Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mounting Laelia anceps

It has been some time since my last post on the blog, partly because my plants have slowed down significantly in the greenhouse with the onset of the colder weather this Autumn, and partly because I am preparing to move to a new farm in the next few months. Preparing to move all my plants is rather stressful and to make things worse is that they will be moving in Winter and the greenhouse will have to be dismantled and re-built. The plants will be living in the garage during this time and although they will probably take a knock, I am hoping that some heating and some good lighting in the garage during this time will be enough to see them through.

I had recently been eyeing out some long mats of aerial roots descending from lateral branches of some mature Ficus sp. in Stellenbosch at a facility which I visit on a monthly basis for training as part of my job. I took a hacksaw blade along with me and asked permission to remove two of these mats. I was keen to see if they would make for good mounts for orchids - they cerytainly look interesting! I decided to try a large seedling of Laelia anceps mounted on a section of one of these mats.

Preparing to mount Laelia anceps
I removed the Laelia anceps from its small pot and checked for signs of new roots. I positioned the roots of the Laelia anceps beneath a layer of some of the longitudinal rows of aerial roots which make up the mat from the Ficus sp. and secured it with fishing line. I then threaded a piece of galvanised wire through the top of the mat and secured it at the back, allowing for a hook to be attached. The mount was then strung up on one of my mount walls in the greenhouse. I hope the plant likes the mount. I am keen to try some other species on the same material, especially some Dendrobiums when they are large enough.

Ficus sp. aerial root mat
Laelia anceps seedling with new roots
Laelia anceps mounted
The colder night temperatures should soon start to influence my Dendrobium nobile. It has just started to lose a few leaves now and I have reduced its watering regime to dry it out. I hope it flowers for me this year. Some of the other plants that flowered late last year that I hand pollenated have produced some good pods that are just about ready for harvesting now. In fact, the Cyrtorchis chailuana pods I harvested just the other day when they turned a lovely shade of yellow. They were full of viable seeds and I have sown several mother flasks which I hope will germinate out. Other pods include Oncidium sphacelatum that will be ready at the end of April and Ascocenda hybrids with Rhynchostylis coelestis and Phalaenopsis aphrodite.

Dendrobium nobile
Ascocenda hybrid pods
Oncidium sphacelatum pods
Cyrtorchis chailuana pods

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