Saturday, January 15, 2011

Orchids in January: Promises

A couple of hours with an ice pack on my back, and 600mg of ibuprofen, and I was up to walking around with the camera and looking at the "promises" of orchid blooms. They are gradual, but they always bring hope. A bit over one year ago, I didn't know if I could bring orchids into bloom, or if they would even survive. Now the windows are full of orchids, many with buds or spikes. Most are in South windows unless otherwise stated.

This Cymbidium continues to lengthen its spike. I try to be patient. Actually, there is no other choice! It's my first attempt at a Cymbidium, and I'm happy it's come this far. The flowers are brownish with magenta spotted lip, difficult for me to describe. If I've indexed it right, it can be found by clicking on the Cymbidium label.

As I was walking around taking photos, I noticed a new spike on this Burrageara Stefan Isler "Lava Flow". I am SO EXCITED! COOL! I was ready to give up hope for reblooming Oncidium alliance orchids. This one really grew nicely last year, several new pseudobulbs, a full specimen plant. I've been noticing the newer pseudobulbs swelling, and looked as recently as this week without seeing the any new spikes. I was starting to think about whether I wanted to keep it.

So like a proud parent with a camera, here is the spike! Did it grow from almost nothing to 3 inches overnight? Or did I just not notice it? Still quite some growth to happen before it blooms, but I think that the biggest hurdle is getting it to decide to make a spike. This is so cool!

Like the good child in the family, this Yamamoto Dendrobium Fancy Angel "Lycee" continues to behave and impress, without much encouragement, out performing everyone else and not getting a lot of credit for it because it is so reliable. Starting to spike again after a beautiful performance 2 months ago. A very reliable and beautiful flower.

This Trader Joe's Yamamoto Dendrobium "NOID Purple" (my name) is also a strong performer, but hasn't bloomed before this winter. Here we see new buds swelling. I also bloomed last winter and again during the summer. (Added later - I forgot I had decided this is Yamamoto Dendrobium Love Memory "Fizz". Looks just like it, and with that name I must have it.)

Here is the keiki that I started from above Trade Joe's Yamamoto Dendrobium "Purple", sharing a supplemental light source in the South window. The light is mainly there for the two Dendrobium phalaenopsis - type hybrids, that I suspect need more light in the winter. They are "Anching Lubag" and "Genting", for the record. Whether they will grow and rebloom is a question I hope is answered this year. The Yamamoto keiki, now a plant on it's own, is fattening up nicely and is maturing. It would be cool if it bloomed at a small size, but regardless, it's fun to have started an orchid plant "from the beginning".

Here is the Trader Joe's Epidendrum "NOID Red" (again, my name. Creative....) but it needs to be called something. These are said to be very easy, but you never know until you grow them yourself. It's making several new spikes on growth that happened in 2010 so it's another case of "I did it!" It's in a South window.

Iwanagaara Appleblossom "Fantasy" appears to have a nice spike on one of the new, larger-fatter pseudobulbs that grew last year. It's in a South window. I understand that these can give up while there is still a sheath, but have some hope. Holding it to the light, there appears to be a flower bud inside that sheath. Same is true for unpictured Potinara Achung Yoyo "Little Goldfish" which, if only because of the name, I would love to see it bloom.

A beautifully burgundy-leafed Phalenopsis (or is it Doritonopsis?) which has had a slowly growing flower spike for about 6 months. Inch by inch..... It's in a North window.

This rebloom-on-old-spike Phaenenopsis is another case of reliability to the point of taking for granted. Of course, I haven't had it bloom from a de novo new spike yet, but it's been in bloom for months and months. The photo doesn't do it justice, it's darker than the photo shows. It's in a West window.

Another Phalaenopsis about to rebloom on existing spikes. This one is white with pink polka-dots. Quite pretty. It also has a de novo spike. It's in a South window. In my area, even South windows are gloomy this time of year.


  1. Wonderful pictures. Hope your back is getting better. L.A.

  2. Thank you. It's just annoying now, not debilitating. I would rather be annoyed than debilitated.