Monday, November 26, 2012

Pinguicula Growth Explosion and Another Flower

Pinguicula moranensis flowering again this year.

The last time I wrote about this plant it had went from 1 to 4 plants, now it's 6 plants that I can see. I haven't been able to get the leaves to turn that nice pink color they can, but that may be a seasonal change. It's in adequate lighting and seems happy otherwise, so I guess we'll see if it's more of a temperature thing than a lighting thing.

Since I repotted it, it's getting huge. I don't need 6 of the same Pings. If anyone in the US (I do not have permits to ship elsewhere, nor do I plan on getting them anytime soon, sorry,) would like one of these, Email me. I would prefer a trade if you also have something extra (carnivorous plant or not,) but if you are new to the carnivorous plant growing scene I'll send it to you for cost of shipping.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Off Topic: Some More Spider Friends

Took these pictures towards the end of fall. I'm not sure what type of spider this is, but you have to admit it is pretty:

Then we had another Orb Weaver, caught her hiding during the day, then it was real hard to try and get a picture of her later once she was on the move trying to build her web for the night:

While I was out there I took some picture of some other insects. It's amazing how much you can see if you just take the time to really look around you.

Is it a cricket?

I have no idea

And another.......BONUS SLUG:

That's probably the last of the cool spiders for the year. The influx of cellar spiders into the apartment as the temperature outside drops will be all I see for months to come.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Nepenthes ampullaria 'Lime Twist': The Arrival

This was the other birthday present I had mentioned that I had to wait, (wringing my hands,) for. I had seen pictures online of Borneo Exotics' 'Lime Twist' clone and loved it. I usually can't afford the latest and greatest releases from Nepenthes nurseries, (and I certainly would never ask someone else to buy me something expensive,) so I didn't think anymore about it.

I did check to see what my favorite vendor had up on his website a few weeks ago though, and there it was, (at a good price none the less!) I then had one of those moments when you debate your need for a particular item. My mom is a plant hoarder too, so she loves to give these kind of gifts as much as I like receiving them. I have to pick her out something really good for the upcoming holidays in return for this one.

So here it is, the package!

Awww yeaaaaa...

How it came packaged
Some tiny pitchers on it

The best part? It came with two growth points!

I always prefer getting plants bare root. I re-pot everything new right away anyway, plus it's safer for the plant to travel that way. Nepenthes are particular about their conditions and through some trial and error I know what works for mine here. I'd rather deal with the growth delay of the shock of a transplant and a move all at once. I've found it's just easier on everybody; the plant can go undisturbed for longer, gets potted ready for my growing conditions allowing for an easier adjustment, and I don't have to mess with it again for a long time.

A nice healthy root system

Re-potted. Although I trust this vendor, little ampullaria 'Lime Twist' will still be quarantined for about a week anyway. Then it goes into the lowland tank next to the other ampullaria (the 'Brunei Red' from last week's post,) so this one will have an impressive big brother or sister to inspire it to grow well. If nothing else I know it's a good spot in the tank for amps.


Tiny pitchers!
I know it's not much to look at yet, but when this one grows up a little, it will be stunning. The pitchers will have light lime green peristomes and  red bodies with harlequin type spots of darker and lighter reds.

You will very rarely see an online nursery or vendor recommendation in this blog. I don't usually have strong feelings about a place to bother for a few reasons. If they do their part of the transaction correctly your order should be processed in a timely manner,  the plants should be shipped fast, packed well, and arrive healthy. That's nothing to rave about, that's just what should be expected. I also will never put up a bad review because sometimes unexpected things happen and unless it's a total ripoff, I believe in second chances. Most importantly, I really don't want people coming after me about something I said when their experience turns out different.

That being said, here is the first (and hopefully not last?) time I actually do have something I feel confident enough to put out there. Par O Bek Orchids/ has been my go to place for Nepenthes, to the point where I really don't order from anywhere else anymore. Tony Paroubek takes better care of them for a better price than anywhere else. Highly recommended, skip the bigger/more famous carnivorous plant nurseries here that overcharge for smaller Nepenthes. I've consistently received better then expected service, Nepenthes, or both, with every order.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Woot! Birthday Gifts!

I know I said that if my Tillandsia bulbosa did well here that I'd probably look into getting some more. They're nice and wacky looking, plus small sized ones work well for the space issues of apartment growing. A super nice friend sent me this Tillandsia butzii for my birthday. So hooray, my collection has increased to two! Thank you again!

The whole plant

Flower spike!

What a cool pattern!

My husband had to import this CD for me, Black Sun Empire: Lights and Wires. For those that know me personally you know how much I listen to D&B and how much I love Black Sun Empire, so this is right up there on top of the list of things I really, really, like.

Last but not least, from my mom, (who clearly let me pick out this gift,) a Nepenthes I'm waiting on. It's a good one, I'll share when it gets here. I keep obsessively checking the USPS Track & Confirm website like a crazy person. I cannot handle the anticipation of a package coming in the mail. It's even worse when I can check on it for updates of every sort facility it comes into and leaves en route. I swear Track & Confirm is like a blessing and a curse because I want to know, but can't handle seeing a package get to my post office, but not be out for delivery yet. Or, even worse, it get sent to the wrong place and get rerouted like when I ordered my N. robcantleyi and it took an extra three days to get here. That was a rough one. That was back when robcantleyi was limited in numbers, tiny, and the most expensive plant I'd ever bought, (still is to this day.) Straight up fear was involved.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Ascocenda Thai Spot x Bangkhuntian Gold

Will someone please tell this Vandaceous orchid that it is mid November in New York, it really has no business blooming right now.

I really like yellow flowers, they cheer the place up. Although these are a little more plain than I wish this cross was, they're still really pretty. The color isn't as bright as when it bloomed last in late spring. There's been almost no sun for quite a few weeks now and it's hanging in a window that is colder this time of year than it probably likes too.

The whole plant:

I'm especially happy this one's doing well because I killed my last and only Vanda (a V. Manuvadee) last winter by somehow rotting it out. However, I got that one I killed for free, off a table of orchids that weren't doing so hot at one of J&L Orchid's events when I bought a bunch of other orchids. I wasn't so much upset it died, but disappointed because I thought that meant I couldn't grow Vandas here. The whole reason the orchid was free was because it already had crown rot, so maybe it's demise wasn't entirely my fault? This one seems OK here so far, just grows a little slower because we have a shorter growing season for them here. It's also very tolerant of dryer conditions inside in winter.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Nepenthes ampullaria 'Brunei Red' and some other Nep updates

Picture Day! Picture Day!

I got excited and took a lot of pictures in the Lowland terrarium today. Here's why:

Look at the size of that pitcher! That's what happens after you fertilize Nepenthes, a huge blast in growth. This is the biggest pitcher Nepenthes ampullaria 'Brunei Red' has made so far.

I've also got N. x Miranda, and N. 'Judith Finn' blooming next to each other

N. x Miranda flowers

N. 'Judith Finn' flowers
A large sized upper pitcher on N. x Miranda

Also, outside the terrarium Nepenthes talangensis putting out some pitchers on the two basal growths it made over the summer. This is good because at least it is adjusting quickly to having been moved back inside, hopefully the other highland Nepenthes will follow suit shortly.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Drosera sp. "South Africa"

These little sundews I grew from seed about a year and a half ago. There's not a lot of information out there about them, and there's some disagreement as to whether it's a species or possibly a form or hybrid of other species. The problem is the plant was distributed from a collector and has since been lost track of. The only reliable information I could find was that it's identified by a flower stalk that splits into two as it grows and the flowers have six petals instead of the usual five.

They were the slowest growing out all all the species I've grown from seed so far, but so worth it, whatever it is.

Below, my thumb for size reference. D. sp. "South Africa" stays small and won't get much bigger than they are now, so it's nicer to have a pot full of them than just one or two. These are in a standard 3" plastic grow pot.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Phalaenopsis Spiketacular

I don't know what's going on this year. None of my spring blooming orchids, and next to none of my summer blooming orchids flowered this year, but fall seems to be a whole different situation. All, let me repeat that, ALL of my Phalaenopsis are in spike or still blooming. I've never had this happen before.

So here's what I have to look forward to as we head into the cold weather:

1.) NOID medium Phalaenopsis. I call this one medium because it's not a mini Phal, but it's nowhere near large enough to be normal sized either. I've got two spikes on this one. This Phal blooms just like those huge white NOIDs you see at grocery stores and Home Depots, except on a much smaller scale. I've had this one for maybe 3 years and it hasn't ever bloomed here before.

The whole plant

Spike #1

Spike #2 and a keiki it made last year

2.) NOID Mini Phalaenopsis with mottled leaves. See older pictures of it and last years blooms here: NOID Mini Phalaenopsis, I wouldn't have bothered putting up last years pictures if I had thought it would re-bloom this year. As far as Phalaenopsis orchids go, I have mostly every other year bloomers, and never again bloomers, so this is new. Maybe I finally figured out how to keep Phalaenopsis consistently happy here.

Plant from the top

Still a small spike, but I can see it peeking

3.) Phalaenopsis stuartiana x sib. My only species Phal. :(

The whole plant

Close-up of the gorgeous leaf pattern

A tiny start of a spike.

4.) NOID Variegated Mini Phalaenopsis. This one's still got the spike from when I bought it, but I guess it decided to make a new spike anyway. I'm still not thrilled about these flowers, but thrilled that it's flowering, if that makes sense. You can see pictures from when I first got it in the beginning of August here: Finally Found a Variegated Phalaenopsis

On the right is the new leaf it's grown since I've had it.

Sorry, wouldn't focus so the pic is a little blurry, but is that a variegated spike?

5.) NOID Mini Phalaenopsis with solid purple blooms. I was just about to try and give this one away. I've got quite a few minis and I'd like to make room for species instead. It's a better gift in bloom anyway, so I still might if someone wants it. In fact, now that I think about it, this is another Phal I got years ago that hasn't bloomed in my care until now.

Sorry for the focus issues, my camera wasn't having it today

6.) Dtps. Kenneth Schubert is still flowering. One or two at a time, but we've been going since summer. Pictures from the start of this years flowering (July) here: Dtps. Kenneth Schubert

Spike's getting pretty long there...

Super difficult to try and get pictures of the bloom against a solid background with such a long spike.

So that's the entirety of my Phalaenopsis collection. If you like Phals, the next few months of this blog might be entertaining for you. If you hate them, you might want to not come back until the spring. However, I do have a couple other types of orchids getting prepared to bloom that I should be able to scatter in and keep orchid lovers entertained at least, (and the Nepenthes fans, I've always got pitchers going on.)