Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Two new first-bloom species!

I'm very excited....I've got several of my Phal. species blooming or in spike for the first time this year.  These two are the first to bloom out, and they're both first-time-bloom seedlings.

First, Phal. equestris:
I forgot to take a size comparison pic, but this flower isn't much bigger than a dime.  I got this one last spring as a large seedling.  Not bad for a first blooming, but hopefully the flowers will flatten out a bit with subsequent cycles.  Super cute little thing.

Next, Phal. stuartiana
One of the reasons I love this species so much is the lower/bottom sepals and their color split right down the middle.  Half is solid white, half is spotty.  I think it's a pretty neat effect.  I got this one almost 2 years ago as a little baby $4 seedling from Oak Hill Gardens.  It's still not a very big plant compared to the sizes of most adult stuartianas I've seen, but apparently big enough to bloom!  It originally had 3 buds on the spike as it grew, but two buds blasted along the way, leaving me with just this one flower.  But it's huge in comparison to the plant size, so I'm happy.  Hoping for a better shape next time around.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Mystery growth: Bulb. careyanum

Spike or growth?  Can't remember what new growths on this one look like, but this nubbin just looks different.  I'm hoping for a spike, of course.  As careyanum comes in a multitude of color forms, if it does end up being a spike, I'm hoping for a red- or orange-colored one :D

Unknown AV #3 - in bud!

Hooray!  Found the start of the very first buds on the third of my discarded-leaf uknown AV babies.  Number 1 was the gorgeous little blue I posted about a couple weeks ago, and this is the third one.  Don't know what's wrong with #2, but maybe they just need to get bigger to be blooming sized.  They're fat and healthy, but just not budding yet.

Anyway, I have 2 of this NoID and both are showing tiny buds.  I will update when it blooms out.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Ever wonder what crown rot looks like?

Well, it looks kinda like this:

*sigh* this is what's left of my little Angcm. didieri.  I just replanted it about 2 weeks ago.  Looking back at it now, I realize I planted it way too deep, which probably contributed to its demise.  To give some perspective on how fast this stuff can happen:  I watered it Wed (Jan 16) and it was perfectly fine.  Today, I was quickly looking over the plant shelves, and saw what I thought might be a sun shadow on the top leaf of this plant.  Nope, not a shadow, it was this:

gah!  So I picked it up off the shelf, and this happened:

I dumped a whole bunch of hydrogen peroxide down into what's left of the crown and crossed my fingers.  It's most probably a goner.  I'm not sure if angraecoids are known to grow basal growths if the crown of the original growth is damaged, but I guess I'll find out.  *sigh*

Moral of the story:  just when you think things are going well (I had a new species phal open its first flower today too), something bad happens.

UPDATE 1/23:  It didn't make it.  By the next day, it had lost all of its leaves and there wasn't a speck of green left anywhere on the plant.  No sense in trying to save it at that point, so it got pitched.  Very sad.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Because I didn't have enough AV babies already...

I promised baby AVs to a bunch of people in my pharmacy class last fall, with the intention of getting the leaves all cut and potted up over winter break.

Well here it is, the last day of break, and I'm JUST NOW getting it done.  Yay procrastination.

This is why you should repot your AVs once in a while :)  This is the very first AV I ever had (well, half of it anyway).  My mom gave it to me forever ago....it was at least 10 years ago.  Anyway, it had two crowns that grew on such long necks (as shown here!) that the leaves faced away from each other at 90 degree angles.  It had never been repotted...it was still in the pot she gave it to me in.  I cut off one half last summer and repotted it.  It's big, fat, healthy, and blooming steadily now.  I used this half to make leaf cuttings.

Oh no!  Leaf carnage :)  All cut up and ready to be potted.

Here's everybody potted up in their seed-starting box.  The NoID pink leaves are in the back, the purple and white (Optimara Chico) leaves are in the front.

And finally, the seed-starting box in its new home with a clampy light.  With any luck, I should have plenty of sprouts in 3 months or so.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

In bud: C. Purple Cascade

Cattleya Purple Cascade 'Sweet Beauty'.  One of my reliable catts.  It blooms almost every time it matures a new growth.  This will be its fourth blooming in 13 months.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Ready to put a name to this one

Say hello to....Phal. Philisander!

If you don't know the backstory to this one, I picked it up last summer tagged as the species Phal. schilleriana.  All I knew about the species at the time was that it has variegated leaves, and this plant did, so I bought it.  Once I got it home and did a bit of googling, I found out the tag was completely wrong.  *sigh*  I made the nursery reimburse me for it, then set out to figure out just what it REALLY was when it bloomed.

Someone mentioned to me that the plant looked like their specimen of Phal. Rothschildiana (schilleriana x amabilis or aphrodite), but once the flowers opened, I didn't think it looked right to be that either.  Then, somebody else posted their flowers of Phal. Philisander (philippinensis x sanderiana), and BINGO!  Dead ringer.  So I can now say with about 90% certainty that this is a Philisander.  I thought for sure it would be a schillie hybrid (hence why it was tagged as a schillie), but it doesn't look like it is.  Who'da thought?

And just a reminder:  you can never truly identify an orchid without a nametag.  Hence why I say I'm 90% certain.  This one will always be a NoID with a question mark on its name :)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Phal. Taipei Gold and Aca's Sizzle

My Phal. Taipei Gold opened its first bloom today.  It's got a lot more spots this time around than it's had before.

It's a very pretty pale yellow flower, but it just doesn't thrill me (I picked the plant up as a rescue, originally), not to mention the plant itself is HUGE HUGE HUGE, so this one will be for sale in the spring.  Prolly pretty cheap, too, ha!

And, I snapped a quick shot of one of my newest AV blooms, this one is Aca's Sizzle.  Picked this one up last spring as a set of leaves.  I have two plants and my mom has one.  This is the first of the three to bloom.  Semidouble red flower on a crown-variegated plant.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Unknown AV #1 bloom

I have 3 AVs that I've grown from discarded leaves I've found at Home Depot or Lowe's.  Hey, waste not want not, right?  Anyway, the leaves were broken and laying on the flower benches, so I brought them home and sprouted them.  I have absolutely no idea what colors the flowers will be on any of them since the leaves were not attached to any plants.  This is the first one to be big enough to bloom.

It's a little more dark/navy blue in person, but of course cameras have a hard time with these kinds of colors.  But definitely a keeper for sure!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

First post! And growing spaces!

Yay!  Here it is, post #1.  I feel so special.

Thought I should start out with some pics and info about my growing spaces and situations.

If you're not aware, I live in good ol' Wyoming, which is DRY DRY DRY (all year) and really cold and snowy in the winter.  Orchids and AVs are tropical plants, meaning they like warm and humid.  Oops.  Anyway, they seem to do OK despite all that.  I currently grow several different genera of orchids, but I am now starting to focus more on Phalaenopsis since they do better than others in my conditions.  I have recently fallen in love with Phal species and primary hybrids in particular.

Here's some pics of what grows where in my teeny lil apartment:

I'll start with the "grow room", which is just the second bedroom converted.  This is the shelves where the higher light plants grow:  cattleyas, dendrobiums, and one vanda.  Top shelf is for big and tall plants, lower shelf is for shorter and minis.  These grow under 4 foot, 4-tube T5 HO lights, which also serve nicely to keep them warm in the winter, ha.

On the opposite wall are the african violets and their lights.  These guys live under a basic shop light with a couple T8 daylight bulbs.  I had the AVs under natural light until just recently, but they suffered from too much light, but have done amazingly well since being moved in here.

Closer views of the AV shelves.  The huge one on the far right of the lower pic will be chopped to pieces within the week...it's massively overgrown.  I've also got a pot of very very tiny orchid babies that I'm hoping will grow and a hyacinth bulb I'm trying to force out of season.

Next is the "east window" area where I grow all my Phals and some other random things.  This is, of course, natural light, and my phals just go crazy here.  I've had 11 spikers this fall/winter alone.  There's two hoyas, a yellow kalanchoe, and a spider plant in the hanging baskets, along with a couple non-Phal plants (a miltoniopsis, a couple Angraecums, a Psychopsis, my lone Bulbophyllum, and a piece of my ill-fated Onc. Sharry Baby).  I plan on buying lots more Phal species n things this spring, so these shelves will be packed full very shortly.

I've also got a few random things in the living room, sitting in my huge west-facing window.  Here I've got my Thanksgiving cactuses, regular cactuses, my winter-dormant orchids (Fdk. After Dark and Phaiocalanthe Kryptonite), and a couple high-light plants that got too big to live under the lights anymore (Den. bigibbum alba and Max. tenuifolia).

And finally, my blooming table!  I rotate plants to here when they bloom, then put them back in their normal growing locations when they're done.  For example, the pink dendrobium on the right is very close to being done blooming, so it will go back to the grow room in the next couple days.  My only problem?  This table is wayyyyyyy too small to hold everything I have blooming, so some stuff gets left where it is.

That's everything, I think!  Hope you enjoy reading my new blog!  Whee!