Sunday, December 28, 2014

Better-Gro Bagged Orchids No Longer Sold At Lowes :(

Have I mentioned lately how much I love Florida? Seriously, it is the best for finding cool things in at regular, seemingly run of the mill garden centers. Many of this year's hauls came from Lowe's or The Home Depot. Unfortunately, I just read on Better-Gro's Facebook page, that Lowe's went with a different supplier for orchids and they won't be carrying Better-Gro bagged orchids anymore.

Although Better-Gro says they are working on "expanding their relationship" with Home Depot instead, I have only seen them show up in one store here that I haven't seen these orchids carried in the past. I'm kind of more upset than I thought I'd be about this. We went from an abundant supply of cool orchids all the time, to 2 Home Depots in the area carrying them. Sucks big time, and that's the nicest way I'll put that.

Cat inspection of a Lowe's haul at the old apartment

The following are Better-Gro orchids purchased this year only, well below average of my typical year's purchases of these orchids as I think the hiatus I took was the entire summer through fall, about 6 months? I'll apologize in advance, as the photos on this post have no theme, and some of them just aren't any good. I didn't take pictures specifically with this post in mind at the time so some are also iPhone photos. I just wanted to show you why I'm disappointed these won't be available at Lowe's anymore.

This "Bag Baby" orchid is C. Caribbean x lawrenceana. I couldn't find a single picture of the bloom on the internet, but it sounds like it might be a cool flower. It is an H&R cross, so maybe I'll email them for a picture to see if this is something I'm willing to grow out. I'm hoping the flower has that lawrenceana shape to it, but if nothing else we'll be surprised.

C. Caribbean x lawrenceana bagged Better-Gro orchid
This year I also picked up Myrmecophila tibicinis. Please excuse the Monster can. The photo was taken with something a friend would recognize for scale (LOL.) An entirely different purpose than showing it off here.

Myrmecophila (Schomburgkia) tibicinis

I'm also trying to rescue this Oncidium ampliatum. It looks like it had been sitting around a while, it's dehydrated. New roots are starting and it should recover nicely. I'll have a better picture of it in 2015.

Oncidium ampliatum
Encyclia steinbachii below (mislabeled steinbachiana, because it probably originally came from H&R and that's what they mislabel it as?) was in bad shape too, but it's turning around quick. Look at all them roots!

Encyclia steinbachii
Encyclia guadalupeae, in new-shipment-great-shape. Got this one 2 days ago at The Home Depot that just started carrying Better-Gro bagged orchids. HOORAY for this Home Depot!

Encyclia guadalupeae

I especially couldn't resist these species orchids for so cheap. These are all really great species, purchased for about $12.98 depending on the tax in the area I bought them.

Lately we've been making many, many, trips to Lowe's. There's one fairly close to to our new home, and we're re-painting, re-landscaping, and re-whatever-else needs-work here. People tell me that never stops when you own a home, so I guess Lowe's will be losing out on my money this coming year. I tend to agree to run errands to pick stuff up for the house under the guise of being helpful, but in reality I don't pass up an excuse to go see if they have any new bagged orchids. Oh well.

And yes, I realize with the internet and all of Florida's orchid shows, there is almost any orchid I want ever, shipped to my door, pretty much whenever. It just isn't the same as digging through the bags in the display at a local store. It's like a treasure hunt for adults, sorting through for cool species or hybrids to take home that day, in hand, for super cheap so there isn't even any guilt that I've spent too much of our money on plants again.

Edit: Update 2016. Occasionally I see these at Lowe's. With far less stock and far less frequency, so maybe it turned out to be a cut back, who knows. Still disappointed it's mostly unlabeled generic Phals, and the occasional unlabeled Vanda 90% of the time anymore :(

Friday, December 19, 2014

Some Fall Blooming Orchids & An Update

Sorry for the lack of new content guys. Thanks to everyone who emailed to check in, you all are some of my favorite people. Still alive, still have the majority of my plants. We've been busy, like buying a house and moving again busy. That stuff I'll get to, after some flowers for those that just like the pretty pictures here.

It was a bit too warm for my Cattleya walkeriana fma. flamea 'Tokutsu-S' to bloom correctly. The flares on the petals should be much more pronounced, but apparently those that say it should be cool out for this one to bloom true, are correct. I'm sharing it anyway because I'm still happy it bloomed, maybe next year it'll wait for cooler temps. The scent it puts off stinks like that one lady who put on too much perfume then got into an elevator with you in the morning.

Cattleya walkeriana fma. flamea 'Tokutsu-S', close up of one flower

Cattleya walkeriana fma. flamea 'Tokutsu-S'

Another bloomer is Dendrobium moniliforme 'Himeginsetsu', a cute little variegated Dendrobium.

Dendrobium moniliforme 'Himeginsetsu'

Dendrobium moniliforme 'Himeginsetsu' flower close up

Well, the good news is we now own a house, with a nice sized backyard. I got my 150 gal. terrarium back out of storage, have the grow tent, and our house has a "Florida Room" with removable windows, so it turns into a screen room when we want it to. This gives me more options to grow things than most people have, so I'm pretty excited about the possibilities and extra space for more plants! The bad news is I had left many plants in my grow tent for a week while we were moving. It was during this week that my husband upped the temp in the apartment, not wanting to pay extra for AC we weren't using, and the exhaust fan in the tent stopped working. This turned out to be the perfect combination to bake the plants in the tent. As a result I lost a lot of Nepenthes and a few Orchids. I was down about that for months maybe, didn't feel like updating this blog or frequenting any forums you'll typically find me on. I'm somewhat over it now, and in the rebuilding process. At some point here, I'll update the grow list for those that like to trade with me. More updates to come as new and old plants settle into their new home.