Thursday, June 14, 2012

Assessing the damage: coming home after two weeks away

The orchids were somewhat rearranged when I came back

     I left my orchids in the care of my bf during the two weeks that I was away, with the instruction to water all the mounted orchids every other day, and the potted ones whenever the wooden skewers tried out.  On my return, I found that most of my orchids were happy, a few had thrived, and only one suffered drastic damage.

     The first thing I noticed when I got home was that my orchids were all in different places than where I had left them. Most of this was not a problem, but the wilsonara at the top shelf had its leaves directly up against the lamp, which resulted in some lamp burn.

Sunburn damage on oncidium leaf

    A number of my oncidium and cymbidium plants lost a leaf or two over the last few weeks, but are otherwise fine.  In fact, the only 'casualty' from my two weeks away was my dendrobium victoria reginae.  It lost the one leaf it had, and the new cane growth dried up and died.  It roots are fine, and the canes aren't dehydrated, but I don't know if this particular den will successfully recover.  I ordered a replacement plant for in case it doesn't.

Wrinkling on psychopsis leaf shows dehydration

     The psychopsis looked very dehydrated.  I think in part, it's because I told bf to water it every other day (for simplicity of instructions and to avoid risk of overwatering) and in this case that wasn't often enough.  However, when I checked it's roots, I found that they were all hollow.  This would be no fault of bf's care, but rather the consequence of this plants poor health from the very beginning.  It's spike is still growing, but I don't know whether to expect it to bloom, or if it will survive or not.  In any case, I ordered another psychopsis as a travel companion for the new den victoria reginae.

Cattlianthe Jewel Box 'Scheherazade' flowers going out of bloom

     My cattlianthe flowers were already wilted looking by the time I got home.  They were also far less red than the earlier photos suggested.  Since the orchid was already getting the maximal amount of light it could handle, it must be the temperature which adulterated the blooms' color.  There is a third flower forming on the spike, and I moved the orchid to a windowsill, in hopes that the cooler air would help it develop a deeper red.  I'm not sure how successful my attempt will be however, since the weather is only getting warmer, and the flower bud is already pretty well developed.

New cattlianthe pseudobulb

     The new pseudobulb has nearly tripled in size over the last two weeks. Here is how the growth looked just two weeks ago.

Tolumnia Genting Orange

     Fortunately, my Tolumnia Genting Orange is in full bloom and going strong.  The flowers opened facing every which way, making the blooms hard to photograph.  I'll do a more detailed post on the orchid later.

New roots on Phal Memoria Audrey Meldman 'Mendenhall'

     My phals seemed to thrive under my bf's care, producing tremendous root growth.  For the rest of the orchids that I didn't mention--there were no notable changes.  They had neither grown nor suffered in my two weeks' absence.

     The bottom line seems to be that phals really are good beginner orchids, as they seemed to be the happiest under my bf's care.  My paphs probably come in as a close second, since none showed any signs of stress when I came back.  And finally, the only one of my orchids that really deteriorated, was one that was sickly to begin with.

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