Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tillandsia butzii bloom and a cool spider moves onto the deck

This Tillandsia finally bloomed, one flower at a time unfortunately. Maybe once it gets larger it'll be more exciting when it blooms?

Kind of boring, sorry. I'm growing Tillandsia more for the foliage than the bloom anyway. So while we're  waiting on some more things in bud to flower, there's this spider living out there on the deck now. It's a Gasteracantha cancriformis, or "Spiny Orb Weaver," native to the Southeast US.

Gasteracantha cancriformis from the back

The underside
Not venomous to humans or animals, she can stay as long as she wants. I'm hoping she'll help keep the creepers off the orchids to her left.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Nepenthes ventricosa seedlings: Update #1

These seeds were sewn on November 5th, 2012, and had begin to sprout around the end of the month. Traveling at the time, I can't say exactly when, but around 3-4 weeks until germination. I took these pictures around January 8th, so they are about a month old. Nepenthes start with the typical 2 embryonic1st leaves that most plants start with, then they grow what's called "proto-pitchers," those are the spiky immature looking pitchers you see below. Some are a little behind, but most at this point have made their 1st proto-ptchers so far

To read more about what I'm in for and how long we'll be waiting for some mature pitchers, Growing Nepenthes. It'll be a few years, so don't hold your breath for anything exciting yet.

I also didn't get great germination. I think I've got about 50 Nepenthes seedlings right now. As far as I know, they passed through a few hands before they got to me so they may have not been as fresh as they could've been. Or maybe shipping them late fall had an effect, maybe it was the move, but either way that's a fairly low  germination rate, (17%?) The seeds sewn in the peat/perlite had a much higher germination rate than the ones sewn in sphagnum moss, but the sphag got shifted at some point while moving so they may have gotten buried.

Not that I really mind that I don't have 300 tiny Nepenthes, as they were free and I still have too many at 50. Sensitivity is high right now and if I lose a few more on the way that's to be expected. One thing I do know is I'll be buying fresh seeds and trying this again at some point in the future. It's been fun watching them grow up so far.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Apologies for the temporary hiatus, will be back soon!

I haven't had an internet connection for a few weeks now. I'm using the 3G my phone gets to write this post as well as the Blogger app, which is only so slightly less than acceptable, that I'm still willing to use it. The good news is I will have internet and TV again by tomorrow, but just in time to work three 12's in a row. I have been reunited with a real camera (and my family, Hooray!) However, it'll be a few days before I have time to get out a real post.

In other news I did have the opportunity to go to an orchid society meeting, The Jacksonville Orchid Socitey I was never able to make one in NY in the past because they met on days I worked, or were too far to travel to. I'm going to have to join this society though, possibly the SAOS in St. Augustine as well. Being on orientation still at work I can't really pick my days, so next month I'll be working the night of Jacksonville's meeting, but will be off the night St. Augustine's society meets. So I'll go check out both before I join either and report back. I really enjoyed the JOS meeting though, some very friendly and helpful people, and I totally felt welcome despite being the youngest (or at least one of the youngest,) members there.

My Nepenthes ventricosa seedlings that I sprouted back in November have grown their 1st proto-pitchers, so I'll be sharing some pictures of their progress shortly. I'm also surprisingly still enjoying my Brassia Rex 'Tahoma' blooms, (which smell fantastic by the way, that orchid is a trooper,) and have my fingers crossed I'll have pictures of all the Phalaenopsis blooms too soon. The temperatures have been all over the place, but progress on their end is being made. I'm actually hoping that my Phalaenopsis stuartiana x self holds out another month before it blooms so I can take it to the next JOS meeting. A few people really made a point to encourage me to bring in my blooming orchids, so I will.

I never really had a chance to show off any orchids before to people that cared, (in real life anyway,) never really cared enough to bother either, but it was really cool to get to see everyone else's blooming orchids there. Even though orchids are judged, and even if I never win 1st, it feels like it would be fun to participate rather than it be a matter of pride or competition.

Anyway, to wrap this up, I'll be back shortly so don't unsubscribe yet! Next time with more pictures, but probably not less text! Here's a picture of Drosera spatulata 'Tamlin' with a neat double leaf it put out. Not terribly exciting, but I felt bad not putting any pictures into this post.