This book is my birthday present to myself. Why I brought it? Because its beautiful. The authoritative text is the frosting on top of the cake. Along with the book there are 40 botanical prints. The orchids in the prints are described in the text. The prints are suitable for framing.
Friday, February 24, 2023
Wednesday, February 15, 2023
Myrmecophila culture: Why my plant won't bloom? A checklist of possible causes
1. Is the plant adult sized? Myrmecophilas are plants that in the wild live in a symbiotic relationship with ants that live inside their hollow pseudobulbs. These ants fertilize the plant with their feces. Plants in cultivation that don’t have ant colonies might become stunted and never reach adult size. So the first thing is to get an ID the plant and check on the size of an adult pseudobulb. If the pseudobulbs are smaller than the reported size for the species they you need to make sure you fertilize this plant with a high nitrogen fertilizer and give it plenty of water when it is producing new pseudobulbs.
2. Is it getting enough sunlight? Myrmecophilas are not plants that bloom in shady spots. They will grow well, and might eventually produce a large clump of pseudobulbs. But they will not bloom. If a plant is an adult and is not blooming, the next thing to check it if it is getting the level of light it needs. I have seen Myrmecophilas growing quite well in places where they get full sun for most of the day. Personally, I put my plants close to the shade cloth, I grow them under a shade cloth that allows most of sunlight to come through. The best plants I have seen were grown with full exposure morning or afternoon sun, but protected from the midday sun by shade cloth or the canopy of a tree.
3. Is it in the proper location for blooming? Myrmecophilas are often planted on trees with dense canopies. This keeps the plants in shade. They will grow well but not bloom. A friend had a massive plant of Myr humboltii growing in a citrus tree. It had never produced a single flower. A hurricane severely damaged the canopy of the tree, allowing full sunlight to reach the Myrmecophila. As a result, the plant bloomed.
4. Is it receiving the care it needs at the critical time in its growth cycle? Most people I know affix their Myrmecophilas to a tree and that is that. No watering, except for rain, or fertilizing, except what it gets naturally from the tree or from ants if they have colonized the plant. This is a hit or miss approach. Some plants will grow well and bloom, other will rarely bloom and some will never bloom. I have seen Myr humboltii and Myr exaltata growing on the stems of palm trees doing well and blooming. I have seen a massive plant of Myr humboltii under the thick canopy of an avocado tree, with no evidence of it ever blooming. You need to observe your plant, and when it is producing a new pseudobulb, give it the watering and fertilizing it needs.
5. Is it healthy? Some Myrmecophilas are attacked by a type of fungus that kills their stems and primordial buds. You can tell this because part of the stem that should be green look like cork. The sad thing about this is that often nothing can be done. The warning sign is often that the plant is not producing new growths. The fact that the rest of the plant can look good even if it has lost all its capacity to produce new growths, and can remain looking good for years, is a confounding thing. Plants like this will not bloom ever. On occasion an older side bud will produce healthy new growth. But if a plant has not produced new growths after a few years, it is probably a lost cause.
6. Is the plant getting the proper nutrition? Sometimes you can do all the above things and still a plant won’t bloom. Sometimes a few extra things can give it the push it needs to bloom. I have used a dilution of Epson salt to give the plants more access to magnesium, in particular those that are growing in full sun and look yellow. A fertilizer with a high nitrogen concentration is recommended when the plant is producing new growths.
Posted by Ricardo at 6:11 PM No comments:
Labels: brysiana, care, cultivo, culture, exaltata, grandiflora, humboldtii, myrmecophila, orchid, orchidee, orchiideen, orquidea, schomburgkia, tibicinis
Monday, February 13, 2023
Myrmecophila brysiana culture: The free spirit
Posted by Ricardo at 8:03 PM No comments:
Labels: brysiana, care, cowhorn orchid, culture, myrmecophila, orchid, orchidee, orchideen, orquidea, Puerto Rico
Sunday, February 12, 2023
Myrmecophila grandiflora culture: The well behaved one, that stays, mostly in the basket
Posted by Ricardo at 6:36 PM No comments:
Labels: basket, care, culture, grandiflora, myrmecophila, orchid, orchidee, orchideen, orquidea, schomburgkia
Sunday, February 5, 2023
Encyclia culture: Some notes on root initiation
Friday, February 3, 2023
Dendrobium anosmum var huttonii
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