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2012 Archived Messages


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MONTHDATEDATEDATEDATEMONTHDATEDATEDATEDATE
January 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-31 February 1-7 8-14 15-21 22-29
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

March 1—7

From: Kenneth Bruyninckx
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Start Akerne Orchids show and shipping season
Date: Thu, 01 Mar 2012 21:55

Hello all,

Traditionally the start of our show season is our participation at the RHS
London Orchid & Botanical Art Show in the United Kingdom.
Pre-orders for plants and RAIN MIX ® for this in London are accepted until
March 13, for instructions see our website.

A few days after London we are off to Porto, Portugal for our first ever
participation at a show there: 3ª exposição de orquídeas da cidade do Porto.

Pre-orders for plants and RAIN MIX ® for the show in Porto are accepted
until March 20, for instructions see our website.

Of course, people not attending these shows do not need to be afraid that
they will miss out on our plants and RAIN MIX ®, we expect to start shipping
again from March 12th weather permitting.

Kind regards,

Kenneth

Kenneth Bruyninckx

Akerne Orchids

Laarsebeekdreef 4, B-2900 Schoten, Belgium

tel. +32 (0)3 651 40 36 fax +32 (0)3 653 06 76


www.akerne-orchids.com

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: The large and the small of it - two plants in flower now..
Date: Fri, 02 Mar 2012 20:10

The large and the small of it - two plants in flower now..

https://skydrive.live.com/redir.aspx?cid66cc6b7e29550ebd&pagebrowse&resid66CC6B7E29550EBD!416&type5&authkey!AJ2StYWtdzCTA3E&BsrcPhotomail&BpubSDX.Photos

The first two pics are of Ceratostylis phillipinensis ( supposedly) -
Just arrived today - part of my birthday present from my dear wife ( I
did the choosing,. she did the paying).
I grow the sibling of this species - C.retisquama ( aka rubra) and
consider it one of my favourites, for its frequent flushes of bright
orange/red flowers, and its quite rapid expansion to fill a larger pan.
So when I spotted this on a list, and looked it up in IOSPE, and saw it
is white flowered, I thought, ah yes, I want that... I was in too much
of a hurry . The flowers are, fully expanded a mere 4mm across ( not the
1 cm that IOSPE says even if I didn't actually read that bit).
Very wee indeed !.
However it seems likely that the plant is mis-named , the supplier does
have some interesting stuff hard to find in Europe, but his names are a
bit hit and miss. I suspect that this is C.senilis ( I'm not
quite that clever, but Jim Coote thinks so, and he is ) - ,and I need to
go on looking for C.phillipinensis.

The next four are Schomburgkia rosea .Two spikes here - I'm thrilled
– they (Schombo's) are so rarely seen in UK, and then
usually on plants newly imported. I have had this plant three years now
and I knew it was doing better when it produced two leads...I have a
couple of other species also doing well, one of which ( S. moyambae)
also did a twin lead and double spike, but a slug got to it whilst I was
away for most of January. I don;'t think slugs will damage the
bulbs, they could well be carved from mahogany or something similar,
although a new growth might be a bit more tender).

However, stop wandering off the point Geoff... S.rosea has flowers 2
inch across, and the raceme or whatever it is ( I'm forgetting my basic
botany now ! ) is on stems 15-20 inches long, above bulbs which are 8-10
inch high. These spikes and even bulbs are not big by Schomburgkia
standards , I have seen them in Venezuela with flower stems five feet
long and flowers twice this size - but don't know what species that was
( wish I did ! ) - I might just get them in my greenhouse, and would
certainly like to try !.


Geoff.

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Dendrobiums
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 14:30

It is dendrobe time in my house now and I have been following the
'Floricultura' cultivation instructions and they give better results than
i have had before. One plant 'Swallow Queen' has eight trusses of flowers
which is the best I have ever had. Not a patch on the white variety in
our local nursery though, two strong canes both clothed in blooms with
between ten and twelve trusses on each. Just amazing how the dutch
growers do it.
Regards, Alex

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From: Tina Stagg
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Flowering this week
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 15:00

Attached are pics of some of the orchids flowering today.

Did somebody say a few weeks ago that BOC judges never award small plants? They did at the Harrogate OS Show last weekend! I was as surprised as anybody, although I do admit that it is a beautiful plant.

Dendrochilum tenellum
Dendrochilum tenellum close up
Dendrochilum warrenii
Dendrochilum yuccaefolium

Tina

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 20:05

.............and the 'Floricultura' cultivation instructions are????

Richard

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From: John Dennis
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 20:40

A lovely collection Alex. Are they warmer growing or Nobile types. I guess that they are Nobile and cold growing, in the winter.

John

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From: John Dennis
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Flowering this week
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 21:05

The Dendrochilum are particularly beautiful once they become specimen plants. I would like to get hold of a wenlenii. I have a small wenzelii, which has to grow warmer and has a bronze red flower most commonly.

John

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From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Flowering this week
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 22:25

Well done Tina, your Dendrochilums look really good, I particularly like the warrenii.
Regards, Sheila

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From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Sun, 04 Mar 2012 22:30

Alex, What a wonderful array of Dendrobiums, they all look very happy with
your Floricultura cultivation techniques.
I have decided to try harder with my Dendrobiums this year, this has spurred
me on. I shall check out the Floricultura growing advice too.
Regards, Sheila

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From: Tina Stagg
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 10:30

What a colourful way to cheer up the kitchen, Alex. They do look good − I
shall look up the Floricultura instructions straight away.
Regards, Tina

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From: francis quesada pallares
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 11:50

WOW!

Alex,

That must make washing up time so much pleasurable!

Well done!

Francis

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From: John Dennis
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 16:55

Hi Alex,
I agree with Richard's comment.....and the Floricultura cultivation is as follows......????
I have looked Floricultura up on the web. They are apparently one of the biggest producers of young plants and sell them on by the thousands to high volume orchid nurseries.

I could not find any culture info apart fro a small bit on Miltoniopsis.

Regards,
John

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: An unusual colour for a Vanda.
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 17:20

Not yet registered ; maybe I'll register it as Geoff's Peach !

I found it when doing a bit of an overhaul of my Vandas this morning − they don't get a lot of attention at this time of the year, just a dunking in a bucket every week or two. Sometimes they get sprayed when all the small vandaceous stuff gets sprayed, but I am having to do a rethink about a daily spray since I have had too many cases recently where the developing flowers ( not on Vandas, but other stuff) have got black spots and spoiled including most of the plants I had lined up for our Show a week or two ago. I think I shall have to take all developing spike plants to one side of the greenhouse and keep the spray away from them − in winter at least.

Back to this Vanda ; 7 flowers and buds. Not large ( 3 inch natural spread ) , but there is a lot of Ascda blood in the plant, and they may grow bigger before they are finished I don't know how long they have been out − not long I think.

i can't remember this plant flowering before, and there is no sign of an old spike, yet the name is quite familiar, no doubt from reading it when repotting etc. Could have been in my collection for years – the last time I went to Thailand and bought Vandas was 10 years ago, and I remember then being encouraged to buy Madame Rattana crosses as likely to give interesting colours ; probably it is one of that lot . If so, it was worth waiting for I think. I don't think I have anything like it, or for the matter can't remember ever seeing one quite like it.

Geoff

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 17:25

I was interested in this ;I have my own ideas about how to make at least nobile and some other sections of dendrobium flower properly, so I thought I d look up Floricultura although I have to say I was a bit doubtful about it the word just means flower culture, in many languages.
Google couldn t locate any meaningful reference.
More please Alex.!

Geoff

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 17:50

Yes they are all cool growing Dendrobium nobile type. All from exchanges
with friends or club auctions too. I dont suppose the 'Floricultura'
notes are new but they mimic the monsoon conditions of the Himalayan
foothills. Essentially you let the current canes mature for a month after
they have produced their terminal leaf and the end of the cane goes
rounder. No fertiliser and then they need 5 weeks with night temps 10C or
less and kept dry, best to have good light I believe but thats difficult.
Then back to normal intermediate temps for 7 weeks and in that time buds
will form. Once the buds are definitely flowers I give some water, if you
water too soon you can get keikeis. No fertiliser until the new canes
start growing, about now.

Nice dendrochilums Tina, and I have seen that tenellum for real.

Regards, Alex

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 18:10

Yes Francis, my wife loves them too :-) shame to cook in there. Here is
the link to the dendrobe pdf, to get there you go topriight from the home
page, English, top left dendrobes, cultivation support. Theres an awful
lot of techy stuff, water temps, fertiliser, packing densities etc.

Regards, Alex

http://www.orchidaceae.nl/pdf/433713_03-Dendrobium-potplant-ENG.pdf

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 18:15

I have just sent a link to their notes, getting there is a bit tortuous,
hopefully you will find it OK. BTW my thunia has 2 green leafless stems,
the original having withered away. I have given it some water a week ago
but wondered if that was too early or too late and should they be repotted
annually? I know Francis has one too, is yours waking up?
Regards, Alex

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 18:50

I went to Floricultura last year and it is a fantastic operation − all
robots and few people.
By the way, take a look at the video at
http://www.doubleh.co.uk/Production_Systems_Orchids.html which shows much
the same sort of operation except that DoubleH are in New Milton right on
our doorstep.
Richard

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From: Peter Fowler
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 20:00

Brilliant lot of nobile Dendrobiums. Where does the window face? N,S,E or W.
There is no secret in flowering these. Long winter rest with no water. They may shrivel a bit but will soon plump up when watering starts and should be covered in flowers.
I had a nobile var. Cooksonianum, the one with three lips. I put it on a shelf just before winter and forgot about it! Six months later I found a very shrivelled plant, no leaves. I dunked it in a dilute bucket of weak fertiliser for an hour, took it out and then treated it as normal. A month later it was covered with flowers.

Peter Fowler
Ps. Tricia, did you receive my message about my potter friend, making pots for Neofinetia, Cymbidium goeringi and Dendrobium moniliforme. He is selling some to the chap in England that sells Neofinetia and pots on eBay. At the moment he buys his pots from China, Japan and Korea.
At least he is buying British now!
He makes great pots and makes Bonsai pots for the RHS.

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Max/Min thermometer
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 20:00

Having had to abandon my search for a workable remote temperature monitoring system and I am now looking for a DECENT max/min thermometer. Apparently, the good old EU has forbidden sales of mercury ones. Nowadays they have a thin liquid and an index which is so light that the liquid just passes through. Thumbing through those available locally it is event difficult to find one which registers the same ambient temperature on both sides − obviously just thrown together for the mass market. I have complained to Brannan about several not functioning correctly, and they have responded with a "free" electronic device. I can see why it was "free"...enough said about that.

Anyway, does anyone know where I can get a sturdy accurate max/min thermometer. I thought I had located a solid one with mercury in California, but they are on indefinite back order.
Richard

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From: Tina Stagg
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 21:10

Floricultura is one of the largest orchid nurseries in Holland, Geoff.

Tina

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From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] An unusual colour for a Vanda.
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 22:00

Geoff, That is very attractive, I think you would have remembered it if it had bloomed before, 10 years is a long time to have to wait, but thats how it goes sometimes from seedlings.
I have a Cymbidium suavissimum that I got as a seedling 10 years ago, it has put on steady growth over the years but never bloomed to date, I dont see any signs of it happening this year either..I live in hope that one-day it will surprise me.
Regards, Sheila

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 23:25

Peter, I haven't seen that message. Maybe you could re-send?

--

Tricia

A day without sunshine is like... night.

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Max/Min thermometer
Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2012 23:35

Richard, I agree that the newer Max/Min thermometers are pretty
useless :-(

I am pleased with the data logger I recently bought − several other
members of Wessex Orchid Society are using them too. See:
http://www.wessexorchidsociety.org.uk/culture/datalogging.html

I bought mine from Audon − as did the author − because the shipping
charges were slightly lower than direct from Lascar.

--

Tricia

*Geeks shall inherit the earth*

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From: tony garthwaite
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] An unusual colour for a Vanda.
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 08:50

Geoff,

That is a really attractive Vanda.

One of my Vandas is looking rather sad at the moment and reading your watering regime, I m not too far removed from a similar regime, so, I m wondering what ails it?

I ve also got a Paph, which I bought from you some years ago and has one bloom open at the moment and a second developing. However this morning, the second one, still in bud, was drooping . I ll maybe get a photo tomorrow and send to you for advice. (Can t beat experience for advice!!)

Today I m off to give a talk on Alpines just a bit different!!!!

Thank goodness that wind has dropped! Yesterday was bitterly cold with the wind-chill!

Regards,

Tony G.

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Max/Min thermometer
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:00

That looks really interesting, Tricia, and the Wessex website is so clear
about what happens.
Looks to me like the idea of max/min is old hat in these technical days. I
take readings regularly and input to an EXCEL spread sheet which gives me
the graphs, but this device seems to make all that redundant.
I'll look into the device further and let you know how I get on.
Grateful thanks
Richard

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:35

Some years ago I shopped around for a supply I wanted to be able to leave thermometers in several different positions, and not keep moving one about ( to discover whether the ridge was the same temperatures as the bench, and the corners as the middle, and so on − no of course they are not , but that s another story).
I ended up buying a box of 10 for the same price as my garden centre wanted for just two. They were cheap and cheerful , sure the reading on both sides did not agree . But the interesting thing is that the reading on the right was exactly the same on all 10, ditto the reading on the left ( although different from the right). In other words they had a built in error, but it was reliable and predictable.

Some years before that I collected together the max/min thermometers from all my greenhouses and cold frames, garden spots etc. at least 7 or 8 of them, reset them all, and put them in a bucket of water and left it outside so that the temp. would vary, then after a week or so, looked at the results. They were all different in what they said the temperature was at that point, they all differed in what the max had been, ditto the min...... I also had a certified accurate quite expensive single ( not min/max) thermometer ( you buy them from lab equipment suppliers ) which I used for other purposes in my experiments, and I checked the readings against that... none agreed. The difference btw between the highest and lowest was an astonishing 4 degrees ( this was in the days of old money so deg.F.)

Conclusion take anything said about temperature with a degree of latitude ( otherwise known as a pinch of salt) , and if you want more than one, buy a batch of the same model.

Geoff

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From: Tricia Garner
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Max/Min thermometer
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:35

Glad to be of help. The one major sticking-point I had was that the
unit is not Mac-compatible, unless you also buy the DataPad for
around £150 (ouch!). The Lascar people were very helpful in
explaining why they haven't developed Mac software for the unit and I
understood their reasons, but I was about to give up on the idea
until my step-daughter offered me her old Windows PC which runs XP.
The data logger software works brilliantly on the PC − it works with
Vista and Windows 7 too − so my only problem is that I am now a
part-time Windows user (shudder) :-)

On 06 Marc Richard Baxter
wrote:

> That looks really interesting, Tricia, and the Wessex website is so
> clear about what happens.

--

Tricia

Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:50

I agree Peter, although I think the rest also has to be cool if not cold, which is where I have difficulty. My tomato house, unheated, is good in October , but after that it depend on the winter. last year Oct-Dec 2011, I was able to leave all my dendrobes there until the end of the first week , but when the weather forecast suggested outside night temperatures down below 5 C I took them all back in. That has been enough to give reasonably good lowering on most plants. The previous year with an early hard winter it was only mid November , and that was not long enough. My conclusion is 3 months is needed.

In previous decades I experimented with keeping them cold but not dry ( lost some plants) ; keeping them cold but bright , and with minimum water to prevent shrivelling − not particularly good, dry but not cold not very good... its the combination of dry and cold in my opinion.

How do Yamamoto produce those astonishing canes flowered all the way down to the pot ? They produce them in Hawaii grow them at sea level, take them up the mountain to dry out and chill off ! I don t know how long for. They have some fantastic clones which we never see here reason ? The minimum order is 500 of each variety. and no, they wouldn t listen to my offer to buy 10 each of 50 varieties...
But none of our orchid trade can take that many of anything. M & S could now does anyone know any Marks & Spencer's buyers ?

Geoff

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: Max/Min thermometer
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 10:55

I am interested to hear that Tricia I have one ( a temp. data-logger but they are also available for light readings etc. etc.. ) − but it would only work with Windows 95 or maybe it needed a parallel port (?) not USB shows just how long ago I had it,. I had to keep an ancient Dell lap-top running just for this purpose, but when the hard drive failed, and when I tried to get a new model to work with more recent hardware, they seemed to be a bit out of date and couldn t help although I admit that even that question was probably in the days of XP I had my first 64 bit version ( persuaded by a step-son who programmes for IBM that the security possibilities were vastly better but found difficulty with lots of things which just wouldn t work with anything other than 32 bit systems. Things are slowly improving here I think !

Geoff

Tricia Garner wrote Re: Max/Min thermometer

[...]

I am pleased with the data logger I recently bought − several other
members of Wessex Orchid Society are using them too. See:
http://www.wessexorchidsociety.org.uk/culture/datalogging.html

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From: Richard Baxter
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 11:45

Not a problem, Tricia.................I am still in the dark ages on XP.
Works fine for me so I think if it ain't broke....wait until it is.
Richard

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: question about growing with rock-wool cubes
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 18:10

I have never had much success with rock wool , and I don’t like it either aesthetically or because of the risk of handling it. But I know a good grower who has grown the most fantastic Thunias using it, and it seems to me if ideal for them it should be great for a lot of other semi-terrestrials which want a lot of water in summer, and perhaps very little or none in winter.
So, having some unusual Thunia species I have been struggling with ( plus some Phaiocalanthes as recently discussed ) I decided to have a go.

The question is about watering ; very frequently ? Even standing in water l as in Aquaculture/hydroculture/hydroponics − at least when in full growth ?

I recall that the late Bob Dadd used to have the best Ansellia ever seen at the entrance to his greenhouses, with canes like young broomsticks, and that was growing in rockwool cubes with Perlite, as I remember things – which is the combination I am using.

But how to water the plants . Any suggestions from those who use it ?
I look forward to advice !.

Geoff

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 19:50

Its SW Peter, gets quite warm on a decent summers day. I dont think I
dare try forgetting about the plant for 6 months! Still; it makes it a
'no bother' plant :-)
Regards, Alex

> Brilliant lot of nobile Dendrobiums. Where does the window face? N,S,E or
> W.

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From: David Martin
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer
Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2012 21:20

When I worked in the Met Office I checked thermometers against a certified thermometer. The idea is to put the thermometers in a bucket of water that is continually stirred or there will be variations in the water temperature. If you put a number of thermometers in water for two days without stirring then there will be quite wide variations in the results.

David

Geoff wrote : Re: [OrchidTalk] Max/Min thermometer

[...]

Some years before that I collected together the max/min thermometers from all my greenhouses and cold frames, garden spots etc. at least 7 or 8 of them, reset them all, and put them in a bucket of water and left it outside so that the temp. would vary, then after a week or so, looked at the results.

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From: Gordon Walker
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: RHS Query
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 10:55

Does anyone know a contact e-mail address for any person involved in growing orchid from seed in the RHS orchid section?
Gordon..

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From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] question about growing with rock-wool cubes
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 12:05

Geoff, As you may recall from posts over the years, I grow all my Cymbidiums in a rockwool mix, and have done so for over 20 years now.
Firstly I trust you are talking about small cubes, about 1cm size ? I would also suggest you include some chopped horticultural foam to the mix.
The only problem I ever had was when I couldn t get the soft rockwool and foam mix and used instead the large cubes on their own, that nearly became a total disaster, they were always either too wet or too dry. I personally find the best rockwool solution is Epiphoam mix, which I have been getting from Dennis Woodhouse, this is soft rockwool and foam mixed, to which I add small cubes and a bit more foam, works a treat for me. You can find Epiphoam on Google.
But supplies are all looking a bit challenging. Ratcliffes told me they are no longer getting any more in, they haven t had small cubes for a least a year, I have been buying my small cubes from a hydroponics supplier, and I think Dennis is finishing the Epiphoam once he has used up the bulk stock material that he has there now. Rockwool seems to be becoming too expensive and challenging to source in the UK.
The mix I use certainly holds a good amount of water, also reasonable air and drainage with the foam, I can get away with on average a good watering once a week, maybe 4-5 days if its very hot and dry, and the thing I like most is that all that cherished rainwater and expensive fertiliser stays right in the pot where its intended. (I find it mortifying to pour water and feed into a bark compost pot and see it run straight out the bottom to waste)
As for fertiliser, Rockwool needs everything to be included. I used a hydroponics type for some years, which did me well, but recently I have been moving over to Akerne s Rainmix, and I think this might be even better.
Hope this helps, regards, Sheila

Geoff wrote re: [OrchidTalk] question about growing with rock-wool cubes

I have never had much success with rock wool , and I don t like it either aesthetically or because of the risk of handling it. But I know a good grower who has grown the most fantastic Thunias using it, and it seems to me if ideal for them it should be great for a lot of other semi-terrestrials which want a lot of water in summer, and perhaps very little or none in winter.
So, having some unusual Thunia species I have been struggling with ( plus some Phaiocalanthes as recently discussed ) I decided to have a go.

The question is about watering ; very frequently ? Even standing in water l as in Aquaculture/hydroculture/hydroponics − at least when in full growth ?

I recall that the late Bob Dadd used to have the best Ansellia ever seen at the entrance to his greenhouses, with canes like young broomsticks, and that was growing in rockwool cubes with Perlite, as I remember things which is the combination I am using.

But how to water the plants . Any suggestions from those who use it ?
I look forward to advice !.

Geoff

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

From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 12:20

I went to the Floricultura website after reading this, and found also all
their info regarding Cymbidium culture.. lots of technical stuff, and a few
useful nuggets of info... but one line really brought a smile to my face, in
the Pests and Solutions section.. Mice..solution..biological control using
cats..
I just had to smile finding this amongst all their hi tech culture notes.
Sheila

Alex wrote Re: [OrchidTalk] Dendrobiums

Yes they are all cool growing Dendrobium nobile type. All from exchanges
with friends or club auctions too. I dont suppose the 'Floricultura'
notes are new but they mimic the monsoon conditions of the Himalayan
foothills. Essentially you let the current canes mature for a month after
they have produced their terminal leaf and the end of the cane goes
rounder. No fertiliser and then they need 5 weeks with night temps 10C or
less and kept dry, best to have good light I believe but thats difficult.
Then back to normal intermediate temps for 7 weeks and in that time buds
will form. Once the buds are definitely flowers I give some water, if you
water too soon you can get keikeis. No fertiliser until the new canes
start growing, about now.

Nice dendrochilums Tina, and I have seen that tenellum for real.

Regards, Alex

> A lovely collection Alex. Are they warmer growing or Nobile types. I
> guess that they are Nobile and cold growing, in the winter.
>
> John

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From: Geoff
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] question about growing with rock-wool cubes
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 19:50

Thanks Sheila, that is very helpful ; I have so far potted up some Thunias, Eulophia guineense , Phaius and Phaiocalanthe totally less than a dozen pots ; I used the larger cube 2cm (?) size mixed in with Perlite, then topped off with 1/8 inch grit ( probably shattered flints, in this area) . I ll leave them where they are until I can get some of the mix you mention or materials therefore I ll start looking around now.

It may be that there will be some at the London Show, although I don t want to carry a lot home with me as I am trying a new transport method ( new to me ! ) National Express as a token of rebellion against South West Trains who have just about doubled the cost of my cheap day return to Waterloo in the last 3 years but maybe I can get enough and get more sent to follow me.

As to nutrients , my own cocktail of cheap and cheerful 2 bottle mix hydroponics formula + Calcium Nitrate + Magnesium Sulphate + Maxicrop Seaweed booster, and Superthrive added is very similar to the Akerne Rain Mix ( which of course is based on the formula originating in USA at one of their State Uni s whose name begins with M ( I forget which).
The Akerne mix is much simpler of course 1 powder instead of 5 or more bottles but I still have some 25 or more gallons of the Hydroponics concentrate in stock, and this I use on all my orchids, at varying strengths, whatever they are potted in or on.

Geoff

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From: Alex
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Thunias
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 20:05

FWIW Geoff I had a phrag. sargentianum which didnt make any growth for a
year when acting on a friends advice I repotted in rock wool cubes and
stood the plant in a saucer of water. It responded well and flowered the
next year. The cubes got very black and slimy though with algae which i
didnt like. Have your thunias started to show new shoots? I watered mine
last week as it has been dry since november and am wondering whether to
repot. There are 2 seed pods too but still green.
Regards, Alex

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

From: brian.gould83
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: rockwool
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 21:55

Hello Geoff
As you know I grow everything in rockwool as one can be very accurate with nutrition.All my plants are watered on a wet and dry basis ie I use approx1ltr of water per 2ltr pot when watering.This gives the plant enough water to make the pot quite heavy without it being in a swimming pool. All plants are then allowed to dry out and become light as I want the roots to search for water to make a strong root system capable of supporting the plant.If changing to rockwool all plants need to develop a new root system so I would not transfer any plant unless new roots or shoots appear before transplanting.
Good luck.

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

From: Sheila Bicknell
To: Orchid Talk List
Subject: Re: [OrchidTalk] question about growing with rock-wool cubes
Date: Wed, 07 Mar 2012 23:50

I doubt you will find much at the London Show, Dennis doesn t do Shows, and Ratcliffes dont have any small cubes as I mentioned, but they still have the chopped foam. If you are an OSGB member and get The Journal Dennis advertises in that, just ring him and order the Epiphoam he will send it if he is still making it, he might have spare foam as well, he takes payment through Paypal.
I dont think Brian G will mind me saying that he mentioned recently getting some small cubes from a hydroponics shop in Bournemouth, that s maybe a bit closer to home for you, dont have a name, sorry.
I m sure your fertiliser will be good, you ve always done well with that mix.
Regards, Sheila

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