Saturday, April 30, 2011

Miltonia (spectabulis x Jim MacKinney)

Miltonia (spectabulis x Jim MacKinney) - Flower photo by Richard LindbergLast year I took some cuttings from this plant and did some backbulb propogation. This effort had mixed success. The pieces with a new growth did well and the individual backbulbs mostly died.

Miltonia (spectabulis x Jim MacKinney) - Plant photo by Richard Lindberg

This plant really needs to be removed from the mount and divided. I am reluctant to do it because of the combination of lots of other plants needing attention and the renovation. However, if I don't do it soon I will have to wait another year. I really need all of the new root growth of each division to be in the new pot. If I don't do it this year, It will be ugly all year and not flower very much.

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The growing space renovation is progressing. Today's task is to work up a materials list with the guy doing the actual work. I will collect the material and do some painting. The construction will begin May 16 and be full-time until it is done, maybe 4 days work.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Laelia Canariensis 'Golden Glow' HCC/AOS

Laelia Canariensis is the primary hybrid Laelia anceps x Laelia harpophylla and was originally made in 1906 by Ingram. This plant from Steve Christoffersen is a division of the original awarded cultivar. I have had the plant about a year and a half and it has bloomed twice for me.

The rhizome is cut and the plastic tabs are in place.

Laelia Canariensis 'Golden Glow' HCC/AOS - Flower photo by Richard LindbergThe plant has two leads and both of them are at the edge of the pot and are starting new growth. I want to divide it. Since the rhizome is right at the top of the sphagnum moss, I can back-cut, leaving the plant in place without disturbing the roots.

I used a new razor blade and cut the rhizome carefully and as cleanly as possible. I inserted a piece of plastic tag to make sure it doesn't grow back together.

I have the best of dividing scenarios. I have three division that take up the same space as the original and none of the roots has been disturbed.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dendrobium lichenastrum

The other day I noticed that my Dendrobium lichenastrum was growing off the mount. I got it only a year and a half ago at the SCOS BBQ and this is the second time I have removed divisions at the edge of the mount. It likes my greenhouse where it is warm, bright and wet. It has a flower open most of the summer.

Dendrobium lichenastrum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergDendrobium lichenastrum - Plant photo by Richard LindbergDendrobium lichenastrum grows in north-eastern Australia at all elevations. It is fragrant and blooms in summer and fall. It is very small and forms a mat.

I have several pre-made cork mounts. Some of them are quite small but none small enough for this plant. I will make some very small ones on the order of an inch and a half wide. I want to get these divisions back into the greenhouse to keep the active growth going. I think this species would do well in a terrarium.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Justin visits the Greenhouse

One of the blog readers, Justin, along with his wife and baby visited me yesterday. They are semi-local and were on their way to San Francisco for the day. They got to see the chaos my greenhouse is going through with plants scattered everywhere.

He brought along a box of orchids. He is going to school and will not have room for his collection. In the future when he is ready, I will send some plants to get him started again. I gave him two small mounts to remind him that he is a orchidist. They are Laelia lundii that grows in Brazil on the coastal mountains. It is warm growing, fragrant and blooms winter and spring and Dendrobium lichenastrum that grows in north-eastern Australia at all elevations. It is fragrant and blooms in the fall. It is very small and forms a mat.

Justin's plants

He has not been collecting a long time but has the start of a quite sophisticated collection. The plants he gave me are mostly seedlings and all in very good condition. Encyclia naranjapatensis grows in Ecuador and Peru at 1000 to 4000 feet on the western slopes of the Andes. It is fragrant, warm to hot growing, needs bright light and blooms winter or spring. Pescatorea lalindei grows in the mountains of Santander Colombia. It is cool to warm growing, needs shade and blooms from spring into summer. Oeceoclades maculata is a terrestrial growing in Africa and also the Americas. It is cool to hot growing, needs bright light and blooms summer into fall. Dendrobium discolor grows in Queensland Australia and New Guinea on the coast. It is fragrant, warm to hot growing, needs bright light and blooms any time of the year. Give it a dry (but not completely dry) and very bright winter rest. Laelia tenebrosa grows in Brazil. It is fragrant, cool to hot growing, and blooms in early summer. Cattleya skinneri grows from southern Mexico to Costa Rica on tree trunks and rocks. It is fragrant, cool to hot growing in very bright light. It blooms in winter and spring. Dendrobium kingianum grows in eastern Australia. It is fragrant, needs bright light and a dry winter rest. It can be grown outdoors with Cymbidiums.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Oncidium splendidum 'Marty' x self

Oncidium splendidum 'Marty' x self - Flower photo by Richard LindbergLast year when the Oncidium splendidum plants bloomed I planned to change their position in the greenhouse to a brighter location. I totally forgot to do that and this plant is in bloom again. The other plant sent up a spike but after it was about 18 inches tall the buds blasted.

Oncidium splendidum picture taken last yearOncidium splendidum grows in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. It is a warm to hot growing lithophyte, needs bright light and blooms in spring and summer.

My plan for the two plants is to re-pot them into clay and sphagnum over rock. Both plants are at the edge of their baskets and have several pseudobulbs. I will wait for new growth and be as careful as possible with the existing roots. Mule ears have a reputation for being cranky and sulking for a year after re-potting.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Greenhouse tour last Saturday

Cymbidium growing area, sheltered but not heatedOn Saturday I went to an open greenhouse of one of my fellow members of the Sonoma County Orchid Society. They are a couple, both orchid people and both active in the society. They have two greenhouses and a Cymbidium growing area.

I took several pictures but none if them do the greenhouses justice. I was very impressed and see that I have a high standard for my open house in June.

I was very interested in the Cymbidium area because I will be building something very similar for my Mexican Laelias. We have a perfect temperature range for them but they need a dry winter so they can't be grown outside without shelter from the winter rain.

On one bench was a huge pile of Epidendrum calanthum keikis. This is a large terrestrial from northern South America. It is found in the mountains up to over 6500 feet, is cool to hot growing, needs bright light and blooms spring and summer. I grabbed 5 of them and barely reduced the pile. If you want one of them and have space for a large plant like that, the first 4 claiming one in comments. For this free orchid, you can have one even if you have had one before.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Excuse the dust, please

I have given up on having my own server and am moving to a commercial hosting service. The pictures and my email address will be available today probably. After that I can get back to thinking about orchids.

I am going to celebrate by giving away an orchid. Thank you for your patience.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Fiori D'Amore Closing

After 25 years in business, one of our local growers is liquidating. They have a wide variety but are mostly known for Cymbidiums.

I plan to go and see what they have. These liquidation sales really do have bargains and the plants are in better condition than private collections. I have to balance my love of a bargain against my space and budget restrictions.

I don't know the specifics as to why they are quitting. Sometimes it is because they were running on a thin margin and heating costs wiped that out. Or the lease ran out and the increase was too much to handle. Or just plain retirement.

Whatever the reason, it is a shame to have the ranks of specialty growers reduced. Those of us who are beyond the limited hybrid choices of Big Box rely on them.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sonoma County Orchid Society

The speaker at the SCOS was Gerardus Staal whose subject was "Orchid Pests and Diseases". I have seen this presentation before and it was a good refresher to see it again. I use his methods and they are effective.

I bought $10 in raffle tickets and came away with 3 plants, one of which will be added to the collection. The other two will be sold or given away.

The collection addition is Bulbophyllum rothschildianum. It is a species plant and grows in my temperature range.

I got a second Bulbothyllum, Purple Slippers 'Marion'. It is a very healty plant and a primary hybrid. I would keep it except that for the space problem.

The third plant was the last on the table. Again, a nice enough plant, but it is an Oncidium sphacelatum and both collections already have a bunch of these. I can't sell the extras I have because of the size of the plant and when potted, shipping is too much to be worth it.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Brassavola nodosa

Brassavola nodosa - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI mentioned before that I was going to catalog all backbulbs no matter how un-promising. This piece of Brassavola nodosa is a good example of why. I don't remember when I got it or how much it has grown since then.

Brassavola nodosa grows just about anywhere in the Brassavola range that is wet and hot. It needs bright light and blooms spring and fall. In Sonoma the plant blooms continuously through the season.

I trimmed this from the edge of the Sonoma collection plant. It has been sitting bare root in a large plastic basket most of the time. It is now a respectable plant that is starting the spring growth season with strong, actively growing roots.

It is now in a teak basket with no medium. It will be treated like a mount and it should do very well that way.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Barkeria spectabilis 'Bob Hoffman'

Barkeria spectabilis 'Bob Hoffman' - Flower photo by Richard LindbergI'm not sure that this Barkeria spectabilis is the plant in my collection I have had longest but it certainly one of the most interesting. I got it when Marni Turkel spoke at the Napa Valley Orchid Society meeting in 2004. She provided a raffle table full of orchids I had never seen before.

Barkeria 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. Barkeria spectabilis 'Bob Hoffman' - Plant photo by Richard LindbergThe genus Barkeria (Bark) contains fewer than 20 species growing in Central America. All need a bright and dry winter rest.

It has had a rough time of it, first indoors then in the greenhouse. I have moved it around looking for the right spot. I thought I had killed it a couple of times but it has always come back in spring. Not well, but enough to keep me trying.

It has come through the winter looking the best it has ever looked. There is a new growth starting, possibly more than one, and plenty of healthy roots.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Dendrobium parishii hybrid '#1'

Dendrobium parishii hybrid '#1'This plant is part of the Sonoma collection. It did not have a readable tag (written in ink instead of pencil) so I had no idea what it was beyond some kind of Dendrobium until it flowered last year. I see the D parishii influence but not the fringed lip.

The plant has grown over the past yearDendrobium parishii grows in Southeast Asia. It is cool to warm growing and fragrant. Blooms on old canes in the spring after a dry winter rest period.

This plant was down potted two years ago and has been growing. The pop-up picture was taken 16 months ago when it first flowered. It needs to be staked but otherwise I will not disturb it.

Next year there should be even more flowers if I can give it a real dry winter rest period. It is hard to not water plants even if it is the right thing to do.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Dendrobium kingianum

My largest Dendrobium kingianum is not blooming. It is big, overflowing an 18-inch pot. I believe it is not blooming because it spent the winter with the Cymbidiums in Sonoma, not well protected from the rain.

Dendrobium kingianum - Plant photo by Richard Lindberg

Dendrobium kingianum - Flower photo by Richard LindbergDendrobium kingianum grows in eastern Australia. It is fragrant, needs bright light and a dry winter rest. This is one of the plants that will go into the new covered growing area with the Mexican Laelias.

One of the other plantsBesides this large plant I have two reasonable sized divisions from my original collection plant and both of these are in bloom. They were in the greenhouse and had at least a mild dry period. In addition, being potted in rock meant that any water not grabbed by the roots ran off.