Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A Mix of Things

I love working nights, and I love working 12 hr. shifts. It's easiest for me to do three 12's in a row, but that means I don't get to see my plants for 3-4 days, as it's pretty much work, shower, sleep, and nothing else. I miss looking at my plants, and enjoying a cup of coffee out on the deck with them when I wake up. It is nice to see what's been going on now that I've got a few days off again.

Drosera sp. South Africa is going to be blooming for the 1st time, yay! Growing these from seed has been totally worth it. Drosera species typically only take about a year to grow to maturity, this species took more like 2 years, (that may have been my fault though.) At least now I can be 100% positive it is this is D. sp. "South Africa" , I always am a bit nervous about mix-ups as seed all looks the same. This species has the unique characteristic of the flower stalk splitting in two and one of the ends only having one flower, the flowers also have six petals instead of the usual five, can't wait to see. They aren't looking too dewy at the moment, it's been a little too dry and windy lately to have kept them out on the deck.

Drosera sp. South Africa
The Oncidium my husband got me for my birthday 2 years ago, is in spike again. I was under the impression that you had to stake Oncidium spikes to get them to stay upright so the flowers would open well. I didn't stake this spike, not that I ever stake spikes because in the immortal words of Sweet Brown, "Ain't nobody got time for that." I usually don't even notice them until it's a little late to start anyway. Maybe it's this particular hybrid that grows straight up without one, or maybe it's because it's potted a little off center and had tipped over. Can't repot it now, I'll just have to suffer the embarrassment of you all judging my bad potting job on this one.

Onc. Space Race 'Coco'
I did get lucky and had the right day off to go to the St. Augustine Orchid Society meeting this month. Dr. Ruben P. Sauleda, of Ruben In Orchids, was there to talk about breeding and flasking orchids, which was massively more interesting than I thought it would be. I also got to add to my Myrmecophila collection, which I was thrilled about as I cannot figure out why they are not more popular and why there are very few nurseries that have them available. I mean, I know they get large and have ridiculously long spikes, but come on, those flowers! I cannot be the only one who loves them.

Myrmecophila christinae
Now, if only I could figure out if my other two Myrmecophila are both M. tibicinis, or one or both is a albopurpurea. They look different, even as seedlings to me, but that's a whole other post.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Dendrobium spectabile: Awesome or Ugly?

If there's one thing I truly have enjoyed, growing plants over the years, it's time consuming botanical projects with little chance of success. Apparently Dendobium spectabile is it. Also, the flowers really couldn't look wackier. It's as if nature one day decided it really liked the look of an octopus and figured this orchid was a good place to replicate this look, making a monstrosity of a flower. I kind of need something like this, no?

I had gone to Lowe's for some pots when I decided to browse the indoor plant selection they carry here in Florida. I love see what kind of plant stock Lowe's and Home Depot carries now. It's pretty different from the selection NY gets, although just as terrible quality if left there more than a week. Just the fact that all these home improvement stores carry orchid specific supplies is pretty great, makes my life easier anyway.

Then there's the fact that I could come home with a banana plant, bird of paradise, or a citrus tree easily. I won't, though. I have less space here than I did in NY, (Isn't that a kick in the teeth?!?!) The weather is 10x better for growing most of the things I like to grow, but I found myself paring down the collection to give some away last week. It was severely disappointing that I couldn't take home the $12.98 Manihot esculenta 'Variegata' (variegated Tapioca) at Lowes yesterday. I just don't have the space to overwinter it indoors, it's supposed do fine outdoors in zone 10 and above, is zone 9a close enough? Probably not if I can't keep it in the ground.

There was a silver lining to the Tapioca Disappointment. A brand new shipment of those bag baby orchids from Better-Gro®/Sunbulb Co. Awwwww yeaaaaaa, out of all the common Cattleya and Oncidium hybrids.....Dendrobium spectabile! So I still didn't get out of there without spending $12.98 at the end of the day. I find that if you catch those shipments within the week they get there, those orchids are in decent-to-good shape. You always have to check the roots on these, so I ditched the old media, and repotted, (even though this is a bad time to repot this particular orchid, no new pseudobulbs throwing out fresh roots.) It had a surprisingly decent amount of good healthy roots, I should've taken a picture to capture the moment, (again, they must've just gotten a shipment in.)

Dendrobium spectabile from Lowe's (Better-Gro®/Sunbulb)

This species is reported to severely dislike repotting so I went with inorganic media (Hydroton) so I can wait until it outgrows the pot before I have to touch it again.

I previously had two recently deflasked Dendrobium spectabile 'Halcyon' x 'CAS' and babied them. This was a mistake. I lost one and figured the other wasn't far behind, so I put it in a terrarium and had a tendency to forget about it. It liked that. Since I've all but ignored my little seedling it's done better than it ever did. It's still tiny though, and has been growing slooooowly, so I'll be significantly older if I ever see it bloom.

Recently deflasked D. spectabile 'Halcyon' x 'CAS' seedling

As far as getting D. spectabile to bloom, the consensus seems to be stop fertilizing it in fall, and cut watering especially if it gets cold. So I'm adding this new one to my list of orchids I can practically ignore from Novermber through February. Dendrobium spectabile also has to get large, like a foot or three tall, before it blooms. Another complicated species orchid that people tend to have trouble with, a perfect addition!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Phalaenopsis Spiketacular Update

If you remember this post from last year: Phalaenopsis Spiketacular , the blooms have finally begun! No bud blast from the move.

NOID Mini Phalaenopsis with mottled leaves:

NOID Mini Phalaenopsis with solid purple blooms:

NOID Variegated Mini Phalaenopsis:

NOID "Medium" Phal, white flowers:

Not pictured: 

Phalaenopsis stuartina x sib. The spike is far behind all these mini phals. Hybrids are typically stronger and faster growers, this being my only species, that could explain it's lagging behind. 

Dtps. Kenneth Schubert, finally dropped it's last bud.

I'll put up some more pictures once everything has opened!