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!






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 🙂


May Orchid buds

Top Left: NOID phal; Top Right: Masd. Angel Tears; Bottom Left: NOID Miltoniopsis; Bottom Right: (Supersuk ‘Eureka’ AM/AOSxRaisin Pie ‘Hsinying’) x self; RIght: NOID Den Phal

All my winter blooms have been slowly wrapping up, but the nice thing about owning different kinds of orchids is the next flush of blooms are slowly developing. I would have to say that watching them spike and bloom is more exciting then the ensuing weeks of flowering, not to say that is not pleasant as well. It is especially exciting when the spike is the first you’ve nurtured yourself 🙂

Neofinetia falcata var Fugaku Left, spike with developing buds, Right: different growth, but the spike started looking like that. 

In addition to the above, the neofinetias are also getting ready to spike. This is my first year with them, so I wasn’t sure if the growths were new keikis or spikes. What I found was they start out like tiny babies, but they turn out to be spikes!

What kinds of orchids are blooming at your house?


Another repotting adventure

Masd. Huayna Picchu (vietchiana x princeps orange) Photo from lehuaorchids.com

I don’t have a picture of my own of this flower, but the above is what it looks like. (picture is borrowed from lehuaorchids.com). I saw the blooms nice and fresh at Orchid Fever, but I did not buy it. I met this florist there who maintains other people’s display areas, and when they go out of bloom, she has nowhere to put them. She offered them to me when the flowers started getting wonky about a month later, likely because it was only maintained once a week and there wasn’t enough humidity in the house. I really didn’t think she would follow through, but she did!

Anyway, I let the wonky flowers finish up, and I’ve finally got around to repotting it. Unfortunately it was another promix battle.


This is as far as I got, and then I gave up. I left some of it in there. As you can see, Masdevallia roots are pretty shallow. They like to grow on the surface of the substrate.

It’s still pretty cool in the Los Angeles area right now, but I foresee it becoming warm suddenly. I’m pretty sure this guy will not like it, considering his parentage. So I decided to pot it into a clay pot, to take advantage of evaporative cooling. I’ve never potted an orchid directly into clay before, so we will see if it will be a difficult repot. I heard, though, from somwhere (aka take this with a grain of salt) that Masdevallia roots aren’t as sticky as others.


As you can see, it is a pretty large variety of masdevalia. I have also heard (take that salt out again) that the cooler growing varieties also tend to have large leaves and flowers. I potted this guy up in fine bark and sphagnum (60/40) and then topped off with sphagnum. I put sphagnum at the bottom of the pot to stop the bark from falling out. I think the drainage will be okay as it’s in ta clay pot, which is porous, and Masdevallias like it moist.



So this is the finished product after I’ve watered the media down. The pot quickly picked up moisture from the inside after I brought it in. My tentative plan is to water it from below when to keep the pot moist when it gets hot. I usually mist the top everyday to keep the humidity up. I find that the masdevallia leaves have trouble getting out of the sheaths (or sarongs?) when it’s not moist enough.

Any tips on the Masdies in clay pots?

Southern California Spring Garden Show: Part III, the rest of the orchids

Iwanagara Appleblossom, unknown variety

Look! I got an Iwanagara Appleblossom! It is quite and impressive plant, and actually probably due for a repotting, but I will wait for some new growth before I do it. I have been wanting one of these to see what the hullabaloo is about, but unwilling to pay for a full grown plant+obscene shipping. But now I have one!, it does have a citrisy smell, and it’s pretty  pungent in the afternoon hours.

This is the second half of the orchid haul from the Southern California Flower show.  And take a look at the first half too!

Vanda (Varakorn x merillii) “Carmela”

Something else, I have been itching to try is a Vanda, but they all seemed to get so big. As you know, LA apartment living is not one might term spacious. At the show I got this mini,  V (Varakorn x merrillii) “Carmela”, that was already established in a bit with large grade media. She actually does have a mild fragrance. We will see how this one goes. She is living in the shade outside.


Encyclia Boricana x bractescens. This guy was one of the first I saw at the show, and I could not leave without it. As you might know, I recent fell in love with Encyclia cordigera, and this is like the more delicate version. It is also very fragrant in the afternoon, but the smells as delicate as it looks. I love the fat little pseudobulbs.


Sarcochilus are so much cuter in person than in pictures. I think it is because they don’t look very showy, but in person the details come out; delicate little flowers, fragrant, and such a compact plant (perfect for apartment growing). It also helps that it was only $15, I debated whether not to get it as I was 6 orchids in, but in the end I did. This plant was marked as “Sarcochilis falcata”, but I think it is mislabeled because Sarcochilus falcatus does not have the pink/red speckles. Also, I didn’t notice until I got home, but the older fan had some crown rot that is now dried, but the large fan is very healthy. It will still lend energy to the plant as a whole when it decides to make babies.

Have you found orchids on your wishlist at shows lately?


Southern California Spring Garden Show: Part II, the Japanese Orchids


There was a ton of orchids at the flower show, many at reasonable prices. I think that is what creates the danger zone. If an orchid is very expensive, I would just admire, but hardly tempted to buy it. But when orchids are 10-20 bucks, it adds up pretty quickly.

A quick tip: Perhaps I am just shameless, but if you pick out multiple orchids from a stall, and you as for a discount, they might give you one.

My new Japanese additions from Seed Engei:

Since getting my last little neofinetia, “Kinroukaku,” a tiger stripe type, from them, I have been looking forward to getting another variegated neofinetia. After all, we can enjoy the foliage all year round.

Neofinetia falcata “Fugaku”

I ended up with this nice piece of Neofinetia (Vanda) falcata “Fugaku,” which has variagated leaf margins. How beautiful is that. This one also has little pink root tips.

Something else, i was looking to purchase was a Dendrobium moniliforme. The last time I saw them, they were not in leaf, so they weren’t very attractive. But I did a little research when I got home, and again, the foliage totally got me. I think I enjoy the foliage on this little guy more than I will the flowers…

Dendrobium moniliforme “Benikida” 

Dendrobium moniliforme “Benkida”is a petite little plant with variegated green and cream leaves with streaks of pink in the middle. New growth has already started, so I missed the flowers, but I was told that flowers would be white. Apparently all the variegated ones tend to be white. I repotted this little guy as I did with all of these Japanese orchids into a modified kokedama style, which I talked about in a different post, because I didn’t like the idea of a giant ball of sphagnum. Indeed, it was bone dry on the outside, but the inside was actually still moist…which is why I dislike it. You can’t tell if you need to water or not. This little lump was actually 3 separate pieces. I thought for a few seconds of dividing and experimenting, but I just don’t have enough space for that. It has 4 new growths coming up now.

Last, but not least…

sedirea japonica
Sedirea japonica

As you may remember, I bought a little dwarf type of Sedirea japonica on my last orchid binge, “Manmaru.” It is doing decently well, and it’s putting out tons of greenery, but no sign of a spike. So when I saw she had these all in flower at very affordable prices, I couldn’t help myself but get myself one 🙂 The flowers are very fragrant.

Actually this is a good representation of what Seed Engei, who specializes in Japanese orchids, sells. The 3 main types they sell are a large variety of neofinetias, and a smaller but good variety of Den moniliforme and a few variations of Sedirea japonica. On their website, it looks like they also have some Japanese cymbidiums. They do not list all of their orchids for sale on their website, but if you ever get a change to see them in person, it is totally worth it.

That’s less than half way for the orchids, I think I will continue on in one other post 🙂