I am speaking twice in the coming weeks on (you guessed it) backbulbs. The first time will be at 2pm on Sunday, March 31, 3013 at the Sonoma County Orchid Society show and sale. The second time will be at the Central California Orchid Society's regular monthly meeting. While I am able to talk at length on this subject, I thought it would be nice to have live examples to go along with it.
This plant is a good example of the progression of the steps between a backbulb and a blooming plant. It is also a reminder that we are trading time for money. The plant may cost very little money but could take years to bloom.
On the far left is the original Cymbidium backbulb. It was potted two years ago after it sprouted. The new growth became the smaller leafless pseudobulb right in the center of the pot. All the plant's energy went into getting some roots established so that it could move on to the next growth cycle.
Last year the pseudobulb that formed was slightly larger and kept its leaves. It grew more roots and is beginning the 2013 growing season with two strong new growths. This plant will not bloom this year but has a chance to bloom in the next year or two.
I hope to meet you at one of these events. Introduce yourself. I will be sure that you have a free backbulb to take home to practice on.