Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sabine on Water Duty

Here’s Sabine with another Catt I bought from the grocery store. It’s been in bloom since I bought it four months ago, but the leaves are looking dry and weathered. I thought that I should increase the watering, but I’ve read that overwatering is a common cattleya mistake. So, I’m entrusting it with Selena Sabine for now.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Who Needs a Light Meter When You Have Lan Lan?

Lan Lan always seeks out the maximum footcandles for her afternoon nap. Here, she’s posing with two minis I purchased from eBay. The baby on the right is a Dockrilla rigida (which used to be called Dendrobium rigidum), native to New Guinea to Australia. The one on the left is a Maxillaria schunkeana, found in the rainforests of Espiritu Santo, Brazil. To make it feel more at home, I’ve mounted the Maxillaria and moved it into the terrarium. They have very dark purple flowers that look almost black, but I’ve read that it’s difficult to bloom, so we’ll have to see how it fares in its new micro-climate with its new neighbors. Here’s Alice posing atop of it.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Frog Friday!

Here’s Carol negotiating the top of a Ceratostylis retisquama, a small orchid from the Philippines with bright orange flowers. Carol is an oriental fire-bellied toad from Pet World. In this photo, the plant is tied to the bark with string, but I’ve since replaced the string with netting to hold down the moss more effectively. At this point, I’m just hoping that it establishes itself in the bark and that it can live in harmony with the frogs.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Riley Assessing the Beallara

Riley reaches up to smell the new Beallara I rescued from HyVee. His behavior straddles the border between adorable and bad, but I trust him more than Griffin. He doesn't like human food, treats, or plants. He loves cat food, but will try to bury it if it’s too fresh.
The Beallara is ‘Tropic Splendor’ from Hawaiian Tropicals Direct.

I tried explaining to Riley that Beallara is a cross among the orchid genera Brassia, Cochlioda, Miltonia and Odontoglossum (Brs x Cda x Milt x Odm), but he's not the sharpest kitty in the house.

I want to make sure that the cats are happy with the orchids, but I also need to ensure that the orchids are happy. So, I look to the Orchid Board for advice. MisterRay says, “There are some Beallaras that require a very specific day vs. night temperature gradient to flower, hence they are difficult to get blooming indoors where the temperature is pretty stable. If you treat them like your Phals, they will love you and grow for you like crazy -- but they just won't flower. The Beallaras also want more light than the Phals but not as much as some Catts, Dens, or, Oncidiums.” Sandra Billeter cautions, “Watch the color of your plants and if it starts getting yellowish, it's getting too much light. You want the Beallaras to be light green - the color of new grass.”

Here's Griffin hiding behind the bloom.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Griffin and the HyVee Cattleya

I bought this scarlet Cattleya at HyVee the other day. Griffin loves it. She (yes, Griffin is a girl) likes to rub her cheeks on the leaves.