Well January is finished and the hot and humid weather continues. I go out each evening between 5-7:00 pm and mist all the plants. Yes, I know that I could have this done electronically, as I have a controller installed but I like being in the bush house amid my plants.
Just back in from misting the plants, its 8:10pm and 28 degrees here, a bit windy very similar to mountains in north Queensland. The plants are responding well to this regime and the root development is amazing and growths continue to develop well.
There are some plants that I found that I have potted on this weekend but it’s too late for any that should have been broken up and these will have to wait until autumn. Happily there are few of these and anyway I may have to leave these until spring as they will flower this year.
I have potted on a couple of terete Dockrillias and because they are in net pots I don’t have to rip them out of their pots just pot-on which means that the roots are not disturbed.
Dendrobium monophyllum is in flower too. I like this orchid as it grows in rain forest and also some of the most inhospitable country and seems to thrive. It also has this lovely habit of spot flowering throughout the year. It does well mounted on a slab of cork or weathered hardwood. Through our travels in Queensland we have seen it both on rock and trees but where there is good air movement and sunshine.
Dendrobium monophyllum (photo by Gerry Walsh)
Keep an eye on your new growths and protect them from bugs. I made the mistake of pulling the sheath of a Den. speciosum var. capricornicum down too far exposing the new soft pseudobulb and it was attacked in one night by a pair of cockroaches that had been starved for a year. Anyway, there’s no use crying over them now. We are using Initiator balls on plants this year to stop attack of sucking insects or ones that burrow into the pseudobulbs like codling moths that lay eggs and you end up with little larvae chewing on the flower raceme. These are expensive, but there is an alternative Richgro Bug Killa which is granular, the same ingredient as Confidor, and just sprinkle on the plant and will give effective control for up to 6 weeks.
Dendrobium beetle is about in this hot weather so keep an eye out as you may catch them on the wing, I did that today and found a couple of others as well. I spray with Bugmaster and eco-oil but there are other alternatives, just don’t let them get on top of you. Remember with this pest you only have to treat the new growths so don’t waste money spraying the whole plant.
It’s time for maintenance around the house and bush house. Keep control of weeds, and remember you are growing plants to relax and enjoy, so do it.