Monday, November 28, 2016

Myrmecophila humboldtii [Rchb.f] Rolfe 1917, culture notes on growing this plant on the trunk of an avocado tree

When I first tried to grow Myrmecophila humboldtii, I tied it to an avocado tree.  Unfortunately, the place was too shady for the plant to bloom.  However it proved a very favorable place for it to grow.  And grow and grow and grow.  SInce it was not blooming it poured all its energy into producing canes and eventually became a large mass of pseudobulbs.  In time I removed pieces from this mass and moved them to sunnier spots where they bloomed.  The plant has continued growing up the tree.  The pseudobulbs shown in this photo have all died and decayed, but there are plenty of them higher in the tree.  The pseudobulbs are hollow and are inhabited by some ill tempered yellow ants.  The ants come out only at night.  If you damage the pseudobulbs they will come out.  The sting of these ants is painful and might produce some swelling.  For more information on the culture of this species, you can read:

Friday, November 25, 2016

Dendrobium spectabile flower visited by the large carpenter bee Xylocopa mordax

Because I live in the tropics, my orchid collection is all outside.  I live in the middle of an state forest which means that insects of all sorts are plentiful (this means the place is also infested with lots of spiders).  It is a common occurrence for orchids to be visited by insects.  However getting a photo of pollinators is not necessarily easy, as most visits are over in seconds.  I was lucky enough to catch this large carpenter bee in flagrante delicto.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Dendrobium (farmeri x densiflorum)

Sadly I lost this beautiful and floriferous plant.  But if I ever see this cross again for sale, I will buy it in a second!!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Calanthe rubens Ridl. 1890

I used to grow many plants of Calanthe rubens.  They would put a beautiful show in early winter.  However eventually I gave all my plants away.  Mainly because I acquired larger, showier hybrids that would bloom for a longer time.  However I still remember them fondly there were they first Calanthe I ever cultivated and they would bloom very well with little care.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bulbophyllum cocoinum Bateman ex Lindl. 1837, will do well in hot coastal Puerto Rico, as long as it gets the proper humidity and care.

This African Bulbophyllum has a coconut fragrance.  This plant was cultivated by a friend it eventually turned into an specimen plant, it completely filled the basket with growths.

Bulbophyllum medusae [Lindley] Rchb.f 1861, the inflorescence photographed from a different angle

These orchid inflorescences are usually photographed from the side.  I decided to photograph it from the bottom.  This perspective makes the inflorescence look much different than what we are used to see.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Dendrobium Roy Tokunaga

This Dendrobium grew well in my garden.  It bloomed reliably and the flowers were long lasting.

Cattleya intermedia Graham 1828, a plant in my garden.

Encyclia Borincana (Encyclia alata x Encyclia bractecens) how I grow it

This plant thrives tied to a piece of wood.  I grow it outside, it is hanging from the branches of a small shrub in my garden.  It only gets watered during the worst of the dry season, otherwise the local rainfall is enough for its needs.  Tree fern can also be used, but in this case I used the piece of teak wood because it was free.  The plant has been doing well mounted this way and has developed a healthy root system.

Encyclia cordigera [HBK] Dressler 1964, the typical form of the species, sometimes sold as a "semi alba"

In Puerto Rico, this species poses no challenge to cultivate.  It can tolerate drought and grows best if it gets a few hours of full sun every day.  Note that is its growing in a basket that hardly has any potting material.  The bane of this species is root loss due to overwatering.  I just doesn't tolerate media that remains wet.  I grow my plants high in the orchid house, just under the shade clothe where they get the brightest light.  Good fertilization while in active growth is the key to large pseudobulbs.

Dendrobium Chaisri Gold, peloric mutant

I received this Dendrobium as a gift a long time ago.  It is not difficult to cultivate as long as it is grown on media that doesn't become soggy and kills its roots.  Prefers media that allows for plenty of air to reach the roots.  The flowers are long lasting.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Brassocattleya Maikai,(Brassavola nodosa x Cattleya bowringiana) easy to grow in Puerto Rico

This common hybrid is easy to grow outside in coastal Puerto Rico.  If given regular fertilization and plenty of sun it will bloom abundantly.  I found that as my plant grew larger it would tolerate more and more sun exposure.  I think this is due to many, very closely spaced pseudobulbs which appear to protect one another from any excessive sun exposure.  This plant can grow into a specimen plant if given proper care and grooming.  My plant became heavy!

Paphiopedilum (Paph. moquetteanum x Paph. rothschildianum), first bloom seedling

I am in love!  The flower is huge, and I love the color.  This is the first time this seedling has bloomed.  I produced just a single large flower.  I expect that in the future it will produce more flowers per inflorescence.  In the meantime I am not complaining, I find it lovely.  I brought this plant some years ago, as happens with other rothschildianum crosses, it has taken its time reaching blooming size.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Liparis saundersiana Rchb. f., the lip of the flowers is flat and translucid

For more information on this species native of Puerto Rico you can look here:

Coelogyne assamica Linden & Rchb. f. 1857, the flowers look different from what is identified in other places as assamica. But that is what the label said.

I brought this plant in the Puerto Rico orchid society show last spring.  I wanted to see if it would grow and bloom in my area.  Green flowered Coelogyne thrive and bloom well in my location and will even endure relative neglect with little complain.  This species is a refreshing change from the green flowers of my other Coelogyne.  I have tried to grow white flowered Coelogyne with little success.  I tried mooreana and it died.  I also tried lactea, this one grew well but flowered so rarely I gave it away.  Perhaps in the case of lactea, I was growing it wrong.