Saturday, March 27, 2010

A couple more orchids

This is the "state of the orchidarium" today. I repotted both Dendrobium plants, slightly larger pot, ceramic with holes in the sides for drainage, after removing all original medium. One has what appears to be the start of 3 keikis. Interesting development. I also repotted one Phaelaepnopsis. At the "core" of the medium was sphagnum, surrounded by bark medium. The majority of the roots were rotted. We'll see if it survives. Now it's in an open-sided pot containing fresh bark-based medium. The bad roots were carefully removed. No water for a couple of weeks now.

The Oncidium back-bulbs that I collected last fall, have all sprouted now. The most recent was 1 week ago, about 1 cm of growth. In the hands of a total amateur(me), the ziplock-bag-with-sphagnum method works. It takes a lot of patience, but that's all.

I was looking at Cypripedium orchids, but at the cost not sure I can justify something so iffy. With the variable culture requirements, the tropicals are also iffy, but the reward of blooms during winter, and the long lasting flowers, give a better risk/benefit or cost/benefit profile for me.

I have wanted to add some Cattleya-type orchids, which are what I picture when I think "Orchid", despite knowing better. But Cattleyas are too large, and need too much sun, for my setting. With warmer weather, I can take a risk of a mail-orchid orchid, sitting outside for a few hours, when shipped, should be OK. The front of my house is not in the sun, so I don't think they'll cook, either.

These are from Hauserman Orchids.

"Vaughnara Sir Walter Raleigh 'Yellow Squirt' (Bc. Daffodil x Epi tampense alba) - yellow, Compact-Under 15" Tall 2.5" pot size, Summer Bloomer". Here is another pic of the Vaughnara.

"Potinara Free Spirit 'Eric' (Twenty Four Carat x Sc. Beaufort) - mini yellow, Winter bloomer Miniature-Under 12" Tall, 4" Pot Size on Special!" According to the "Miracle-Gro Complete Guide to Orchids", Potinara is "sympodial, compact, likes medium to bright, indirect light; mild nights, warm days, moderate humidity; let dry between waterings." The book goes on to state, "The growth habit and growing needs... are similar to those of other cattleya hybrids, but their sophronitis background makes them slightly smaller. Cylindrical pseudobulbs are topped with one or two succulent leaves." The 2 varieties that are listed are described as having easy culture but "Free Spirit" isn't listed in the reference.

Both varieties are yellow. One of these days I'll locate a green miniCattleya, or white, and add that as well.

Here is the Vaughnera, pictured on the Orchid Board. Vaughnera is Brassavola X Cattleya X Epidendrum.

Potinara is Brassavola x laelia x cattleya x sophronitis

The vast majority of locally available orchids are Phalaenopsis, or Oncidium hybrids, with some Paphiopedilum, Dendrobium, and Cypripedium hybrids thrown in. So far I haven't seen many miniCattleya hybrids, and the small number I've seen didn't appeal to me (shades of pink and purple, or splotchy flowers). With mail order, the options are more variable, although there's more risk in other ways - will they be what I order, will they be healthy, will they bloom? I imagine these will be small, and I don't know if they will bloom this year. It's all a gamble. I'll be happy if a few of the others rebloom this year, and if most of them grow and thrive.

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