Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cattleya maxima (alba 'Drago' x coerulea 'Hector' AM/AOS)

Nine plants in the compot separated

Cattleya maxima alba 'Drago' x maxila coerulea 'Hector' AM/AOS compotIn January I got this compot from Steve Christoffersen and it has been both in Napa and Sonoma. It was small and it got shoved around and seldom watered. Even so it has grown and today I decided to separate the plants and pot them individually in sphagnum and clay so that they can develop more through the rest of the summer.

Cattleya maxima grows in northern South America in coastal forests. It is fragrant, warm to hot growing and wants lots of light. It blooms in fall and winter and has long-lasting flowers.

I put each of the nine plants in a 2-inch clay pot. I put two foam peanuts in the bottom of each pot to take up about a third of the pot and leave a generous air space.

I put a sphagnum pad inside the roots and used more sphagnum to form a collar around the plant. I tried to keep excess sphagnum from sagging under the plant. I wanted to slip the collar with the seedling into the top of the pot without crushing the peanuts and reducing the space in the bottom of the pot.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Orchid Database

Cattleya walkerianaI had planned to write something about one of my Cattleya walkeriana divisions and I found that I didn't have pictures of it. The web page shows pictures of a Dendrochilum cobbianum. I checked my database, and sure enough the computer was doing exactly what I had told it to do. Computers are very trusting!

Cattleya walkeriana - Plant photo by Richard LindbergMy website contains pages of information on about 600 plants in my collection and another 600 pages of photos of orchids. All of this is quite up to date and is a pretty good representation of my collection.

The reason for this is my orchid database. All the information on any of the plant or picture pages is in there. When I change, for example, a species description, it finds all the pages and changes them for me. In this case I had put the wrong picture ID in the database. Then I did not check the resulting web page.

I want the website to be accurate. There is a saying from when I had a day job, "The task is not finished until the paperwork is done". Editorial checking is part of the process. When I get into a potting frenzy I sometimes forget that, causing myself lots of extra work later.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self - Plant photo by Richard Lindberg

Cattleya bowringiana coerulea 'Blue Angel' x self - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThere are some species that I have always had trouble with. Cattleya bowringiana is one. I have hardly been able to get a new growth to maturity. This plant is a good example of what is happening. The new growth starts off fine and seems to want to grow, but after it grows for awhile, it forms what looks like crown rot.

Cattleya 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.

There is a lot of water around the greenhouse. Do I have to move the plant to a dry area and carefully hand water, making sure never to get a drop on the new growth?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Cirrhopetalum Elizabeth Ann 'Buckleberry' FCC/AOS

Cirrhopetalum Elizabeth Ann 'Buckleberry' FCC/AOS - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI don't usually talk about the plants I have for sale, but I have mixed feelings about one of them. It is the mounted Cirrhopetalum Elizabeth Ann 'Buckleberry' FCC/AOS. I like it very much, but it is a second 'Buckleberry' plant and it is taking quite a lot of hanging space among the mounts.

Cirrhopetalum Elizabeth Ann 'Buckleberry' FCC/AOS - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThis is Cirrhopetalum longissimum x Cirrhopetalum rothschildianum. The plant is mounted on an 8x11-inch piece of cork bark. There are three mature pseudobulbs and two new growths. This is shaping up nicely and will not overgrow the cork for some time. It bloomed last year and I would be looking for two spikes this year.

Here it is almost August already and I am starting to think about the fall. The largest of the pots with the Laelia anceps will stay out through the winter, but I have a lot of plants outside. Quite a few of them will have to be back in the greenhouse by November first. So I am looking for space, making some tough calls.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Brassavola nodosa

Brassavola nodosa - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThis large Brassavola nodosa plant is in Napa right now summering here but is part of the Sonoma collection. It has started blooming and will have some flowers on it all summer. The plant was trimmed two years ago and I plan to do it again soon.

Brassavola nodosa - Plant photo by Richard LindbergBrassavola nodosa grows just about anywhere in the Brassavola range that is wet and hot. It needs bright light and blooms spring and fall. 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.

This plant is attached to a log, somewhat heavy. It seems to love growing that way. I have found a lighter alternative that combines being mounted with the convenience of having it sit on the bench. I have pieces in teak baskets with no medium at all and they are growing very well.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cattleya loddigesii 'Blue Sky' AM/AOS

Good looking root cage

This is a picture of the roots of a Cattleya loddigesii seedling that I am re-potting. All the medium (rocks) has been removed. What is left is a pot full (but not too full) of healthy roots.

Cattleya loddigesii grows in Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. It is fragrant, cool to warm growing and can grow in sunlight. The flowers are long lasting and blooming is in late summer.

filling the root cage with sphagnum is the first stepThis is one of five seedlings I got five years ago at a nursery going-out-of-business sale. They are finally getting some size and I am potting them in sphagnum over peanuts in clay.

This is as good a root cage as I've seen. There was almost no trimming needed. The only thing is to make sure that the sphagnum does not break the roots when it is added in the new pot. I do this by putting a generous pad of sphagnum inside the root ball.

I am optimistic about seeing flowers this year. There is great new growth and a sheath on the last pseudobulb.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Encyclia dickinsoniana

Encyclia dickinsoniana - Flower photo by Richard Lindberg

I have had this Encyclia dickinsoniana a short time. Justin left it with me when he downsized. I am happy to see it bloom so soon.

Encyclia dickinsoniana grows in Mexico down to Nicaragua in mountain forests at about 1000'. It is fragrant, warm to hot growing and blooms spring and summer.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Potinara Hawaiian Charisma 'Hilo Beauty'

Potinara Hawaiian Charisma 'Hilo Beauty'There were three plants in 6-inch teak baskets in the Sonoma collection. I planned to re-pot them last year, then I let the new growth get too well developed to do it. This year I divided and potted them. They all had good roots and for the most part, a routine process. But the basket was a bit of a challenge.

Potinara Hawaiian Charisma 'Hilo Beauty' a bit sun-bleached but growing strongOne of the plants was Potinara Hawaiian Charisma 'Hilo Beauty'. It was registered in 1999 by Carmela. It is the cross between Rhyncholaeliocattleya Hisako Akatsuka and Cattleya Memoria Robert Strait. Due to genus name changes it is more rightly called 'Rhyncholaeliocattleya' but I'm keeping it Potinara.

The key is to not try to save the basket. The roots could never have been pulled out without lots of damage because of the way they ran through the gaps in the wood. I cut through the side farthest from the new part of the plant. Then I removed the bottom slats.

Power tools to the rescue. Cut through the basket on the side farthest from the new growthI spread the sides apart being careful of the new growths. I watered the roots to get them more pliable and worked the roots away from the wood slowly and carefully. By hand only, no cuts on the plant. Just lots of water and slow inching the roots apart.

At this point all the medium is washed away and it becomes a routing dividing processAt this point it becomes a routine divide/re-pot. There are lots of healthy roots so it should take off. I made it into three divisions, two leads and all the rest a backbulb division.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Maxillaria tenuifolia

Maxillaria tenuifolia - Plant photo by Richard Lindberg

Maxillaria tenuifolia - Flower photo by Richard LindbergMaxillaria tenuifolia grows in Mexico and northern Central America. It is cool to hot growing and very fragrant. This species is easy to grow and very popular in both indoor and greenhouse collections.

This is my largest plant. It is in bloom now. I have been seeing flowers on my smaller plants for a month and will no doubt see more for another month. There is a variety of colors and strength of fragrance in the available plants. Each of my plants is different.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sphagnum Moss

I picked up my year's supply of sphagnum moss at the potting party last Saturday. The price was around $100. This always seems like a lot of money, but if I start adding up the retail cost of small packages until I get to 240 liters, it is a bargain.

Getting orchid supplies from our orchid society is a great convenience. Luckily, we have a member with the space to store the different things we use in potting orchids.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Brassolaelia Morning Glory x Laeliacattleya Love Knot

Brassolaelia Morning Glory x Laeliacattleya Love Knot - Flower photo by Richard LindbergBrassolaelia Morning Glory x Laeliacattleya Love Knot - Plant photo by Richard LindbergI have had this plant five years. It went through a bad root loss in 2007 with my other Catt plants when I didn't slow down the watering fast enough in the fall.

It came back and a couple of years ago I removed a lead and have that on eBay this week. I plan to re-pot as soon as the blooming is done and clean it up.

I took a flower picture this morning. I am happier with the color values, they are much closer.