Archive | March 2013

Barkeria melanocaulon

Here’s its 2013 winter bloom.  It’s not spectacular, but it keeps defying the “experts” who claim it won’t bloom unless you stop watering it altogether, and leave it to die for a few months every winter.

I keep reading from species “experts” about how these are deciduous, and should be left to go completely dormant, “OR ELSE THEY WON’T BLOOM AT ALL FOR YOU.  HEED MY EXPERIENCE AT YOUR PERIL.”  they say.

Mine does fine with a few root dunkings over winter.  As long as its growing, I’m not going to completely cut off its water supply.

My Cuitlauzina pendula does do better with no water between Christmas and May Day, but that’s the only orchid I own that has to undergo a “no water” policy for months at a time.  Wilford Neptune told me that, and it works.  His advice was no water between Christmas and May Day, but our conditions differ a little, so jumping the gun here by a week or two really doesn’t hurt, as far as I can tell.


Vanda lamellata v. remediosae

This Vanda is a miniature that has proven itself a reliable bloomer, putting out one or two spikes each winter.  I got two spikes this year.  Unlike some of its full size brethren, it doesn’t need a ton of sun to bloom.  It smells to me mostly like lemon, but also sweet, as if it has a hint of vanilla to go with the lemon.  It’s not a scent that fills a room, but is detectable up close.

Dendrobium rigidum

Aka Dockrillia rigida, this Dendrobium is an Australian native.  It can handle high light conditions, which make the leaves turn reddish, but doesn’t need that much light to bloom.  It doesn’t really have any seasonality, as the leaves send out buds when they mature.  It continues to grow all year, rather than only during the warmer months.  As orchids go, this one’s as idiot-proof as they get — right up there with Restrepias.

Aerangis fastuosa

This miniature hangs out year-round in my garden window, with bright light, and direct late afternoon sun.  If there is any scent, I haven’t noticed it, but I haven’t tested it out at various times of day and night.  It’s mounted on tree fern, so it’s pretty much impossible to overwater, although a couple of good soaks per week seem fine to keep it re-blooming each year.

Tetratonia Dark Prince

This is a primary hybrid of Broughtonia sanguinea and Tetramica canaliculata.  As such, it wants as much sun as I can give it, and not much water over the winter.  The spikes (two currently) do not produce that many flowers per spike, compared to its Broughtonia parent, especially this time of year, but virtually every new growth from the previous summer will produce one.   The spikes are typically about 10-12″ long, with flowers about 1/2″ across.  It’s been a very reliable bloomer over the years, which I find easier to bloom than my Broughtonia sanguineas.  I believe I bought it from Reuben Sauleda at Reuben in Orchids.