Monday, August 2, 2010

To begin with...

I have set up this blog to document my exploration of species and hybrids of the genus Phalaenopsis, the moth orchid.

Peloric yellow Phal in recovery
My love affair (rather addiction) with orchids began when I was in my early 20s. My first orchid was a large white Phalaenopsis hybrid that lasted about two months before I killed it. Looking back at this now I realise that I just "loved" it too much and probably over watered it. However, while it lasted it was wonderful. Since then I have kept and maintained many orchid varieties but Phalaenopsis have remained my absolute favourite. In 2003 my then rapidly growing Phalaenopsis collection drove up with me from Cape Town to Durban where I stayed for a further 2 years. In this time my plants grew and bloomed like never before and when I finally returned to Cape Town in late 2005 I did not have the heart to bring all of them back with me. These ended up with willing foster parents and to my knowledge they are still doing very well. I did keep just a single plant, my only peloric yellow hybrid that I had nurtured from a yearling I bought some years back in Stellenbosch from Else Hall of then Stellenkloof. This plant ended up with my aunt in Port Elizabeth (PE) on my way down to Cape Town (Why? - I still don't know). In June this year at a family gathering in PE I came accross what was left of the once large and healthy peloric. It had been moved outside and the main plant had died. A single lateral bud had developed 2 small stunted leaves but there were no roots. I bundled it up into a plastic container lined with damp tissue paper for the drive back home where I trimmed off all the dead bits and re-potted the tiny remaining bits of life into milled bark. I placed it on my desk with an architect's lamp positioned over it for adequate light and warmth. An old aquarium thermometer positioned next to the plant provided an indication of temperature. Two weeks later and the second leaf had begun to expand. Two months later and a third leaf had emerged and a new set of roots. I was happy.

Recently I set up a greenhouse (kit-type polycarbonate twin-wall) dedicated to my orchids. After some fiddling I got the insulation and heating right. Growing happily inside is my precious peloric which I hope to get back to flowering size within a year or two.


  1. Hey Dave, I thinks what you are doing is great and I can't wait for the next chapter. Good luck in you new adventure and may it bring you lots of rewards and fulfillment. Tersia

  2. Hey Dave, I hope you're wife approve of this love affair!hee At least this is a healthy addiction!

  3. Hi Tersia. Everything is organsied for the weekend. I begin with the process on Saturday. I can't wait! As for the wife, she enjoys the flowers and as long as I keep a steady flow of them coming her way all is good...

    Stay tuned next week for the results!

    Cheery O