Thursday, February 28, 2013

Troubling root rot on Dtps. Yu Pin Burgundy

Dtps. Yu Pin Burgundy

     My Dtps. Yu Pin Burgundy is a big healthy phalaenopsis hybrid, with two nicely growing spikes, and an extensive root system.   That is why I was particularly troubled to spot a rotting root with what looks like a fungal growth through the clear plastic pot.  Normally, I'd take that as a sign to immediately repot, and cut off the affected root.  But I would hate to jeopardize the blooms.

A diseased root

     The picture above shows the affected root.  The rest of the pot is dried out, so what looks like moisture is all coming from the root rotting.

     I soaked the orchid in physan-treated water today.  But I am really questioning whether that is sufficient to keep this infection from progressing.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New growth on Aliceara Matthias 'Glamour'

Aliceara Matthias 'Glamour'

     There is a new growth on my oncidium intergenic, Aliceara Matthias.  The growth is a couple inches tall and growing strong. It has also put out a cluster of new roots, making me very hopeful that this orchid will soon recover and begin to thrive.

New oncidium growth sends out roots

The growth has a cool pinecone-like shape to it.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Cymbidium Billion Dollar Baby '#1' x Gordon Gibbs 'Dashing'

Cymbidium Billion Dollar Baby '#1' x Gordon Gibbs 'Dashing'

     I'm posting about this orchid today, not because it has done anything worth updating about, but because a whole year has passed since I last wrote about it.  A year ago, I posted about 5 new growth which had appeared on the plant.  A year later, these growths still remain small and immature.  A couple are still less than 6" tall.  They continue growing, slowly.  

     I think this orchid is still pouting from the butcher job of a repotting that I did when I first got it (in a very pot-bound state) 1.5 years ago.  It lost most of its roots as a result, and at one point I thought it would die altogether.  I'd like for the cymbidium to grow more roots now, but it seems to be focusing on the leaves instead.  

     At least this orchid isn't declining.  It is getting larger and bushier, just at a very slow pace.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Psychopsis Mendenhall 'Hildos' blooming again

Psychopsis Mendenhall 'Hildos'

     Just less than a month after the last flower wilted, my Psychopsis Mendenhall is once again in bloom.  The flower opened yesterday, and it is 5" in height.

Flower variation between 1st and 2nd bloomings

     Interestingly, both the color and the form have improved the second time around.  This flower is flatter, the lateral sepals are wider, and the orange bars are much more pronounced.

I also took some photos showing the growth progression of the flower bud, with the first picture being taken the same day as when the old flower fell off.

Day 1

Day 18

Day 24

Day 26

Full view (photo taken day 29)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Main spike withers on Dtps Jungo City

Dtps. Jungo City

     All the buds blasted on my Dtps. Jungo City, and the top of the spike is dying off.  It's not drying, but rather it turned soft and limp.  Not all hope is lost for this bloom cycle, however.  A node lower down the spike has activated and is growing a side spike.  

Side spike

     Hopefully if the cold is what blasted the last set of spikes, then the season will be more amenable by the time this one is ready to bloom.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Tolumnia Red Berry blooming

Tolumnia Red Berry

     Yesterday, the last of the flowers on my Tolumnia Red Berry finished opening. There are 5 wine-colored 1-inch blooms on a 8" spike.  I haven't noticed any scent.  The spike took 2.5 months to mature.

     The flower count is low compared to the two spikes this orchid had when I bought it around this time last year.

Last year's flowers on Tolumnia Red Berry

     And now for some more pictures of this year's blooms.

Full plant view

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Noid phal in not so full bloom

Noid Phalaenopsis

     This noid phal was just coming in to bloom when I returned home from the holidays in early January.  It had produced side spikes from each of its 3 main spikes, and had a few buds on each.  I wanted to hold off on posting about the flowers, until all the buds had developed and opened.

     However, the earliest of the flowers didn't last quite long enough for the last of the buds.  The wilting happened suddenly.  One day all flowers were strong, and the next, two were wilted.  The day after that (today) all but two of the remaining flowers are droopy.  Meanwhile, the two buds on the final spike have yet to open.

Noid Phalaenopsis

     Here I re-use a photo I took on January 18.  If the last two buds open properly, this flowering will have produced 8 blooms from 3 spikes.  This is a rather low flower count, but I think, understandable, considering that this orchid has been growing 3 keikis for the past year.

     Flowers are 3.5" across, and unscented.

Noid keiki #3

     I also removed the last of the keikis from the mother plant today.  This keiki hadn't done any growth for the past few months, as if it had stopped receiving sufficient nutrients or growth signals from the mother.  I'm hoping that potting it up will spur some growth.  Considering that it's been nearly 16 months since this keiki started growing, I think the gestation period has been long enough.

Newly potted phalaenopsis keiki

     Since the keiki's roots are quite short, I had no difficulty potting it into a 3" plastic pot, with some seedling media.  

Side note: I accidentally snapped off the only bud to have developed so far on my Phal Memoria Audrey Meldman 'Mendenhall' spike.  I really hope that's not the end of this blooming.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Repotting Paph (Adam Hausermann x Duncan York) seedlings

Paphiopedilum (Adam Hausermann 'York' x Duncan York 'Good Show')

     The paph seedlings were drying out too quickly.  Even on humid muggy days, the pots would be dry two days after watering.  On low humidity days, they'd dry up within 24 hours.  Since watering daily is a pain, and paphs generally like more evenly moist growing conditions, I decided to transer the seedlings to slightly larger pots.

Paph (Adam Hausermann x Duncan York) 1

     I first repotted the larger seedling.  One of its original two roots had rotted away, so I cut it off.  However, it had one new root which had grown decently long, as well as a number of fresh root starts right at the base of the plant.

Paph (Adam Hausermann x Duncan York) 2

     The second seedling is my smaller struggling one.  It had originally arrived with just one root, and was completely rootless as of last October.  Now, it has a few short roots, and a couple new growing tips.  

Newly repotted paphiopedilum seedlings

     I repotted both seedlings into 3" plastic pots.  The paphs sit more securely in these larger pots, so I no longer need the stake supports that I had added to the old pots.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cut off dried spike on Tolumnia Pink Panther

Tolumnia Pink Panther

     Tolumnias are known to be able to rebloom from side spikes, which grow after an initial round of flowers fades.  In fact, my Tolumnia Genting Orange produced three rounds of flowers over the course of three months last summer.  That's why when Tolumnia Pink Panther finished blooming at the end of January, I kept the spike around in hopes of seeing some side-branches form.

     That didn't happen, and instead the  spike dried up.  I'm not sure if this hybrid just doesn't form side spikes, or if future bloomings will turn out differently. The orchid is now into a new round of growth, with at least one new fan visible.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Spike grows quickly on vinicolor noid paph

Vinicolor noid paph in spike

     Just over 3 weeks have passed since I first noticed the bud on my vinicolor noid paph.  It's grown quickly since then.  The bud looks large already, but the spike was twice as tall when I originally purchased this orchid.  As a result, I'm still not sure if it's close to blooming or not.  After the bud blast on my Dtps. Jungo City, though, I'm just hoping that this flower opens without mishap.

     Since the spike is emerging from an already too-tall growth, I added a stake to keep it vertical.  At the same time, I'm letting the growth itself lean as horizontally as it wants, so that I can later on repot this orchid into a wide shallow pot.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Two new growths mature on Ctt Jewel Box 'Scheherazade'

Cattlianthe Jewel Box 'Scheherazade'

     The new growth I posted about in October has matured and fully opened its leaves, as has the growth before that.  The newest leaves are on average an inch longer than the older leaves, and the newest pseudobulb is taller as well.  All signs point towards a healthy growing plant.

     The newest leaf has some physical damage at its tip, which is entirely my fault. Impatient for the leaves to finish opening, I tried prying the two halves apart before they were ready.  Instead, I ended up ripping some of the leaf's tissue.  No serious harm done, though it does mar the look of the foliage.

     Both pseudobulbs opened with sheaths.  The one on the older pb has since dried up, while the newest one is freshly green and (possibly) swollen.  I'll know soon if there's anything to be seen there.
Dried out sheath 
Possibly swollen sheath on newest pseudobulb

Monday, February 4, 2013

Buds blast on Dtps. Jungo City

Dtps. Jungo City

     My Dtps. Jungo City has me worried.  While the lowest of the buds is shiny and green and growing well, the next three buds on the spike look like they will blast. As you can see in the picture below, the buds are wrinkly on the outside, and a very different color from the lowest bud.  The yellowing of the stem on the second lowest bud isn't promising, either.

Blasting flower buds

     At least the lowest bud seems to be growing ok, but it would be a shame if I only get one flower out of this blooming.  I'm not sure what caused this problem. Perhaps it was either the recent cold coming in through the open windows, or the subsequent drop in humidity when we finally did close the windows and turn the heat on.  All the other spiking phals seem to be ok for now.

Edit (2/8/13): The lower bud is now blasting as well.  

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Hardware malfunction

Rubber-based bungee cords do not hold up well against heat and tension

     This morning I found the lighting fixture from my top shelf hanging down at a precarious angle. One of the two cords which had been holding it up had snapped, and the other one was fraying.  I am very lucky that the lamp hadn't fallen completely, and that both the lamp and my plants are safe.

A more secure setup, using metal chain

     It looks like the heat from the lamp caused the rubber inside the bungee cords to deteriorate.  I needed a more secure way to hold the light in place.  So I went to the nearby hardware store, and picked up 5 feet of metal chain.  I wrapped this tightly across the shelf, and used my craft wire to join the ends together.  One tangential benefit of using a metal chain instead of elastic cords, is that it added another inch to the lamp's height.


Friday, February 1, 2013

Oncidium noid: dead

Dead oncidium

      I threw my "rescue" oncidium noid into the trash today.  I bought this orchid 1.5 years ago, back when I didn't know how to distinguish a healthy plant from a dying one.  The plant had no roots, and its bulbs were so dehydrated that they were as thin as the leaves themselves.  And yet, the orchid had a multitude of thick green leaves, which deceived me as to its health.

     Over the past 1.5 years, the orchid failed to produce healthy roots.  And little by little the leaves began to die back.  Whatever fungal problems were killing off its attempts at new roots, my fungicide treatments failed to thwart it.  Most recently, the pseudobulbs and new growths on this orchid turned to rotten mush (and there were no new roots in sight).  At this point, while there might have been a minute chance of saving a tiny part of this orchid, it really didn't seem worth it to keep trying.