Sweet Sixteen and My Orchid Experiment

I must have been super exhausted – I forgot to hit publish last Thursday.

Wow!  I worked 13 hours today. I asked for a little less work while I get my health back in order . . . got the opposite.  Rapid change organizations are like that – so buckle your seatbelt.

Not a bad day today in the yard.  Sweet sixteen in bloom.  Had 9 this day last year – and was doing my repotting project all around them.  125 daylilies put in pots and buried between 8/1 and 9/1.  Where did I get that energy?  I had 10 in bloom this day in 2016 and 7 in 2015.  Today wins!

My orchids do take a little energy.  I have thought about talking about them a bit on the blog as the daylilies wind down.  I have an experiment going with having them outside under a shade and a mister.  I am not sure on my results yet.  Seemed like in May they all started throwing out new roots, but sort of stopped.  They are putting out leaves – but smaller than their old leaves (the phals, that is).  Stressed – the heat.  But, I want to play it through til fall to see.  I wish the monsoons had shown up.

Orchids are such slow growers . . . such patience.  But, the blooms are big and bold – and last for months.  My vanda is in bloom out on the front porch now.  (Who said you can’t grow orchids outside in Colorado in a drought.) My dendrobiums hang from a tree out front – lots of new growth.  I have oncidiums, cattleyas, cymbidiums, and a ground orchid under the mister with the phals – all doing well.  I’m using my indoor back porch for phals, too.  When you convert to water culture, the orchids lose most their roots – so many of mine need to grow new water-adapted roots before fall. I only put phals and oncidiums in full water culture. (That is a topic for later.)   Inside, I have phals, catts, oncidium family, miltonioptis,  miltonias, zygos, a phrag and a paph.  Oh, and some cuttings off rarer ones that I am trying to grow.

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Vanda Orchid in bloom in Colorado

After all the daylily roots that I have ordered, I finally ordered an orchid from Hawaii.  If you follow my blog, you know I love the southwest named daylilies.  Well, with my bonus (that isn’t going to my doctors), I ordered a catt named Bryce Canyon. She will fit right in!

And, so my mind starts to shift to thinking about fall.  Friends are asking for daylily divisions.  Yes, it is almost time to divide so the plants grow more buds next year and others can enjoy the beauty.  I wish I could clone myself and work 6 hour days 🙂  In no way am I ready for my camping trip tomorrow.

Finales:

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Moon Over Chimayo 8.2

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Twirling Pinata 8.2

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Indian Love Call – 8.2 Finale on her rebloom

Daylilies teach living in the moment; Orchids teach patience.

Spring has sprung and today brought the first glimpse of summer weather.  My houseplants moved outside this weekend.  Well, most of them.  My daylilies are doing well.  Passersby often comment on them . . . even now, before the blooms.  No scapes yet, but I keep checking.

Magic Art

It has been a strange winter – we are in an extreme drought here in Southwest Colorado.  The Four-Corners is in an exceptional drought just south of us.  I didn’t shovel snow once all winter.  My strawberries and ice plant felt it.  I winter watered the daylilies at least once a month.  I’m hoping my blooms don’t suffer.  It will be a bad fire season.

Birthday Girl Catt

My last post was in the late fall about Santa’s Pants.  Unfortunately, that plant was one of my few losses this year.  After those blooms faded and I got my poinsettias to rebloom, I needed projects to get me through the winter.  I took on orchids.  Not just orchids, but learning about different types of media.  For some reason, I was drawn to water culture.

BlackCurrant Vanda

My first partial water culture plant was a vanda.  Man, I nearly killed that thing.  It lost most its roots and got stem rot.  I finally found a group dedicated to water culture orchids on Facebook.  From there, I watched YouTubes  . . . I got smarter.  My vanda is alive and putting out new roots, living on my porch now.

Hot Lips Cymbidium

 

I started trying phalaenopsis orchids in water culture.  Winter is a bad time to start cause old roots rot while they grow new roots that are adapted to water.  Only about 1/4 to 1/3 of the root goes in the water.  Oh, and I tried an oncidium in water . . . it flourished so now I have 3.  In fact, I have quite a collection now.  Three phals are from last year.  I currently have about 2 dozen phals, 3 dendrobiums, 3 oncidiums, 2 miltoniopsis, 2 cymbidiums, 2 cattleya, 1 common ground orchid, 1 paph, 1 phrag, and the 2 vandas.  Oh, and some very small baby cuttings of Pleurothallis sclerophylla, Masdevallia, Liparis, Bulbophyllum, and Coelogynes.

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Not all are in water culture.  I learned about growing in semi-hydro (lava rock with some water at the bottom).  And, I have a few around in regular wood chips or moss.  I love the way the roots look in a container . . . reminds me of a placenta.

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I like orchids for much the same reason that I love daylilies – big, colorful blooms.  Some of the species even have similar strap leaves.  Interestingly, neither species can produce a true blue flower.  What I find enticing about orchids is that the blooms last for months.  And, some species bloom year around.  Mostly, they bloom fall-spring, which makes them a good match for my summer daylilies.  They teach patience, though, as buds, roots and leaves take forever to do their thing.  Daylilies teach us to live in the moment because nothing lasts forever.

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I wanted to log in and start gearing up for blogging season.  I hope you enjoy my winter bloomers. Most will rest and grow new leaves and roots for the fall bloom whilst we enjoy the upcoming daylilies.  Do you prefer orchids or daylilies?

Sharry Baby