Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Nepenthes ventricosa from seed: 1 Year Update!

Happy Birthday, Nepthenthes ventricosa! This is the strongest seedling of the bunch, and one of the few I plan to keep.

N. ventricosa, Sewn November 5th 2012, Germinated last week of November 2012

What a little cutie, can't wait to see what they look like next year. Click for link to previous updates (with links back to the beginning):Nepenthes ventricosa from seed

Coming up: Nepenthes albomarginata red seedlings. Or at least that's what I hope they are. I got these from a less reputable source than the ventricosa, but they are coloring up red, just too early to tell if they are indeed albomarginata and not a hybrid.

N. albomarginata red, Sewn April 30th 2013, Germinated 1st week of June 2013

Still quite small, but germination was...oh I don't know, 90+%? I won't count them. I didn't expect such good germination, otherwise I would've gotten less and stratified better.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

I love Cattleya walkeriana

I picked up this Cattleya walkeriana semi-alba 'Carmela' as a bag baby at a local Lowe's. Yeah, there are gems to be found in those prepackaged orchids.

I know there's always a lot of discussion on forums about whether it's good or bad to buy orchids from grocery stores and home improvement centers. Every time it gets brought up people tend to fall on the side of them being great, or some turn up their noses because they're from a large scale production company. Sun-Bulb/Better-Gro is actually a very reputable company if you've read anything from or about the growers, or their operation. I watched this exact clone go for $50 on eBay a few weeks ago, there's another one on there now, $65. I got this one for $13 and change, blooming sized, straight off the truck, (no chance for the Lowe's employees to kill it or sit around long enough to acquire a scale infestation.) So go ahead and turn up your noses at this, I'll still go through the bag babies to see if there's anything good when I'm at Lowe's.

I had read that Cattleya walkeriana is considered a more difficult species than most to grow. Until I made a decision about how I wanted to try and grow mine, I just left it in the pot. I took the majority of decaying bark out, left the charcoal and Sponge Rock, then watered it every few days after reading that most people had lost theirs due to rot issues. It has been growing, but it wasn't until buds suddenly appeared from somewhere unexpected that I decided to look into Cattleya walkeriana a bit more.

C. walkerina buds
C. walkeriana is one of only two species of Cattleya that grows it's flower spikes from an independent growth coming from the base of a mature rhizome, not from the top of the pseudobulb. A new pseudobulb or a flower spike will start off looking exactly the same. Until either a leaf or buds grows out the top it's hard to tell which one it's going to be.

In this picture, the short/stubby growth in the middle was a previous bloom.
Here's a 2nd new growth, not sure if it will be another pseudobulb, or a flower spike yet

The whole orchid
It actually opened up it's flowers on my birthday of all days. I took it to a local orchid society meeting earlier this week and it actually placed 3rd in the Cattleya group judging. I was surprised, I almost didn't take it at all because the plant looks so beat up. Really, the group just has a great photographer who takes pictures of all the entries and I wanted a really nice photo of it on the internet. I am terrible at taking pictures. I was offered a copy of the photo, so I'll update with it, or link to the OS page because I have a hard time getting the color right on this bloom.

Once I start to see the fresh roots getting longer I'm going to try this one in a wood slat basket or maybe clay with a lot of holes and some bark, as I've had more than enough issues with rot this summer. Learning to grow in this heat and humidity has been a bit of an adjustment for me and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. If this species is rot prone in culture and instead of rotting it, I've got flowers. This is all the excuse I need to get some of the other good color variations. C. walkeriana is naturally a solid pink color, then there's the many beautiful semi-alba variations like 'Carmela', coerulea or "blue" colored flowers, perola (rose blushes on the petals or petals and sepals), aquinii (a peloric bloom, some coloration at the tips of the petals similar to the color of the lip), and flammea (petals that have coloration getting stronger/more saturated towards the edges) types as well. For more color variations and types than you can handle, check out this guy's website: C. Walkeriana

Friday, November 1, 2013

Some Carnivorous Plant Pictures

Hope you had a Happy Halloween all!

Nepenthes rafflesiana, Left: AG3 clone, Right:  EP (q) squat x var. alata seed grown.

Nepenthes globosa ("Viking"), finally making larger pitchers, but I read that until they hang over the side they won't make that "Viking" shape.

Some VFT 'B52' lunch

Sarracenia leucophylla 'Tarnok' looking better as fall approaches

Saturday, October 19, 2013

An Interesting Day Out in DeLand, FL

First, I really wish I brought my camera today, but I didn't so apologies for the iPhone pics.

Today I went with my mom to E.F.G. Orchids in DeLand, Florida, for "Orchtoberfest." Orchids for a mile and then German beer and bratwurst for lunch. Today was a good day.

Outside were some cute carnivorous plants, butterworts and Nepenthes.

A lizard trying to blend in and a donkey. I couldn't get a picture of the Emu, but they've got one of those too.

The front entrance to EFG

One of the vendors tents, can't remember the name but had some great hybrids

Another vendor had this orchid, appears to be Rssgls. Rawdon Jester 'Great Bee' from the tag/internet. A hybrid of Rossioglossum grande x williamsianum. I love it, a good hybrid should bring out a combo of the best of both species and this one nails it.

A Psychopsis hybrid my mom ended up buying

Paph. Pinocchio a cute sequential bloomer my mom picked up as well.

Inside E.F.G.'s greenhouse we saw this really cool idea...orchid mounted with a mousetrap!

A look down some of the isles

A huge wet wall down both sides. It is surprisingly chilly standing next to it.

Many of the orchids were mounted and looked super happy about it.

Some things in bloom

Nepenthes x 'Miranda'

Nepenthes x "Ventrata" wall down the left

Tons of cacti and succulents

I picked up a small Brassavola glauca from E.F.G. and a Cattleya intermedia fma. aquinii coerulea 'Hanada' AM/AOS x self from one of the other vendors. Pics some other time, nothing in bloom.

Then the day took an interesting twist. When someone says to you, "We have to stop at this one place on the way back!" I typically say sure, most usually glad I did. Somewhere right past the intersection of SR 40 and 17 is the wackiest place. Now this is the touristy Florida I remember, must have to get closer to Orlando/Disney World now a days to really get to see it anymore. Strange places made for tourists to shop are scattered all around Florida, but let me show you just how strange this one was.

Uh, I kind of really want this dinosaur in my yard. A little after this point, a small sign warns you to wear shoes due to the fire ants. I was in flip-flops, ants be damned, too many strange possibilities ahead to turn back now...

A pink rooster?

I also REALLY like these toucans. I know it's tacky, but I just can't help it. I love them and I want to hang one outside. There were thousands of these painted animals and pots, but the toucans are GREAT.

Also......gross...gator hands.

You see that toucan? Awesome, don't tell me it's not.

This place was also busy. It's saturday and a beautiful day so this place was packed with bikers.

Dinosaur or a knight anyone?

Is it a crayfish?

Suddenly, also patio furniture.

Need a flamingo or possibly Mary for your yard? FYI these are both about 6 feet tall.

Aw yeaaaa, more toucans.

There was also an iguana. Not for sale.

A skeleton dog?

Lets get real here. It wouldn't be a Florida roadside tourist shop without the following:

1.) Gator heads for sale

2.) Fruit for sale

Totally worth stopping and checking it out, just for the weird factor alone. Although I love orchid shopping, I do regret coming home toucan-less.