Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Orchid Dreams



I can finally upload my photo of the Costa Rican Phalenopsis. I have been emailing a Canadian Orchidophile over the past few months, a regular reader. He sends me regular orchid pics from his Treasure house of many beautiful and unusual orchids, as I love these strange looking flowers.
In the Ghost Orchid book Susan Orleans said the more you looked at Orchids the more you could see faces or animals.
Our Visual Sense responds to the Flowers face, as they have evolved to encourage pollination.
This was one of a pair of Phalaenopsis Sold in a Costa Rican supermarket. A wildly beautiful places with many indigenous orchids growing wild, alongside the Hybrids sold in the shops.
Back here in England my Bletilla's have faired terribly, and are dying back now. One rotted (Remind me to buy some sand to make the soil very well drained. Also ignore advice from websites which I followed and killed the Orchid), and the other two look deathly :(
Not like Angelas in Northern California. Her Bletilla Striata looked magnificent!!
I have repotted my Phalaenopsis with a new well drained mix, as the moss and peat was not airy enough for the plant. Saying that I have eight leaves and a really well developed root system. Its a job remembering that some Orchids are Epiphytic, that is they live on trees and are not in contact with any soil. Thats why they have aerial roots, and have chlorophyll in the roots as well as the leaves.
The Ludisia Discolor or Jewel Orchid has grown a new set of leaves from the main stem. This is also a Terrestial orchid although one with Angelic white flowers once they grow. Im hoping it flowers again!
Two out of three Orchid species are surviving my flat just.
I have an address to for a Leeds based Orchid grower. When (If??) I move I want to buy some house warming Orchids from him.
The second ever guest photo is blogged (My Sisters was the first). Time to have Orchid dreams soon.

2 comments:

Vanillalotus said...

Have you tried an orchid mix soil? It's not really soil of course it's just a bunch of bark. I had an orchid but I killed it with too much watering. I might try again another time when I get the courage. Orchids are beautiful and that Costa Rican Phalenopsis is so unique!

snappy said...

Not yet Vanilla Lotus, but the Leeds Shop does do postal Orchid mix.I will get a bag of that when i get some new orchids.I can buy four phalaenopsis for £40 which have flowered already, but are growing new spikes!Its a cheaper way of getting your orchid collection going.The shops only like to sell them in flower.Without a flower it halfs in price or just goes onto a mortuary shelf.Im amazed how quickly it went from me never seeing any orchids, to every shop, nursery, and supermarket sells them now.I think it is down to Tissue Cultures making the production of Orchids easier, and the making of Hybrids.In the Old days orchid growers could take six or seven years to create a new plant.That is natures own speed.
Genetics and tissue culture have speeded up natures process.And made them easier to mass produce, hence the boom in Orchids for sale.
Orchids are sensuous, and very addictive.One guy wrote he started with one and ended up selling them so he had 10,000 orchids!
Across the internet other peoples collections grow so they have to move to newer buildings with more orchid space.
I'm an amateur with orchids so i may kill a few first.Its heart breaking killing a plant with kindness though :)