Archives for posts with tag: Growing orchids


Most of the orchids now have a profusion of flowers. The ones not flowering as yet still look healthy, but some will soon need re-potting.
I know many find this task somewhat daunting, but with a little care it can be achieved without too much of a problem.
Choose a clear pot one size larger, and fill to approx one third with ‘bark mixture’ growth medium.
Carefully remove the plant from its old pot and remove all the old bark mix, cut out any roots which are not a healthy green colour. Place the plant in its new pot resting on the bark medium and carefully fill the remainder of the pot with the same, taking care not to damage the roots and making sure that all the spaces are filled. Flush the new pot through with rainwater (or clean tap water) and finally feed and water and mist the leaves.
The newly potted plant should look like this picture.
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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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It is the 29th of August 2015 and the orchids seem to be growing quite well.
The pink one which is over eight years old is still growing new flowers on the old stems.
The other large spotted orchid which is called ‘Flare Spots’,
still has two flowers on the old spike and now has a new spike which will eventually have at least ten new flowers.
The twin plants now have developing flower spikes too, and the single miniature is losing its flowers with just one left.
The keiki from ‘Flare Spots’ now has a better root system, but the flower spike seems to be’holding back’ and not showing any new growth, possibly still developing roots.
I still feel that my growth conditions seem close to optimum for these species.

Orchids 16th April 15

All the orchids in the bathroom are flowering well as you can see from the picture opposite.
The ‘twin’ miniature phals each have large flower spikes and the single miniature phal has two flowers on an old stem and a great many flowers developing on a new one.
The spotted phal is still developing fresh flowers on its new spike.

There has been an interesting development on the mauve/pink phal which had the two native flowers (highest part of the plant). As you can see a third flower has developed up there which is a hybrid between the native and peloric forms. The petal on the right is fully open, whilst the one on the left is still pulled back as in the peloric form.

Half way between

Half way between

Native flower

Native flower

Peloric form

Peloric form

Silk and Plastic!

Silk and Plastic!


I have been growing orchids now for five years. My wife had one as a birthday present and I somehow got to look after it. It was a beautiful magenta coloured orchid, but unfortunately did not survive for more than a few months due to my complete lack of knowledge about these plants.
I think I made the classic mistake that most people make, which is to treat orchids the same as any other houseplant.
Later my wife bought me a beautiful mauve orchid, and this time I did my research on google and in books, adding a bit of learned knowledge from my now careful observations of these exotic saprophytes.
Over this period of time I have bought one orchid and been given three as presents. At the time of publishing all are surviving well.
When going down to Devon and Cornwall in the last few years we have stopped at Lifton Farm Shop and restaurant, on the border of those two great counties.
I couldn’t fail to notice this beautiful orchid which was growing in the lobby next to the lavatories. This magnificent specimen has inspired me for many years. It always looked perfectly cared for. Recently I wondered why it never seemed to change, always bearing a flush of perfect flowers, and never any foliage dying back.
Last week I realised why. My perfect orchid is cleverly constructed from silk and plastic.
Back to the drawing board !

A neighbour very kindly bought me another phalaenopsis miniature a couple of weeks ago, so now there are five orchids up in the bathroom. I think I will need to move one or two of them quite soon.
I was wondering when to re pot them, when I saw an interesting video on YouTube, and decided to do them whilst still in flower. Quite a brave thing to do you say, well due to a series of unavoidable events I ended up re potting all but one of them!

The first two miniature orchids still had some flowers, but did look as if they needed re potting, so I bit the bullet and did them. They seem to have survived ok up to now.

1st miniature phals

1st miniature phals

When I got back from a short break recently the spotted phal had lost all its old flowers, but had a healthy new flower spike, so I re potted that one.

Mauve Phal.

Mauve Phal.

Spotted Phal.

Spotted Phal.

 

Due to having to rearrange pots etc, the oldest mauve phal was unable to stand without over balancing, so it became necessary to re pot that one too. Apart from its old flowers, it too has a very healthy looking, new, flower spike.

The only one to survive the sudden repotting mayhem was the new miniature phal.

Looking carefully at that one reveals the fact that this one too, will need a new pot in the not too distant future! Lucky that I had the pots and repotting medium eh!

New miniature phal.

New miniature phal.

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New Miniature

New Miniature


The miniature butterfly orchid has produced a couple of new flowers, these are a much darker purple, and do not have as broad a white border. I reckon the new flowers are bigger too, so I must be doing something right?
The other flower (right) is one of the older ones which all have pronounced white borders, and some have died , and been removed (3).
The spotted orchid has also lost its three earliest flowers too, but is still looking pretty healthy.
The pinky/mauve one has lost two flowers up to now, and is fast fading, most flowers are a very pale pink now. In spite of its three flower spikes a new one is growing, and this is already about five centimetres long.
I am still following the same regime, and am now wondering whether I might have to re pot this pink orchid whilst still flowering. Next instalment all being well, at the end of July.
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Old Flower