Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dendrobium sociale, farmeri and another

I'm going to combine these two Dendrobiums into one post, starting with D. sociale. Now, this is the second time I've tried sociale, the first time, it was doing well, but it was a few years ago when I was unsuccessfully battling spider mites, and yes, thin leaved Dens are very susceptable to them.  They killed it. Since then, I've found a decent chemical that helps control them, so here I am trying again.  Only one flower, and I guess most people wouldn't bother with this one, as the flowers aren't very big.  But they are so intricate when you take the time to look at it.  A couple pics, the first one is blurry, but was just trying to show the size of the bloom vs the plant.  And then two close-ups of the flower, one straight on, and one showing the beautiful lip.

And second, a Dendrobium I received as a keikii from a friend in CA, labeld sp. unknown.  It has now bloomed, and I think I know what it is, but I haven't compared it to the description yet, so I'll leave it as unknown.  Two shots, a whole plant (still very very small) and a close-up of the flower.

And the final one for today.  D. farmeri, mine is the pink one.  (Noticing a pink trend today :) ).  I've had this one for at least 5 years, and it is mounted.  I leave this one outside year round, protected from watering during the cooler months.  The leaves are pretty rough, but I wanted to highlight it as this is the best blooming I've ever had with it.

Hope you enjoy and take care.


I currently only have one Sarcochilus, a hybrid names Melody.  But Sarcochilus was the first genus, back 15 years ago that I fell in love with.  My first dedicated orchid book was a Sarco book, the first species I ever bloomed was Sarco. cecilae, although I killed it soon after that  :)

When we moved to Charlotte, NC and I was keeping the greenhouse warm nights in the winter, and the summer days were regularly around 100F, and very low humidity, I moved away from Sarcs. After we moved down here, since we have temps that would allow a Sarc. to stay outside year round, but give it a cool winter, I decided to just try one again.  Now, I mounted it, because I like the look of it mounted, but that probably wasn't the best idea.  As we prepare to move again, to a warmer area, I'm not going to acquire anymore until I see how this one does.  Anyways, it's blooming now, two spikes on a small plant (that whole mounted thing doesn't lead to the most robust plant).

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Dendrobium ruckeri

And now, one of my favorite Dendrobium species.  Just love this one, the flowers smell just like honey when the sun is shining, but when it's cloudy, the fragrance turns to black pepper.  Easy grower, although it is an ungainly plant.  The canes branch freely, and I do have it mounted, but I've had to support all the canes as it just takes up too much space if I don't.  I grow this one just like every other deciduous Den, lots of sun, water and fertilizer in summer, lots of sun, no fertilizer, and almost no water in winter.

A reliable bloomer for me.

The whole plant photo shows the back of the mount, as the flowers opened facing the back.  But the plant itself isn't very attractive, so it actually looks better this way  :)

Maxillaria tenuifolia

I usually do try to call my plants by their update to date accepted names.  But this species is so commonly known as Max. tenuifolia, I figured I'd title this post with that name.  For those who care, the current accepted name for this species is Maxillariella tenuifolia.

This is one of those species that almost everyone has. And a wonderful fragrance as well, to me is smells just like coconut suntan lotion.  I grow this one differently than many people advise.  Currently it is in LECA and lava rock, watered daily in summer, and much less often in winter.  I give it Vanda level light, and leave it outside year round, which means it gets down to just above freezing in winter, and very hot in the summer.

Here is last year's picture, it was in a 6 inch pot, with some LECA in there. 

After blooming was done last year, I uppotted it into a 10? 12? inch pond basket, and filled in with lava rock  pieces.  The following pictures taken this morning. As I was bringing it into the house, my youngest son stated "Mom, why are you taking pictures of a weed?" :)  You can see it does grow like a weed for me. But it is not going to get repotted again this year.

I've seen pictures of this species with a yellow base color, and if I ever come across one, I'll make sure to pick it up.  Can't go wrong with this one.

Dendrobium Section Spatulata

I'm not really crazy about the Spatulata Dens, but I seemed to have acquired a few species of them anyways.  The first two, D. gouldii and D. attenuatum were included free in orchids orders.  D. canaliculatum and carronii I did buy.  I grow these a bit differently, and will describe how for each one.

First, D. gouldii, still a relatively small plant, it is currently in a 5 inch pot, with Turface/Perlite mix.  It doesn't completely dry out in the warmer months, but I do let it approach dryness in the colder months.  So far, I have brought this in for the winter and it's kept at a minimum night temperature of 55F, and grown under T-5s.  In the summer, it receives direct sunlight from mid morning until about 2pm - so a lot of light.  I fertilize year round, weaker in the winter though.  First bloom, two spikes.

Next D. canaliculatum, I bought this recently from L. Del Favero Orchids in Tampa Fl, in spike, so I can't take any credit for this one.  It is currently potted in bark in a 2 inch clay pot, but once it is finished blooming, I am going to mount it.  No culture info, as I haven't had it long enough to do anything with it.

D. attenuatum is still very much a seedling, in a 2 inch pot, growing in Turface/Perlite mix.  I grow this warm, Catt level light, evenly moist in summer, and allowed to approach dryness in winter.  This is the second spring it has bloomed for me. The white dots are honeydew, not insects.  This plant seems to weep a lot.

And finally, D. carronii, which I have discussed individually about a year and a half ago, but I thought I'd highlight it again.  The original post has much better photographs, but this year, it did give me three spikes instead of two.  Grown warm, Vanda level light, mounted, lots of water and fertilizer in summer, and no fertilizer and almost no water in winter. First a picture of it from last year again, showing the plant habit,

And I cannot find my photo from this past blooming.  But it did have three spikes.

Hope you enjoy!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Dendrobium gratiosissimum

I bought this one in March of 2012, at the Atlanta show from Andy's Orchids.  It was in bud at the time, and did go on to bloom.  But this is my first blooming, right on schedule.  ISOPE lists this one as Section Dendrobium, and I give it the same culture as D. nobile.  So, it is mounted, in the summer, good light, lots of water and fertlizer.  During the cooler months, less water, no fertilizer and brighter light.  I wasn't able to get a close-up that showed the purple stripes deep in the lip, but they are there.  Nice light fragrance to it as well.

Dischidia ovata

I haven't written much about my Hoyas lately, pretty much because they don't do a whole lot in the winter for me.  But I've got a few budding up now, so over the next few months, there will be more.

While Dischidias are not Hoyas, they are closely related, enough that I do have this one.  Common name is the watermelon plant, and when grown in good light, the leaves take on a reddish hue, and with the striping, it's understandable how it received that name.

I found this at a BBS about two years ago.  Last summer, I started two pots from cuttings of that original plant.  The larger one I left outside through winter, and it sure didn't like the cold, and completely died.  The smaller one I brought inside under lights, and it has grown nicely for me.  I have it potted in a Turface/Perlite mix, I let it dry out well in between waterings, and somewhat shaded light conditions.  While the flowers are not eye-catching, they do have a charm to them.

First a close-up of the leaves and flowers - yes they are completely open.  And then a picture of the whole plant.