Friday, April 06, 2007

Bletilla Updates

I have read a few blogs recently, and one of the comments was from Angela in Northern California.The most photogenic blogger (She shows her face in a hat anyway, and one reading a guidebook that i remember).
Asides from visiting the San Fransisco plant show she wrote that she loved Bletilla. AKA the chinese ground Orchid.
She had the variety I have with the purple/lilac flowers, and some Bletilla Alba with white flowers, and some yellow flowered ones.
Kindred spirits across the Atlantic, and the entire united states!

The two that are growing are photographed. The bark covered tips are rising upwards seeking the light. Multiple layers have been shed like winter coats on a hot day. Im guessing its a rolled up leaf, cuban cigar style thats emerging from the green undercoat.
This one above has a bad back from being at a funny angle during the winter snooze, when the bulbs were dormant..
I have no experience of growing Orchids, so I will photograph them lots as they hopefully progress to flowering. All i have done is made a free draining soil with 50% vermiculite, and 50% soil. They grow naturally in soil in South east Asia on sandy hillsides. Im not going to try Epiphtic Orchids with the bark soilless medium for the pots!

Angela did your Bletilla Striata flower last year?The purple one.Hope you read this!

This Orchid stem is dead straight and has lovely striated green undercoat. You can just see the outer bark wood coat. Both bulbs have anchored themselves now. The roots will be seeking moisture, and nutrients to kickstart the process of growing.

The last phot shows the sleepy Orchid bulb. Zzzzzz. Every family has someone who will never get out of bed. I think this bulb belongs to the Snoozy family. The roots are working their way down so hopefully they will catch up soon with the two early risers.


Angela Pratt said...

Hey, Snappy,

Yes, my B. striata flowered last year. I'm still waiting on the yellow and white.

A friend of mine has a huge bed of the magenta Ch. ground orchids. It's like they've gone wild in her yard. She's lucky! Someday, I hope to have a clump as large as hers.

I try to share divisions of mine with friends who'll appreciate how amazing they are.

Can you grow them outdoors? Will yours stay in pots or will they eventually go in the ground? It's pretty exciting to me to be able to grow something so exotic looking outside in the yard. I feel the same way about Queen's tears (Billbergia nutans).

David (Snappy) said...

Hi Angela,I got excited when my email had your name on the inbox.I have dropped by your blog to look at the picture of your budding chinese ground Orchids.Its great you can grow something so exotic outside.I wrote on your comments only the warmer parts of the UK can have them outside.They will stay in pots my Bletillas.Its too cold and wet here.I will look up Queens tears too as i dont know it.
I hope one day you have a clump as large as your friends.Its great we can compare plant notes thousands of miles apart, ha ha.
I have an Idea what my Orchids should look like thanks to your photo.I love your violas, and california poppys too.You have an intersting garden with lots of colours.I would love to paint your garden so many colours!!