Archives for posts with tag: Blogging.

It is August and I have removed the keiki from the single miniature phal and put it in another pot. I am conscious of the fact that I may have done this too early as the leaves have become striated and leathery, however there is a new leaf which looks ok, – only time will tell whether it worked. The two re-potted ‘twins’ are still growing although the one that hasn’t flowered for some time has striated, pale leaves, it remains to be seen whether or not this one will survive, I could do some surgery on its roots but I have decided to leave it for a while to allow it to recover from re-potting. The other twin is surviving well and growing healthy looking foliage. The large pink orchid now has a new flower spike (shown) and its first flower (centre of lower three pictures) is a much deeper colour, in fact it was deep red dusted with gold when it first came out. This plant has just lost its last flower from its previous flower spike. The ‘Flare Spots’ (on the left) is still in bloom and its detached keiki has lost all its flowers now as has the single miniature.

The newest plant (on the right) has two new flowers on one of its two spikes, – many of the old blooms are still there, – they have been there for between five and six months and look distinctly faded compared to the new ones. That plant is exceptional and apart from growing slightly has not changed since I got it several years ago, it has not lost a single leaf or even a single leaf turned yellow, it has healthy green roots and has had many flower spikes full of flowers.

 

 

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I have noticed quite a useful fact over the last few years of growing phalaenopsis orchids concerning aerial roots. Whilst these roots are very necessary when the plants are growing from tree limbs in the wild, in the home environment they do not seem to be that useful.
My plants that had aerial roots still have them however and I mist the roots with rainwater once a week.
Plants that did not have aerial roots to start with have never grown them under my growth conditions and the keiki that I removed and is now a mature plant does not have any aerial roots. Nor does the second keiki which is still attached to its parent plant and is flowering at the moment, as is its parent.

Painting in all its forms is a somewhat toxic pastime or job and it pays to have some extra knowledge when using paint or disposing of it. I have built up some methodology over a number of years which I apply to the various media I use on a regular basis. In the main I paint in oils and as the paint I use is oil based ( although there are now water based oil paints) it is a question of finding less toxic paint thinners and brush cleaners, and not using domestic drains as a disposal point.

As a thinner I use Winsor and Newton Liquin Fine Detail, this is less toxic than using turpentine, but still needs some care as it contains some suspect compounds. It needs to be used relatively quickly as it soon darkens in colour, eventually turning into a solid block.

The brush cleaner I use is Weber turpenoid natural which is a fabulous non – toxic brush cleaner and conditioner, which makes the paint miscible with water. If you follow the instructions carefully you can keep all the brush cleanings from producing a 70 X 50 cm canvas in a standard sized jam jar.

When you finish your painting take a cat litter tray and fill it with the granule type of litter Рpour the diluted paint evenly over the litter and leave to dry, preferably outside. When perfectly dry the litter can be scraped into a black bin bag and disposed of by sending to landfill where it will degrade. This is by far a superior alternative to allowing toxic paint and brush cleaner to enter our sewers.


Some flowers are starting to fade now, though there is still a mass of blooms.
The miniature phalaenopsis with the keiki now has a new flower spike along with its group of flowers. There are plenty of healthy green leaves on all of the plants too.
One of the ‘twin’ miniatures now has a well developed flower spike, whilst the other has as yet not shown any signs of flowering, however, this one is often later than the others.

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This month sees the appearance of what may be a keiki on the single miniature orchid.

This phalaenopsis orchid grows small leaves all the way up flower spikes anyway, – so it may turn out to be just a new flower spike, surrounded by small leaves – watch this space?

Most of my orchids are in flower now with the exception of the ‘twin’ miniatures who are taking a well earned rest.

 

How time flies!
It is nearly the end of September and my phalaenopsis orchids are nearly all flowering again.

The only two not in flower are the ‘twins’ and they have not produced a flower spike as yet. You may remember that their flowers look like this in stereo.

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Twin miniatures.

Looking at the other flowers above:-
From top left the first is a faded flower on a plant which has just produced two new flower spikes, the second is one of these new flowers.
The next spike of flowers is on the single miniature, which has just started a new spike too.
Number four is on the oldest plant which is massive now and has a flower spike with three flowering branches.
Five and six are ‘Flare Spots’ and its ex-keiki,¬†the flowers are more or less the same size on both.

During the resting period since June I have not changed the growth conditions whatsoever and spend the same half hour per week on all seven orchid plants.

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I have been growing phalaenopsis orchids for around ten years now and the one shown above is a mature plant of the variety ‘Flare Spots’.
This plant had a keiki (plantlet) which I removed and repotted and is now flowering itself.
I have seven orchid plants which flower almost continuously, though they are in a regeneration mode at the moment, and although many have flower spikes only three are in flower at the moment.
I thought it would be useful to go over my growth conditions once again for those who are new to my blog, and especially for beginners.
At the present time the orchids are grown in a shower room which gives it some humidity and also the preferred filtered light, provided by the obscured glass windows.
For most of the time I just enjoy the beauty of the plants but once a week I do my orchid care regime as follows:-
1. The day before I fill a plant waterer with rainwater from the butt, in order to let it equilibrate to room temperature.
2. On regime day I pour some rainwater through the orchid roots inside the pot to wash them.
3. I spray the aerial roots with more rainwater at room temperature. (Do not cut off the aerial roots).

4. I mix the remaining rainwater well (about 500 mls) with 8 drops of orchid food.
5. I give each of the orchids some of this liquid feed.
6. I feed the leaves with an orchid leaf spray.
7. Using secateurs (sterilised with boiling water) I cut off any dead leaves or dead stems.

This regime takes between 20 minutes and half and hour per week for seven plants and produces pretty good orchids.