This species is a small sized, hot growing, pendant growing epiphyte from Malaysia and Borneo in shady, humid, lowland and swampy riverine forests low down on trees often near or on branches overhanging stream banks at elevations of sealevel to 200 meters with an erect to ascending, short stem completely enveloped by persistant leaf-bearing sheaths and carrying pendulous, broad, rounded, light green leaves that blooms in the summer and fall on a suberect or arcuate, 2 3/4″ [7 cm] long, racemose or paniculate, few flowered inflorescence with a flattened, fractiflex rachis and small ovate bracts and has only 2 to 3, highly fragrant flowers open at a time. The inflorescence on older plants can rebloom year after year so do not cut off green viable inflorescence.
Vanda cristata Lindl. 1833
Distribution: Himalayas, Tibet and Assam
Contributors: Roman Maruska and Ian Walters
Vanda cristata is found at between 1200-2300 m in the Himalayas (Garhwal to Bhutan), Tibet and Assam (Khasia). Vanda cristata, aka Trudelia cristata, is an intermediate strap-leaf species of northern India, Nepal and Bhutan which has short spikes of several medium-sized greenish flowers with proportionately large elongate red-striped lips. Grow this compact plant in a small basket.
Peristeria elata by Maurie Page
This plant has long been one of my favourites. It is a terrestrial and loves warm growing conditions. It is the national flower of Panama where it grows as a terrestrial in loamy soil and humus pockets among rocks. Cultural notes suggest that it prefers hot conditions with 30-50% light. It grows exceptionally well in North Queensland conditions with little attention to cultural niceties. The plant grows with an enormous egg shaped pseudobulb which on my mature plants have been 12 to 15 cm across and 15 to 20 cm high. The long arching single leaf is about 15 cm wide at the middle tapering at each end. The leaf has many transverse corrugations that remind you of the immature growth on palm leaves.
The flower spike can be two metres in length. The spike emerges from the base of the bulb like a new growth. The flowers are brilliant white and have a hard waxy texture. They are cup shaped and can be 5cm across. If you look through the opening of the flower the column and lip combined is shaped like a dove looking back at you and has reddish spotting. Hence a common name the Dove orchid. These flowers last from three to seven days each and flower consecutively up the spike. My plant has twenty flowers opened or in bud. This should mean a flowering period of two months.
The thing I like most about this orchid is the perfume. In the middle of the day it has a most pleasant heady aroma. It is quite spicy and appealing.
These plants like moist growing conditions. If you can’t provide the warmth it won’t flower. I have found from bitter experience the difficulties in growing in Brisbane. I grow in good quality potting mix. Slugs are particularly fond of the new tips of the large roots. For years I had a mature plant that survived without thriving. I decided to repot and found every new root had a couple of fat juicy slugs suckling on the end. I now take steps to deter the slugs. The plants are susceptible to sunburn. I grow mine under fifty percent shade.
Editor note: Sandy Schultz is Past President of the SFOS and an active volunteer for the society.
Sandra L. Schultz, a 30-year Miami Dade College North Campus Professor has been named the 2009 Florida Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
Schultz was selected from among more than 300 top professors nominated by colleges and universities throughout the country. She was honored at a reception Wednesday night at the Folger Shakespeare Library Exhibition Hall in Washington, D.C.
Schultz is the third MDC professor to receive this top recognition, which is given jointly by the Council for Advancement and Support Education. The other winners were: In 2003, Alberto Meza, professor of fine arts at the Kendall Campus. In 2005 Ana M. Cruz, School of Business at the Wolfson Campus.
Dr. Schultz is the recipient of four Endowed Teaching Chairs, most recently the Anastasios and Maria Kyriakides Chair. “This is an incredible homor. It’s a great way to end my career,” Schultz, who plans to retire next year, said in a statement released by the college. “I have really enjoyed my years at MDC.”
Schultz began her career at MDC in 1977 as a volleyball and softball coach, and then teaching several physical education and activity courses. She also helped develop the fitness and wellness for life course, which provides instruction on how to improve health and nutrition, as well as reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Recently, she began to teach the course online to students living all over the world.
In addition to teaching, Schultz is the author of several fitness textbooks. She is chair of the North Campus Wellness Day Committee, which annually draws in more than 700 participants. The Carnegie Fundation’s Professors of the Year awards program was established in 1981 and is the only advanced-study center for teachers in the world.
The U.S. Professors of the Year awards program was established in 1981. TIAA-CREF, one of America’s leading financial services organizations and higher education’s premier retirement system, became the principal sponsor for the awards ceremony in 2000. Additional support for the program is received from a number of higher education associations.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching was founded in 1905 by Andrew Carnegie “to do all things necessary to encourage, uphold and dignify the profession of teaching.” The foundation is the only advanced-study center for teachers in the world and the third-oldest foundation in the nation. Its nonprofit research activities are conducted by a small group of distinguished scholars.
The Council for Advancement and Support of Education is the largest international association of education institutions, serving nearly 3,400 universities, colleges, schools, and related organizations in 59 countries. CASE is the leading resource for professional development, information, and standards in the fields of educational fundraising, communications, marketing and alumni relations.
Eurychone rothschildiana is a Ugandan species which looks like a Phalaenopsis, and can be grown like a one. They have beautiful large, oval, wavy, stiff olive green leaves with green flowers that have a broad curved lip that is blackish green inside with a white edge. Sepals and petals are white with lime green. This flower develops a wonderful fragrance of cinnamon in the morning, after having been opened for a few days. Flowers are about 1.5″ across. This plant prefers to be grown in New Zealand sphagnum moss in clay pots, although it does equally well mounted, as long as you water daily. Repot before flowering in the spring, usually March through April. This plant is a warm grower, and should be treated like Phalaenopsis, so protect it from cold nights during the wintertime.
by Susan Taylor
Originally published in BellaOnline
In general, leaf loss in Cattleya Alliance orchids is not considered to be a major growing problem. Unless you have very good growing conditions and have solved most of your cultural problems, you are going to lose the leaves on the older pseudobulbs of your Cattleyas. It is an exceptional grower who can keep these plants happy enough to produce a specimen plant. That is not to say that the hobby grower cannot do better to reduce leaf loss than the average grower. There are three main reasons for leaf loss: diseases/insects, culture and genetics.
In the diseases and insects category, scale is the main culprits. Scale is easy to spot once you have ever seen it – a grouping of white fuzzy spots. Left untreated scale will overtake a plant and ultimately will kill it. As soon as you see evidence of these pests, remove the plant to a location away from your other plants. Manually clean up any obvious insects or spray the whole plant with Bayer’s Rose and Flower Insect Spray (dual action) which will kill any pests that it touches as well as be absorbed in the plant and will kill adults as well as any sucking insects. Continue to spray for about 3 months.
Cultural practices which will cause leaf loss include overwatering, under-watering and excess cold and or heat. Overwatering will cause the roots on your plants to die off so they cannot support the plant. In an attempt to stay alive, the plant will shed extra leaves and try to keep the new growth alive. If possible, look at the roots of your plants – some growers actually take their plants out of the pots periodically to assess the growth. An old rule of thumb says that if the second oldest pseudobulb (generally from the previous year) is wrinkled and desiccated, you are either under or overwatering. Take your plant out of the pot to see which it is. If the roots are good and plump, then you’re under-watering. If they are all dead and rotten, you have overwatered. Repot and change your culture.
Another cultural practice which will cause leaf drop is very cold temperatures in the winter and very hot temperatures in the summer. Most Cattleya Alliance plants will withstand a wide range of temperatures, but very high and low temperatures, even within their range, will cause them to be stressed and lose leaves.
Genetics will also determine whether the plant will grow large for you or lose leaves once they are a couple of years old. There is little that can be done for this aspect but to determine through trial-and-error which plants are best for your growing conditions and stick to them.
One point to keep in mind is that if you can keep from doing it, it is much better to allow the leaf to drop off naturally than to cut it off. If the leaf will not snap off with light pressure, leave it on until it is ready to come off. The plant will seal the wound through a natural drying process which will keep any pests or disease from using the area to invade the plant.
by Susan Taylor
Originally published in BellaOnline
Fall is a good time to repot those orchids which have already bloomed and are going into a rest period or growing pseudobulbs which will mature over the winter. With cooler weather the transplanting process will be easier to bear. Some of the varieties to repot are Doritis, Doritaneopsis and Encyclia as well as Phal seedlings.
Move Your Phals to a Cool Spot at Night
Fall is the time to move your Phals to a cool spot, around 60 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 Centigrade at night, until you see inflorescences starting at the base of the plant. When the growths are about 2 inch or 5 centimeters long, the plants can be moved back to their normal warmer conditions. Stake the inflorescence beginning at about 6 inches or 15 centimeters and make sure that you keep the plant positioned the same direction in relationship to the light for best presentation of flowers.
Move Plants Inside
Prepare all your plants for moving into warmer conditions before the first cold front arrives. Check them for insects in the pots, clean up dried out sheaths where bugs might hide and even start moving some of the tender plants inside as night time temperatures cool. Then you will ready for that first really cold weather and only have a few plants to take care of at the last minute.
Water and Fertilizer Requirements Change
Fall is a time when you will need to adjustyour watering and fertilizing schedules to accommodate the variable weather conditions. As the temperatures cool your plants will use less water and start slowing on their growth, so will need less fertilizer. Generally I keep with my same fertilizing schedule of every other watering throughout the year. But in fall that watering goes from twice a week to every five days and then to once a week in winter.
Keep Your Air Circulation Going
It is especially important during the fall and winter months to keep air circulation going especially in a greenhouse or enclosed growing space. Mold, mildew and insects thrive in stagnant conditions and will cause many problems without proper air circulation.
Light Requirements are Changing
Fall brings changes in light conditions for inside and outside growers. Make sure your plants are getting enough light with the changing conditions or move them around if you are removing shading used during the hot summer months. Leaves on orchids can burn if they get too much direct sunlight.
A couple of years ago, I asked Andy Easton why some of our Catts had black tipped leaves. He said might be a calcium deficiency. Since then I have added 5 Tums tablets to every 20 gallons of fertilize solution. I start softening the Tums several hours ahead of adding the fertilizer, 15 aspirin, and detergent to the mix. Our black tips are gone, and while the calcium is at best in suspension, the particles seem to some how get into the roots.
Even though it’s early September, fall seems to be in the air. The days are slowly getting shorter, the nights cooler, and some trees are even beginning to lose their leaves. The kids are back in school and our summer “routines” must change.
Most of us are creatures of habit. Watering our plants every Saturday morning and fertilizing once-a-month, whatever it may be. What one must remember is that as the seasons change, the climate conditions change, thus, the care of your orchids must also change.
Fall brings shorter days, cooler nights, and lower light intensities. These conditions are necessary to push many orchids into spike. However, the care we give them must change slightly to accommodate the new season. During the fall and winter months, the plant growth of orchids slows down and, in some cases, stops entirely until spring. Because of this, we usually cut back of our watering and fertilizing. It is good to switch foods to a blossom booster formula during the fall and winter. Blossom booster cuts back on the nitrogen and pumps up the phosphate, a combination that encourages blooming. With the lower light during these months the orchids simply do not use up as much food, so make sure to reduce your fertilizing frequency and/or switch to a blossom booster.
The plants also do not use up as much water during the fall/winter months. You will want to water your plants thoroughly as usual. However, due to the darker, cooler days, it may take longer for your plants to dry out. The best thing to do is to evaluate and change your orchid care as the seasons change. Be aware of the plant growth and moisture content. Don’t get caught up in too much of a “routine” of caring for your orchids. Learn to study the plant and decide on it’s specific needs for that week, month and season.
by Susan Taylor
Originally published in BellaOnline
Spider mites are closely related to spiders. They are nearly microscopic in size and are not often suspected until the damage is visible, usually on thin leaved orchids such as Dendrobiums. The leaves will have a silvery look caused by the death of cells at the surface of the leaves due to the sucking of sap by the mites. This is most apparent on the undersides of leaves and sometimes it will look like there is dust or dirt on the top of the leaves.
Some spider mites spin a protective web which can cover the underside of leaves during a bad infestation. To verify that you have mites, spray the underside of the leaves with a fine water spray and then hold up to the light. The webs should be made visible from the spray. You may also be able to see the tiny bugs moving on the webs. These webs will keep any spray off the eggs and the adults if you do not destroy it manually.
They are particularly invasive during hot, dry weather and the life cycle only takes about a week during warm temperatures. Each female can lay three to five eggs per day and thus produce more than 100 eggs in about three weeks. It is very important to identify the problem early and take immediate action especially since you already have an infestation before you can see any signs of the problem. Keeping humidity in your growing environment is detrimental to mites since they prefer dry air. Hand washing of leaves or spraying with water will remove many of them from plants and kill them from the pressure of the water spray.
After you have determined that you have mites, it is very important to move quickly or they can kill you plant. Wipe the leaves on both sides with a damp cloth moistened with water and soap. This will destroy the webs and will manually kill the mites you touch. Then spray with a mixture of 409 Cleaner (one pint), rubbing alcohol (one pint) and water to make a gallon. Spray all surfaces of the plant as well as all surrounding plants. You will need to spray every fourth day for about a month to contain the infestation.
There are also chemical controls called miticides which can be used to control these pests, but most are not available to hobby growers. Horticultural oils such as Neem Oil will help control these pests, but their application during hot weather must be done carefully. Apply in the evening so that there is time for the oil to kill the pests without any direct sunlight on the plants.