least thirty pseudobulbs, 3-5 leads and new growth going over the edge

•   Bulbophyllum lasiochilum A shallow 6x8-inch tray full, new growth

•   Bulbophyllum lobbii A shallow 6x8-inch tray with about 25 pseudobulbs, new growth

•   Laelia albida Five pseudobulbs, poor roots

These outside-of-meetings events are the best part of being an orchid society member.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Orchid BBQ and auction

There is more to an orchid society than the monthly meetings. Extra events such as bus trips and potting parties give members a chance to know one another better. One of our society's events is our annual BBQ and auction. That's where I will be this afternoon. For more information read our newsletter.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lycaste aromatica

Lycaste aromatica - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI have four Lycaste aromatica plants, three in Sonoma and one in Napa. They are all in bark and I don't keep much in bark in Napa because the greenhouse is very wet. This plant ended up in Napa by accident. I had brought it to Napa to take flower pictures and forgot to take it back to Sonoma.

Lycaste aromatica - Plant photo by Richard LindbergLycaste aromatica grows in Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras, fragrant with a scent of cinnamon. It is cool to warm growing and is found along rivers in oak forests.

I was wrong about the right growing environment for this species. This "over-watered" plant is doing much better than the plants in Sonoma. The question now is what do I do with the Sonoma plants? Do I bring them to Napa for the last month of the growing season? Napa is already on reduced watering moving toward winter. My sense is that I should leave them alone for the rest of this year, then bring them to Napa for the next growing season.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Orchid Road Trip

I am planning a short road trip to San Diego the first weekend of November. I will be going south on 5, then 210, then 15 on Friday the 5th. The return route is 5, then 101 on Monday the 8th. If you are anywhere near one of those routes I'd like to meet you and see your orchids.

Get my email address from here. Be sure to use "orchid" somewhere in the subject.

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Potting seedlings

Steve gave me some instruction on potting my seedlings. I can't guarantee that this is what he said, but here is what I remember hearing.

• Leave the flask sealed until you are ready to go. Fungus will move right in if given the chance.

• Wash the agar out over a strainer using tepid water. That will keep the drain from being clogged and will catch any plants that fall out. Put them in a Physan bath then on a paper towel pad. They can stay this way a few hours but don't wait too long to pot.

• Put a pad of sphagnum in your hand, then a seedling. Add sphagnum and seedling alternately so that there is sphagnum between each of the seedlings. I put five large plants in a 2-inch pot, more smaller ones. Be sure that they don't end up too deep. The roots should be in the sphagnum, not the top of the plant.

• Group and cover the plants to keep the light level low and the humidity high. Don't let them dry and use an insecticide like Bayer 3-in-one. Bugs you didn't know you had will find them.

• Some die-back will happen. When it starts, don't just accept it as normal, recheck your conditions. As time goes by they will adjust to your growing conditions and be treated more like the other plants.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Laelia anceps 'Barkeriana' x 'Jerry Boyd'

Laelia anceps Barkeriana/Jerry Boyd flask contents

I went on a field trip to visit Steve Christoffersen and to pick up a flask of Laelia anceps 'Barkeriana' x 'Jerry Boyd'. Laelia anceps Barkeriana/Jerry Boyd orchid plant flaskHe has these flasks for sale on eBay and I think they will be outstanding when they bloom.

This is only the second flask I have ever tried. I have only one plant still living from that first flask. But that was 5 years ago and I have learned a lot in that time.

I have lots of Laelia anceps and I don't need a bunch more. It is more about getting experience with a flask of plants I know how to grow once they get established and will be good quality plants when they bloom. There are close to double the 35 plants promised.

I was ready to start making the community pots so Steve washed out the agar and gave them a pysan bath. He gave me some pointers on the potting and getting the acclimated to being out of the flask.

Five larger seedlings and a couple of the very tiny ones on the edgeSteve has 6 of these flasks still available. You couldn't find a better and more healthy starting flask if you want to experiment. The listing shows both of the parents. "Two beautiful and richly colored field collected Laelia anceps sibed here should produce much of the same dark vigorous offspring. The pod parent here is a very famous and historic cultivar, while the Jerry Boyd parent is a more recent exciting discovery."

So far they are taking minimal space but next year some of them will need to be individually potted and will still need more care than an adult plant. There will be some loss but I am committed to try to get as many as possible to NBS.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Myrmecophila tibicinis 'H&R' x 'Jean'

My Myrmecophila tibicinis backbulb division is sprouting

I got a nice backbulb division of Myrmecophila tibicinis in July of last year as part of a trade. I potted it in a large wood basket with large cork chunks as medium. Myrmecophila tibicinis 'H&R' x 'Jean' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThis picture was taken soon after I got it. Not a whole lot has changed since then until this month.

The genus Myrmecophila contains 8 species that are a subset of Schomburgkia and were separated because of the hollow pseudobulbs. They are found in tropical areas of the new world.

Myrmecophila tibicinis grows from Mexico through northern South America. It is warm to hot growing, wants full sun and is fragrant. The plant is big and the spike can be as much as 15 feet long. Luckily, I have room for a plant that size in Sonoma.

Myrmecophila tibicinis 'H&R' x 'Jean' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThe division had an eye that looked as if it might start growing right away. There was a start made, with some new root growth, but nothing really happened. I was not discouraged, backbulbs often take a long time to to decide to start.

The plan is to winter the plant in Napa. The greenhouse is 15 degrees warmer and I can hand water it. If a spike develops it will be in January and I can move it back to Sonoma when space becomes a problem.

I am kind of excited by the possibility of a 15-foot spike. It would be nice if the flowers were long-lasting, but the Schomburgkia Paul Storm in the collection doesn't last very long. And I would have to rent a U-Haul to take it to the orchid society meeting.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

New thermostat

I heat my greenhouse with a Southern Burner. I use the vented, natural gas model and after I figured out where the drafts were flowing around the base, it has operated flawlessly.

The battery on the thermostat has not been changed and that was on the schedule for the end of the month. But in the last few days the heater has been on when it shouldn't. It turns out that the thermostat had stopped operating. Today I replaced it.

The thermostat needs to have some air flow but never get sun or water on it. I solved that problem by building a box around it with an open bottom and located on the opposite side of the greenhouse.

Now I will need to monitor the temperature closely. I am pretty sure I hooked it up right but it will need some fine tuning to get the temperature back to 63 as a base since this is now a warm greenhouse.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Miltonia spectabilis var moreliana

Miltonia spectabilis var moreliana - Plant photo by Richard Lindberg

Miltonia spectabilis var moreliana - Flower photo by Richard LindbergMiltonia spectabilis grows well in cultivation and very often generates two leads off of each pseudobulb. It is a great plant to produce a specimen plant. That's what I am trying for here. I was expecting a little more "wow" this year but I am not feeling it. The over-heating earlier in the year is a factor but even so there should be more going on.

Miltonia spectabilis grows in Brazil. It is cool to hot growing. Light level should be high and it should be a pale green. Blooms in summer and fall.

I will grow it this way for one more year then take it apart and do something else with it.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Free orchid, probably an Slc

It has been a few weeks since the last free orchid. When I saw this flower I knew instantly that this was the plant for September.

I have had this five years and have always treated it as a second class citizen because it had no name and is a hybrid. It is in the original pot and has barely made it in the spot off to the side where it has been sitting. The odd angle of the flower is because of where the light is located. Next year, in a good home, re-potted and fed, it will be great.

I have named the flower but it really has no name. It is probably an Slc so is a good indoor choice. It is 14 inches tall. I will try hard to pack it to get the flower to you but no guarantees on that. If you can give it the love it deserves, e-mail me.

Terms are the same as usual. You pay $5.50 shipping and have not had one of my free plants before. Post a comment saying you want it then follow this link to get my e-mail address and use "FREE ORCHID" as the subject so I can find it. Offer expires after 8pm PDT today.