July 23, 2016

Project Orchid Bloom Update

Here is this week's update on my three participants in Project Orchid Bloom.  I am pleased with the progress of the mini phalaenopsis. The leaves are very healthy as are the roots. The second spike is still green and healthy. Several of my advisors from the Google plus orchid community say that they leave the spike as long as it is green and healthy. I am not certain that there is enough of a day/night temperature difference to induce the growth of a new spike but I'll keep an eye on that.

Cattleya Royal Beau 'Alii' (red pot) is doing very well. The pseudobulbs are strong and upright as are the leaves. The leaves are mid-green. I see new root growth and the newest pseudobulb and leaf seems healthy. I am not sure that it is currently getting enough light. We are in the dry sesson here in Kinshasa which means short, grey days. That will change shortly at the end of August or early September.

Now onto my problem cattleya. It's the Precious Stones Matriarch x New Ace (black pot). For one thing, the leaves seem too long, which may mean not enough light. The newest pseudobulb and leaf seem to have a little bit of rotting. I think some water got trapped in the top of the sheath. I peeled it back and hope that it will continue growing in spite of the damage. My guess is that this orchid needs re-potted. It came in a miniscule pot from the grower. I probably should have re-potted it immediately. At the very least I should have brought some potting supplies with me. But for a girl that grew up in Ontario,  the litres of 100 percent pure maple syrup won the space in the suitcase. Now the issue is where to get potting medium in Kinshasa? You have to have very creative DIY ideas here! When I lived in Goma I had a beautiful cattleya growing in peanut shells and miscellaneous wood chips. I am going to have to make my own. Any suggestions? Please leave your comments below.