Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Bewildered by the beauty of orchids

Charles Darwin once wrote that "the contrivances by which orchids are fertilised, are as varied and almost as perfect as any of the most beautiful adaptations in the animal kingdom". No wonder, then, that they are the largest and most diverse plant family on Earth, consisting of between 20,000 and 30,000 varieties.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Weedy orchid taking root

Q: The plant in the accompanying photo has become highly invasive in one area of my yard and is beginning to show up in other areas. I can't always get the root out. I have this notion of a widespread underground network given its rapid growth in numbers. Can you identify and provide some clues for eradication?

A: When I studied the photo you sent of this weed's flowers, I thought they looked mightily like orchids. But an orchid weed? How could that be? Everyone loves orchids! And don't they need tender care to survive at all?

URL: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/08/25/HOG91KNI5Q.DTL#ixzz1W9L3zQdA


Weedy orchid taking root

Monday, August 22, 2011

My question is the directions that came with the plant say water every 20 days and fertilize every other month with 10-10-10 or 12-12-12.

A: Phalaenopsis or moth orchids tend to thrive on what seems neglect: Water every three weeks and fertilization every other month. The "10-10-10" or "12-12-12" refers to a balanced fertilizer with equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphate and potassium, the macro-nutrients that all plants need for growth and development.

In the wild, orchids depend on decomposing leaves for most of their nutrients. They don't need much.

For best results, use a water-soluble fertilizer specifically designed for orchids. According to experts, orchids planted in bark may need a higher amount of nitrogen (the first number in that three-digit formula) because the decaying bark will use up a lot of the available nitrogen, leaving little for the plant. That's why some orchid foods are 30-10-10, for example.

Before feeding, water the plant well and get its bark or other planting medium moist but not soggy. Discard any water and/or fertilizer that accumulates in the pot's saucer or decorative container; standing water can cause the orchid to rot.

URL: http://www.sacbee.com/2011/08/20/3842356/garden-detective-mystery-plant.html#ixzz1Vlslr8B6


Friday, August 19, 2011

Botanic Garden Scientists Save Smuggled Plants

Plant detention center is a picturesque prison

Inside the U.S. Botanic Garden's production facility, a soft mist floats down on a tangle of green leaves and colorful flowers. With 34 greenhouses and 30,000 plants, the glass-enclosed campus just off Interstate-295 is one of the lushest spots in Washington.

URL: http://wamu.org/news/11/08/16/botanic_garden_scientists_save_smuggled_plants.php


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

ARKive blog - Spotlight on: Orchids

Orchids are a dazzling genus of over 24,000 plant species capable of producing some of the most beautiful flowers on the planet. Found on every continent except Antarctica, orchids have been documented in nearly every color but black. However, the orchid is more than just a pretty face as it employs some of the cleverest tricks to attract pollinators and has developed unique relationships with other species, each benefitting nicely from it. Let’s explore some of the most fascinating (and lovely) orchids on ARKive!

URL: http://blog.arkive.org/2011/08/spotlight-on-orchids/

Great blog, enjoy!

Steve Peralta

Growing orchids as a hobby

URL: http://www.theborneopost.com/2011/08/14/growing-orchids-as-a-hobby/


Monday, August 15, 2011

Wisconsin's orchids best in show

It must be heaven on earth when you run across a patch of orchid plants like this.


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Orchid Plants - Availability List - August 9, 2011

Orchid plants abound and our greenhouse is filled with alluring mixed orchids called Inter-generic orchids.  Inter-generic hybrids are made up of many different genera that are crossed together to create orchids plants called inter-generic orchids.  The result are orchid plants that have become perennial favorites among orchid lovers. 

(Mtssa Izumi X Odcdm Black Beauty) “Hawaii”
Alcra. Pacific Nova Butter Buds
Bllra Lunatic Fringe “Ikes Yikes”
Bllra Lunatic Fringe “Orchid Isle”
Bllra Pacifc Treasures “Everything Nice”
Bnfd Gilded Tower “Mystic Maze”
Brsdm Ashibune “The Orchid Works”
Brsdm Golden Gamine “White Knight”
Brsdm Shooting Star “Mustard”
Dgmra Hani “Star of Unicorn” AM/AOS
Mtssa. Charles M. Fitch Izumi
Odbrs Iridecent “Pacific Pixie”
Odbrs Kennith Bivens
Odcdm Catatante “Pacific Sunspots”
Odcdm Everglades Elegance “Nancy Lee”
Onc Heaven Scent “Redolence”
Onc Rosy Sunset “Rosebud”
Onc Sharry Baby “Sweet Fragrance”
Onc. Nambo Waltz Boso Sweet

Monday, August 01, 2011

If you like trees, then you will like the Hoyt Arboretum

The arboretum is located in Portland, Oregon.  The arboretum grounds are open and free to the public from 6:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.  Woohoo!!
Hoyt Arboretum

Steve Peralta