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Friday, November 13, 2009

Moths & Cattles

(Photos taken in Orchid Garden Kuala Lumpur)
These are Moth Orchids, members of the genus Phalaenopsis.

These have succulent leaves and do not have pseudo bulbs, due to this reason they are not capable of storing food or water and may easily perishable when lacking water.
But again, too much water kills this plant, getting the right balance is very important.
Water not on the flowers (or any flowers) as it will cost the flowers to have short lifespan.
And avoid watering at the crown of the plant as that might also cause crown rot.
Just water the medium on the roots part only.

I found that a fan had been fixed just for this section of orchids especially the moth orchids. I guess air circulation is very much required for this type. (many of my photo's didn't turn up well as the flowers were constantly moving) So if you do buy this one, do place them were there is a good air movement taking place in your garden area.

Moth Orchid must be placed in indirect light area, they should not be placed under direct sunlight as it would damage the plant.

Also the healthy leaves for this types are dark green, the lime green or yellow means too much light. They need a lot lesser light compared to other sun lovers.

Its been said that if you place your hand against the source of light upon these orchid plant - you should find a indistinct shadow, any indication of sharp outlined shadow means that its in bright lighted area.

(small plant - RM5.00)
(Big plant - RM10.00)
Here you can see that these are potted using sphagnum moss as their media of choice. I guess this is only applicable for Moth Orchids, do not use sphagum moss for Vanda's or Cattleya's as they may cause root rot.
Even as you noticed this, these roots are slightly touching the moss & not totally submerged into it. You may notice that those roots which gone deep may have a slightly dried moss and the plant is been sprayed upon rather than watered.
(So, its tricky, what been said in books or tips given here & there may not really mean word for word - there are some consideration and exceptions.)
I don't have this type and had not tried it as its one of the expensive ones.
I might try this later and might buy the small potted plant ones (RM5) but as for now, my garden is overcrowded and I may need to sort & set my garden first before getting any new ones yet.

They are different from Moth Orchids but also a Phalaenopsis genes
known botanically as Phalaenopsis Tan Lee Moy(Batik x amboinensis).
I found its distinct name when checking for information.

These are known as Star of Bethlehem (Angraecum Sesquipedale)
also known as Christmas Star Orchid.
Its similar to Cattleyas flower but have more thicker succulent flowers.
There is a long interesting story about this orchid. This particular flower was discovered in Madagascar had a long spur and Darwin theorised that it should have a pollinator with its proboscis long enough to go thru the spur of this orchid to receive its nectar.
It was discovered after Darwin's prediction many years later that the pollinator was the hawk moth with its proboscis long enough to drain the last drop of nectar from the spur of this orchid.
These are my favourite type - the Cattleya Orchid. They have 2 leaves on the stalk with a pseudo bulb. It have a nice lovely fragrance and the flowers can last about few weeks.
I had killed this once by over watering & over feeding. Sort of like a beginner, so my solemn advice - nothing kills an orchid faster than over watering & over feeding.
Another way of putting it - if are a beginner like me, be prepared to face it when the plant dies and so you have graduated to the next level in being cautious & expert in orchids. Then, if you have successfully managed an orchid plant a year or so - you have moved to the next level, the final level is getting them to bloom.
(Sounds better?)

This is my current cattleya orchid. New shoots are coming out 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.
I once had started by experimenting using dove orchid plant which I found by the roadside. I found it on a fallen rotten tree trunk. In fact I had trimmed everything except the nice bulbs and leaving little roots exposed and pushed it inside a hanging pot without a medium and left it hanging over the fence. It was with me about few years and had flowered many times without much care. I had passed it to my mother in law who was quite excited to see many of these healthy bulbs and I'm sure the flowers would appear soon for her to enjoy.


Autumn Belle said...

The leaves of your orchids look very healthy. I think orchids are unpredictable in their blooming cycles. It is such a joy to see orchids in bloom. It makes all the hard work worth it.

Chloe m said...

We don't see these varieties much in the states. I love them! Good job with the photos. You are so talented.

Stephanie said...

That Christmas Star orchid is my favourite here! Love the pure white on orchid. It looks like it can last quite long also.

James David said...

Thanks Belle, Stephanie & Rosey for your lovely comments. All these floral pictures are taken from the shop selling orchids in the Garden.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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