Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Oncidium, Lycaste, and Plectranthus!

Lots of things to cover today, so lets start from the top!

When I last spoke about my Lycaste aromatica it was to give you the horrible news that it appeared to be quickly dying! To recap, I put the plant outside, and I don't know if it was a lack of water, or the immense heat, or too much sunlight, but the darn plant started turning brown! I quickly brought it inside and blogged about the occurrence.
The leaves from my last Lycaste post all fell off, and all I was left with were 3 bulbs. One lost it's green color completely. The fate of my Lycaste was in question, and all seemed lost, until today! I learned from my friends that even if a plant looks dead, you should still water it, and try to take care of it. This is because, plants, as it turns out, have a tendency to come back! While watering my plants today I noticed that my Lycaste had a new growth of leaves!

I am happy my Lycaste is showing signs of revival, but I am now a lot more cautious about this one. The best of the best learn from their mistakes. My mistake? Putting it outside in the first place. From now on, Lycaste is strictly part of my windowsill garden, no matter how shady the area outside. Given the number of heat waves and record temperatures hitting NYC recently, I wouldn't trust this plant anywhere else...

I have 3 Oncidium orchids. One is Oncidioda charlesworthii 'Mishima', another is Onc. Tsiku Marguerite 'Romantic Fantasy', a cream colored fragrant Oncidium, and the last was, until recently, a mystery! That is until yesterday, when the darn thing finally decided to break bud and flower for me! I had spoken about this plant recently in youtube videos! The following video was uploaded to youtube on May 10th. If you fast forward the video to 2:30, you will see me talking about the growth on my Oncidium, and wondering if it was just a leaf, or an actual flower stalk!

In my last video for the PhoneticFriends youtube channel, I was able to show the orchids flower stalk, with many flower buds on it. The following video was uploaded on July 19th, 2010, about 2 months after the first signs that the plant was about to flower. Growing these plants have sure been a test of patience:

But it wasn't until yesterday, July 20th, 2010, that the first flower opened up! I was able to get a (pretty bad) picture of the flower on my iphone! Here is the result:
Yes, I know the picture is really bad, but you can still get a feel for the colors. It is a reddish purple flower with a fat lip, and very thin petals/sepals. The petals and sepals themselves are a light pink color, while the lip is a very dark purplish red. Unfortunately, there doesn't appear to be any fragrance on this plant, but it is still an awesome sight! If anyone can ID this plant for me, I would thank you kindly!

A while ago, a horrible thunderstorm ripped apart a Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender' that I planted outside. I have many individuals of this same plant that were all cuttings of a plant that I obtained from the University of vermont Greenhouse. My other 2 Plectranthus are in pots, and were near a wall, so they didn't get torn apart as badly. But this one... I found tattered and torn on the border of the property, tangled within the metal wires of my neighbors fence.
I did the only thing anyone would do. I took the plant, and carefully placed cuttings of it in water. I think I now have about 5 or 6 cuttings of it, which have rooted pretty well, but I may leave them in the water for a few more weeks, until the weather gets back into the 80's. Then I will pot them up for the winter! And when spring hits... hahahaha. Mother nature better be ready! These babies are going right outside again! Life has given me a lemon of a situation. I am making lemonade!
Anyway, here is a picture of the plants growing roots in plastic cups:

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