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Monday, October 22, 2012

How to repot a Phalaenopsis orchid in sphagnum-moss

The basic steps of my repotting in sphagnum:

    1. rinse sphagnum dry under hot running water
    2. rinse with water by osmosis (or distilled or rain water)
    3. wring strong
    4. break to pieces by about 1-2 cm giving volume and air
    5. put a first layer of sphagnum in the vessel
    6. place the plant
    7. fill the jar without crushing too much
    8. free the holes on the bottom
    9. water in small doses only when it is well dry
    10. fertilize in small doses

    Phalaenopsis schilleriana, orchid species, seedlings repotted in sphagnum moss
    Phalaenopsis schilleriana, orchid species,
    sphagnum moss repotting
    (picture of 4 October 2012)

    Some orchids grow much better and faster if potted in sphagnum-moss, this is because in the wild they live immersing their roots in soft moss pillows. Sphagnum has the qualities, not indifferent, to produce some antifungal substances, stabilize the pH and maintain good moisture. Dry sphagnum (dehydrated) can be found at nurseries specializing in orchids or, though rarely, you can find the live sphagnum. To repot our Phalaenopsis seedlings, freshly deflasked, keiki or the more common mini-phalaenopsis, you normally use dry sphagnum . In nature there are many different species of moss but to grow orchids what is important is not the species but the quality of fibers: the best fiber of sphagnum  is the bigger one because it will stay more elastic and compact so less compressed in the vessels, lets more air circulating and promotes drying of the roots of fundamental importance for all orchids, especially for epiphytic species such as Phalaenopsis.

    Friday, October 19, 2012

    Phalaenopsis bellina!

    Phalaenopsis Bellina, young orchid species, plant just purchased, in pot with bark mix
    Phalaenopsis Bellina, young orchid species,
    just purchased, in pot with bark mix
    (picture of 5 August 2012)
    Together with the Phalaenopsis violacea there were also some specimens of Phalaenopsis Bellina, no one had the flower stalk and they had recently undergone serious damage by an evil fungus, maybe Rhizoctonia solani or Phytophthora cactorum. After taking the Phalaenopsis violacea I didn't want to buy other plants, the space inside an apartment is limited, I have another phal. Bellina even if it seems frozen ... But when I looked at them, one in particular has been noted, it came out of the pot, literally!  it fell upside down, the roots that were inside were all completely dehydrated! I could not leave it, so I asked to the boss of the nursery (Orchids & More) if I could get a good price (which is always a bit strange here in Germany, but here I am) SUPER DISCOUNT! Only 8 euro, JACK! Of course the roots ...

    Thursday, October 18, 2012

    New purchases: Phalaenopsis violacea and ...

    Phalaenopsis Violacea, young orchid species, first flowering, plant potted in sphagnum-moss
    Phalaenopsis Violacea,
    young orchid species, first flowering, 

    potted in sphagnum moss
    (picture of 5 August 2012)
    var. coerulea Malysia x Dark red "Norton"
    Is a long time I want to see a flowering of Phalaenopsis violacea and Phalaenopsis bellina, unfortunately, the various attempts to purchase I've made so far have been disappointing. Last Saturday we had plans to meet a dear friend fond of orchids like me, I jumped on the bandwagon, we took him to meet my favorite orchids seller (Orchids & More). I discovered recently that only 2 miles from my house is located one of the most well-stocked greenhouses of orchids in Germany! A great place. Towards the end of our visit,in the last hall, I saw a group of phalaenopsis with flower stems in growth, they were phal. Violacea ! (var. Malaysia coerulea x dark red Norton).
    Unfortunately, all the plants had recently been the victim of a fungal disease, so even if new leaves were beautiful, some roots and old leaves was not the best, but the stem was perfect, and she was calling me ...

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Baby Cattleya are growing

    My tiny SLC (sophro-laelio-cattleya) came from international orchids exposition of Munich, they were inside an Orchi-pack, 5 small seedlings of about 2 cm with roots in feeding jelly. The seller told me that it would take up to 5 years for the first flowering and he recommended me to don't open the glass for the next two months, to keep them in a quite place and so repot in small bark with sphagnum moss; What a shame he did not tell me not to remove the external sachet.

    Sophro-laelio-cattleya, seedlings in sphagnum-therapy
    seedlings in sphagnum-therapy
    (picture of 2 August 2012)
    Hybrid: (Laelia Lucasiana x Cattleya violacea) x Love Knot,

    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    My Macodes petola, successful experiment?

    Macodes Petola jewel orchid species, leaf and shoot apex detail
    Macodes Petola, jewel orchid species,
    ditails of leaf and vegetative shoot apex
    I came across this orchid by accident and it was love at first sight, its leaves are very dark green velvet and no pictures can make justice to the golden veins, it seems that an artist has painted with glitter, beautiful! The nice lady who sold it to me told me to keep it "more or less like a phalaenopsis," I was not familiar with the genus Macodes and I do not like the "more or less", so I trawled the depths of the web to find all the available informations, you can't find that much.

    Monday, October 15, 2012

    Young Phalaenopsis from the flask to a bark pot

    Phalaenopsis Kuntrarti rarashati x Lindenii, Seedlings in pot with bark and sphagnum moss
    Phalaenopsis Kuntrarti rarashati x Lindenii,
    Seedlings in pots with bark and sphagnum-moss 
    At the beginning of March in Munich there's a beautiful international exhibition of orchids from around the world, I could not resist the temptation to buy an orchi-pack! That is a small group of 4 or 5 seedlings growing in nutrient gelatin, sealed in a glass of clear plastic..
    I took those hybrids of Phalaenopsis Kuntrarti Rarashati x Phalaenopsis lindenii because I liked the pictures of the parents and the seedlings in the glass were larger than the others and seemed to be vigorous. Even if it takes years to see the flowers ... I can not wait! 
    The seller told me to leave them locked in the glass for 2 weeks but looking good in there was like a milkshake, I finally opened the glass on the fourth day because I saw something yellow.

    Friday, October 12, 2012

    Saving a rootless Oncidium

    I adopted this plant in the bargain corner of IKEA for 30 euro cents in November 7, 2011, it had only the few aerial roots out of the pot, all that was inside was just a black mass ...

    The cause is certainly standing water that led to a bad attack of fungi (Pythium or Phytophthora) because of the compound into the vessel, there was no bark, just mush.

    Once clean and dry, looked like this:

    Oncidium hybrid orchid, few healthy roots,  just bought from the bargain corner
    Oncidium orchid hybrid, few healthy roots,
    just bought from the bargain corner

    Wednesday, October 10, 2012

    What am I doing here? Now I try to tell ...

    I started this blog because I caught the “Orchid's Fever”. It started with the usual plant gifted by friends, then I got one on offer at the supermarket, then if you go to Ikea when orchids are just arrived ... you cannot leave without one of them!
    Here I just would tell how my small tropical garden in the apartment is working.

    Macroclinium Aurorae orchid species mounted on cork, flowering
    Macroclinium Aurorae, orchid speciesmounted on cork,
    beginning of flowering