Archive for the ‘Orchids’ Category
I’ve been so happy with the progress from the previous two flasks I thought I’d try another one. This one also came from eBay. These are crosses of Paph. fairrienums they should look like the photo but with slight variations. A large pot of these in bloom should be gorgeous. Estimated time to bloom is two years.
The flask contained about 25 seedlings.
It was an open mouthed flask so it only took a little coaxing to remove them.
I placed the whole group in a shallow container of water with fertilizer.
Because the agar was brown and the seedlings a bit yellowed I added a capful of hydrogen peroxide to the water.
After about 10 minutes the agar softened enough to break out the plants and sort them on to a clean towel.
A bit of rinsing of each plant under the faucet helped removed the remaining agar from the roots.
I dipped each seedling in rooting hormone, then placed it in the terrarium.
The terrarium has a couple of inches of sphagnum moss soaked in fertilized water.
Lastly they get placed in a bright window.
Now we wait. In the meantime, it should make an interesting terrarium to watch.
I’ll slowly leave the cover off the terrarium and let them adapt to the house humidity.
I’ll check each day to be sure the moss is damp but there is no fungus or mold.
When the container gets too crowded I’l moved them to community pots.
These are doing well, I have them in a window that gets morning sun along with a fluorescent lamp. The cover is off the terrarium and most of them have started growing a 3rd leaf.
I decided it was time to try something more challenging. So I ordered a couple of flasks of Ghost Orchids ( Dendrophylax lindeii ) on eBay.
The flasks arrived in a few days, everything looks wonderful.
I did have to break the flasks to remove the plants, not a big deal, wrap the flask in a towel and use a hammer.
After removing the orchids, I dropped them into a container of water with fertilizer and rooting hormone while I gently untangled them and removed the agar.
So far so good.
They are currently dispersed across 4 terrariums, worm castings on the bottom, sphagnum moss, then mulch, orchids are resting on the mulch.
For now I’ll keep the light levels low. The largest trick is to keep the humidity close to 100% and keep mold and fungus from killing the seedlings.
I use a light dose of fertilizer with rooting hormone to water my orchids, these included.
I’ve lost two of the ghost orchids to fungus, I’ve dispersed a few that didn’t look good into the carnivorous terrariums.
About a half dozen have grown their baby leaves, these two leaves are temporary and will fall off once the plants get settled.
Sept 12, 14
I admit to slaughtering most of the ghost orchids, of the half dozen to a dozen remaining most are showing new growth. They are in a large southwest facing window, in a not tightly sealed terrarium and I’m spraying them with water in the morning and evening.
Oct 6, 2014
These are tough, every time they start doing well, they start doing poorly a week later. I moved them from the southwest window to a spot under a bright LED which doesn’t get as hot in the afternoon. We’ll see how that goes?
Today (Aug 13, 2014) my order of Dendrobium Moschatum from eBay arrived. These were grown in a flask, unflasked by grower prior to shipping.
Much like cuttings started in water these will grow new roots to replace the ones they grew in the flask. For now they’ll stay in a terrarium to keep the humidity up. As they grow new roots and leaves I’ll start leaving the cover off eventually planting them up in pots.
I tried putting them worm castings and sphagnum moss in the terrarium and inserting the plants. They are so fragile now that wasn’t really working. I removed them and took each plant, made a ball of moss around the roots and inserted that into the terrarium.
I’m told newly unflasked plants do better when they are kept near their siblings? I don’t know, maybe so. These are closely planted in two terrariums sorted by plant size.
The terrariums have worm castings and sphagnum moss, they’ll be weakly fertilized with rooting hormone added as the terrariums need more water.
The biggest trick is to keep up the humidity but not let molds or fungus attack the new seedlings.
Aug 15th, leaving the cover off the terrariums for a while, the seedlings still look good, so I’ll start to harden them off.
Aug 26th, I’ve started leaving them outside in a mostly shaded area. So far I haven’t lost any plants. The stems are thickening up a little, no new leaves yet.
Sept 13th, all the orchids are still alive. They are not much, if any, taller, but the stems are noticeably thicker.
Oct 6, 2014 The seedlings are struggling and I’m not sure why. They are receiving bright morning sun, there’s a fluorescent lamp nearby, the cover is off the terrarium. The other newly un-flasked orchids in the container next to them are doing great.
These are Dendrobium moschatum, which get as tall as 6′-7′ according to the grower.