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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?