Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hurry up, Spring!

So, after battling through December and most of January trying to keep the cold out and the heat in, I think we have something that works.  The solar pool cover and bubble wrap seems to be working a little, and my honey got a thermostat for the heater so I don't have to keep running out to the greenhouse to turn the heater on / up, off/down.  Its hard to say if it is working yet, since we just got the electric bill for December, but that includes the Christmas lights / decorations we were running, too.   I'm hoping we don't have another $300 plus electric bill, or I'll lose my mind!

In the meantime, the orchids just keep chugging along.  Since its cooler weather, most of them are not in active growth, but a few of the Phals are spiking, the Twinkles are finishing up, my Noid Oncidium is putting up another spike, and the Latouria Dendrobiums that I have are beginning to open.

 Dendrobium Bruce Gordon

Cymbidium Magic Flora 'Red Falls'

Bc. Yellow Bird - I took pictures of this one a couple of days apart to show the color changes.  It will eventually turn canary yellow, and I'll post pictures of that when it gets there.

This is a new one that I picked up at my orchid society meeting.  Its a Dialaelia Mizoguchi 'Princess Kiko'

There are three spikes on that one, and they are about 2 feet long each!  15-17 buds, and they are in the process of opening now.  I'll post another pic when its all open.

So, that's it for now, I'm at work and should probably get back to it.  LOL!!

I'll post again soon, so until then Happy Growing!

Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting the hang of things

Well, I think I am finally getting the hang of posting to the blog AND growing my orchid babies!  I had a couple of new bloomers this past weekend, and got some delicious pictures to post.

The biggest challenge for me right now is keeping the greenhouse warm enough without blowing up my electric bill.  Its been cold here, people!  I mean, very un-California-like weather.  If I don't turn the heater on, the greenhouse can dip down into the 40's, and that's not going to help any of the plants.  My husband bought me a solar pool cover (its kind of like really heavy bubble wrap), and it keeps the temps from dropping too low, but I can't cover the doorway with it because I wouldn't be able to get in without making a mess of things, so he used some regular bubble wrap and insulated the doorway with that.

I've been able to turn the heater off during the day, but even then the temps drop to the mid-to-high 50's in the front of the greenhouse while the back stays in the 60's.  This created another situation, because the back was cooler than the front for the first few months so I put all of the cooler growers back there.  Now I had to move a few to the front and some of the ones in front had to move to the back.  Its a dance, but one I will gladly participate in, because I am really loving this little hobby of mine.

I've got spikes and new growth going on all over the place, and I think in the spring it will be beautiful in there.

So, I'll post my newest bloomers now.  First up, the Oncidium Charlesworthii

Angraecum didieri

This is the Cochlioda vulcanica that was opening when I last posted.  I love this one!!  Pink is one of my favorite colors, and the blooms are so delicate looking.

There's more coming, so I'll be back soon with more pictures!  Until then, Happy Growing!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Ahh, its been crazy around here for the past couple of weeks!!  Christmas has come and gone, New Year's has come and gone, and here we are in 2013.  I wonder how long its gonna take before I can write that instead of 2012.

Its wintertime, and there's not too much blooming in the greenhouse right now, although I do have some spikes on most of my Phals, and a couple of my Onc. hybrids are doing a little something.  I have some Dendrobiums that have buds, but they are taking FOREVER to open!  I can't wait, though.  They are spectacular!

Here's what's going on right now:

This is a NOID that I picked up at the Ventura County OS meeting raffle.  It is one of my favorite, even if it doesn't have a tag.  I love me some red!

Epc. Siam Jade 'AVO'.  This one had 3 buds on it, and 2 of them blasted.  (Boo hoo).  Same thing happened last year, so there's something I"m not doing right with this one.  I hope I'll figure it out next time around.

Cattlianthe Donna Pasenen.  I've been battling mealy bugs and scale on this one for a few months now.  I don't want to use harsh chemicals, but the organic stuff and home remedies haven't been effective.  I'm going to give it one last go, then I'll have to break out the big guns.  In the meantime, I had three more buds on this one and they all opened perfectly.  I'll update the pic once the petals and sepals are completely unfurled.

That's it for now.  I am currently waiting for my Cochlioda vulcanica to fully open, and the Angraecum didieri bud is HUGE, so it should be open in a week or so.  I can see the spur unwrapping...so exciting!

The red NOID pictured above decided to shoot another spike up.  Its just peeking out of the leaf axil now, so it'll be weeks before it starts opening.

But for me, the most exciting thing happening is the Phal hieroglyphica that I got last year.  IT started a spike last January which stalled, then in late October that spike started up again, and there are like, 3 or 4 subspikes off of that one, then 2 more new spikes coming in!!  If they all bloom together, it's sure to be special.

I have to get back to work now, but I'll be back soon with some updates.  Until then, Happy Growing!