Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pretty picture: Phalaenopsis (Sogo Yukidian x Brother Oxford)

This is okay, I guess. I think I like the yellow / white combination better than I would have liked pure yellow. And it's definitely more appealing than pure white would have been.

In personal(-ish) news:

The reader will no doubt be pleased to learn that I believe my ongoing itching problem, which has been annoying and frustrating me for much of the last year, appears to have been resolved, and was only dry skin all along. I mean, it still doesn't make any sense to me really, but the fact remains that doing stuff intended to fix dry skin has made the itching go away, so it's hard to argue that dry skin wasn't the problem. So yay. I guess. Why and how my skin got dry in the first place remains unexplained.

The Anthuriums appear to be on strike at the moment. I don't know what they're angry about (my suspicion is that they want to be moved up to 6-inch pots, which I don't have room for), but there are only three plants (out of literally hundreds) in the basement producing new blooms right now. One is 'Joli,' for the first time since I bought it in March, so there may be some new purple genes entering the seedlings in a year or so. The second is #095 "Clarice Fullhartz," who is still bravely trying to build a flower even though her roots are like 90% gone and she keeps getting pulled out of the pot. I'm not sure the bud is actually getting any larger, but she's at least not given up, which I suppose is the best we can hope for given the circumstances. The third is #040 "Ivy Winters," who has started and aborted so many blooms that I'm not really expecting anything to happen with the current buds, but it's gotten further than the other ones ever did, so that's something.

I have at least not spotted any new thrips damage, thrips, or scale since before the last round of oiling. It would be foolish to expect that this means they're all gone, but I nevertheless hope that maybe, something has finally worked.


henni said...

I love Phalaenopsis but I can't seem to get mine to rebloom. :/ Do you have any luck growing them in your basement?

mr_subjunctive said...


Well, I don't think I've ever had a Phalaenopsis die on me before, so there's "luck" in that respect. Though I've only ever had one, so that doesn't mean much.

I don't think I've ever had it in the basement; it's been in the plant room (bright mostly-natural light, larger temperature swings) and in my office (less light, drier air, warm). After five years of owning it, I did get it to rebloom once, while it was in the plant room -- my guess is that the cooler night (and spring/fall) temperatures triggered buds. If it's been in the same pot for a while, it may help to move it up a size and give it fresh bark to live in. If you've been fertilizing with regular houseplant fertilizer, you should switch to an orchid-specific fertilizer, as orchids apparently can't use urea (the usual nitrogen source in all-purpose ferilizers).

My guess is that it's probably one of those three things -- needs cool night temperatures, a larger pot, or orchid fertilizer -- but I couldn't say which one.

Most of what I know about Phalaenopsis is in its plant profile.

Kate said...

Hi There, so interested to hear that you haven't grown Phalaenopsis much - here in the UK they are the No.1 houseplant - and people always (almost always) say how easy they are, how long they flower for and how easy they are to rebloom. Perhaps the climate here is more conduicive? We advise people to grow them in similar conditions to African Violets (Saintpaulia) if that helps!Ie a north-facing windowsill in this hemisphere. The information about the orchid fertiliser was really useful - they don't list the ingredients and I had just assumed it was another way manufactures have to make you buy stuff you don't really need - like INDOOR plant food ffs! I had read to feed orchids 'weakly, weekly' so just thought you could dilute ordinary plant food. I stand corrected - thanks! My own Phalaenopsis had been thriving on neglect, and didn't take kindly to me feeding them with standard feed,now I know why! Just found your blog while looking for information on, I can't even remember what now - totally blown away by the interesting information and range of topics covered - I will be back! Oh and I am glad you sorted out the itching - as someone who has multiple chronic (but all easily controlled) allergies, I sympathise! Didn't get a chance to read all the posts, but my partner does have something similar. He finally tracked it down to his blood-pressure medication. Forgot to take it while we were on holiday, thought the holiday had sorted out the problem, but as soon as he remembered to take the tablets, the itchy dry skin was right back. We use Calendula oil ( I just infused some Calendula petals in sunflower oil for a few weeks, then strained them) - it helps , but he just has to live with it at present. Good luck with yours!