Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Journal September 11, 2018 - Dendrobium faux pas

Early in 2017, we had a speaker at the orchid society meeting and as is customary the speaker brought plants for sale. The speaker receives no fee but member plant sales are suspended if the speaker is bringing plants.

By the time I arrived all he had remaining were dendrobiums that he had hybridized himself and I bought one just to help offset his travel costs. I don't know anything about dendrobiums and never had one previously.

At the same time, I was experimenting with Keiki paste, a hormone paste that when applied to a node may cause a new plant to form. Some paste was applied to a node on the plant and I promptly forgot about it.

Last winter the plant appeared to have died, which I could not understand. There was, however, a small plant growing from the end of one of the canes. I removed and planted the tiny plant and discarded the dendrobium I had purchased.

Last month we had a Ph.D. from the American Orchid Society whose topic was, you guessed it, dendrobiums. It seems it is normal for them to drop their leaves and go dormant, so my plant was alive when I discarded it.

This week, I noticed a strange plant with the Cattleyas and picked it up to examine it. I was shocked to find it was the Keiki from the dendrobium I had discarded!
Well yeah, I goofed, but I like the new plant better than the parent plant.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Journal September 2, 2018 - Phalaenopsis in vitro

The results of this project have been much better than I ever expected!

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Journal August 15, 2018 Carnations in a can.

Winters in upstate New York tend to be pretty dismal, so I was casting around looking for a fragrant flower to grow hydroponically to dispel some of the winter gloom.  I was looking for something that did not take up a lot of space and would grow well hydroponically.

In my seed cache, I came across a packet of Dwarf Fragrance mix carnations from Ed Hume Seeds that I purchased years ago.  I started some seeds in a used coffee container to grow deep water culture with a wick.  I found that the container was just the right diameter to support a 3" net pot.  The media is in the 3" net pot and consists of 80% agricultural perlite,  a thin layer of coco coir holding the seeds and a thin layer of activated charcoal covering the coir.  For nutrients, I am using the same mix and strength that I use for basil, except, I have been adding .5 ml of a potent phosphate to promote flowering. 

As the plants grew it was necessary to add a few skewers to support the plants as they tend to be top heavy.  My objective is to grow flowers, not to win an award for the most attractive plant.

As I recall I tried to grow these same seeds in the greenhouse but abandoned the idea because the plant was a magnet for spider mites.

In the meantime, I have purchased seeds for a similar variety that only grows to a height of six to eight inches, which would be ideal if the flowers are not tiny also.

The plants are easy to grow and take up hardly any space so I will be growing a lot more canned carnations this winter season.  

P.S. The flowers are opening and they smell fantastic!  I am going to start another batch to keep the supply going.


Thursday, August 9, 2018

Journal August 9, 2108 - Sweet Pepper Bonanza

We are picking a lot of sweet peppers both from the greenhouse and garden.  And, for whatever reason this season we have picked more tomatoes than ever before.

That said, the recent bouts of heavy rain have caused some of the tomatoes to split in the last week or so.

The Phalaenopsis seed project is humming along nicely.  Translate that: I have nothing to do but watch them grow.

What I thought were single large corms and planted individually are turning out to be multiple corms fused together.  So, at some point in time, it will be necessary to separate the seedlings into individual plants.  That, however, is some ways off in the future.

In the meantime, I have crossed a large plant with a miniature plant and the cross has taken on the miniature plant.  There are so many buds on the large plant I am not sure that the cross has taken on that plant yet.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Journal August 3, 2018 - Kapia peppers are ready.

Someone and I do not recall who gave me seeds for Kapia Hungarian peppers last season.   There were only a few seeds in the packet so I did not have many to plant, perhaps six or so. 

Two plants were placed in the greenhouse and the remaining plants in the garden.  The greenhouse plants have ripe peppers and they are real beauties!

The seeds will be saved and next season I plan on planting just these peppers.  Yeah, they are that good.

"The Red Kapia is a small, tapered pepper with a brilliant lipstick-red color.

In the same family as the bell pepper, this mild 4-5 inch pepper has a distinctive sweetness. This pepper is a native of Eastern Europe and, in fact, the main flavor ingredient in Hungarian Paprika. It’s a great addition to salad, roasted or simply tossed in a quality olive oil with pasta."

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Journal July 28, 2018 - Phalaenopsis - seed starting success!!

Several of the more vigorous protocorms have been placed in individual vessels, while others remain grouped common vessels.  As I have experience in deflasking orchid seedlings I am now certain that this project will be a success.

The parent plant is back in full bloom and is magnificent.  To think that I purchased this plant last year at Aldi's for about eight dollars still boggles my mind.

The large Phalaenopsis has been crossed with a small Phalaenopsis that is almost purple, and already I can see the flower stem getting thicker which indicated pollination has taken place.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Journal July 15, 2018 - Phalaenopsis protocorms starting to look like plants.

Real progress is being made now, the protocorms are developing into plants.