So a whole bunch of the little flask babies I ordered from Equatorial Plants last summer got to move out of the nursery this week. It was a pretty big job, but really fun to see how much the little guys have grown in about 9 months. It is almost like giving birth, well I am sure my dear sister would dispute that statement… well at least I feel proud as a mother fussing about with the little flask babies. The Dendrobium cyanocentrum v.blue babies (image to the left) that I mounted back in January have gone absolutely nuts. They obviously love their new home in the warm vivarium because there are roots and shoot all over the place! Really cool! Then there is the new transplants…. drumroll please. A few got potted, some mounted on EpiWeb, most were placed into the warm vivarium, a couple got to move into the nano vivarium, and a few gets to stay in the nursery mini-greenhouse for a bit longer, but now in their own pots. Even a Phalaenopsis wilsonii is given a lease on life after arriving in really poor state from the beginning and not doing as much as quiver in the nursery. But the roots are still green so we’ll see if moving into the warm vivarium will kick start some action. There are a bunch of the smaller babies left in the community pots but they will need a few more months of maturing before they are ready. You have to be patient when you grow orchids from flasks, but it is very rewarding. I can already imagine 2-3 years from now when they will bloom for the first time. Yes, I said years.
My first flask baby orchids have grown up enough to move out into the world. They are still small, but they are off to a good home. A quite well grown little Dendrobium cyanocentrum and a Promenaea rollinsonii baby plus a little keiki off my Gastrochilus calceolaris is now on their way to their new home with Jonas in Malmö. We have been talking about this trade for a couple of months already, but it has been too cold to ship anything until now. I’m getting a division of Pleurothallis sarracenia, some really cool carpet forming Bulbophyllum sp. (nicknamed “skägget” = “the beard”) and a lovely orange Cattleya hybrid in this trade. By the way… I know I have ridiculously maternal instincts for these little guys… I call them my “flask babies” – or as my dear brother affectionately calls it – the “orchilds.” Mainly because he really sucks at spelling and thought that it actually was the name of my blog, and perhaps it should be, but that is a whole different story.
Time for another update on the flask baby project. Yesterday was a big day! The first few teenagers got to move out of the community pots and into a little pot of their own today. Granted, I still placed them in sphagnum moss and keep them in a separate mini-greenhouse in pretty much the same conditions as before but still, this is a big step. It took better part of my sunday afternoon to do it but it was very exciting. Two Cattleya schilleriana, one Phalaenopsis amboinensis, one Paphiopedilum bellatulum and three dendrobium cyanocentrum (blue) got to graduate. I mounted the dendrobiums, two on cork and one directly on the EpiWeb in the nano-orchidarium. The rest of the youngsters got a root-check, and all are looking really good!! The Promenaea rollinsonii have started growing a lot finally. Then I replaced the moss before replanting – consolidating tubs. I also went ahead and deflasked the last two flaks from Ecuagenera (Masdevallia decumana and m. infracta) since one was starting to mould and I was starting to ger a few clear leaves on the plants in the other. They came out fine and looked great! Especially the Masdevallia decumana babies looked big and really healthy (the tub in the back). Very cool!
The flask baby project is progressing nicely… here you see the Phalaenopsis amboinensis babies. The UK kids from Equatorial Plants are growing slowly… oh so slowly. For some you can see clear growth, especially Cattleya schilleriana and D. cyanocentrum. Even Paph. bellatulum and Phal. amboinensis (in the picture) are looking good, some are growing faster than others. Promenaea rollinsonii are not breaking any speed records, but are looking okay. Phal. wilsonii has not moved a single millimeter … they are in pretty sad shape overall and I have now tossed one of the 5 I got (but in all fairness, they were all in pretty bad condition when they arrived). The super tiny Dracula cordobae babies that came from Ecuagenera are doing ok. The bottle came with mold so I had to deflask at once, even though they were sooo small. We will see if they make it – but so far so good. Still in flasks: Masd. infracta, Masd. decumana and they are growing ever so slooow… The two small orchi-pacs I got from Roellke in october, Paph. appletonianum and Phal. pulchra are growing fine (but I think I might loose one of the pulchra’s…).