Welcome to My Little Garden

Welcome to My Little Garden
Welcome to My Little Garden

About Me

Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
Gardening is part of my life and I want to share that portion of my zeal and joy with you. These are my thoughts, my experiences and life work. I hope it enrich and add value to you too.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Orchids for Christmas

These bloomed few days just before Christmas.
Something that is considered a Christmas Miracle - that is when it comes to my garden. It had been so many years this plant was surviving, more likely if I was ambitious, I would put in some extra effort in adding fertilisers on them but learned my lesson previously with some dead & burnt orchid plants.

I would say, the key to this success is patience, and that is something which no one can actually anticipate the first bloom. Regardless, there are some tips I would like to offer in my observance based on this experience:

1) When I first planted this orchid, I used the matured spend-flowered psedo-bulb stalks of which new bulbs had formed. Do make sure that they stand upright.
Those which ascend have a higher chances of blooming compared to the descended ones.

2) Once the 2 leaflet formed the flower stalk shoot out from here,
(this is where the anticipation grows as you have to be watchful as it the blooms may any time without any warning signs)
This all happens within the morning.

3) There is another secret to the flowering. I'm not sure whether its by chances or the fact of putting the "ikan bilis" dried anchovies had caused the blooming. So, if you do get the chance upon throwing away those "heads & insides" of the dried anchovies - do put them in the flower put and anticipate a lovely surprise.

4) There were 2 blooms. The first one lasted about a week, I had managed to hand pollinate the other flower and it had lasted for another week but the flower didn't manage to turn into a fruit as it had fallen off from the stalk. Probably it would be more successful if I had pollinate it much earlier.

These are the follow-up from the beginning of this plant : Cattleya Orchid - Part 1

(Other notes from past months)
New shoots had sprouted after putting some organic fertiliser (which I put on them once a month) I put it used tea leaves weekly - topping it on the flower pot. I got this plant from my office mate. She gave me 3 matured bulb and from there new shoots had arrived.

I'm been very cautious about watering this particular one as the roots are buried inside the pot, it would be better to see the roots being exposed outside the pot but I guess that is going to take years to happen as the plant is very happy to "dip & dig" inside the pot.


  1. The orchid is beautiful James. You clearly have the magic touch.

    Thank you for allowing us to get to know you this year, and we wish you a New Year filled with good health and much Joy! Diana

  2. I've just found you on blotancial. wow Cattleya is one to treasure - they can be difficult to flower - but you seem to have achieved what many folk I know can't. Happy New year to you from Scotland.

  3. Hello James,

    What helpful information. I am still enjoying my orchids and appreciate your advice about being patient. Now, I just have to get some anchovie heads...

  4. wow, what a beautiful orchid - it almost looks like an iris. You've done a wonderful job with this baby!

  5. Congratulations on your Christmas miracle, James. I view orchids blooming as an extremely auspicious event. Thank to your tips, I have managed to strengthen my orchid's roots system and they are now more healthy. Wishing you a Very Happy New Year 2010!

  6. beautiful orchid. Exposing roots is the make-up of orchid as you rightly mention. Their roots meant to be aerial. ~bangchik

  7. Congrats on your first Cattleya blooms, James! They sure are beautiful and striking! Not as lasting as the dendrobiums, right? We have a yellow variety which bloomed after 4 years of tlc and have not bloomed eversince...probably need repotting which I've procrastinated thus far. Thanks for the tips, have noted about using anchovies and tea leaves - will try that!
    Glad to have known you, James and would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your family, "A Very Healthy, Joyful And Blessed New Year 2010!

  8. James, how lucky you are to live in a climate where this is possible without a warm greenhouse. I hear that Malaysia is a good place for retirees to spend the winters. Interesting thought.

  9. Lovely cattleya! I have about 30 orchids in my garden in Miami, many are attached directly to tree and palm trunks. I've found that they all need to be fed weekly in the warm months if they're to flower, although some are certainly more reluctant than others. In the spring, I'll experiment fertilizing them with "worm tea" from my worm compost bin. It's cheaper than orchid fertilizer!

  10. Di - Thank you & Hope you too have a wonderful great year

    Leavesnbloom - Thanks for dropping by & your wonderful warm greeting from Scotland, I will agree with you about the orchid.

    Noelle - I really anticipate your orchid story.

    Wendy -It certainly does look like iris - probably another thing about iris - they cannot grow here.

    Belle - yes, the roots are the most important thing for the orchids.

    Bangchik - I totally agree with you, though for the roots to arrive to that position may take years.

    Jacqueline - I guess you have a greater measure of patience when I see your garden.
    4 years of waiting is no joke. I had not yet tried dendrobium. This one lasted about 2 weeks or so.

    Barry - I guess lucky is a subjective word. There are many gardeners who are still struggling with their garden here. Sometimes during the year, it gets very hot & most plant don't survive.

    Penny - Thank you for dropping by, Wormtea - never come across about that. It must be very exciting to have 30 over orchids.

    I hope all of you have a wonderful & beautiful year ahead. Wishing you a Very Happy 2010!

  11. I think I have a similar one. I've heard of the 'ikan bilis' charm to orchids as well. And, I wonder how you hand pollinate those orchids ... or what you mean by that!

  12. eh, I missed this post. The orchid is beautiful! Good that it bloomed in pair... bonus for the festive season :-D

  13. Blossom - its a bit complicated to explain without visuals (hand polination) basically, you get a thin piece of wood - like the satay stick, take the seed (which attached at the tip - there are two nodules) and push it gently inside the floral tube at the lower end of the lip.
    Do check for more details concerning this topic in googles.

    Stephanie - yes, thank you.


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