Saturday, January 30, 2016

Some of my flowering dendrobium orchids

These beauties just finished it's flowering season, all of them of the nobile variety and they all bloom with masses of colorful scented flowers.
They are one of the popular cultivated orchids and in nature can be found in the area of the Himalayas from India to southern China in deciduous forests, mostly in moderate altitudes. It's a widespread specie with many forms and varieties.

My plants don't get any special attention, all of them grow under the shade of the trees, with occasional watering during hot summer months, they like free draining situation and in our climate they bloom in late spring well into the summer. The flowers are long lasting, up to six weeks with beautiful scent and I love seeing them at the time when majority of my orchids are resting.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Phaelenopsis orchid - finally bloomed

While majority of my orchids are resting during our hot and humid summer this phaelenopsis orchid blooming with all of it's profusion.

Some years ago I got this small "experimental" seedling just to see if I can bring it to flower. It have spent number of years on the back bench and I've been patiently waiting for it finally mature.  I have no idea what was crossed with what, but I think it's actually turned out quite a nice orchid.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Maxillaria tenuifolia

Maxillaria tenuifolia
Being one of the popular orchids for cultivation this maxillaria orchid also been one of my favorite for many years - it's very easy to look after and have the most amazing coconut scent.

In nature it grows in rain forests at low altitudes from Mexico to Nicaragua and hangs from tree trunks forming large clumps. It loves humid weather and in our climate it always blooms at the beginning of summer showing off it's beautiful red coconut scented blooms.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Dendrobium Orchid "Starfish"

All of my dendrobium orchids finished their blooming season and the last one was beautiful "Starfish". I've had this orchid for quite a few years and always love when it flowers with masses of special, fragrant blooms.

Being Australian Native, it's very easy to look after, I grow it under the shade of the trees exposed to all elements during it's growing cycle, it does not need any special treatment, just less watering during our winter months - other than that it tolerates all seasonal changes quite well. It's a beautiful orchid that delights novice as well as experienced orchid grower year after year with it's scented, unusual flowers.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Oncidium Jiuhbao Gold “KBR”

Oncidium Jiuhbao Gold “KBR”  
My Oncidium Jiuhbao Gold blooming right now. It's a beautiful orchid with huge flowers and very nice clear colors. It always produce these large, flamboyant blooms at the end of our winter.

Oncidiums one of the largest genera in the orchid family, currently contain more than 600 species and as far as I remember there have always been name changes in the oncidium alliance, but this of course does not deter orchid growers and collectors - with such multitude of species there are many grown and enjoyed around the world.

There are also many handsome hybrids and varieties made with the species of this and closely related genera and my Jiuhbao Gold "KBR" one of these varieties that have bold, huge blooms that enjoyed by everyone.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Zygopetalum Ocsa Platinum Surprise

Zygopetalum Platinum Surprise
One of my zygopetalum orchid flowering at the moment, it's Platinum Surprise that been with me for quite a few years. It have huge pale color blooms and heavenly scent and flowers lasts a long time.

Zygopetalum orchids are ones of the easiest orchids to grow, they have very minimal requirements in our climate - they like plenty of moisture during the year and then a dry period after they finished flowering. During hot summer they appreciate a bit of shade and I grow mine under the trees.
They are native to Brazil, Peru and other South American countries and grow in moderate altitudes in wet forests. They are very fragrant, delighting with their large, showy blooms.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Cyrtochilum macranthum nanum x self

Cyrtochilum macranthum nanum x self
I've been waiting for this orchid to bloom for quite a while, purchased it a couple of years ago and been trying to get it to flower and finally it decided to reward me with these special blooms. The flowers of this specie quite large, over 12 cm with relaxed petals and color predominantly yellow with shade of purple and orange in the middle.

These orchids are native to cool mountain forests of Peru and Colombia, growing at higher elevation at about 3,000m and like cooler temperature with bright light, plenty of moisture and quick drying situation. For a while I've been trying replicate as much as I can it's growing requirements, experimented with light, watering, moved it a few times around greenhouse, tried to keep it cool during summer heatwave and finally in the middle of our winter it decided to bloom, revealing to me it's special beauty that I can share with you all.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

NOID - Cattleya Orchids

Majority of my cattleya's started it's flowering season, they always bloom during our colder time of the year when it's raining and dark and windy and cold and they always delight with their flamboyant colors and textures.

Most of my catleya's don't have any name tags - they were collected by me over the years from friends who gave them to me when they finished flowering, some were purchased from the back benches of nurseries and garden centers in rather poor states at discounted prices not suitable for quick sales, other found me through neglected gardens. It's interesting that personally I find that cattleya's one of the easiest orchids to bring back to flowering - they just need a bit of shade in our hottest time, plenty of watering and a sunny bench in winter and they recover from any neglect very quickly.

Here are some that are currently in bloom, delighting me with infusion of colors during our colder months -

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Dendrobium bigibbum in flower

One of my dendrobiums currently flowering, another name for this orchid is Cooktown orchid and its Queensland's state floral emblem. It's native to northeastern Australia and PNG and many variations of color and form exists for this specie - from pure pristine white to dark purple this orchid delights with abundance of blooms during it's flowering season.

My Cooktown orchid white with many purple stripes at the end of the petals and always flowers at about this time of the year. These orchids are easy to grow for the beginner, not fussy, they like plenty of light and reduced watering in winter. The blooms are long - lasting and new flower spikes are forming during it's growing season giving recurring wonderful display of perfect, beautifully formed blooms.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Cymbidium orchids - new flowering season

Cymbidium orchid "Lucy"
Cymbidium orchid "Orange Gem"
Now that our hot weather well and truly over, some of my earlier cymbidium orchids started their blooming season. Interesting, the first one's to flower were these two purchased by me couple of years ago as small unflowered seedlings with hope of seeing something unusual in color or structure of the blooms. They have spent all this time at the back bench growing and maturing and this is their first flowering season.

Until they flower, one does not know exactly if the seedlings will mature into beautiful orchids and I always hope that I will see special blooms, adding to my ever increasing collection. These two did not disappoint - love the vivid colors, the masses of flowers, the structure of the lip. the plants robust heath - great addition to my cymbidium clan.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Phalaenopsis - back to basics

In this post I thought I'll go back to basics and will share with you my techniques for growing these beautiful plants. One of my personal rules for growing any orchid is to find out as much as I can about it's native habitat and to try to match it as much as possible. This genera contains more than 60 species which been crossed between themselves to obtain the beautiful colors and shapes and sizes. but the basics remain same for successful cultivation. Of course, every growers conditions are different, yet once the basics are understood, these orchids will reward you with many many years of blooms.

Here is the video showing phalaenopsis growing in natural habitat -

Note the light intensity, the amount of moisture, the way the plant positioned - all of these things are the clues for understanding what these orchid need and how they like to be kept.
I don't know how many times I've heard advice not to over water them, yet in they natural environment moisture is everywhere and from my personal experience mastering the watering  techniques is a major part of growing them successfully.

What they don't like is overhead watering, with moisture collecting between the leaves because in nature they hang on the trees at an angle so all excess moisture just slips away.  They are sold potted upright in containers, so the easier way to water them is by dunking them just below the crown so that the roots can absorb the moisture from the bottom.  Also, I fertilize them same way - dissolving fertilizer in the water at a very weak rate may be once a month - they really appreciate it.

Phalaenopsis are epiphytes ( air - plants) , they roots need plenty of air and light to flower successfully and what usually happens is that they sold in plastic pots where only air roots at the top see the light and the bottom, the feeder roots promptly start rotting away because it’s unnatural for them to be enclosed in thick plastic pot. What I always do is re-pot them in clear plastic pot with many large holes made around and the bottom of the pot. The choice of container is up to you - anything with clear plastic will do, as long as the light can penetrate the area around the roots, the more holes made, the better it is for the plant. It means that they will get watered and dry out quick, imitating their natural requirements. They love this kind of environment and send many flower spikes during growing season.

Here are some of my plants that flowering at the moment -

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Cycnoches loddigesii orchid “Wine Delight”

Cycnoches loddigesii orchid “Wine Delight”

This orchid was one of "impulse" purchases a few years back that happens to me from time to time and for a long time I had a bit of problem flowering it. The other name for this orchid is "swan orchid" because the blooms suppose to resemble swans.

The specie native to Brazil and the North of South America and lives in hot, steamy lowland habitats and for a long time I could not replicate it's growing requirements or the light factors. It died back quite substantially and spent a lot of time on the back bench however this summer decided to flower by sending a couple of flower spikes.
It just finished flowering and the blooms are quite interesting, deep wine color. I am still not sure if it need a lot of care or total neglect to induce blooming, so I am learning with this one bit by bit.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

“Come Waltz With Me” this Valentine’s day…

Phal Midnight Waltz

To all romantic hearts of Past, Present and Future...

 Come walk with me and let go of the way you are going
Come talk to me and I'll tell you what's really worth knowing
Life's much too good, my friend. Don't let it end.

Come dance with me and I'll give you a gift worth giving

Take a chance with me and I'll show you a life that's worth living
Life's much too good, my friend. Don't let it end.

 Come and waltz this Valentine’s day with Demis Roussos, Dmitri Shostakovich and all who gave their heart freely and unconditionally to the other.

PS - thanks to Nina Janka for creating such special tribute to Demis Roussos

Monday, February 2, 2015

Brassia arcuigera

brassia arcuigera

One of my brassia's just finished it's flowering season, again rewarding with masses of delicate, slightly perfumed flowers.
This plant native to Ecuador, Costa Rica, Panama, and Peru and like to grow under a light, filtered shade. In it's native habitat it grows in wet rain forests and in home situation it's very easy orchid to grow.

The flowers have slight jasmine scent and last for several  weeks and the plant tolerate normal garden conditions quite easy - it needs plenty of water during growing time and shady situation for most of the year, making it an ideal orchid to grow for the beginners. It also flowers twice a year during spring and early autumn, putting up quite a show of delicate, spidery blooms.
brassia arcuigera1

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

My stanhopea tigrina var nigroviolacea

Stanhopea tigrina var nigroviolacea

At the moment we are experiencing hot and very humid weather here and not many of my orchids currently in flower, however there is a group that enjoy's this kind of conditions and it's stanhopea orchids.

My stanhopea nigroviolacea flowers opened up this morning and I was able to take this picture as the blooms were unfolding. It have the most magical scent - heavy chocolate mixed with strong vanilla and the smell very forceful and lingers for a long time.

Unfortunately, the blooms only last a few days and then it's all over for another season which will be next year - these orchids are not for an impatient grower, however they have their own unusual beauty and many people appreciate their uniqueness. I find them easy orchids to grow - they need open bottom planters so that flower spikes can push thru, they appreciate shade for most of the year and plenty of watering. Then what's left is just to enjoy them and marvel at Nature's creation.

I can't say enough about stanhopea's and their special beauty, but Barney Greer, one of first Australian experts on this genera documented and described them this way:

"...I couldn't believe my eyes. It's huge savage beauty, it's uninhibited perfume, the incredible sculpture of the lip! The way the buds exploded into life, flaunted their brazen charms like Can Can dancers and then fell in a heap! This was an ORCHID. I was hooked..." B Greer

Friday, January 2, 2015

My flowering phalaenopsis orchids today

Some of my phalaenopsis orchids are flowering at the moment. They always bring a lot of color at the time when most of my orchids are resting - right in the middle of our summer. The flowering period is long and there is plenty of time to enjoy their fabulous blooms.

I found that there is a bit of confusion especially for beginners on how to grow and to maintain these orchids, volumes of information abound everywhere and most of it complicated. The result is for many they became throw-away plants, quickly replaced by the new one's with same outcome. Right now I have a few plants in my "intensive care orchid unit" given to me for revival
 that are doing nicely, recovering with great speed.

In the near future I'll do a post and will share my own techniques for growing these fabulous plants and in the mean time here are the pictures of my flowering phalaenopsis

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Dendrobium aemulum "Star Shower"

This beautiful native been with me for quite a few moons, originally purchased as a discounted plant in rather sorry condition yet recovered fully in it's first growing season. Every year it rewards with long spikes and massive displays of scented creamy flowers and usually blooms when all other orchids resting filling the gap nicely.

In it's native habitat it grows in moist areas of eastern Australia and loves plenty of watering especially at the beginning of it's flowering season. Other than that, it's very easy to look after and tolerates most conditions, in winter I grow it in a greenhouse in a sunny spot with some other natives and then take it out under the shade of the trees for the rest of the year.

"Star Shower" is a beautiful orchid, appreciated by everyone for it's masses of scented blooms that reward year after year.

Dendrobium aemulum "Star Shower?

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Back to Orchids... Back to blogging...

I've taken a break from my blog for a while and recently decided to get back and start sharing again information about the beautiful orchids that I love.  I needed a break to deal with drama's of life , to travel and to attend to some pressing health issues, to learn and to experience many new concepts and understandings.

I am forever grateful for all messages that I received via this blog and happy that I was able to share with you all my love and fascination of orchids and hope that I will be able to continue to do same in the future.

Here are some pictures of my travels where I tried to capture the mystery and the energy of the places, to learn and to apply the magic of the places and the plants that native to them and to glimpse at the world that is so close to us yet so mysterious.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My late flowering cymbidiums

Our cymbidium season well and truly over now and these beauties were flowering right at the end of our spring. I thought I'll show some of them here for everyone to enjoy their special blooms.
Now all of my cymbidium orchids on well deserved rest and I am looking forward to next flowering season.

Cymbidium Mem Marvin Gale "What's Going On"

Cymbidium "Orange Tango"
Cymbidium "Tropical Inferno"
Cymbidium "Passion"
Cymbidium "Pink Solitude"
Cymbidium "Luna Wall" x "Viva Las Vegas"
Cymbidium "Sussex Moon" x "Peteete Doll"
Cymbidium "Orange Dreamtime"

Saturday, November 17, 2012

My Miltoniopsis Orchids

Mps. Lillian Nakamoto "Tanto"

Mps. Pink Mooma "Yosemite Sam"

Couple of my Miltoniopsis orchids currently in flower and I love their bright, cheerful blooms. They are native to high altitude wet cloud forests in the Andes of Costa Rica and they have large, showy flowers with a large lip. Their common name is "pansy orchid" and they produce many brightly colored, fragrant flowers on vigorously growing plants.

Many hybrids have been made utilizing the bright colors and attractive flower shape. They are easy to grow and their native situation gives glue to their cultivation - they require cool conditions with high humidity and good air movement. No watering rest period, well drained, yet moisture retaining potting mixture and no direct sunlight.

My plants get a lot of shade during our hot months and their seems to love their situation, I get a lot of repeat flowerings from these orchids throughout the year and I feel that they well worth the modest effort required to see their flamboyant, striking blooms.