Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Summer Blooms - Part One

There have been quite a lot of blooms this season, so here are a couple of pictures to prove it.

Firstly the beautiful Dendrobium farmeri. I shouldn't really attempt to grow this because it wants cooler temperatures than I can give it in my growroom. However, I can get some success by allowing it to grow in the growroom until it has just finished its new canes and then bringing it into the living room where the night temperatures are cooler and the canes can ripen and bloom. The result of this experiment was two spikes of beautiful delicately scented flowers. I was quite surprised at how long the lasted (around two weeks) as I have always been led to believe that the blooms were short lived though I guess its all relative. I've had this plant for some time, and it is really the last survivor of the cool growers which had to go either because they couldn't survive in the warm or because they refused to bloom. Hopefully I have cracked it with this species and it will now bloom regularly for me. If it does, I might try the same with some of the nobile types and species such as D. thrysiflorum, which is closely allied to D. farmeri.

Another welcome first blooming for me is Coelogyne Bird In Flight, pictured above. The parents of this are C. usitana (pod) and C. lawrenceana (pollen). Both being warm growers (usitana - definitely so, lawrenceana - depends on who you ask but my plants do fine), the hybrid should be very happy in my growroom. I got the plant as a nice sized seedling from Burnham Nurseries a couple of years ago. It is reputed to be a slow grower. I take this to mean that both its parents mature a growth and then have a "rest" for a few weeks before starting to grow again, and the trait has been passed on to the hybrid. I can confirm that this is indeed the case, but I wouldn't call the plant slow. Pseudobulbs have been gradually increasing in size, and this year's offering is the largest yet. I have to say I was expecting another year before I got a flower so I was quite surprised to see a flower stem and not at all surprised when the first two buds blasted. This plant is a sequential bloomer like both its parents and I got two flowers from the spike. They are of a good size and shape, and last well. I look forward to seeing this bloom more profusely in the future.

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