Sunday, December 15, 2013

Holiday Orchid News

It may be cold outside, but my orchids are quite happy indoors. I've been running the humidifier every night while I sleep, adding the moisture they love (doesn't hurt my breathing, either.) My Phalaenopsis Happy Girl is getting ready to bloom for the third time since I bought her in 2012.
The most recent bloom scape has dried bits that need to be trimmed...

...there! Much better, although most care pages say to cut off the entire scape back to the plant base. Then again, many say that the plant may rebloom or produce a new plant from the old scape, so I'm leaving the green parts to see if anything happens. Nothing has changed on the original scape from 2012 which is still green too, but I'm patient/lazy/scared to remove it so we'll see. If nothing happens in the next few months, I may cut off the first scape at least. Maybe.

I mean, the old scapes sure don't keep mother plant from re-blooming so what the hey. Her roots are starting to look crowded too, but repotting kinda scares me when she seems so happy. I'm really inclined to leave well enough alone, but I may feel more brave in the spring.


New vanilla orchid project! The last duo got way too dry and died off, so I have a new plan...

...mount them in their pots! Eventually these orchids can become fully epiphytic and not need their roots/pots anymore, but not if they can't survive that long. The tree fern poles are just too airy and dry to mount the orchids in the usual way, so this is my solution.

I mounted this one first, and used a lot of wire that made the pot wonky...

...and I used a loose loop of wire to support the vine up higher (until it grabs on with its' own air roots eventually).

When I mounted the green one, my technique improved...

....less wire for a more efficient pot mounting...

...and I realized that I only needed a small bit of wire poked into the pole for support up high.

There! What a cute couple!

Maxillaria Tenuifolia here looks as though too much root is exposed on the right there...

...making it hang rather loosely off the front of the driftwood.

So I added some more moss, wrapped it with fishing line, and anchored the line with one loop of copper wire.

Looks happier already.

I had to move my brassavola nodosa orchid to make room for the vanillas, so now this is an all orchid corner. I'm really happy that I'm getting better at keeping orchids alive to the point that I almost have too many. That's a subjective measurement anyhow, although I can say that I definately have enough orchids. For now.

The staghorn fern is looking nice, once I got the hang of soaking the box once a week or so. I nearly dried it completely out initially, I'm glad it didn't succumb to my learning curve.

The small orchids are doing fine too, though no bloom scapes so far. Of course only the tolumnia 'Tequila Sunrise' is a mature blooming specimen, but I'd love to see it bloom again (it was in spike when I bought it in 2012.) Still alive is good enough for me at this point, and the cattleyas are growing too so hooray.

I won't go so far as to call myself an orchid grower, but I'm slap happy to have evolved away from being an orchid murderer. Merry Christmas to me!   *~<]:-)


Anonymous said...

Love all the mounts!! Very cool!!


Garden Broad said...

Thank you!