Gesneriad News: You win some, you lose some.

Primulina “Rachel”

Some months ago, I ordered from Violet Barn after watching a Bill and Plantznthings unbox and grow a bunch of gesnariads. Other than African violets, the other genera aren’t that easy to find in your average garden center, and I missed the all the African Violet shows in the area for the year. So I made an order at The Violet Barn. The plant’s were all in excellent condition.


Left: Primulina Rachel; Middle: Sinningia Ozark “Purple Zebra”; Right: Primulina Nimbus

I love the Primulinas with the variegated leaves, and it was a plus to have pretty flowers too. P Rachel came with a flower, and buds, but they blasted with the move. However these two grew nicely and are producing new flower stalks.

Top: Primulina Rachel; Bottom: Primulina Numbus. 

In fact, Primulina Rachel bloomed again! Yay!

Primulina Rachel

However, I was really dumb, and ripped the top off of the Sinningia. It soon started new baby shoots.

Sinningia Ozark Purple Zebra

Unforunately, they all started kind of drying up. I thought maybe they weren’t getting consistent enough moisture, so now it is in a non glazed clay pot with no drainage hole that is sitting in a tray of water…aka home-made self watering pot. We will see how it goes. Maybe I should start over?

Maybe not? After all, my Sinningia leucotricha dropped all of it’s leaves when I got him, and now is dormant….at least I hope it’s dormant, and not just plain dead. Sinningia leucotricha is way more seasonal than the little miniature Sinningias though.

I also have a NOID that is reblooming for me again. I feel like the flowers are darker and and slightly larger now that the weather is cooler.


I have one other large NOID that has been rotting old leaves like crazy. I’m thinking I might have bottom watered it too long one day and now the roots are kind of unhappy. Maybe it will recover? My 4 miniature ones are in vegetative growth now or producing new buds.

I don’t know…Strangely, I feel like I have a better success rate with orchids. I thought these were supposed to be easier!




A Little Orchid Update


Recently, the orchids have been mostly growing, but there has been a few blooms. More exciting, my husband bought me the above book, The New Encyclopedia of Orchids by Isobyl la Croix. It is kind of pricey as these kinds of books are, which is why one obtains it for a special occasion. It is beautiful to look at with all of the colored pictures, but some don’t have pictures, which is a little sad if you’re doing some targeted research. There is a blurb on each orchid about the appearance and elevation of habitat, and a short background on environment and culture for each genera. Most of the time, I’m looking for a little more information on culture and sometimes I think there should be more species included in more popular genera, like Vandas. I appreciate the lesser known ones also, but I feel like the more commercially available ones are the ones people will be looking for information for.

Left: top: NOID oncidium, middle: NOID Dendrobium Phal, Bottom: Makili-Curtisii maudiae x maudiae “Napa Valley”; Right: NOID miniature Phalaenopsis

On a different note, I have also recent acquired a couple of new plants. One is the first cattleya I’ve ever found at Trader Joes,  Blc Aka’s Aloha ‘Dream Dust’. The other has been a species Phal I have been eyeing, and I ended up getting it off of ebay, Phalaenopsis deliciosa. I love the ripples in the leaves. Also a plus that it is a miniature. It has a little keiki and a nubbin of a spike. Hopefully the spike will make it.

Left: Phalaenopsis deliciosa; Right: Blc Aka’s Aloha ‘Dream Dust’

Of course, greenery is still growing and there are some spikes developing! My Oncidium Twinkle “pink profusion” has been working on its 5 spikes forever and my Phalaenopsis bellina seedling is working on 2 spikes…very slowly. There are new growths going all around, and some good root porn 😉

Encyclia cordigera new roots

What are your orchids doing? Is it blooming season in your home or just plain growing?

Happy growing!





Carnivores this Summer

Pinguicula xWeser

It’s been a while since I touched based on the carnivorous plants, but they’ve been all chugging along.


As you can see, Frank the Nepenthes x Ventrata has grown significantly. He’s going all over the place. Recently one growth finally flopped over from the weight of the pitchers, and I had to stake him up. On the other hand, my little baby Nepenthes x Lady Luck is growing slow and steadily like a tortoise.

Nepenthes x Lady Luck

I found it drowning in one of those self watering domes at Home Depot, bit now it’s happy up against a eat window. I found that on the bug screened side, it was not enough light to pitcher. At first I thought it was a humidity issue, but misting the tips didn’t do much. But when I put it on the other side that didn’t have a screen, it started pitchering! So if you’re having issues with pitchering, it may be a light issue.


My Pinguiculas have been flowering away this summer. As you can see, the flowering has also encouraged them to split. You can compare this little scene to when I first received my first pinguiculas.

Top Left to Right: P cyclosecta, P Ibarrae, P gigantea; Bottome Left to Right: P emarginata x P jaumavensis, P Laueana x P Potosiensis, P xWeser

The only Pinguiculas I am still waiting for to bloom are Pinguicula laueanna ‘fuscia’, which has grown in size signficantly (it was the size of a pencil eraser, and now it covers a 3in pot), and Pinguicula esseriana, which has also grown significantly from the same-ish size to about an inch in diameter.


Maybe I would be able to see Pinguicula esseriana better if I took all the baby Drosera capensis out…but I can’t bring myself to throw them away. I’ve been giving them away to friends, but they’re seriously weedy.

Some others decided to flower…

Left: Drosera Binata, Top: Drosera spatulata; Bottom Left: Dionaea muscipula (venus flytrap) var Trifid Traps; Bottom Right: Drosera Capensis

Outside, the Sundews are going nutty. The Dionaea muscipula aka Venus Fly Trap var trifid traps is super prolific as you can see from the planter below. I also have variety DM xRed Dragon, which was a rescue from the garden center (I picked a bad looking one and asked for a discount XD), and it has rebounded nicely. It is much more slow growing, but the traps are getting bigger and bigger. You can see the shadow of it in the big picture of the Drosera binata flowers above, and the sad state it was in the picture below.

Before and After!

I’ve had this pot for a few months now. As you can see Sarracenia x Carolina Yellow Jacket (green S purpurea hybrid) has made a few large pitchers. S purpurea are known to be slower growers. The Sarracenia x Scarlet Belle has really bounced back from this. The green traps with the red mouths are the DM var trifid traps, which has gone crazy. The S leucophila and hybrid I got from the California Carnivores kind of stopped growing in the heat of the summer, but I see some new growth now that it has cooled down a little. The S flava var cuprea has really made good leaf jumps though.

S flava var cuprea


Wow…that was a way longer post that I thought it would be! I have updates on orchids and succulents, as well as some miscellaneous others.

If you’re on instagram, I post a lot of pictures there the moment things happen! My username is also fishnflora. I am also also always looking for feeds that have the same interests as me 🙂

LA Arboretum Intercity Cactus and Succulent Show Haul


The LA arboretum Intercity Cactus and Succulent show was really fun despite the heat, and it was hard to refrain from spending too much!

Left: Haworthia parksiana; Right: Haworthia cooperi var truncata

As you know, I am always on the look out for Haworthias at shows. It was hard to choose between all of the babies, but I ended up with Haworthia parksiana, which has a very interesting look (it’s so TINY) and Haworthia cooperi var truncata, which I’ve been looking for forever. I prefer the latter green though, so it is currently hanging out in the shade.

Left:Crassula “Garnet Lotus” Right: Crassula “Morgan’s Beauty”

Another that I’ve been looking for forever is Crassula “Morgan’s Beauty.” I love the wide flat leaves; it’s so weird. I also found this beautiful red one, Crassula “Garnet Lotus.” I couldn’t put it down. There isn’t very much information on it because it is pretty new cultivar, so it will be interesting to see how it grows out. Currently it looks like a lotus 😉

Left: Sinningia Leucotricha Right: Echinocereus rubuspinis. 

Recently I’ve been getting into gesnariads, so this Sinningia leucotricha was very intriguing. If anyone has any tips though, it would be much appreciated. The leaves got a little limp and I’ve only watered it once. The caudex is firm though, so I am not too worried. I wonder if it’s just going into dormancy with the shortening days, although it hasn’t actually gotten very cool yet. I guess we will see how it goes…

Echinocereus rubispinus was in everyone’s trays, and I understand why. It’s pink little head is so cute!

Have you had a spree lately at a show?

LA Arboretum Intercity Cactus and Succulent Show 8/13-14/16

inside LA Arboretum Greenhouse

I had originally given up on going to this show because I was at work Saturday until Sunday at noon. But I saw all the cool things people found at the sale on Facebook (Succulent Infactuation Group), that I had to go. I just had my husband drive me (driving under the sleepiness is not good either).

Here are some scenes of the LA arboretum. It was extremely hot, but I paid for it, so I had to look around. It was totally worth it, if not for the plants, at least for the peacock colony there. Seeing baby peas following their mothers around was awesome…so awesome that I didn’t even bother to take my camera out because I was too busy watching them walk around.


LA arb

Of course, the main event was the cactus show!


Look at those giant balls/clumps of Dyckia!


The show had some awesome specimens. If you have a chance to go, it is totally worth it to take a look around the arboretum, as well as the Intercity Show; and you can buy some cool plants too.

Next post, I will show off my purchase! Were you there too? I saw some pictures posted on it on instagram!



Orchid Update July 2016


It’s been a while since a little update because I’ve been pretty busy, but things have been blooming!

Paphiopedilum (Supersuk ‘Eureka’ AM/AOS x Raisin Pie ‘Hyinying’) x sib

Above is Paphiopedilum (Supersuk ‘Eureka’ AM/AOS x Raisin Pie ‘Hyinying’) x sib, a nice paph I got from Trader Joe’s last year. This is the first Paph I’ve rebloomed, and I was really excited. It took a long time to develop, but paph blooms last a long time. While it is not in bloom, I can also enjoy the nice foliage. I have another alba paph that is working on a bud, so you will see it in some weeks.



The next exciting bloomer is this NOID Miltoniopsis. IMG_20160703_160827.jpg

Last year, it didn’t do so well from a combination of things. It was too hot and I didn’t know what I was doing. It did spike, but the blooms did not open all the way or just blasted. This year, it developed during a time that was relatively cool. I did have a spike blast due to the recent heat in Southern California, but 6 out 7 spikes is pretty good 🙂


Neofinetia (Vanda) falcata Right: Fugaku Left:Kishuuryokufu

Neofinetia (Vanda) falcatas are blooming. I have 2 that have bloomed, and I am hoping I might get some more later this summer. The first that bloomed was variety Fugaku, which is a variegated variety with yellow margins, fukurin type. The second is Kishuuryokufu, which is supposed to be a green flowered variety. I remember last year, it opened green, and turned white. This time it was just white, but the buds were green right before blooming. I googled it, and apparently it depends on the temperatures it was grown in…well, that’s not really in my control is it? It’s a pretty flower anyway. Like all neos, they are fragrant at night.

NOID den x2

I have some dendrobiums in flower. The first is a Dendrobium phalaenopsis hybrid and the second a Dendrobium kingianum hybrid. The second was a surprise because it’s the second time this year in bloom!


Last but not least, my giant NOID Cattleya I bought from Armstrong’s some months ago. I got it 50% off because the buds blasted in transport. It was either going to be pink or white, and this is how it turned out. I thought I would have liked the pink better, but now I kind of like the pure white with the ruffles. It reminds me of a wedding dress.

Thanks for stopping by! I have some buds brewing soon and I have some other planty updates I haven’t gotten to too.

What’s been blooming at your house?



Santa Barbara Summer Hummer Haul @ Cal Orchids and Santa Barbara Orchid Estate


The Summer Hummer is an open house event for both  Cal Orchids and Santa Barbara Orchid Estate, which are conveniently next to each other! They also had international vendors they invite for the event.

Since the last orchid show, and my last Neofinetia purchase at Seed Engei, I’ve totally fallen in love with Neofinetias. I was super excited to visit Seed Engei again.

Left:Neofinetia falcata Houmeiden; Right Neofinetia falcata Sasa no Mai

Unfortunately, the last time I saw her some months ago…okay, 2 months ago, I fell in love with Neofinetia falcata Homeiden, but it was quite pricey….well it still was. The people on the facebook group, Orchidaholics (visit them!), were mocking me (posting pics) with their new Houmedens, and I was getting so envious. There was nothing close to the creamy variegation and bright pink roots like this cultivar, and as you can see, I ended up purchasing it. The other one I purchased is Neofinetia falcata Sasa no Mai, which is a pine needle leaf shape, which was very interesting. I find that I am more interested in the different kinds of foliage in Neofinetias than I am interested in flowers. Next time I see her, I am thinking of getting a bean leaf variety.

Cal orchids had a delightful variety of different orchids.

Left: Leptotes bicolor; Right: Angraecum distichum

As many orchid collectors, especially those who grow primarily on window sills, I had my eye out for miniatures. As neofinetias, I love orchids with intresting foliage, because, let’s face it, it’s what we are looking at for the majority of the time. The first is Leptotes bicolor 4N. I am not sure what the tetraploidy (4 sets of genes instead of typical 2) does to the plant, but the flowers look typical from the picture they provided. The second mini I purchased is Angraecum distichum.

Surprisingly, a few days after purchase, there were buds, and then next thing you know, there are flowers! As you can see above, if there are buds, they are quite miniscule when I bought it. I did not notice any at all.


The last 2 orchids I purchased at Cal Orchids are these…

Left: Phalaenopsis Schilleriana; Right: Galeandra Leptoceras

The first I spotted in a random corner of a grow room, Phalaenopsis Schilleriana. The flowers are, to me, pretty unimpressive large pink flowers I am sure was the parent to many complex hybrids we have now. What I love is the mottled leaves, aren’t they beautiful? The other is Galaendra Leptoceras that I purchased from one of the international vendors. They grow like a catasetum type, but flowers are trumpet shaped. I first became interested in this guy after watching this Gardening at Douentza youtube video. Unfortunately, the roots are little suspect after I unpotted it, and there has already a flower spent flower spike. I do not think it will continue to grow this season, but I am a little confused on who I should water now…

Lastly, I bought a couple plants from Santa Barbara Orchid Estate also.

Masdevallia Ibanez Behar; Encyclia Mooreana x Tampaensis

The first is a Masdevallia Ibanez Behar, that my friend pointed out as were walking around. such an unassuming little flower, but beautiful mix of pink and coral. The second is a seedling, Encyclia Mooreana x Tampaensis. Encyclias are so delicate looking, and they have a great scent.

Surprise Haul 

This weekend is the Newport Beach Orchid Society show and sale at Westminster mall. Their spring show was the first orchid show I’ve ever been too. It’s pretty small, but there’s great stuff. I purchased 2 orchids. Please excuse the poor pictures…

Left: Tolumnia Bravo “Nalo Beauty”; Right: Phragmipedium Grande

Weirdly, my bear root Tolumnia urophylla, a species plant, is doing well but my other two hybrids strangely are rather unhappy. They all live at the same window 😦 Anyway, I couldn’t help myself and got another tolumnia because it was so cute, Tolumnia Bravo “Nalo Beauty.” The other is Phragmipedium Grande, which was a deal on the member’s table. This orchid is also talked about by Gardening at Douentza. The members at the table were also very helpful on the care.

So as you can see, I spent a good amount of money this last month…how has your wallet been faring?

I have been a little busy lately, and in my absence, there has been orchids blooming. Hopefully soon, I can post some pictures 🙂