Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Hello my pretty little Psychopsis!

Well,  this new bloom turned out exactly like the first one so it most likely will always have a thin lip and petals. I fell in love with the look of this crazy antenna-alien-insect the second I saw it. Some say it looks like a star-fish but I am sure it will continue to amuse onlookers regardless of what creepy creature they might think it looks like.

Psychopsis "Green Valley" alba

Monday, March 2, 2020

Phalaenopsis Eiderstedt

It's always a satisfying feeling when you grow a seedling to blooming size and see the flower for the very first time! I purchased this plant from This Side of Paradise Orchids August 2018 and today the the first bloom fully opened. 

The incredibly waxy/shiny bloom was a bit if a challenge to photograph. It is about the size of a loonie.
This cross is a remake of venosa x cornu-cervi var. sanguina. It is quite fragrant and best described as a synthetic rubber/leather/plastic scent. Weird but not unpleasant.

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Rth Shinfong Little Sun 'Young-Min Golden Boy’

After being in the hospital ward for 3 months, this little gem has flowered despite having only one or two roots. Ideally, I should have cut the bloom spike long ago for the plant to conserve energy and grow stronger. However, I also have a very good offshoot that is growing nicely so I decided to let the main plant bloom. And SURPRISE! this was labeled as Cattlianthe "Barefoot Mailman" but alas, it is Rth Shinfong Little Sun 'Young-Min Golden Boy’ (the label I found in another pot.

I have to say this Cattleya hybrid is a real fighter, and I'm quite confident it will bounce back and reward me with many more blooms given the proper care.

Rth Shinfong Little Sun 'Young-Min Golden Boy’

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Mislabelled cattleya orchid

I had been anticipating the opening of these blooms ever since I confirmed flower buds were developing inside the sheath several months ago. The tag on this specimen indicated it was Cattleya intermedia var Orlata "Marble" x self but, once the flower began to open something clearly was amiss!
With the consultation of a few of my orchid friends, it was clear that the label had to be wrong since this plant looked nothing like Cattleya intermedia. For one thing, Cattleya intermedia is bifoliate and has thin long pseudobulbs while my plant had fat pseudobulbs and was unifoliate! Furthermore, Cattleya intermedia flowers are on the smaller side but mine measured almost 6" across! It bore a striking resemblance to my Cattleya mossiae x mossiea semi alba which bloomed earlier this year.

So, even though my specimen looks like Cattleya mossiae, it will forever be a NOID. Nonetheless, it is still very pretty and fragrant so worthy of being part of my collection in my eyes!

Mislabeled Cattleya type orchid, poss Cattleya mossiae

Cattleya mossiae x mossiae semi alba

Cattleya intermedia (source: AOS)

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Newly registered orchid, Rhyncattleanthe DiCiommo Iris

I'm fortunate to have been able to grow this cattleya hybrid seedling to blooming. The plant was acquired through John Barnes in July of 2017 and produced its first blooms in January of 2019.  It is one of many wonderful cross from DiCiommo Orchids.

This blooming season (2nd) the flowers are a bit different; the lateral sepals are wider, less ruffled and the flares are not as prominent, giving the bloom a more uniformly colored appearance.  The color is best described as vibrant burnt orange and the petal surface is diamond dusted which gives it a shimmering effect when seen in bright light. The lip is solid deep cherry/magenta color and the blooms produce no significant fragrance.

It is possible that the difference in bloom appearance from a year ago can be attributed to growing the plant under artificial light (Jan 2019) vs natural window light ( Dec 2019).

You can view the registry information at the RHS website.

Dec 2019 blooms (grown with natural window light, SW exposure):

Jan 2019 blooms (grown under artificial LED's):

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Newest cattleya from seedling (mossiae x mossiae semi alba)

After two years of growing this John Barnes seedling out, it finally surprised me yesterday with these giant eloquent blooms! Now I have to wait a few days to see if there is any fragrance to them.

I immediately crossed one of the blossoms with Potinara Sweet Chief Orange but those blooms were spent so the pollen may not be viable anymore. Only time will tell!
Meet Cattleya mossiae x  Cattleya mossiae semi alba

Potinara Sweet Chief Orange beside Cattleya mossiae x mossiae semi alba   17-09-2019

Sunday, March 3, 2019

First re-bloom on Oncidium "Wild Willie"

After waiting almost 21 months, this clearance orchid I purchased at a nursery has finally decided it was happy enough to bloom. Sometimes, it may take a year or two for a newly acquired plant to acclimate to the different conditions that exist in our homes.   I'm hoping that it will now bloom reliably for me, season after season.

Since I purchased this orchid after it had finished blooming and the spike had been cut, even though a tag was included in the pot I could not confirm 100%  the identity until the new flowers opened. Sometimes, plants are mislabeled or tags can be accidentally switched during transplant or by being knocked out of a pot for example.

Now, all I'm waiting for is to sniff the delightful fragrance this hybrid is said to have!

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Paphiopedilum insigne aka the Splendid Lady Slipper Orchid

This little gem is to join my collection in a few months when I pick it up at the Ottawa Orchid show. Most likely, the bloom will have fallen but if all goes well, it should reward me with a shoot that hopefully will subsequently bloom!
Many thanks to my friend John who picked this up for me at the SOOS show at the beginning of January. And the price wasn't bad either!

Monday, January 14, 2019

New Cattleya hybrid by Di Ciommo Greenhouse

 I’m elated this 4 year old seedling has just bloomed! After three false hopes (empty sheaths) she decided it was time to reward me with three nice blooms and there’s another bloom coming on a second pseudobulb! Thank you to John Barnes for entrusting me with this special beauty and to Joseph Di Ciommo for the outstanding cross! I’m still waiting to see if she will develop any fragrance 🤞
C. (Morning Call x Chianhao Beauty) x (Jungle Jewel x DiCiommo David)
First bloom, January 10 2019

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

First successful phalaenopsis cross germination!

Last spring I tried another phalaenopsis cross using my very fragrant Phal. Pingtung Gold. After several previous unsuccessful attempts (self, and other noid phals), this time, we had a compatible match!!

The pollen parent I used was Phal "Taipei Gold Goldstar" x Phal "Goldberry Carmela, one of my very first orchids purchased back in 2000 (Gubler's Orchids) from our local White Rose Store. Both parents have very waxy flowers but only Pingtung Gold is fragrant, producing a most delicious and strong cinnamon/spice scent. I'm hoping that characteristic will be passed on to the offspring...but first, we have to wait at least 2-3 years before the first blooms! 

I can't take credit for the flasking...I enlisted Drew from This Side of Paradise Orchids to grow out the tiny and delicate seedlings. 

Phal. Pingtun Gold (pod parent)

Phal "Taipei Gold Goldstar" x Phal "Goldberry Carmela (pollen parent)

Newly fertilized flower with swelling ovary

Ripened seed pod with viable seeds
Nov 11 2018 vessels (2 months post seeding) photo courtesy This Side of Paradise Orchids

(Phal Pingtung Gold)  X  (Phal "Taipei Gold Goldstar" x Phal "Goldberry Carmela) (3 months post seeding) photo
courtesy This Side of Paradise Orchids

Orchid Beallara Pacific Bright Star "Willy Nilly" (Oda. Remembrance x Mtssa. Royal Robe)

Well, she certainly has not disappointed me this season!! After spending years trying to revive this plant from near death, it now seems very happy. Next I will attempt to grow it to a larger specimen size which should hopefully result in many more spikes and blooms. Each spike bears 6 flowers and each bloom measures roughly 5" across! The only thing missing to make this an absolute 10 is fragrance.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Beallara surprise!

I'm so thrilled this gorgeous beauty is blooming especially during this early winter gloomy weather. The bright colors and star-shaped blooms measure about 4" across! It would be a bonus if this orchid was fragrant but alas, it is not. Can't complain, she's giving me 2 spikes with 6 blooms each this season.
This specimen was purchased as a seedling from Cloud's Orchids back in 2009 and I almost lost her. She is now truly revived and doing well, as you can see.

Beallara Pacific Bright Star "Willy Nilly" (Oda. Remembrance x Mtssa. Royal Robe) 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Potinara surprise!

Wow, that was fast! Here you go, she started opening today. The colors are not fully developed yet and the petals not fully flexed. I enjoy watching the various shape/color changes all flowers go through. Hope you do too!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Potinara Chief Sweet Orange in bud

Just over a year ago I purchased this Potinara in bloom from Crystal Star Nurseries while on day trip. I wait in anticipation as this is the first re-bloom for this prized orchid! These buds are huge, measuring almost 3" long already.  I would say perhaps another 2-3 days before the bloom starts to unravel and then it will take several more days for each bud to totally unfurl and for the fragrance to emanate... will just have to be patient.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Zygopetallum "Advance Australia"

Oh I'm so delighted to have my first successful re-bloom on a zygo! Apparently they are more challenging to grow and bloom compared to the easy breezy phalaenopsis orchids so I must have done something right!
I find it quite cheerful to have plants bloom in my house throughout the winter months, and especially today with a heavy spring snowstorm descending upon us yet again!
The coloring on the photo does not do this bloom justice. It should appear as a more blueish purple and not this pinkish mauve.
One more thing...too bad your screen does not have a "scratch n sniff" feature as this is one of the most pleasantly fragrant in the orchid world!

Zygopetallum "Advance Australia"

Thursday, March 22, 2018

White big lip (petaloid) Phalaenopsis orchid

Imagine my surprise when I was scanning the plant shelves at our local Walmart when I found petaloid (big lip) moth orchids! These are pure white with a blotch of pale pink at the center. The flattened  lip is fused and quite attractive!
So here is another one that followed me home...

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Mellow yellow phalaenopsis joins the collection

Here is another interesting find at the local grocery store. This phalaenopsis has a nice buttery yellow color with flecks of orange near the base of the lower petals, giving it a truly pleasing appearance. Alas, no fragrance but I still brought her home!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Pink on pink veined moth orchid

Sometimes it pays off to visit the local Walmart clearance shelves. I rescued this lovely pink princess who had nothing wrong with her except having spent and damaged blossoms. Before any plant purchase, I  thoroughly inspect the leaves, roots, flowers and moss for any signs of disease or pests and always place them in quarantine. I won't risk infecting my entire collection so I have dedicated several spots of my house as segregation areas. It is well worth the effort to being pro-active, trust me!

Phalaenopsis NOID, pink on pink, veined with magenta lip

Monday, November 6, 2017

Welcome back pretty lady!

Although this one has been a tough orchid for me to get to flowering size, she finally is starting to be a more regular bloomer. This is one of Cloud's Orchids' specimens...Beallara Pacific Bright Star "Willy Nilly" (Odontioda x Miltassia).

Friday, August 18, 2017

new Cattleyas from Crystal Star Orchids!

Went on a road trip with a good friend of mine and we stopped in at several nurseries and Crystal Star Orchid greenhouses.

I was lucky to bring these beauties home...I call them fire and ice! Welcome home Catt. "Chief Sweet Orange" and Lc. Mini Purple 'Ocean Blue'!

Please excuse the color break in the lavender orchid...it can happen with temperature change!

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Tiniest of seeds...only an orchid

This past winter, I decided that it was time to take my orchid interest to the next level and attempt a few crosses. While I did try 9unsuccessfully) several years ago, this time my efforts proved fruitful...well, at least to the ripening of seed pods stage! Now, once we overcome the perils of invitro seed sowing (flasking) we have to test for seed viability, growth and bloom habits, and ultimately if it's something worth keeping and propagating!

So, have you ever wondered how tiny orchid seeds are?

Here you go!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Yellow Oncidium dancing ladies

I think that I have created another orchaholic!! Last weekend I was visiting my girlfriend and took this photo of  her newest orchid.

Meet Odontocidium Sanguine Celtic Goddess and her beautiful buttery blooms!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Citrus scented phal hybrid

One sniff of this gorgeous orchid is all it took for me to bring her home! The strong fragrance can easily fill a whole room.
Meet Phalandopsis Little One. It is a cross between Vandopsis and Phalaenopsis but also goes under the names Vandopsides since being renamed/reclassified!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Distorted Phalaenopsis spike growth

I have sometimes come across a spike that has "wedged" it's way inside a leaf, and I have found that this most often happens with oncididum hybrids when they are under watered. This is the first time I have seen a distorted spike on a phal...guess there is always a first!
I am hoping the growing spike will eventually find which way is "up", I gave it room to maneuver by slicing away a piece of leaf that it was wedged against. I also placed the spike facing the window so that it is encouraged to grow towards the light.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

When you just HAVE to divide your phal or it's goin gto die!

I thought I'd share this informative post regarding phalaenopsis "division" or in this case, an attempt to save a deteriorating plant.

The following orchid (see pic) is almost 20 years old and before division, spanned about 20" across and a foot high. It was a nice specimen plant often blooming on 5 spikes at once. However, being potted "forever" in the same pot, last summer, I noticed most of the plant leaves becoming limp and "shriveled" or "veined" due to drying out so I knew the roots must be bad (and they were).

Here is what I did to save the plant and produce more clones:

1-I carefully took the plant out of the pot and trimmed all dead/dying roots.

2-With sharp sterilized cutters (using a flame or bleach), I cut the orchid in about 2 equal parts. I really wanted to save the top so I kept as many live roots on the top half as possible when determining where to cut.

3-I dusted with ground cinnamon all open wounds, and re-potted both halves into fresh damp New Zealand sphagnum moss, making sure there is adequate draining (foam packing peanuts).

4-misted the plant on occasions when the moss would start to dry out and left in a warm, brightly lit spot.

It has now been almost 4 months since and you can clearly see new healthy leaves and roots on the top half of the plant (left) as well as 2 keikis (circled in red) on the bottom cut half (right). The bottom half will eventually die off but may end up producing more keikis before doing so. One is a basal keiki coming directly from the cut half and the other is a spike keiki from a healthy dormant spike that happened to originate on the lower half.

So that's it! I'm happy I acted before the plant was too far gone...now I have 3 plants and if all goes well, I will keep them potted together to form a nice specimen clump.

I hope this helps!

Cheers from Canada
 I'm hoping to get her blooming again soon!

Monday, June 27, 2016

Something different from Crystal Star Orchids

Last May I was fortunate to attend the Greater Sudbury Gardening Festival. I was thrilled beyond belief when I learned that Crystal Star Orchids from the Greater Toronto area were going to be selling some of their orchids at the show.
The show was a huge success! I met some wonderful people and had a few plants follow me home...

Check out the pages tab above for more information about each orchid!

Bnfd Gilded Tower "Mystic Maze" (Brassia intergeneric hybrid)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Dendrobium nobile flower bud

Whoa!! After weeks of thinking the new growth on my white/pink Dendrobium nobile were dreaded kikeis (offshoots), I am now pretty certain that these are buds inside the sheath! Have a look ...

Here is what the "mama" plant looks like in bloom:

Pink speckled miniature phalaenopsis in bloom (variegated leaves)

Look what surprised me last weekend! Nothing quite cheers me up faster than a fresh set of blooms during those gloomy winter days. I have many orchids that will be rewarding me with lush blooms in the following months and since Phalaenopsis have some of the most long lasting flowers in the orchid world they have become a huge favorite among indoor plants.

You can below see some of the flowers still have to re-position themselves on the flower stem (a process called resupination).

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Wardian Case miniature garden

I've always wanted one of these Wardian Cases but found them either too big or way too expensive to purchase. This small one (only 12" long) had a price tag of almost 70$!! BUT I managed to get a huge discount because the greenhouse was getting ready for winter and decided to have a clearance in their tropicals dept.  Patience can pay off...

Ever wondered what a developing orchid flower spike looks like?

I get frequent emails and message inquiring about orchid spikes and how to care for them. So, I thought I'd take a series of photos showing the development of my Adaglossum orchid flower spike.

You can see the first picture, the emerging spike just in between the leaves.
 In this photo below, the individual buds have started to swell, and the arrangement of the buds looks somewhat like a braid!

Now we can see a much taller spike, with the individual buds clearly separated on the stalk as they continue to develop inside.

And finally some blooms!! This orchid is Adaglossum "Summit Frenchtown"