Saturday, April 17, 2010

Oncidium plants from backbulbs

The 3 little plants in front of the larger one, are starts from backbulbs taken last summer. I used the "sphag & bag" technique, which involves no more than placing the severed backbulbs in a zip-lock bag containing moist (not soggy) sphagnum moss, and leaving it in a bright but not full-sun location. I had them on an East-facing windowsill.

As time passed, each sprouted new growth. Wide range of when this happened, from about a month to about 6 months. The fastest one came from 2 connected backbulbs, and was the youngest as well. I do admit to watering the psuedobulb itself with the "weakly weekly" diluted plant food that I feed the other orchids with, thinking that some of the minerals may be absorbed into the plant indirectly. This watering has occurred only since the pseudobulbs were removed from the sphanum ziplock bags. Each had almost no roots at the start.

Now they are all growing, and putting out roots as well as top growth. Fun project.

Close up of the parent plant. It did not bloom this year. What I thought was a flower spike, was a new pseudobulb. I may have given it too-good care. Certainly, the 2 most recent pseudobulbs are the largest, with the most leaves, compared to any prior ones. Maybe I should neglect it a bit more.

I enjoy watching the new roots sprout and work their way down into the bark mixture. Almost like they would in nature.

This appears to be an Oncidium, but who knows? From Wikimedia Commons here. Original from Source: Nordisk familjebok (1907), vol.7, Till art. Epifyter. So, it's about epiphytes. I like how it shows the plants in their original ecosystem.

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