Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Epiphytic Trial By Neighbors

This last weekend I attached some of my orchids to trees that aren't mine.  No, I didn't do it guerrilla gardening style.  :)

Last year my neighbors on both sides of me expressed interesting in having some orchids.  My neighbor on my left... "Carol"... is from Costa Rica and my neighbor on my right... "Arthur".... is from the Philippines.

So on Saturday I went over to Carol's place and prepped the hosts.  The main host was an old Ficus carica (common fig) that had been lopped in half.  It had a myriad of smaller branches so I went through and removed lots of them.  I'm hardly an expert at pruning but here are my general rules...

1. No redundant branches
2. No crossing branches
3. No backwards branches

I don't always strictly adhere to these rules.  For example, in this case... I wanted to err on the side of more, rather than less, shade for the newly attached orchids.  Plus, I kept a few "illegal" branches because they were thick enough to provide lots of surface area for some orchid roots.

Here was the result...

Neighbor B's Ficus carica

There are quite a few main branches.... which is nice... but they are a bit on the short side.  Mounting the orchids low is good for appreciating them... but it makes them more accessible to the usual suspects.

After I prepped the Fig tree, I also prepped a pair of really old and overgrown Bougainvilleas.  Ouch, my most of me.

Sunday morning I ate a breakfast of champions... one cold slice of leftover pizza and a warm bowl of oatmeal... and I gathered up a few of my extras...

Epiphytic Trial By Neighbor B

- Oncidium maculatum
- Oncidium NOID
- Laelia anceps
- Brassavola nodosa
- Cattleya walkeriana
- Laeliocattleya Clayton Waglay = Laelia anceps x Cattleya Claesiana (intermedia x loddigesii)
- Myrmecolaelia Ruby Ray = Myrmecophila tibicinis x Laelia undulata
- Brassanthe Maikai = Brassavola nodosa x Guarianthe bowringiana
- Brassocatanthe Little Mermaid = Cattleya walkeriana x Brassanthe Maikai
- Encyvola Gordon Vickers = Brassavola nodosa x Encyclia tampensis
- Brassanthe Bill Worsley = Brassavola nodosa x Guarianthe aurantiaca
- Ascofinetia Twinkle =  Neofinetia falcata x Ascocentrum miniatum
- Oncidium sphacelatum x obryzatoides

I attached the walkeriana, the nodosa and all the nodosa crosses to the two Bougainvilleas.  The rest of the orchids I attached to the Fig tree.  I used 30lb fishing line and the slip knot technique to make sure that the orchids were very firmly attached to the branches.  I didn't include any moss.

When I finished attaching all the orchids I went over to Arthur's place and prepped his tree.  It was also the common Fig tree.  It had less main branches but they hadn't been lopped in half.  After I removed lots of the smaller branches... I went and collected pretty much the same set of orchids...

Epiphytic Trial By Neighbor A

Here were the differences...

- Cattleya walkeriana
- Laeliocattleya Clayton Waglay
+ Rhynchostylis gigantea
+ Vanda NOID

I attached them using the same method.

In terms of instructions... I told Carol and Arthur to use the "shower" setting on their nozzle to thoroughly water the orchids Tuesdays and Saturdays in the evenings during the summer and less frequently and earlier in the day the rest of the year.

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