Posts Tagged ‘Anatomy’

Orchid Care and Maintenance : New Plant on Stem?

Today’s Orchid Care and Maintenance Question is from Helena in Bocas del Toro, Panama!

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Question: Two of my orchids have grown a new plant off the old flower stem.  The root is 1 1/2 in. long.  How should I remove it to repot it?

Answer:

Hi Helena!  I’m so glad you’ve written all the way from Panama!  Your orchids must be loving the warm and humid climate in Bocas del Toro!  It is difficult to say what exactly is going on with your orchid, but it sounds as though your plants are growing keikis.  (You can check out my post on orchid anatomy.)

I’ve propagated a few keikis from my phalaenopsis orchids over the years—each one has gone on to flourish into a full-size plant using the orchid propagation method below. Phalaenopsis grown this way should reach flowering size 18 months to 2 years after they first appeared.

(Proceed only if the roots of the keiki are longer than at least 2 inches.)

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Phalaenopsis Orchid, Orchid Propogation

Carefully remove the small plant from the flower spike by cutting the stem 1 to 2 inches either side of the plant, this will ensure that you don’t damage the roots of the keiki.

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

Assemble everything you need.  This comprises of a pot large enough for 12 months of growth, a medium grade potting mix, a label with the variety and of course the keiki – see photo.

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid, Repotting Orchid

Carefully pot the keiki —keeping the roots in tact below the orchid potting mix.

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

Protect the keiki from direct sunlight and water and fertilize regularly.

Here’s the keiki on June 30th – it has produced a new leave and roots

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

The keiki has another new leaf and a flower spike emerging!

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

The keiki in full bloom

Orchid Care and Maintenance, Orchid Care, Orchid Propagation, Phalaenopsis Orchid

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Want to learn more?  Don’t miss Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :-)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

Orchid Care, Orchids, Orchids Care, Growing Orchids, Orchid Care and Maintenance

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Growing Orchids Anatomy & Terms : Pseudobulb

I’m continuing my series on orchid by writing about terms every person growing orchids should know and understand.  Today’s orchid anatomy and term lesson is pseudobulb.

The pseudobulb is a storage organ derived from the part of a stem between two leaf nodes.

It applies to the orchid family, specifically certain groups of epiphytic orchids, and may be single or composed of several internodes with evergreen or deciduous leaves along its length.

In some species, it is hardly swollen at all and looks like a normal stem with many leaves while at the other extreme, some genera such as Bulbophyllum have single, spherical pseudobulbs with one (or two) leafs at the apex of each.

Whether cane-like (with many joints) or spherical (with one or few joints), they are all produced from a long lived creeping stem called a rhizome which may itself be climbing or pendulous.

The pseudobulbs are themselves relatively short lived (1–5 years), but are continually produced from the growing tip of the rhizome.

The other growth habit used by tropical epiphytic orchids is known as monopodial orchid.

Want to learn a few tricks about how to care for orchids?  Sign up for Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Email Tips–he shares his best secrets with his readers.  You’ll learn secret orchid care techniques expert growers use to super-charge their plants!

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Wikipedia

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Identify an Orchid: Q & A

Question: Is it possible to identify an orchid from a photo? I have a plant that my mother left me when she died 30 years ago, and I have never known its name. — Norman H.

Answer: Plants with lost name tags are a common occurrence in the orchid world. Though the original grower always puts a ‘genera/hybrid/variety’ identification label on each plant in production, it seems that this important information often gets lost along the way.

Over the years, the orchid may be re-potted and split into pieces but the owner doesn’t write a new tag for each division. Before long, there are nameless plants in circulation everywhere.

Some orchids are immediately identifiable by an expert seeing the flowers. Occasionally, the foliage alone yields the name. The vast majority of no names, however, remain as such due to the hundreds of thousands of possible hybrids.

A rank novice can determine the genera of common orchids strictly from the foliage. Cattleyas, dendrobiums, and oncidiums all have tell-tale pseudo-bulb shapes while phalaenopsis and paphiopedilums have uniquely tapered leaves. Even less common types such as cymbidiums, miltonias, and vandas are easy to identify.

The exact hybrid name is much more challenging unless the plant was mass-produced by cloning, in which case the variety might also be known.

Need to identify an orchid?  Check out Ryan’s Free Orchid Care Sheet Cheats when you purchase his book Orchids Made Easy.   Learn more about his free growing orchids email newsletter here.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Arthur Chadwick Richmond Times Dispatch

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Growing Orchids : Anatomy & Terms

I’ve given several copies of Ryan’s Orchids Made Easy book to friends as gifts over the years.  They’ve thanked me time and time again for giving them an easy-to-follow orchid care book written by a truly wonderful expert orchid care grower.  Ryan’s book and Free Orchid Care Tips (sign up now) have shown Vic that “even after 50 years of orchid growing, there is still lots to learn about orchids!”

Personally, I love how systematic and clear the book is–it is well laid out, jam-packed with information and well illustrated.  It’s my treasure trove of information and I refer to it often!

But, it doesn’t stop there.  I even had a color page from his Ebook professionally printed and hung near my work sink as art.  I tried taking a picture of it this morning, but there was too much glare from outside (I’ll have to add it later for you)!  Since, I can’t share the page with you now, I did the next best thing and found a similar image online.

Here are a few diagrams and terms every person growing orchids should understand.

Please note : These images are of a Phalaenopsis Orchid and while your orchid may be a different variety, you can still use these diagrams to learn about the anatomy of your specific plant.

Orchid Diagrams:

Phalaenopsis Orchid, Orchid Care, Orchids

(click on images to enlarge)

Phalaenopsis Orchid, Orchid Care, OrchidsOrchid Care, Orchid Flower

Orchid Terms:

  • Bloom – the actual flowers once they are open.
  • Bud – the flower before it is opened.
  • Column – the tiny, rounded, column-like extension between the two largest petals. This little guy is the central reproductive organ of the orchid flower.
  • Inflorescence – the flowering part of a plant.
  • Keiki – a small plant growing from a node on the flower stem.
  • Leaves – located above the roots.
  • Lip – the part of the flower that is almost completely divided from the rest of the flower, however, it is connected by the column. The lip is specialized to aid in pollination.
  • Medium – the material added to an orchid’s container, which can range from varieties such as soil to bark.
  • Node – a distinct joint or notch on the inflorescence from which a secondary flower stem can emerge from after the primary inflorescence has finished blooming.
  • Roots – located just below the leaves.
  • Sepal – the outer segments on an orchid flower. Similar to petals, sepals are the three smaller segments of the flower that create a triangular shape.
  • Spike/Stem – a flower stalk.
  • Stake – a wooden stick to support the orchid spike.
  • Throat – the inner portion of a tubular orchid lip, often quite colorful.

Warmest wishes from sunny Florida,

Carol :)
The Orchid Care Lady

Carol the Orchid Care Lady

+ Diagrams & Terms courtesy of JustAddIce Orchids

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