Saturday, July 31, 2010

Free Orchid

This is a nice plant, one that would be for sale if I knew what it was exactly. I do know that this is the flower that goes with it.

I make it a policy to see a flower before selling a plant. This is not because I suspect the label but because of the normal variations in flowers. When I saw it and checked what it was supposed to look like I knew it was mislabeled.

I have two to give away. Both are on cork, about 4x6 inches. Since I will be sending them out on my birthday, the first plant will also get free shipping, the second $5.50 for shipping.

If you can give one a good home, post a comment then go here to get the email address to make shipping arrangement. Please use "Free orchid" as the subject or I may not see it. Cutoff is 8pm PDT today.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Alamania punicea

It was like Christmas in July when I opened this box.

I had sent off a couple of trade-quality orchids the week before and was expecting to get an Alamania punicea and a couple of others. Imagine my surprise when I found it chock full of botanical goodness. No newspaper filler, just plants. 22 plants in all, 23 including some very well-grown Spanish moss.

Not all of these are orchids but they are welcome all the same. I took pictures of each and am in the process of cataloging and attaching them to something to go into the greenhouse. If you want to see all the pictures, go here.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

African Violets

We have a couple of African violet plants in our kitchen. They are not as popular as they used to be. Many homes would have two or three in a window and one on the coffee table. I used to say that if you could grow African violets you could grow orchids. I don't say that any more since when I do say it, the person has not grown African violets.

I bought a orchid plant on eBay and was looking at what else the vendor had. One of the things was African violet leaves, African violet backbulbs. Combined shipping with the orchid I had already purchased made them affordable so I thought it would be interesting to try.

I have a clay saucer with a small drain hole. I put a layer of rocks, then the leaves, then a top dressing of small bark. All that went into the greenhouse and I waited.

The picture above is the result. Three out of the four have sprouted, I added a bit more bark to the fourth and I expect it will sprout now also.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Zygopetalum Redvale 'Fire Kiss'

Zygopetalum Redvale 'Fire Kiss' right out of the potThis wreck used to be a nice Zygopetalum Redvale 'Fire Kiss' plant. I made several major mistakes with it and ended up with this. There is no acceptable reason for me to let it get in this state.

The genus Zygopetalum (Z) contains 40 species are spread through Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia and Peru. They like a humid, semi-shady environment.

The immediate cause was the hot, bright environment I put in in. The first mistake was not breaking up a tight rootball before re-potting. If I can stop blushing, I will do a page on the website about this plant.

Zygopetalum Redvale 'Fire Kiss' after cleanupAfter I carefully trimmed the brown parts, I found that the plant was not giving up. There were four new growths, three of which had not been sunburned.

I hope I can get it back into good condition. The first thing I will do is go to the RHS and go up the list of parents until I can identify the component species. Both the immediate parents are also hybrids so I need to dig deeper. Once I have done that I will go to OrchidSpecies.com to get an idea of the habitat. What I know so far is that it was being grown well enough indoors but it didn't flower for the previous owner.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Cattleya forbesii

Cattleya forbesii - Photo by Richard LindbergI have two Cattleya forbesii plants with the same tag name. I hate it when that happens. If I have a flower picture with a plant it is almost always the flower from that particular plant or a division. Having more than one with exactly the same tag name makes that hard to handle.

Cattleya forbesii grows in Brazil near the coast and streams near the ocean. It is fragrant, cool to warm growing and blooms in the winter. It is best grown mounted and in bright light.


Cattleya forbesii - Plant photo by Richard LindbergSince I got the first piece from Dave at Cattleyaphilia, I am going to name that plant 'Dave'. It is ok to name your plants, it is done all the time. This is not an "official" name, just one I am using for record keeping.

Getting this plant from Dave sparked and interest in the orchid species of Brazil. Since then I have expanded my collection it that direction and have added a 'Brazil' page to the website. There is so much going on in Brazil that one could make a whole collection from just the one country.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Stanhopea embreei

When I got home from the retreat I was greeted by an amazing fragrance of Stanhopea embreei flowers. I had been watching the buds develop and I am happy that I only missed one day of these beautiful and interesting flowers. They will be open for about 5 days and then will be gone.

The genus Stanhopea (Stan) contains 55 species growing from Mexico, through Central America and South America. Stanhopea embreei grows in western Ecuador in shaded cloud forests. It is cold to warm growing, fragrant, and blooms in spring and early summer.

I got it at the raffle table at the San Francisco Orchid Society five years ago. I thought it was a seedling but it bloomed the first year and has bloomed every year since. This year there are only four flowers, fewer than last year. I believe it is because winter was dryer than usual in the greenhouse. It can be a challenge to get watering right for a variety of plants in different seasons.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Short road trip, back Sunday

Brassolaeliocattleya 'Sundance' - Photo by Richard Lindberg

I am off on a three-day retreat at the base of Mount Rose, Nevada. There will be silence and fellowship and possibly a little enlightenment from stepping away from life for a bit.

The weather is cooperating with the highs in the upper 70s and a guest waterer going over to Sonoma to give the mounts a drink. The Napa greenhouse will take care of itself. The orchids will be fine for a few days without me.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit' AM/AOS FCC/AOS

Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit' AM/AOS FCC/AOS - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe Sonama collection has some nice plants including a Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit' AM/AOS FCC/AOS. There were bugs and bug damage but I left it otherwise alone. After a couple of generations of clean pseudobulbs had grown I removed them and potted them separately. Two pseudobulbs is too small a division to take under normal division rules, but this is part of the rehabilitation effort and making the final plant nice to look at.

Cattleya percivaliana 'Summit' AM/AOS FCC/AOS backbulb divisionCattleya percivaliana 'Summit' AM/AOS FCC/AOS lead divisionCattleya percivaliana grows in Venezuela and Colombia in the mountains above 4000 feet near rivers. It is a large sized lithophytic plant out in the full sun. It is fragrant and blooms in the fall.

The four backbulbs went into a pot of rocks and sprouted in the spring. Now the roots on the sprout are mature enough I am going to separate the new growth and the pseudobulb next to it. I will pot that piece in bark and put the remaining portion back into rocks. Will it sprout again? Probably not, but there is a chance and this is a nice plant. It is worth a try.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Cirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris

Cirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI have had this Cirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris for a few months but I just now added it to the catalog. It was one of the plants on the raffle table when I had a winning ticket. If there is nothing I want for my collection on a table, I look for either blooming or big enough to divide. I picked it up and brought it home to wait for flowers so that I could take a picture.

Cirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris - Plant photo by Richard LindbergCirrhopetalum flabellum-veneris grows throughout southeast Asia on mossy rocks and trees. It is warm to hot growing and may bloom anytime in summer.

This species has been classified as both a Cirrhopetalum and a Bulbophylum. OrchidSpecies.com, normally my authority of choice, has it as a Bulbophylum. In this case, I will stubbornly follow MY rule on this. None of your fancy "science", if there is a fan, it is a Cirrhopetalum.

Now to divide it and mount it. I want to take advantage of the growing season to get the pieces firmly attached and possible get another flower picture with more flowers in the fan.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Dendrobium Maiden Charlotte

Dendrobium Maiden Charlotte - Flower photo by Richard LindbergInstead of a speaker, the SCOS had BINGO night. My one and only prize was this cute Dendrobium Maiden Charlotte. It is a primary hybrid of Dendrobium rhodostictum x Dendrobium aberrans.

Dendrobium Maiden Charlotte - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThe plant stands 8 inches above the pot and it is mature enough to make me think that It will not grow much larger. It is in bloom and has two new spikes. As you can see it appears to need repotting. I will decide about dividing once it is out of the pot.

Just from seeing it in the pot my first impression is that it will not divide well. All the pseudobulbs seem to radiate from the center and a division might be lop-sided.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self - Flower photo by Richard LindbergAbout two years ago I got a nice Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self. It did well and bloomed in the spring. I divided the plant and this is one of the divisions. It is trying hard to survive and grow but I keep killing the new growth.

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self - Flower photo by Richard LindbergCattleya 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.

Almost all orchids are most vulnerable at the point of now growth. They don't care for water standing in the new growth but most are not bothered most of the time. Cattleya bowringiana seems sensitive. I am pretty sure that sloppy watering is what has caused the three new growths to die. It is giving me another chance and I am going to watch carefully and water the medium only.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Brassavola nodosa

Brassavola nodosa - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThis Brassavola nodosa is blooming now and will all summer in the greenhouse. It is growing off the mount in all directions. Last year I took 3 cuttings off the edges. I don't want to divide it, just make it neat. Brassavola nodosa - Plant photo by Richard LindbergIt is just starting to bloom with other spikes already developing. I will wait until next month to take it for show and tell.

The genus Brassavola (B) contains 18 species which grow in all the tropical lowlands of the New World. They are fragrant, mostly at night with a citrus fragrance.

Brassavola nodosa grows just about anywhere in the Brassavola range that is wet and hot. It needs bright light and blooms spring and fall.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Miltonia (spectabulis x Jim MacKinney)

Miltonia (Spectabulis x Jim MacKinney) sprouted backbulbs

Miltonia (Spectabulis x Jim MacKinney) - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI never expect 100% sprouting so if a few turn brown and are discarded, I don't mind. But the yield of seven sprouts out of forty backbulbs means I did something wrong. When I harvest the next round of backbulbs from the large mounted mother plant, I will need to do something different.

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.

When I read about the spectabulis species I saw an emphasis on keeping it wet in the growing season. I had this batch in pots with a base of rock and a layer of fir bark. Next time I am going to use the tightly packed sphagnum that has worked well for me. I would like the yield to be 75%, about three times what I got this time.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Playing mounting catch-up

Laelia sincorana - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI was reading what Dave wrote in Cattleyaphilia about mounting a Cattleya walkeriana and I remembered that I had a few plants to mount. One of the reasons for the delay was that I didn't have mounts of the right size. I feel annoyed when I have to stop working with a plant and find the materials for making a mount so I often will put a piece I intend to mount in an empty pot.

Laelia sincorana - Plant photo by Richard LindbergI have what is probably a life-time supply of cork bark. I bought a bale on the basis of cost, individual pieces of cork bark are WAY too expensive. Anyway, I got a couple of pieces and broke them up into a manageable size. I attached a wire to them and hung them around one of my largest pots where I can see them.

Yesterday I mounted four sprouted backbulbs, a Laelia sincorana, two Cattleya walkeriana and a Cattleya forbesii. I am not quite caught up but I am getting there. When I need a mount, I probably have it already made.