Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap day surprises

This is what I have outside in our corner of New York. We had couple of inches of snow since noon and it's still going strong.
And this is what I have inside. Today I noticed new growth on my Oncidium "Gower Ramsey" orchid. Is it a spike? Is it a new pseudobulb? Time will tell.
This plant is yet another rescue from Lowe's. It's been only 2 and a half month since repotting, the plant is supposed to be growing a strong root system in order to recover but at the bottom of my heart I really want this to be a spike. Oncidium Gower Ramsey new growth

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Pothos is a chthonic monster

Every year I cut and discard about 30 feet of pothos vines from a single plant. It inevitably grows back with such a vigor that I'm afraid to sleep in a room where the plant is. I imagine it pulling the vines towards my neck at night or even leaving the pot and walking around triffid-style.
Yesterday I found out that my concerns weren't that unfounded. The plant damaged a wall. No, seriously.  The pothos' aerial roots penetrated 2 layers of paint and were going for a drywall...

pothos is a chthonic monster

At least it's a source of pride for my husband. He mocks my orchids for slow growth and is proud of the amount of vegetation "his" plant produces. He takes ownership of the plant because he convinced me to accept this hand-me-down 3 years ago and usually stands alongside me during annual trimmings and screams: "No! Leave that vine! Take a half of the other one, not a whole!" Watering, fertilizing, repotting, removing dead leaves and other plant management is on me. Am I getting a sneak peek into our future parenthood? :)

I have minus one orchid credit my husband says

Yesterday I acquired a new orchid at Lowe's bringing the total count to 8. When repotting I inadvertently made that 9.
Not sure if it's me who broke off a pseudobulb clump from Oncidium or it's the nursery that put two plants in one pot.
The nursery ( aka better-gro) has rather poor reputation though. Once I bought their orchid in 4'' pot which, upon discovery, had a 2'' pot inside stuffed with moldy peat moss and a miserable Cattleya with barely any roots left.

Yep, that tiny pot with overflowing Cattleya was masqueraded by sphagnum moss in a bigger pot. I removed and cleaned the plant immediately 'cause I couldn't stand that horror a second longer. What a sham!

Update from March 7

 I feel the need to apologize for bashing Sunbulb guys. Orchid they sell seem to be in good shape.
Apparently it's normal to see large number of dead roots while repotting cattleya; these plants don't like root disturbance as noted by a commenter. Also some oncidiums can break off easily; today I managed to break a new orchid in three while washing and repotting (shhh, don't tell my husband I bought more of them!).
It's interesting how the same facts get interpreted differently depending on context. When I see a dead root on my old orchid I trim it and think "ok, normal part of life". When I see a dead root on a new acquisition I tend to fret "I paid money for THAT?".

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - February 2012

Despite a mild and snow-less winter (November is 4 months long this season!) my garden is a barren land now; even the garlic shoots have disappeared. Good thing I put some bulbs for forcing last fall for the first time in my life. The choice of bulbs was pretty random ($2 leftover bags of mixed Darwin hybrids from ChristmasTreeShops) but the blooms are very nice.
Even a Christmas cactus (which I call "El Monstro" around the house) that was full of flowers on Thanksgiving has one more gift for me to enjoy!
forced Darwin hybrid tulips

Christmas cactus