Friday, September 14, 2007

Orchids in Action

While my dendrobiums grow, bloom, and multiply faster than I can keep up with, I have waited patiently for my large phalaenopsis (moth orchid) to bloom. My largest one (Phal. Brother Mirage "Brother") has many aerial roots and lots of dark green healthy foliage. It sits inside a bright window with sheer curtains shielding it from direct sunlight.

This long-awaited flower spike is very exciting!
I'm not certain how to best treat this orchid now, but I'm following the tricks I learned from my Dendrobium nobile: give them little water and no fertilizer until the flower buds are definitely set, and then water and use a high phosphorus orchid fertilizer. The Dendrobium nobile would turn its little buds into new plants (keikis) instead of flowers if watered/fertilizer too soon.
A phalaenopsis reblooming from a spent spike: this one was purchased for us as a gift and we watched it bloom from May till late August. As recommended, I cut it off just above the uppermost green node (watch that you don't confuse the nodes for the marks left on the spike from where the dead flowers fell off -- you want to cut below these). You can see the beginnings of a new flower spike growing from this node.


Rose said...

You help me to appreciate that we all have our challenges with gardening. You live where sunny days are short, and cold is plentiful. I live where heat and humidity reign. But we still manage to garden! :)


MrBrownThumb said...

Nice, I love the first signs of a flower stalk because no matter how hard you wish it will grow on it's own time and bloom when it's ready.

I'm not sure if it's an exercise in patience or in torture.