Posts Tagged ‘Vanda’

The orchids, especially the Catts, are budding up and blooming. Since leaving the greenhouse this spring, they’ve shed the doldrums of confinement and become lush and vigorous – well, at least most of them have. Even the ones that aren’t actually in bloom have developed numerous sheaths, harbingers of beauty for the fall and winter.

Several of the current bloomers are pictured on the Photos page:


C. maxima

Cattleya maxima is a particular favorite. I bought it several years ago on the final day of the OSGKC show when the vendors were breaking down their booths. A desiccated, bare-root C. maxima had been tossed in a heap with some other plants by the Ecuagenera salesman. The plant had a withered flower so I was hopeful that, despite my lack of experience with bare-root purchases, this plant was a viable bloomer – which it has been, every year since I bought it. I grow it in a shallow, clay pot with a medium bark, charcoal and inorganic pellets mix

The Catasetum ochraceum is also a reliable and fragrant bloomer. This year it produced a record number (for me) of inflorescences . In addition this is the first year that I’ve had a female flower on this multi-sex plant. (That’s the flower pictured on the Photos page.] (more…)


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I’m trying something different this summer with the seven Vandas in my collection. Rather than hanging them either in the Shade House or on poles outside the greenhouse, I’m putting them together above the garden pond. The photo at the left shows them hanging from a rod stretched between two trees.

In this position, the Seven Vestal Vandas enjoy early morning light and late afternoon light, with intermittent light throughout the day. I may discover that this location isn’t bright enough for light-hungry Vandas, but I’ve tended to overdo sun exposure during the last two years (burning the leaves of two plants) – so it’s Vanda-experiment time!

The big galvanized bucket on the right shows the Vandas floating in water with orchid fertilizer. I know I’m breaking all the rules when it comes to letting the seven sisters share the same food trough, but…well, it’s just plain simpler this way than dipping each Vanda in a freshly prepared bucket of water.

I don’t throw out the water in the bucket. After letting the plants soak for a while, I use the water to fertilize the flower pots in the pond garden and in the front yard.

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Blooms a-plenty in the greenhouse this weekend.

Diminutive in size, the Acampe papillosa has a powerfully sweet scent. A recent purchase, this miniature vandaceous orchid was blooming when I bought it.

Sophrocattleya “Crystella Smith” is a vigorous little plant and a reliable bloomer – blooming several times a year.

I bought Brassia Rex for $5 on the scratch-n-dent table shortly after I joined the Orchid Society of Greater Kansas City. It’s a giant plant, with one or two bloom cycles a year. At least one of those bloom cycles produces from 3 to 6 spikes.

Cyc. ‘Wine Delight’ Cyc.’‘JEM’ FCC/AOS is one of the largest cycnoches in my collection. This year and last it has produced two inflorescences, thickly covered in dark red flowers, which fill the greenhouse with their sweet scent.

Pleurothalis platystamas is a small plant with an annual explosion of inflorescenses and tiny lemon-colored flowers. It was a gift from an OSGKC friend, who is an expert pleurothallid grower.

Laelia rubescens is a delicate little catt. The early flower is the palest of lavenders, fading into white as the blossom ages.

Laeliocattleya Everett Dirksen is one of the big catts – a reliable and fragrant bloomer.

Mediacalcar decoratum is a trailing plant with tiny, trumpet-shaped blooms. It’s not an easy bloomer for me. While it generally flowers once a year, it doesn’t bloom profusely. Its succulent leaves spread like a vine, and it prefers a cooler, shadier environment than most of my orchids.

Nothing quite stops traffic like the scent of Oncidium Sharry Baby. Some people describe it as a chocolate smell; others believe it smells like a cake fresh from the oven. When grown as a specimen plant, this easily flowered plant can be quite large.

My Cattleya Chocolate Drop NOK is a division from the Missouri Botanical Gardens. I first saw this wonderful plant at the entryway to the MBG spring show. Its huge spray of blood-red petals and sepals glistened in the multi-flashes of visitors’ cameras.

Cyc. cholorochilon ‘Jumbo’ x Cycd. Jumbo Mickey is a big plant with bright yellow blooms. Even with its two inflorescenses, this cycnoches isn’t as floriferous – or as fragrant – as Cyc. Wine Delight.

Phrag. Ecua-Bess (Ecuadorence ‘Birchwood’ HCC/AOS x Besseae ‘Whippoorwill’) is a great plant. I struggle with the slipper orchids, but this one is a reliable bloomer, providing reccurring blossoms from the same inflorescense for several weeks – sometimes for several months.

Bc Maikai ‘Louise’ was a gift from an orchid friend. It was a division from her specimen plant, which I received about four months ago! Note the spots are as prominent on the back of the plant as on the front.

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Of my 32 Top Favorite orchids, these 11 earn four out five points (See the Nov. 3 post for the ranking criteria). (Again note the ones with an asterisk *. In a few days, I’ll do a special post about these.): 

  • Brassia Rex (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Cirropetalum Elizabeth Ann ‘Jean’* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Cycnoches Jean E. Monnier* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Maxillaria tenuifolia* (reliable and profuse bloomer, fabulous scent, and durable plant)
  • Makara Salaya Red (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Mexipedium xerophyticum ‘Oaxaca’ CBR/AOS* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant) [This knockout blossom is diminutive.]
  • Onc. Sharry Baby* (reliable and profuse bloomer, fabulous scent, and durable plant)
  • Paphinia Majestic (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)
  • Psychopsis Mendenhall* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)

    3 blooms on Psychopsis Mendenhall

  • Slc. George Hausermann ‘Carl’* (reliable bloomer, knockout bloom, mildly scented and durable plant)
  • Vanda sensei blue* (reliable and profuse bloomer, knockout bloom, and durable plant)

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