Thursday, October 14, 2010

More buds on orchid plants

So often, it's difficult to find a photo or reference telling us "what is this growth on my orchid" or giving us an idea of "how long from this bud to an actual flower". Which is why I photographed these early buds. I don't know how long it will take either, but I feel certain these are flower buds and not new growths.

This Cymbidium hybrid (brown flowered, shown in posts earlier this year) has been in full sun, outdoors, from early summer to now. I've quit fertilizing, and quit watering unless it looks completely dry. I feel certain the two bottom growths are flower buds - the new growths that result in leaves are green, while these buds are deep maroon. They've been present about one month and are very slowly growing. I think they'll be blooming in a few more months, but not having grown them before I'm not sure. The plant will have to come inside before actual frosts, but not until then.

This Phalaenopsis hybrid is producing a new growth as well. The point of confusion for Phalaeonpsis would be with new roots. However, the roots look like little green and white worms, and point downwards. They seem to originate more on the side, as opposed to just within a leaf node. This growth is pointing upwards, seems to have a sheath structure similar to those seen on the old, dried flower stems, and doesn't have the downy vellum of a root. Again, I don't know how long to a flower. I'll have to post when it actually blooms - probably in 2 or 3 months. Meanwhile, I continue fertilizing weakly weekly, 1/4 teaspoon of "Growmore Bloom Formula", 6-30-30. The instructions state 1 teaspoon per gallon, but I'm using the 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of rain water method, which is the designation "weakly weekly". One thing I noted, this fertilizer does not contain magnesium (It has manganese which is an entirely different mineral). I've read that orchids do require magnesium, and therefore benefit from occasional dose of Epsom Salts. Not sure if that's true, and they seem to be doing quite well without it, but maybe I'll add a 1/4 teaspoon of Epsom salts per gallon to the next watering. This plant's leaves have a burgundy hue, which could mean too much light, but I think that's just this plant's coloration. I like these dark colored leaves. Some others in the same, North, window, are a grassy green.

These are the current outdoor orchids, except the Cymbidium above. These are in full sun, south side of house, and just being watered with rainwater, rarely adding some "bloom food" but usually just rain water. These are Yamamoto dendrobiums, and this is as close as I can come to their instructions for fall care. Giving water and fertilizer is said to encourage growths (keikis) and discourage actual flower buds. The plant in the greenish pot has 3 keikis, and had one earlier this summer that I removed and started as a new plant, but that's all. They may shrivel and the leaves may turn brown and fall, that's considered normal. I takes self discipline not to water them more, and when looking very dry I do give some water.
In addition, there are two young Oncidium (probably variety "Gower Ramsey") plants grown last year from backbulbs. One has a second growth/pseudobulb sprouting off the side. These are quite vigorous and fast growing, for an orchid, but I cant seem to get them to bloom. This is my attempt to simulate their unknown native conditions and encourage bloom. These Oncidiums may be too young to bloom, or this may not be the correct condition, but it's worth a try.

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