Bumper Crop

Slippertalk Orchid Forum

Help Support Slippertalk Orchid Forum:

mrhappyrotter

Grand Chupacabra
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
174
Location
Central North Carolina
In the past year to year or two, I've made numerous changes to my overall growing habits. These include, but are not limited to the following:

1. I've reduced the size of my plant collection.
2. I've entirely converted my lights to T8s from T12s.
3. I've significantly reduced my fertilization rates.
4. I've incorporated various seaweed extract products into my feeding regime.
5. I've kept the majority of my plants indoors year round, rather than setting the bulk of them outdoors in the summer.

As a result, since the fall, I've been experiencing a bumper crop. Currently, I have more plants in bloom, bud and spike than I've ever had at once. My growing space is literally an oasis of blooms. This isn't even an exhaustive list, but I'd like to share a quickly compiled list of plants in bloom, bud, and spike. Then I'll share pics. In no particular order....

// ORCHIDS
Brassia arachnoidea - Somewhat mini brassia
Dendrobium Micro Chip - Mini dendrobium, lovely fragrance in the morning.
Paph fowliei x Donna Brown - Purchased from Deerwood last year during one of the fall sales.
Paph Crouching Tiger - Using an album phil. One of my absolute, all time favorite paph hybrids. I adore this plant.
Paph Deena Nicole - First time blooming in over 10 years of ownership.
Phrag Sunset Glow 'Clone 1'
Phrag Sunset Glos 'Big A'
Phrag Fliquet
Phrag. Super Grande
Phrag Eric Young (flavum besseae)
Phrag schlimii - Beautiful fragrance.
Phal Cassandra - Fragrant. I love it.
Phal NOID (white)
Phal NOID (white w/ purple lip)
Phal NOID big leaf
Phal NOID mini 1
Phal NOID mini 2
Phal NOID harlequin
Phal NOID yellow (standard)
Phal NOID mini yellow
Phal stuartiana
Miltonia NOID (spectabilis hybrid)
Miltonia Robsan's Blush - One of the most fragrant orchids in my collection. From Lennette (sp?) before they went out of business.

// NON ORCHIDS
Aloe harlana
Aloe sp? mini
Neoregelia NOID orange (multiple divisions coloring up)
Tillandsia cyanea

In addition, I have a handful of plants (both orchid and non-orchid) that I strongly suspect will be blooming and spiking soon enough. The slippers tend to have mature growths with swollen bases that indicate the plant is preparing to spike. Bromeliads tend to start coloring up when they are preparing to bloom. It's really motivating to see so much promising potential.

And now for the photos....

The first set of photos is of my primary growing area. This is my bedroom. I have a couple of stands set-up with the majority of my plants.

5HGvZCG.jpg


H76dWQx.jpg


MX9Fara.jpg


SXedXMH.jpg


YjMiJAo.jpg


Tillandsia cyanea. This is the largest "paddle" this plant has ever produced. The fragrance is a perfect match for cloves. Very strong.
biOdZb1.jpg


Dendrobium Microchip. Small plant. I like it a lot. Covered in blooms. Fragrant in the morning and early afternoon. Scent is sweet. Reminds me of newly hatched birds (weird description, but if you know what I'm talking about, this describes the scent perfectly). Phal Cassandra is to the left, with just a couple of the dozen plus buds open.
uJziAWI.jpg


Phrag schlimii. Rose perfume scented. My favorite orchid fragrance.
8sTnYbl.jpg


Phrag Sunset Glow (Eric Young 4n x Mem. Dick Clemments)
DGlip8W.jpg


Paph Deena Nicole. This is a paph I bought in bloom, but one that hasn't bloomed since 2002. Not sure why.
orUfotl.jpg


Phal NOID. The only phal I've bought for myself. I bought it because its a yellow phal with blooms that are the same size as a standard white phal. Yellow is my favorite color, that's why I bought it. It's not particularly fragrant, unlike most yellow phals I've encountered.
U8B5jnv.jpg


Phrag Sunset Glow. This my favorite clone that I own. It has the largest flowers, my favorite shape and the most intense color of the clones I own. I call this clone 'Big A', in reference to my mom's nickname.
TqJbqY5.jpg


Paph Crouching Tiger. Purchased last year. I LOVE it. The spike has 6 flowers. The flowers are big with long petals and most importantly, they have lovely yellow pouches. The plant is vigrous. It was in bloom last summer as well.
baldI4b.jpg


Phrag Eric Young. This is a cross using flavum besseae. I sold and gave away most of these, but kept this particular plant because it was the most vigorous grower, bloomed most easily and overall had the best flower quality.
Y22enK0.jpg


Anyway, I've been super busy lately, and haven't been posting as much, but I definitely want to give kudos to all the forum users. I peek at the latest posts almost daily and have to say, I love how active this place is. So, I wanted to share and add my own plants.
 

Trithor

Chico (..... the clown)
Joined
Feb 19, 2013
Messages
4,667
Reaction score
8
Location
Sandton, South Africa
I am amazed by you growers that have to grow in your living area and not in a dedicated room, and you say you have drastically reduced the amount of plants!:eek: It must have been a bit like living in a terrarium!
That Deena Nicole deserves a better picture. Lovely colour and superbly marked and bold dorsal. Very nice.
 

mrhappyrotter

Grand Chupacabra
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
174
Location
Central North Carolina
Thanks for the encouraging words. I'm awestruck. Abax, Jean and Trithor ... you guys are all superstars on this forum from my perspective so it's really awesome to get this kind of feed back from you.

@Jean -- Yes, my schlimii is one of my favorites in my collection and I also happen to think it's an outstanding example of the species in general due to the wonderful color of the flowers

@Trithor -- Time permitting, I'll take better photos of the Deena Nicole. Honestly, I'm not super fond of it. For one thing, it's taken over a decade for it to bloom again for me, it only has 3 flowers, and the lip color isn't all that impressive. When I purchased it though, I was very excited because I love philippense and the vendor told me that the gardneri used was actually wilhelmenia which might explain the very compact foliage and growth habit. I have another division of the same plant that I suspect will be spiking soon.

I really appreciate the replies! Thanks again everyone.
 
H

Hera

Guest
Just curious why you switched from T8's to T12's? Did you consider T5's? I'm re-eveluating my set up so I'd be interested in your reasoning.
 

mrhappyrotter

Grand Chupacabra
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
174
Location
Central North Carolina
Just curious why you switched from T8's to T12's? Did you consider T5's? I'm re-eveluating my set up so I'd be interested in your reasoning.

For me T8s make sense because I'm growing plants that perform well with T8 lighting, and it's nice to be able to drive or walk down the street to buy fixtures and bulbs that don't break the bank.

In the past 5 years or so, I've been replacing one or two of my old T12 fixtures at a time as they were starting to show signs of aging. I opted to go for T8s because the home improvement chains started offering models and bulbs that weren't much more expensive than the T12 fixtures. Plus the T8s are lower wattage, I figured in the end I'd save money once electrical bills are factored in. Over time, though, the price of the T8s and T12s reached parity, and then the home improvement places stopped carrying T12 fixtures all together. I don't think I've even seen 4' T5 shop lights at any of the stores around here and the ones I have seen appear to be more expensive than T8s several times over.

In another sense, I'd say that T12s have always been good enough in terms of spectrum and brightness for the plants I grow and love. So, I had no reason to go for something with significantly higher output, meaning T8s were a suitable replacement. The fact is though, I think the T8s are significantly more effective than T12s. Since the switch, I've had to move the fixtures further away from the plants, and in some of the fixtures I've removed a bulb to reduce the light levels to something more reasonable. To put that in perspective I'm able to grow and bloom several species of cacti and aloes under T8s. Yes, I do get supplemental lighting from the window, but it's a fairly small northeast (I believe) facing window, obstructed by trees so that it only gets a bit of direct sun in the morning and only in the fall and winter when the trees have dropped their leaves.
 

gnathaniel

Lurker
Joined
Nov 26, 2011
Messages
448
Reaction score
1
Location
Athens GA, USA
Great set-up and wonderful plants! Everything looks incredibly healthy. Love the schlimii and the Till. cyanea, both are high on my 'someday' list. Right now, though, I need to do one of them drastic-reduction-jobs on my own collection... :p

What part of central NC are you in, near Raleigh/Durham? We have a lot of friends in the Triangle area and are scoping it out for a possible move whenever we finish up the current round of schooling.
 

mrhappyrotter

Grand Chupacabra
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
174
Location
Central North Carolina
Great set-up and wonderful plants! Everything looks incredibly healthy. Love the schlimii and the Till. cyanea, both are high on my 'someday' list. Right now, though, I need to do one of them drastic-reduction-jobs on my own collection... :p

What part of central NC are you in, near Raleigh/Durham? We have a lot of friends in the Triangle area and are scoping it out for a possible move whenever we finish up the current round of schooling.

Thanks! I live in Raleigh currently. It's growing quickly, everybody's moving here, and normally I tell people to stay away -- I don't need more construction and traffic congestion. But in your case, I'd say move to Raleigh, we could definitely use more slipper enthusiasts in the area!
 

AdamD

Catasetinae Crazed
Joined
Aug 12, 2013
Messages
1,512
Reaction score
0
Location
Elsberry, MO USA
That's great. I've been debating leaving my plants inside this summer. I'm just worried they'd stay too hot. My basement stays cool but the room heats up quickly with the lights on. How do you get your night temps down?
 

mrhappyrotter

Grand Chupacabra
Joined
Dec 26, 2012
Messages
2,500
Reaction score
174
Location
Central North Carolina
That's great. I've been debating leaving my plants inside this summer. I'm just worried they'd stay too hot. My basement stays cool but the room heats up quickly with the lights on. How do you get your night temps down?

I don't get low night temps most of the year. The lights generate enough heat that the temps in the room drop once the lights go out. When it's warm out and the AC is on, I usually keep the door closed or only slightly cracked open to trap heat in the room. Then when I open the room up at night, even though the temperature only drops down into the mid 70s, it's still a 5 to 10 degree drop.

One reason I decided to start keeping plants indoors year round is due to "bugs". From ants to roaches to crickets to spiders and centipedes (the list goes on), I was getting tired of dealing with the influx of critters each fall when I'd move the plants in. I don't like to spray, but even a preventative routine and pre-migration treatments weren't enough.

The other reasons are mostly weather related. In the summer, things tend to get very hot and very dry. It's impossible to keep the plants cool and hydrated. Other times, it'll rain for days and days on end, making it impossible to allow the plants to dry out a bit. Then we get crazy storms, things get knocked over, limbs fall out of trees, hail causes damage, and the list goes on.

But, despite the periods of wet, periods of extreme heat, and periods of dryness, over all, the orchids do love their time outside. They grow so fast and so easily when things are good. I still put some plants out, but the vast majority of the plants on the shelves stay indoors year round now.
 
Top