Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Rebuilt Orchidarium

The last couple of days, I took my orchidarium apart and rebuilt it.  There were several things I was unhappy with and I used the opportunity to make some changes as well.  One thing that needed to be changed was the back.  I had originally used a masonite panel with a finished surface, but that had begun to deteriorate and I needed to replace it.  This time I used 3/16 inch glass.  I was also not happy with the sliding doors which were of plexiglass but which always bowed with changes in temperature and humidity and which even a rigid brace had not kept straight.  I replaced those also with 3/16 inch glass panels provided by my son.

The biggest change, however, was with in the height.  I built it with a growing area of 30 x 52 x 30 inches (75 x 130 x 75 cm), and had never been happy with the height which I felt was cramped and which did not give me enough opportunity to move plants further from the lights.  In fact, I was using only four T5 HO lamps in a fixture that held eight and thought that more space would give me opportunity to use all the lights.  In rebuilding the case I added a foot to the height so that the growing area is now 42 inches (105 cm) and the additional space is proving to be a real bonus and makes working in the case and watering very much easier.

Older posts about this orchidarium can be found at these links:
These links show the first orchidarium I built many years ago, as well as the original version of this one and give considerable information about the building of these different orchid homes.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Dendrobium Mountain Magic

Dendrobium Mountain Magic is a hybrid of the tiny Dendrobium cuthbertsonii and the much larger cane-type Dendrobium pseudoglomeratum.  The plant resembles the larger parent but is much reduced in size by the influence of Dendrobium cuthbertsonii, with 12-15 cm canes and huge flowers that resemble those of Dendrobium pseudoglomeratum.  It is very easy to grow, much easier than either parent, is temperature tolerant and flowers profusely throughout the year.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Masdevallia datura

Masdevallia datura is named for the enormous Angel Trumpet flowers belonging to the genus Datura or Brugmansia.  Its flowers are nowhere near the size of the Angel Trumpets but are large for the size of the plants.  The plants of this Masdevallia are 12-15cm tall, with narrow leaves and the flowers, measured from tip to tip are equally large.  The species is from Bolivia and is cool growing.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Dendrobium malvicolor

This charming little species is from Sumatra.  It is only 10cm tall with clusters of 3cm flowers that appear to be white but have a pink blush.  Because the flowers are pendant, the fact that anther cap is purple is not evident either except on closer inspection.  The plant is quite temperature tolerant and blooms faithfully for me every spring on the older growths.  The growths are on a wiry "stem" with a fattened end that holds several small leaves.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Dendrobium limpidum 'Ashley' CBR/AOS

Dendrobium limpidum is from New Guinea and belongs to the Pedilonum section of the genus Dendrobium, a group of mostly semi-pendant cane-type plants.  This species is one of the smallest in the section with thickened canes 10-12cm long.  The 2cm flowers, which do not open very widely, are produced in clusters, and though the individual flowers are quite small, the plant puts on a good show since both the color and number of the flowers are eye-catching and foliage very beautiful also.  My plant was given a Certificate of Botanical Recognition by the American Orchid Society (CBR/AOS).

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Scaphosepalum merinoi

The Scaphosepalums includes some of the oddest flowers in the orchid world.  Scaphosepalum merinoi from Ecuador is no exception and even the flower buds are oddly shaped.  Like many other species in the genus this flowers successively over a long period of time, so that the ends of the flower spikes begin to take on a herringbone pattern.  The flowers are 6cm across and the flower spikes are 20 cm long.  The plant is from Ecuador and is 8-10cm tall.  It is best grown mounted because of its long flower spikes.