Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ascocenda Peggy Foo

Seen at the March 2014 meeting of the Mayaguez orchid society.

Ascocenda Muang Thong #1

Very nice vandaceous hybrid.  Seen at the March 2014 Mayaguez orchid society meeting.

Phalaenopsis Memoria Julio Rios Pagan 'Janice' HCC/AOS

Seen at the March 2014 meeting of the Mayaguez orchid society.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Bulbophyllum sumatranum Garay, Hamer & Siegrist 1996, culture notes, it has become a mass of growths that both delight and infuriates

In 2012 it bloomed from leafless pseudobulbs

In 2014 you can see two flowers trapped among the roots and stems

The plant in 2014, an unruly pile of pseudobulbs, roots and stems  There are three flower buds in the photo.  An aborted flower bud, red colored, is also visible

After three years in my collection, Bulbophyllum sumatranum has become a relatively large plant witn many growths.  It has bloomed in the past but not as often as I would like.  Today I discovered that it has been producing inflorescences but that some of they have been produced by stems that are under a tangle of roots and pseudobulbs.  I also found four other inflorescences that are right in the middle of a mess of leaves and pseudobulbs which means they might not have room to expand to their full size.  I was delighted by the vigorous growth of this plant and its beautiful flowers, but its tendency to form a tangled mass of growths can be frustrating.  I plant to take a piece and attach it to a fern pole to see if grown this way it is easier to tame and it will display its flowers better.

Here are some notes on its culture on my garden

Potting: In a eight inch wire basket.

Media: A layer of medium bark about one inch deep.

Fertilizing: A high nitrogen fertilizer is used when the plant is growing. None is given outside the growing season.

Light: Full morning sun from 8:00 am to 11:00 am light shade the rest of the day.

Watering: The local rain is enough to cover this plant needs outside the rainy season.  In the rainy season it rains every day for the whole summer so the plant is constantly wet for months.  In the dry season, a whole month can pass with no measurable rain, during this time the plant is thoroughly drenched once a week.  If the plant is producing flowers it might get watered every day.

                         J       F      M       A       M       J       J       A       S      O      N      D
Rainfall (mm)   99    76     84     165    283    155   141   216    237  233  176   135
(inches)            3.9   3.0    3.3    6.5     11.1    6.1   5.5    8.5     9.3   9.1   6.9     5.3

                J     F    M    A     M    J     J   A     S     O    N    D
High        28   29   30   30   31   32   32  32    32   31   30   29
Low          19   20   20   21   21   22   24  23    22   21   20   19

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Phaius tankervilleae (Banks) Blume 1856, an old heirloom clone vs a plant for sale in a recent orchid show.

The top photo is of an old heirloom plant that seems to have been in cultivation in Puerto Rico for decades.  The bottom photo is of a plant in an orchid show, last January.  The heirloom clone has flowers that hold their floral segments parallel to the ground so normally one only see the white backing of the floral segments and the lip.  As you can see in the lower photo the flowers of the plant at the show hold their flowers in a way that you can really appreciate their rich coloring, also the flowers are much larger, as is the plant.  A few years ago I brought one of this large and beautiful plants, it thrived as long as I gave it devoted care, the moment my attention flagged the plant produced significantly smaller growths.    Th heirloom plant survives and blooms with a bare minimum of care, such was not my experience with the newer richer, larger colored clones.  The newer clones can produce amazing bloomings, but to perform at that level they need devoted care during their growth phase.

Dendrobium Norman 'Pam' FCC/HOS An outstanding "antilope" Dendrobium

I have grown Dendrobium Norman 'Pam' FCC/HOS for many years, it does well under the local climate.  My plant produces large, long lasting flowers in relatively short inflorescences.  My plant won't bloom in canes that are shorter than three feet tall and lack a strong root system.  It needs bright light to bloom.  This plant needs to be fertilized regularly of the canes won't grow to their full potential.  It does best with a high nitrogen fertilizer.  My plant has grown better when its roots are in an airy open media.  I drench my plant once a week in dry weather, otherwise it can survive very well with the local rainfal with no additional watering.  This plant has given me little trouble over the years with the exception that when it has several large canes it become top heavy and the canes need to be secured so the won't break from their own weight or topple the plant in windy weather.