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2009 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-28
March 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 April 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
May 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 June 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30
July 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 August 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
September 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 October 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31
November 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-30 December 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31

April 1—7

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Critter damage.
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 08:00

Mornin' Paul,

Thanks for the great close-up images. I will try to remember to send the damage to my orchid later today.

The problem that I have is that I am a very deep thinker, and for shall we say, a tiny flat snail, [using it as an example] to want to crawl up the side of a pot and then scale the heights of a bulb and make its way to the almost UNSEEN unopened buds in a tight group makes me ask what tempts it?

So come on all of you biologists/plants people, lets have your five penneth please.

Cheers, Rocky.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Critter damage.
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 10:50

I thought that I knew the serious answer too , and I googled to be sure .
Yes − slugs and snails have a very strong sense of smell − in fact they rely
on it to find food, since their sight is very poor − which is why they can
find my lettuce seedlings, unerringly, in the night time. And it's why some
plant associations can work as pest deterrents. If they don't like the smell
of African marigolds for example, then a row of them next to the carrots
will mean the slugs go the other way...not sure if African marigolds will
grow among the cattleyas, and maybe it's not slugs which dislike them anyway
, but carrot fly − and I don't expect that is much of a problem in your
greenhouse.

Perhaps you could try spraying your buds with something smelly − of course
we don't know what other smells they like/dislike apart from orchid shoots
and buds − you could try a whiff of Chanel No 5 − but maybe it would be
easier to spray the whole plant with Sluggitt or with a copper-based
fungicide − they don't like that for sure !

Geoff

Roger Grier wrote re: [OrchidTalk] Critter damage.

> ...The problem that I have is that I am a very deep thinker, and for shall we
> say, a tiny flat snail, [using it as an example] to want to crawl up the
> side of a pot and then scale the heights of a bulb and make its way to the
> almost UNSEEN unopened buds in a tight group makes me ask what tempts it?

> So come on all of you biologists/plants people, lets have your five penneth
> please.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Critter damage.
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 11:00

BTW reading up on this subject via google − e.g.
http://mygarden.rhs.org.uk/forums/p/17178/17178.aspx

Several people talk about slugs not liking to cross grit ; maybe your
pebbles are too polished and you need something sharper, e.g. granite grit
as your compost ?

I can't recommend what one grower suggests on that site however − digging a
trench as a barrier, filling it with grit, and then it seems − flooding the
gritted ditch with paraffin and setting up a wall of flame − sounds a bit
too hot for me !

I am sympathetic as I had a lot of trouble last year. Now I have a sprayer
filled with sluggitt, − aka Slug Clear − and periodically spray the inside
of the glass and the area of bench they need to cross from their probable
points of access to the greenhouse, and I also spray all round the
greenhouse. Works well in dry weather, but not in a wet spell, which undoes
all my efforts too quickly.

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Paul Johnson
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Critter damage.
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 11:25

Hello Roger,

Apparently, I neglected to notice that the fourth image had not
attached properly before sending my previous remarks. Here is the
second image of mouse nibbling on Phalaenopsis.

I might also add that most animal organisms, at least terrestrial
ones, do have something of an innate tendency to move upward when on
structures, such as plants. To move toward the uppermost portions of
a plant, or the end of a root, would provide the best opportunity to
find tastier tissues in new growth. Whether this is always a
geotropism or a `wired-in' exploration trait [maybe a bit
anthropomorphic there] would be a good question to ask of an Oxfordian
animal behaviorist.

cheers,

Paul

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Lynda Coles
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Critter damage.
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 11:30

The simplest answer is that molluscs are olfactory dominant organisms, the buds give off an odour which appeals to them no doubt advertising the fact that the growth is new, tender and yummy.......... less work/faster to demolish it and fill their crop, less wear and tear on the radula, more nutritients for a given period of feeding. In addition, they have fair/good eyesight within a few centimeters. I do not think that it can be said that snails 'want' to climb a pot and plant, they are responding to the stimulus of the odour and glide towards it. I think that the odour must be very specific, why else would they eat a little from one and move to another instead of eating one bud completely.............so irritating.
However, despite the annoyance they cause, they are miniature marvels in their own slimey way.

http://www.weichtiere.at/Mollusks/Schnecken/sinne.html

http://visual.merriam-webster.com/images/animal-kingdom/mollusks/snail/anatomy-snail.jpg

http://biolpc22.york.ac.uk/snails/brains.html

this first link is informative about the garden snails that we are familiar with but I think that it can be considered fair comment about molluscs in general.. The second shows what is packed into the shell, (which may also interest those who eat snails as a 'delicacy'..... but from a somewhat different perspective I think !!) The third concerns neurobiology of molluscan brains (yes, they do have them).

I too have seen damage such as you describe....last year my plant of Lc puppy love 'true beauty' had at least fifteen buds between five leads and only three survived unscathed to flower........the culprit was a small, pale grey semi-translucsent slug which fed at night and retired to the compost when full. This kind of slug leaves a colourless trail which can go un-noticed on a shiney stem no matter how close you inspect.

I hope this gives you 'food for thought'.

regards,
Lynda

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From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Critter damage.
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 17:05

Roger, Last year I lost 3 buds out of 4 on a cattleya. When I opened them up , inside was a smsll maggot. My assumption is that a fly laid an egg that hatched and ate the bud. I now regularly use fly spray around any Cattleyas in bud. Regards Dennis

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From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Critters.
Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 19:50

Good evening Lynda,

Now that's what I call an answer.....just what I wanted to hear.

Update for you all: My greenhouse is fourteen foot long, with aluminium benching down both sides.

The damaged buds were on a plant on one side. The next day, thinking along the lines that Lynda has verified for me, I put an upturned small plastic saucer near the affected plant, about six inches away. Then I poured a little honey on to it. Then I surrounded the saucer with some slug pellets.

Next morning, all that I could see was just one light brown slug.....well and truly dead, which was about one centimetre long.

There are no other Critters to be seen anywhere.

I just hope that the top eaten buds have some more underneath which just might continue and grow till they flower.

As Geoff has said, they sure do some damage to all sorts of crops, but I think I will maybe have a go at 'Slugit' or whatever it is called.

I guess I am very lucky that I seem to have hardly any trouble this year. Maybe it is because I keep a large bucket of Provado/Vine Weevil Killer mixture under the staging. Will the slug and snail Critters be put off by this?????

What say you Lynda?

Cheers to you all for the informative input. Rocky.

Just put my early spuds in......more gardening to follow the next few days......id the weather lasts.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Critters and sprays.
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 10:05

Mornin' Dennis,

Your Cattleya buds.....I am sure that many of us have experienced this awful sight, and the relevant gut feeling !!!!! Not to miss the immediate response from the owner, *&^*&^$%)*&(!"£"$£*^%$^^)()*()()***)_

Which brings me on to 'Sprays'. Should I go out and buy either one of the 'Fly Sprays' that you mention, or possibly the 'Sluggit' that Geoff mentioned, or both.

But I have been toying with another idea. As soon as I see buds, or buds that are about to emerge from a sheath, I am thinking of placing just one or two slug pellets in the leaf/sheath axis. This will then hopefully get the Critters before they get the buds.

What say you Lynda ???

Regards, Rocky.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Lynda Coles
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Critters.
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 14:00

Hello Roger,

Poor dead slug ......I hope you gave it a decent send off..

You ask if I think that the bucket of poisen would 'put-off' molluscs from dining in your glasshouse.........odourwise...no I doubt it very much. Provado vine weevil killer is designed as a systemic control but has some contact applications i.e the target creature has to ingest the product by eating the treated plant matter or be doused in it. It is not designed to stop the pest from eating the plant but to kill them if they do. Plants should be in active growth when the product is applied so that the active ingredient thiacloprid is transported throughout the plant structure and is ingested when the target creature eats the treated plant and is poisoned. This would tend to suggest that any odour produced by the thiacloprid is not one which would prevent the creatures from eating the treated plant or deter them in any way from approaching the source of the odour it is also unlikely that the chemical tastes unpleasant to them since one bite would
be enough to send them to dine elsewhere and they would learn (eventually) to associate the odour with the unpleasant taste. Provado vine weevil killer is designed for soil application and not an aerial spray, which would tend to suggest that it has no meaningful residual control.
If you have a bucket of the stuff at-the-ready under the bench this may be an indication that you use it a lot, it is present in your plants and on some of the substrate under the benches which would in turn be the reasons why you believe that you have few molluscs.
You have said that you have had buds eaten and found a dead slug after leaving bait, (containing metaldehyde? ) this mollusc could not have been put-off by any odour coming from the bucket of provado nor incapacitated by it and if that one was not then why should any other, (I assume that the chewed plant had not been treated with the provado). Since some slugs are able to abseil on mucus threads, this one may not even have traversed the substrate on the floor.

But, I guess that you already know all this Roger.

(Put some of my 'earlies' into tubs in the glasshouse........growing away already..... (smirk).)

regards,
Lynda

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Critters.
Date: Thu, 02 Apr 2009 17:50

Hi Lynda,

Many thanks for such informative information. No, I did not know all that you told me, however, the bucket of 'Vine Weevil Killer' which has sat under the bench for many months is mainly for my wife to use in her greenhouse on her Fuchsias, but as I have almost no Critters this Winter....so far...I just wondered if it had given off an odour that kept them at bay.

As to 'Earlies'.....'Foremost' in my mind.....

Cheers Rodge.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Critters and sprays.
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2009 09:55

Roger, From the middle of March I have a set regime. (This year I was Late and have just lost a spike). Each month I spray with Sluggit − you can spray if you set the nozzle at coarse and clear with water at the finish. In April and August I spray with Provado 'Ultimate' the systematic killer. Remember that for it to be effective the 'critter' must take at least one bite so marking the leaf. At least once a week I use a normal house fly killer, one burst in my small house and two in my larger house and that kills all flying prsts.
In my garden I attract birds − Blue Tits for aphids etc and Pheasants for slugs and Thrushes for snails − in the greenhouses Blue Tits eat the pollen and Pheasants are a disaster.!
The weather is great. Regards Dennis

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Laura Peppiatt
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Spanish moss and Physan
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2009 12:20

Hi,

I have started using Physan about a month ago for watering orchids and
Spanish moss. I have noticed that Spanish moss does not look as good as
it used to. Is it possible that Spanish moss does not like physan?

If anyone ever had an adverse effect of Physan?

Regards,
Laura Peppiatt

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Spanish moss and Physan
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2009 17:35

Hi Laura, I have found that Spanish moss doesn't like anything except
rain water with nothing added, not even weak feed which can sometimes
get on to it when I'm spraying the mounted plants so I wouldn't be at
all surprised if Physan causes it problems; others of course may find
differently...

Regards,

--

Tricia

How is it possible to have a civil war?

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Spanish moss and Physan
Date: Fri, 03 Apr 2009 19:40

It is a disinfectant − not to be used all the time ! a very small amount in
water/feed is OK , like 1:1000 or even weaker, but if your planst don't look
so good ( and Physan is suspected) you have been overdoing it. Just flush
with plain water a few times to get rid of any build-up.

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Hanging orchids.
Date: Sat, 04 Apr 2009 18:15

Hello Peter,

A late response, but have been very busy in the garden.

Have you ever tried growing an orchid in a polystyrene container ????? The type that I am thinking of is something that might just have arrived in your home and did originally contain an alarm clock, or something for the computer, or a kitchen item. In other words a square/rectangular box with an open top.

I have a piece of Dendrobium delicatum growing in such an item, and I must send a photo [tomorrow].

I was amazed.....gobsmacked to see the roots go straight through the one inch thick sides.

This of course opens many doors, and puts forward many questions.

Foremost in my mind is to try a Phalaenopsis in such a receptacle.

What say you Peter? And of course any other interested Members.

Cheers all, Rocky.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: David Martin
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Hanging orchids.
Date: Sat, 04 Apr 2009 23:05

Hello Rodge,
Some of my orchid pots have polystyrene chunks as crocks at the bottom. Phal
roots will go straight through them with ease.
I also have a Sedirea japonica on cork bark with a root coming straight out
of the cork. I was amazed because there is no visible defect for the root to
get through. Will photograph it tomorrow and send.
Goodnight,
David

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Hanging orchids.
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 08:10

Roots art such amazing things − can go through concrete − but are so easily
bruised when you push some fresh compost into a pot. Quite a paradox !

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Root penetration.
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 09:00

Mornin' David,

Thanks for the information regarding the Phalaenopsis roots going through polystyrene with ease, it sure brings up some interesting ideas for the future.

As to the Sidirea driving its root through a piece of cork bark, well, it's not April 1st, and I know you well enough to know that you are not pulling my leg, so i am waiting to see the photo. To be honest, having several pieces of bark, and having actually sawed off some branches from a 'Cork Oak' tree near my home, I am wondering if the root noticed just a very tiny hole in the bark, then it squeezed through and once through, opened up/expanded to its normal size. This happened to the root of an Oncidium that I once had growing on a piece of Cork bark.

I wonder where anyone might get hold of a few polystyrene 'boxes' for some experiments?

Cheers, Rodge.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] growing orchids in unconventional containers...
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 10:45

Roger queried using polystyrene containers − we have been buying Gu ( can't
do umlauts without a lot of bother) ice cream − and the boxes it comes in
might be perfect ( you may enjoy the ice-cream too − I recommend the
chocolate one) if you want the roots thermally insulated. Of course it is
the opposite extreme from growing in clay pots where evaporation from the
surface will keep the roots below ambient temperature.

But it's not for me. I grow orchids because of the interest and aesthetic
value of the flowers. Sounds a bit pretentious to say I'm in search of
beauty , but it's the nearest I can get off the cuff ; maybe its a reaction
to my childhood where everything was grey and utility in war-time , or maybe
that was just inner-city life anywhere then ( and now too ? ). I want my
pots to be unobtrusive, not shrieking "Walls" or "Flora" or whatever.

Clearly it didn't affect my brother in identical circumstances of childhood,
he happily grows tomato seedlings in recycled yoghurt pots, and pricks out
his half hardy annuals into old ice cream containers ; his cress grows in
old margarine pots, rhubarb is blanched with upturned buckets bearing the
logo of various building trade suppliers where he had bought mastic or
whatever ( he is a retired heating engineer/plumber ) − he says he never
buys flower pots or trays − waste of money...- I have told him that with all
that colour he doesn't even need flowers − but have been known to declare
privately that his garden is an eyesore − although the plants are good....

Thank goodness he doesn't grow orchids.

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Root penetration.
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 12:30

If you really want polystyrene boxes , go to your local Council "Recycling
Centre" aka tip.

When I take cardboard boxes to my local one, there is a large bin next to
the very large skip ; cardboard in the skip , plastic packing − usually
including polystyrene, in the bin. It is not recyclable, so just help
yourself to it.

I expect you have similar arrangements, although here in Christchurch we are
very high in the league of recyclers − almost 90% of what goes to the centre
is recycled − they have bins for everything under the sun, from my used
hearing aid batteries up to old baths and wcs...so if all else fails, take a
short trip through the forest to Somerford − I'll take you along if you need
directions but you can surely find it on the web.

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Gordon Walker
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Root penetration.
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 12:50

Rodge,
Supermarket fish section or alternatively wholesale fish merchants..
Gordon.

Roger Grier wrote re: [OrchidTalk] Root penetration.

> ...I wonder where anyone might get hold of a few polystyrene
> 'boxes' for some experiments?

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: David Martin
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Photo as promised
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 14:00

Hello Rocky,
Here's the photo of Sedirea japonica with the roots forcing their way
through cork bark. It's the only plant that has done it out of about 25
mounted on cork. The piece of bark is riddled with worm holes and the
roots must follow a hole and then punch their way through the last few
millimetres. Anyway it's a bit harder than polystyrene. Maybe the root
tips can sense the light as they get near to the surface.
Any suggestions?
David

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Dennis Read
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Orchids/Baskets
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 17:00

My memory at times is a bit slip shod but at last I have remembered that I saw a picture of Phalaenopsis growing on concrete. It was in the last OSGB Journal and shows apicture taken in the Fukuoka Botanic Garden in Japan clearly demonstrating that epiphitic and lithophitic orchids need an anchor point and the correct atmospheric conditions.
Regards

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: John J. Rupp
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Root penetration & polystyrene
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 17:30

Good morning, Roger, Geoff, David, and all,

I vaguely remember a discussion some time back (not sure if it was this
group) about growing orchids in various kinds of polystyrene. Comments
were made that some polystyrene contained additives that were harmful to
the roots and would kill them. Pictures were included showing the
damaged and dead root ends where they contacted the broken pieces of
polystyrene in a pot or with polystyrene boxes containing a bark
medium. The recommendation was to use only horticultural grade
polystyrene and not just any polystyrene packing material or boxes.
Does this ring a bell with anyone?

John R

Roger Grier wrote:

> I wonder where anyone might get hold of a few polystyrene 'boxes' for
> some experiments?

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Roger Grier
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: David's Sedirea and it's roots.
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 18:30

Hi David,

Now that is what I like to see, a plant fixed firmly to its 'home' and looking good.

As to your question about why the orchid root would want to 'investigate' the small tunnel, I just don't know. It's one of those nature questions that baffle all of us.

If the roots run along the cork bark, then they have an excellent hold, so why bother to 'sneak' into that tunnel to see where it goes????

I think that your idea that the light may interest it is a good one, but also, would it 'notice' it?

I guess we will never know.

Cheers, Rodge.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: John W Stanley
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Root penetration & polystyrene
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 22:40

Hi John
You are quite correct about variations in additives to expanded polystyrene; I am not au fait with the technical side but I do know that ceiling tiles (for example) were rendered safe(er) with respect to a former serious fire hazard and I have some (expensive) migh tech machinery packing expanded poly from the US which has a laminated fo
film that must have an adhesive of some sort which could be a problem. There may be other additives and various 'pure' qualities (for packing cooking utensils?).
There are also some types that aren't dissolved by the solvents inolil based paints (or at least the outer surfaces are so treated).
I suspect it's a matter of 'suck it 'n'n see'
Another John

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Latest pictures and some thoughts on cattleya culture
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 22:55

74-75 Pholidota chinensis. A lovely miniature − looks more like coelogyne
flowers than the other Pholidotas I know − but the two are very closely
related genera.

77 − typical yellow/bronze Ascda.

78 A nice old maudiae type paph ; very long lasting flowers on tall stems.

79 − ancient Phrag cross − a plant I have had a long time − came from Keith
Andrew when he had closed down at Plush , and I went there because there was
some land for sale ( his nursery), and I wanted to build a house for my
retirement − must have been about 1990 ? Keith had just one greenhouse left
and a few plants in it , and I bought this one − didn't buy the land − too
much in all senses of the word, both area and cost.

80 South African (?) terrestrial. Needs a clump to be worthwhile − but I am
up to two growths now, so on the way.

81. My best flowering of Sedirea so far , although unfortunately two leaves
have recently acquired patches of scorch − will take time to grow out of
that , i.e. grow so many more new leaves that old ones ( scorched) will have
fallen off,,,,.

82. Have lost the label of the Epidendrum species ; it is a reed-stem,
flowering ( this year) with about half a dozen flowers at the top of stems a
foot or so high. Any ideas ? I could wade through the Encyclopaedia , but
there are an awful lot of Epi. Species, even if it has not been hived off
into something different..

83 Chamaengis − tiny miniature. This plant has two spikes − the entire
length of the stem with all its flowers is hardly 3 inches. I have another
plant which had 6 spikes − but growing on a piece of bark, and the flowers
did not show up well on that.

84 My C. intermedia not as many flowered as the one shown recently . But
this is a first flowering on a cane not much bigger than a pencil .

85 A well known cat here ; my plant has three flowering growths, each with 3
flowers. Will do better in the future I'm sure.

86. Renantheras have the reputation of being difficult because we don't have
good enough light. But this is about the fifth or sixth different plant I
have shown here ; this is a seedling , maybe 6 inches high , first
flowering. I find the genus easy.

87. I'm glad to have raised this seedling to its first flowering. I had a
good big plant which got pinched at a show a few years ago , and I got the
seedling soon afterwards. They are not fast to get up to flowering size,
these multi-flowered paphs ( one flower only on first flowering , maybe 2 or
3 next time, and so on).

88 The bulbo is an evil-looking thing, with short-lived flowers but a whole
series of them in succession; I only bought it because it comes from
Sulawese, and the Dendrobium from that island − D.sulawesii is one of the
nicest dends I know ; not so the bulbo !

89. The Neofinetia cross needs no comment.

90 − the red cattleya is a delight. Here seen at first flowering − on the
two growths made last year and one from the year before. An amazing colour,
I love it.

I have made a whole series of changes to my cattleya culture since last
mid-year , moving them to different sites, changing my watering methods,
changing the compost, varying ( increasing) the light they get , and they
all seem to add up to a big improvement. Of course I have to await this
year's growths, but I have no doubt they will be better − I put in pic No 92
to show the sort of root action I am getting now, which will be
self-explanatory as far as better culture is concerned.

And lastly, the white perfumed cattleya − Bow Bells Cross − a second
flowering growth on this one too.

Geoff

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From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Root penetration & polystyrene
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2009 22:55

Yes − I do remember it. I am sure you are right.But personally I don't use
the stuff anyway...

Geoff

John J. Rupp wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Root penetration & polystyrene

> Good morning, Roger, Geoff, David, and all,

> I vaguely remember a discussion some time back (not sure if it was this
> group) about growing orchids in various kinds of polystyrene.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: PG Hieke
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Hanging orchids.
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:25

Hi Rocky,

No, I have not. Usually the boxes are too big and the smaller ones are too
thin -walled and they wouldn't last long.

I have successfully grown Phallies mounted on a slab of polystyrene with the roots
going right through the
polystyrene.

Regards

Peter

Roger Grier wrote:

> Hello Peter,

> A late response, but have been very busy in the garden.

> Have you ever tried growing an orchid in a polystyrene container
> ????? The type that I am thinking of is something that might just
> have arrived in your home and did originally contain an alarm clock,
> or something for the computer, or a kitchen item. In other words a
> square/rectangular box with an open top.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: PG Hieke
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Root penetration.
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 07:55

Hi Rocky,

Yes orchid roots can grow through anything. Just look at a piece of
cork oak or pine bark and you will see that it grows in layers and
the roots manage to squeeze through the tiniest gap and also grow
happily between the layers inside the bark.

Regards

Peter

Roger Grier wrote:

> Thanks for the information regarding the Phalaenopsis roots going
> through polystyrene with ease, it sure brings up some interesting
> ideas for the future.

> As to the Sidirea driving its root through a piece of cork bark,
> well, it's not April 1st, and I know you well enough to know that
> you are not pulling my leg, so i am waiting to see the photo. To be
> honest, having several pieces of bark, and having actually sawed off
> some branches from a 'Cork Oak' tree near my home, I am wondering if
> the root noticed just a very tiny hole in the bark, then it squeezed
> through and once through, opened up/expanded to its normal size.
> This happened to the root of an Oncidium that I once had growing on a
> piece of Cork bark.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Cattleya culture.
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 10:20

I intended to say a bit more about the changes I have made ; I have bought a
data-logger , and a whole boxful of thermometers, and now understand that
the temperatures in certain zones are far more consistent than they are in
others, or from another point of view, at bench level, on frosty nights, the
temperature of the plants nearest the glass can be several degrees lower
than what is being shown on my head-level thermometer in the centre of the
greenhouse − large sweep fans notwithstanding. I have also found that my
ideas about the warmest, and the brightest, parts of the greenhouse were
wrong ; big reshuffle, moving this here, and that thereto take advantage....

Then, by happenstance, I was playing about with supplementary lighting − for
seedlings when they leave the growing cabinet, and I tried it on a few adult
plants. The results were so marked, and so rapidly apparent that I
re-arranged everything again ( and went out and bought some more ! ) . I now
have all my cattleyas under two track-mounted moving 400 watt lamps, giving
them 15-20kLux for 12 hours per day. I reckon that in the winter this is an
increase, in potential growing time ( or bulb-ripening time ! ) of several
hundred percent. Even in the summer, it could easily double the growing
time, since sunlight before say 9 am does little, and likewise after say 4
or 5 pm ; and on cloudy/rainy/dull days, the natural light level is too low
to be useful . But now, it's 12 hours per day, every day....

Then I found that in the very free-draining bark I had been repotting into,
dessication was occurring ; so I have had to increase the watering
frequency. Even then I had my doubts, so have now switched and am repotting
into medium bark/sphagnum moss mixes. I am not repotting all the plants
every time I modify my specification − I only repot cattleyas at the moment
I see new roots starting to appear from the leading (etc) growths. So plants
repotted recently remain in the bark(alone) until the next time round.

I am looking forward to seeing how big the bulbs will be on this years
growths !

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Laura Peppiatt
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Spanish moss and Physan
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 11:40

Tricia & Geoff,

Thank you for your reply.

This is a pity that Spanish moss is so sensitive. It is currently
attached to my vandas. I will have to separate them.

Regards,
Laura Peppiatt

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Laura Peppiatt
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Photo as promised
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 15:25

David,

Has it flowered for you? I have had one for two years. It has a new
growth but no flowers.

Regards,
Laura

David Martin wrote re: [OrchidTalk] Photo as promised

> Here's the photo of Sedirea japonica with the roots forcing their way
> through cork bark.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: David Martin
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Photo as promised
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 20:20

Hello Laura,
No, it hasn't flowered since I bought it two years ago. I keep it in a warm
greenhouse with Phalaenopsis. I haven't got the conditions right, because
it requires intermediate temperatures. I hoped it would flower in warmer
conditions but obviously not. My other greenhouse has Cymbidiums in, so will
be too cool. I will raise it nearer the roof where it should get cooler
nights, near the glass, and see if that works.
David

"Laura Peppiatt" wrote RE: [OrchidTalk] Photo as promised

> David,

> Has it flowered for you? I have had one for two years. It has a new
> growth but no flowers.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: ema.orquideas Perú
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Latest pictures and some thoughts on cattleya culture
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 21:40

Hola Geoff:

The Epidendrum sp. is Epidendrum criniferum.

regrds

Erica

Erica Morón de Abad

www.biorquidtropic.com

geoff.hands wrote re: [OrchidTalk] Latest pictures and some thoughts on cattleya culture

> 82. Have lost the label of the Epidendrum species ; it is a
> reed-stem, flowering ( this year) with about half a dozen flowers
> at the top of stems a foot or so high. Any ideas ? I could wade
> through the Encyclopaedia , but there are an awful lot of Epi.
> Species, even if it has not been hived off into something
> different..

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Max Redman
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re polystyrene boxes
Date: Mon, 06 Apr 2009 23:40

Hi Folks,
The main thing with the use of polystyrene boxes is to enure that the box
and/or the polystyrene used is from boxes that are used for food handling.

The contain (at least out here in Australia) no contaminants that will
injure the roots of orchids or aother plants. We obtain the boxes normally
from the greengrocer where they have been used for such things as
vegetables.

If you use just any sort of polystyrene such as is used for packing
electronics etc you stand the risk of killing off the roots.

Max.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Latest pictures and some thoughts on cattleya culture
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 11:20

Thank you for that ; I have printed a label.

geoff

ema.orquideas Perú wrote RE: [OrchidTalk] Latest pictures and some thoughts on cattleya
culture

> Hola Geoff:
> The Epidendrum sp. is Epidendrum criniferum.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Photo as promised − Sedirea japonica
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 11:25

My plants are grown at 15 night minimum , and all three are in flower or
bud.

geoff

"Laura Peppiatt" wrote RE: [OrchidTalk] Photo as promised

> David,

> Has it flowered for you? I have had one for two years. It has a new
> growth but no flowers.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Re polystyrene boxes
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 11:25

I think the point is that these boxes are made in moulding dies − the
polystyrene beads are blown in at high pressure and heat is used , and when
finished the dies separate and the box has to be ejected. They may tend to
stick to the mould walls − so the technique is a quick blast with a mould
release agent before each fresh operation- which could be a complex chemical
hey spray on. Naturally they want to use the cheapest , and it may not be
plant or food compatible....traces remain on the boxes...

geoff

Max Redman wrote re: [OrchidTalk] Re polystyrene boxes

> Hi Folks,
> The main thing with the use of polystyrene boxes is to enure that the box
> and/or the polystyrene used is from boxes that are used for food handling...

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: PG Hieke
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Latest pictures and some thoughts on cattleya culture
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 08:05

Hi Geoff,

Stenorrhynchus
It is not South African, it is Middle America, Florida, Mexico W.
Indies and Northern South America.

Peter

Geoff writes:

> 80 South African (?) terrestrial. Needs a clump to be worthwhile -
> but I am up to two growths now, so on the way.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: geoff hands
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Help − where to get...
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 17:25

I want to try and store some pollen − probably until the Autumn ; can anyone
suggest usable small containers, or a source for miniature test-tubes
complete with bungs ?

Geoff

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: David Martin
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Photo as promised − Sedirea japonica
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 19:45

Geoff,
As I suspected, the night temps are too high at 19 deg C, will try and find
it a cooler position.
David

"geoff hands" wrote RE: [OrchidTalk] Photo as promised − Sedirea japonica

> My plants are grown at 15 night minimum , and all three are in flower or
> bud.

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Lynda Coles
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Help − where to get...
Date: Tue, 07 Apr 2009 23:25

I probably have something suitable, how many are you looking for? I have a selection of small volume glass or polyprop containers, from a couple of ml to about 25ml, all with lids.

Lynda

geoff hands wrote re: [OrchidTalk] Help − where to get...

> I want to try and store some pollen probably until the Autumn ;
> can anyone suggest usable small containers, or a source for
> miniature test-tubes complete with bungs ?

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