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 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 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"

Dark wine Phalaenopsis with white lip

Beautiful contrast on this ruffled edge phal! The white labellum and border around the slightly frilly petals/sepals are quite showy. What is not to love??

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Miltonidium "Issaku Nagata"

What is not to love??!?!  Tall stunning sprays of abundant and fragrant flowers adorn this mid sized orchid. And the blooms are long lasting to boot!

I call it my orchid "Christmas tree" as the branching arrangement of the flowers resembles a shimmering pyramidal shaped evergreen fir.  But of course, one could let the spike gracefully arch to one side too.

Meet the Gorgeous Vuylstekeara orchid!

This gorgeous and unusual hybrid is still thriving and reliably flowering almost every year since I first purchased at White Rose many years ago.

Vuylstekeara is an intergeneric hybrid between three orchid genera, Cochlioda, Miltonia and Odontoglossum.  It is very hardy and produces nice long sprays of star-shaped speckled blooms.

The photograph below depicts a newly opened bloom where the petals and sepals have not begun to recurve like the flowers shown in the photo above.

Large white moth orchid flower

What is not to like of an ever-blooming orchid? This is one of my most floriferous orchids, which sports huge 5 inch blooms most of the year. Surprisingly, this moth orchid has been re-blooming on 3-4 year old spikes while being so pot-bound most of the roots are hanging outside of the hanging pot. 
This is one of my first orchids in my collection.

Emerging flower spike on hybrid orchid plant

I thought I'd share what a flower spike looks like when it just starts to emerge from the base of the bulb, nestled inside a few sets of leaves. Sometimes, when the bulbs aren't mature enough or have not received enough light or fertilizer to initiate budding, we only get a new growth instead of a flower spike.

When orchids are small and growing, I will often pot several plants together. This orchid should be Adaglossum Summit "Frenchtown" unless I mixed the tags!  Keep watching for an update of this plant with her blooms!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Pinstriped pink Phalaenopsis noid

I have many noid phals but that doesn't stop me from enjoying them. Although, I prefer to acquire accurately named cultivars, it is rarely possible nowadays unless purchasing plants from a reputable nursery.

Oh well, I hope you enjoy this cute little pinstriped gem...she looks like she's dressed in pyjamas!

The sweet scented Bird Beak Orchid!

Oncidium Sharry Baby "Red Fantasy" (Jamie Sutton x Honolulu)-deliciously fragrant oncidium hybrid in red & fuchsia flowers smell of chocolate and vanilla!! The flowers appear in profusion on delicately arching doesn't get better than this!!

Beallara "Willy Nilly"

Although this beauty bloomed for me a few years ago, I thought I'd share a photo of my Beallara Pacific Bright Star "Willy Nilly" (Odontioda x Miltassia).

Just look at those glorious magenta star-shaped flowers!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Miniature moth orchids in pink and yellow

Two more pink miniatures I acquired. The yellow and pink blush variety bellow is very easy to propagate as I was able to divide into four plants within 2 years. 

The pale lime green and light pink veined cultivar below is the most recent addition; yet another beautiful gift by my thoughtful husband. Love you honey!

Phalaenopsis speckled beauty!

WOW! I can't even remember buying this plant so imagine my surprise when it bloomed this last spring!! It had over 15 flowers opened at the same time. Nice compact plant with superb pattern and vibrant coloration. View large and be dazzled!

This is possibly Phalaenopsis Elegant Karin Aloha (a cross of
Phal. Salu Peoker x Dtps. Taida Pearl)

Wine coloured phalaenopsis

When I first saw the very dark wine flowers on this plant, I was so tempted that I could not resist purchasing two plants! They look splendid potted up in a wide container.

Creative idea for a hanging orchid chandelier!

When a friend of mine gave me this old plant stand, I immediately saw its potential. What a great way to save space and hang plants in front of the window!

I flipped the stand upside down, attached three chains and hooks and voila...ingenious eh??

yellow speckled phalaenopsis

I find miniature phalaenopsis are delightful because I can cram more plants into one spot! Here is a light yellow moth orchid with pink freckles and lip that was given to me as a gift by spouse.

Magenta Phalaenopsis

Put on your sunglasses! Here is one of the brightest magenta flowers you will ever see. It has been blooming reliably year after year, rewarding me with masses of blooms so bright you'd think they are glowing! But don't take my word for it...see for yourself (best viewed large).

Yellow phalaenopsis pinstriped with cerise lip

Orchids are like can't just buy just one variety!! And oh my! They really do come in all shapes, colors and sizes.

Since many of my orchids bloom in winter, they brighten up my house on those dreaded dark and cold days when I need a pick-me-up.

variegated-leaved phalaenopsis

Oh what a surprise when I spotted this lovely variegated-leaved moth orchid! It is a miniature orchid with small light pink speckled flowers. The silvery pattern on the leaves only add to the beauty of the specimen.

White Dendrobium nobile with yellow maroon throat

The waxy flowers are very long lasting and have a most delicate pleasant scent! My canes are giving me new growth during the summer ...hoping for flower buds this fall!

White and pink Dendrobium nobile

A rare find at a local grocery store, this unnamed dendrobium nobile begged to come home with me...along with several other orchidacea friends.

Like many dendrobiums, the smell of this bouquet is sweet and intoxicating!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Angel phalaenopsis

Orchids have only three petals, one of which is highly modified and forms a lip or labellum. The labellum is the lower central petal that looks very different from the other 2 petals. You might think I am crazy and that you see/count a total of 5 "petals" on the photo below but the other 3 are actually sepals (which in this case, look a lot like the petals)! Orchid lesson no.1 done.

At first glance, one sees a strangely wonderful yellow orchid flower but look more closely and you might even see an angel with her wings folded inwards! This phalaenopsis is a cross of Phal "Taipei Gold Goldstar" x Phal "Goldberry Carmela"  and the flowers are waxy in appearance.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Orchid Virus Immunostrip RESULTS

About a year ago, and as a direct result of my previous post on this blog regarding my orchid losses, I was contacted by a representative at Agdia Inc. After reading about my experience with an unknown pathogen ravaging some of my orchids, the rep generously offered me 5 free samples of Immunostrip test strips. The strips test for two of the most common orchid viral diseases: CymMV (Cymbidium Mosaic Virus) and ORSV (Ondontoglossum ringspot virus) which are the most problematic and prevalent viruses in cultivated orchids.

Here are the results for 4 of the tests:
Plant tested: Miltonidium "Isaku Nagata"
symptoms: brown spots on leaves
results: negative for both viruses

Plant tested: Oncidium "Sharry Baby"
symptoms: brown spots on leaves with streaks and sunken areas, yellowing
results: negative for both viruses

Plant tested: Brassia Rex
symptoms: brown spots on leaves
results: negative for both viruses

Plant tested: Oncidium "Sweet Sugar"
symptoms: brown spots on leaves with streaks and sunken areas, yellowing
results: negative for ORSV
            positive for CymMV
-this plant was immediately destroyed and disposed of.

The Immunostrip tests strips can be purchased through Agdia's website and costs 120$ for 25 test strips and 32$ for 5 test strips (see 13301&attribute_Size=25 ) . The instructions provided are adequate and I found the test easy enough to use but had some difficulty determining the required sample size for different types of leaf thickness only because I lacked a scale that could measure 0.15 grams of leaf tissue.
I would love to test all of my plants but unfortunately, find the tests a bit too pricey for my "hobby" collection.

I am reserving my last and final test for the only affected phalaenopsis that survived  (had exhibited  symptoms of viral disease about 18 months ago).  The orchid has since stopped showing any signs of the disease in the new growth.  The plants that tested negative above, still show some varying degree of brown spotting with one plant almost no longer showing any signs on the new growths.

To learn more about orchid viruses and the ImmunsoStrip test strips, visit Agdia at

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Scientific American: The Other Orchid Thief...

Not long following my previous post I was contacted by Daniel Grushkin, writer for Scientific American, to assist him in preparing his next article. He had found my blog entry regarding the orchid virus while searching for keywords and was curious to learn about my mishap.

To read the intersting article, visit

Update: I have so far lost 5 phalaenopsis and the list might be growing as I keep watch on this devasting culprit.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Tawain Orchid Virus or Microfungus??

I am completely devastated by this rampant infection threatening my entire orchid collection. So far I have many phalaenopsis plants affected as well as most of my plants from the oncidium alliance. Seems to be spreading where close contact is present as my isolated plants show no signs of this disease. I have to throw out all the plants affected or keep them isolated until it resolves or takes over the plant. Symptoms include blotchy round yellow spots on leaves, silvery white pitted sunken areas on leaves, brown sunken spots on leaves, brown spots on leaves , all spots also appear underneath (through the leaf tissue). No insect pathogens present on any of the plants (no mites, whiteflies, fungus gnats, etc..).

Here are excellent photos of the symptoms exhibited by the affected plants:

(A1)First phalaenopsis affected (advanced stage):
(A2)Close up of same plant leaf
(A3)Oncidium type plant with suspicious spots before my phals got infected:

(A4)Another infected phal, with lighter brown sunken spots as well as yellow blotches.

(A5)My favorite phal with yellow blotches and sunken dried areas.

(A6)Early stages of disease showing lighter spots gradually turning yellowish.

(A7)Close up of same plant

(A8)Oncidium type plant with suspicious blotches, mostly dark brown but some yellow

(A9)Another oncidum type plant with similar brown spots.