Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mediocalcar decoratum

I don't really need to be reminded that I am an orchid addict. It is all too plain. A few days ago I was at Napa Valley Orchids and bought an overflowing saucer of Mediocalcar decoratum. I don't have space for the plants I have and when I have to find indoor space in the fall I may be in trouble.

These are a group of cuttings in sphagnum over peanuts in 2 1/2-inch pastic pots.Mediocalcar decoratum grows in Papua and New Guinea in moist mountain forests. It is cold to cool growing and blooms in spring. The genus Mediocalcar (Medi) contains about 20 species from New Guinea.

It was growing happily in a fairly bright spot in an intermediate greenhouse. I got it home and found that this species is cold to cool growing. These do not do well in my greenhouse.

And just to make the problem worse, I made some divisions. I will find a place for then at the bottom of the greenhouse and try to get them growing. If they are ok after a month or two, I will try to sell them.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Laelia anceps backbulbs

Laelia anceps victoriana 'Santa Barbara Blue' - Flower photo by Richard LindbergOrchids in general are hardy, but Laelia anceps is right at the top. They are hard to kill and almost all backbulbs sprout. The backbulbs in the picture below are a great example of how strong they can be.

These backbulbs were cut in 2009 and immediately sprouted. That sprout grew, then a second pseudobulb developed in the 2010 growing season. This spring, I removed the original backbulb from several plants and taped a label to each. During the greenhouse spring cleaning, these two lost their tags. I set them aside and now I see that they are both sprouting.

Laelia anceps 'Mendenhall' AM/AOS - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThese are this month's free orchids. They are one of my varieties, so when they bloom they can be identified. But I don't want to wait that long. My best guess is that is is one of the two pictured, but I really don't know.

The rules are the same as always: You pay actual postage and it comes Priority Mail. (I'll let you know, but it will be around $6.) If you have not had a free orchid before, add a comment claiming it and them go to this page to get my direct email address so we can work out the details. "First time" restriction ends at 4pm PDT on Wednesday the 29th. After that time, anybody who wants it can have it. Continental US only please.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Bulbophyllum lobbii

Bulbophyllum lobbii backbulb starting to sprout

Bulbophyllum lobbii - Flower photo by Richard LindbergLast February I sent Lolly a Bulbophyllum lobbii backbulb for her to play with and learn from. She sent me an e-mail to let me know about it. (Bulbophyllum lobbii grows in Borneo, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines above 2000'. The species is warm to hot growing, fragrant and blooms in spring.)

I have exciting news. The Bulbophyllum Lobii backbulb you sent me has sprouted! It's not really even above the surrounding moss yet, but it's there!

Also, it's taken several months for me to finally make it to the local meeting of the Central East Texas Orchid Society. I went last Sunday and they were having a re-potting seminar. I came home with 4 new little orchid plants, and the courage to repot my dendrobium and phalaenopsis. The medium the phal was in was too old and it was staying too wet. After seeing the condition of the roots of the dendrobium, I'm glad I re-potted it.

I mentioned at the CETOS meeting that I had gotten a backbulb in the mail from you and they asked what it was and when I told them bulbophyllum lobii, they were quite impressed! There were some awfully pretty orchids there. I'm anxious to see some of their greenhouses and setups.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Podangis dactyloceras

Podangis dactyloceras - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI have had this Podangis dactyloceras for just under two years. I got it in August and it was in bloom. It was in sphagnum and I re-potted in rock because of how wet my greenhouse is. There were multiple small fans along with the large one.

Podangis dactyloceras - Plant photo by Richard LindbergPodangis dactyloceras grows in West Africa in evergreen rain forests often near rivers. They grow warm to hot in quite bright light and blooms all summer. It needs to dry out between watering.

I moved the plant to Sonoma for 2010 and it re-bloomed and grew. This year I moved it back to Napa. Somehow, one of the rocks blocked the drain hole and the water stayed in the pot. I looked at it yesterday afternoon and saw a pot full of water. I took the plant out and found that many of the roots were dead.

This plant is now a rescue. I have separated two fans and left the primary fan in this pot. I put it back in sphagnum.

07/10/2010 - Bloomed, Blog entry

08/02/2009 - Added to collection, Blog entry.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Oncidium onustum 'Bountiful'

Oncidium onustum 'Bountiful' pieces

Oncidium onustum 'Bountiful' - Flower photo by Richard LindbergNow that the open house is over I am trying to catch up on plant maintenance. One that won't wait longer is the Oncidium onustum that I talked about earlier this month. I don't want the new roots to develop very much so that they will have a chance to establish in the new media.

Oncidium onustum 'Bountiful' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergOncidium onustum grows from Mexico to Ecuador and Peru. It is warm to hot growing and needs a complete dry winter rest from after blooming until new growth starts. The flowers are very long lasting.

When I took the plant out of the pot I was at first disappointed in the roots. The oldest roots were dead. But really, the plant has done pretty well since it was re-potted two years ago.

I am going to mount the left two divisions and pot the two backbulb divisions in rock. I doubt that the mounts will bloom this year but it is possible.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Growing Area Update

Starting to hang plants in the growing area

I have started to hang plants in the new growing area. These are plants that will winter in this unheated area.

I have some plant summering here too. I have four stressed vandaceous plants from Sonoma that I will be able to water more than once a day. There are several Catts that will do very well here until the end of October.

There is room to hang quite a few plants. There are four sections that average seven feet by two feet with dowels spaced 9 inches apart. There is still some painting to do, but I plan to get that done in the next two weeks before I get a large number of plants hanging.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Cirrhopetalum roxburghii

Cirrhopetalum roxburghii - Flower photo by Richard LindbergIn 2008 I got a large Cirrhopetalum roxburghii plant. Cirrhopetalum roxburghii - Flower photo by Richard LindbergIt was growing every which way and there was no good way to divide it. I ended up breaking it into several small pieces that I potted in pea gravel.

Cirrhopetalum roxburghii grows in the Ghanges delta. It is warm to hot growing, low light, even watering and feeding throughout the year.

This piece is still in the same 2-inch pot. It has nine pseudobulbs with one growing over the edge. One interesting aspect of the flowers is the color. The spike that had the least light has a pretty purple tinge.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"As Easy as Growing African Violets"

A couple of years ago I decided to see if this saying applied to "backbulbs" as well as healthy plants, so I got four African violet leaves. I drilled a small hole in a clay saucer, added a layer of pea gravel and a layer of bark. I placed the leaves on the bark and added more bark.

Three of the leaves quickly sprouted but the fourth did not. After waiting a year I tried to figure out what was different. I suspected that it was that the stem was holding the leaf slightly above the bark, so I added more bark up under the leaf and put it back in the greenhouse.

The fourth leaf has now sprouted! I am as excited as if it were an orchid, which surprises me a little. I am going to leave the saucer in the greenhouse at least until they bloom. They are four different varieties and it ought to be a nice display to have all four in bloom. Looking at the leaf color, I have decided to put it in less light, I may be stressing the plants by having them in too bright a location.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I want this to be an orchid

Unknown flower growing wild - Flower photo by Richard LindbergWhile cleaning up for the open house I discovered this flower growing in my potting area. This is large L-shaped island with an old, broken and rusted grill. It used to have tiles all around the edges, but when they started to come loose, I simply removed them all.

That has been growing for awhile, I can see at least three old flowers. I can't see the plant, it is all behind the rusted metal. It would be so much fun if this were an orchid. It has a very orchid look to it. It is about 1/2 inch across so a little hard to really see. It seems to have three petals and three sepals, along with bi-lateral symmetry. I know there is more to being an orchid than that.

I have never had or seen an orchid like that. Still, there has been lots of loose orchid bark and other media and who knows what might have come it with another plant.

Any ideas about what this could be?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Greenhouse Open House Yesterday

Rhyncholaelia digbyana - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe new greenhouse at Napa Valley OrchidsMy open house was a big success. Quite a few came and I spent a nice 4 hours talking about orchids. Two even brought me gifts, one a blooming-sized Rhyncholaelia digbyana, the other a Raymond Burr cross.

Mine wasn't the only open house here in Napa. Debra Atwood at Napa Valley Orchids was showing off her new greenhouse. At the end of the day I went over to see it and I was quite impressed. She has more Angraecums and other monopodials such as Seideria, Neofenetia, Phalaenopsis, Tuberolabiums, Trichoglottis, Aerides and other vandaceous species. All four walls are covered in small mounts including many species you don't see offered much. And all of her plants seem to be loving their new home.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Howeara Lava Burst 'Puanani' AM/AOS

Howeara Lava Burst 'Puanani' AM/AOS - Flowers and Plant photo by Richard Lindberg

Howeara Lava Burst 'Puanani' AM/AOS - Flower photo by Richard LindbergHoweara Lava Burst 'Puanani' AM/AOS - Plant photo by Richard LindbergHoweara (Hwra) is the cross made from Leochilus x Oncidium x Rodriguezia.

This plant is mounted on a 6-inch branch with growing live roots trailing 20 inches down. There are three pseudobulbs with three spikes on the newest growth. Lava Burst is Howeara Mini-Primi x Rodriguezia lanceolata.

I have some plants in bloom but not as many as I would like considering that today is the open house. Thank goodness I have this plant to put on a show.