Herself's Houseplants

Conservation through cultivation

Archive for the ‘Orchids’ Category

Psychopsis ( Oncidium Mendenhall)

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Psychopsis

Psychopsis

I fell in love with these years ago, and it’s been a very long time since I’ve had one. Now I have four. The first two were lost in shipping by the PostOffice. The seller sent replacements, and three weeks later the originals turned up. The roots were dry but the plants were otherwise healthy. A few hours of soaking in water with rooting hormone and fertilizer, then a week planted in sphagnum moss, and they were as good as the two that hadn’t gotten lost. These are tough plants that clearly don’t mind a bit of neglect.

These orchids want low to medium light, I’m told they’ll bloom in light as dim as you use for your phalaenopsis, but cattleya light is better. The leaves on these are almost a dark solid green, with more light the leaves will get a brown speckling. I’m still experimenting to see how much light they can take you can see the newer leaves beginning to get some color as I increase the light. These are currently in a north east window where they receive dappled light in the morning and mid afternoon.

Psychopsis leaf speckling

Psychopsis leaf speckling

Some growers say to let them dry a bit between waterings, others say never let them dry. After the PostOffice experiment I’m leaning towards letting them get a bit dry between waterings. Make sure the leaves and pseudobulbs stay firm, roots should be green to white, the greener the better.

I’ve taken to keeping all my orchids in clear glass containers so I can keep an eye on the roots. If you use bark and or sphagnum moss make sure there is no water sitting in the bottom of the container and use a shallow, wide container. If you use clay pellets ( semi-hydro ) plant the orchid so the roots are above the bottom third of the container and leave water in the bottom third of the container. I have these planted in semi-hydro, it hasn’t been very long but so far they are doing extremely well.

Each spike bears flowers one at a time, after the flower dies the spike will grow a bit longer, then a new flower will bloom on it. Flower spikes can reach 5′ in height. Flowers can be a couple inches or as large as 6″. Flowers will last about a month.

These haven’t yet bloomed,and I couldn’t find any bloom photos from previous ones so I borrowed a photo from Flickr, to show you the bloom, I’ll add my own once these bloom.

Psychopsis bloom  photo credit

Psychopsis bloom
photo credit

Temperatures should be between 50’F and 90’F, 60′-80F is best.

The higher the humidity the better.

Psychopsis Mendenhall is a hybrid between Psychopsis Butterfly and papilio.

Written by Linda MacPhee-Cobb

February 22nd, 2015 at 4:35 pm

Newly unflasked Paph Fairrienum

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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.

Oct 2014
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.

Feb. 2015
I murdered every last one of these. I recently acquired a Miracle Grow LED hydroponic garden. I’m going to try deflasking plants into there, then transplanting them into pots.

COC Deflasking Orchid Seedlings Several professional growers give their tips

Written by Linda MacPhee-Cobb

September 13th, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Ghost Orchid Flasks (Dendrophylax lindenii)

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Ghost orchid 8/29/14

Ghost orchid 8/29/14

Ghost Orchid

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8/13/14
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.



8/18/14
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.

Deflasked ghost orchid about a week after deflasking

Deflasked ghost orchid about a week after deflasking



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?

Feb 2015
I killed all but one of the Ghost Orchids. The surviving one is floating on a piece of bark in a fish tank under an extremely bright light. So far it seems to be surviving.

Written by Linda MacPhee-Cobb

September 12th, 2014 at 5:00 am