Well June has arrived and bar for the Victorian high country the weather is still mild. Here at home in May we enjoyed 20+ degree days and the lowest temp so far had been 7 degrees. Then a cold front came thru and dumped snow and more than a bucketful of rain along with cold blustery winds for the last 2-3 days. There are still aphids about but haven’t seen a Dendrobium beetle or other pest for over a month, apart from the dammed Bandicoots that come in nightly from our neighbor’s yard to terrorize our lawn, which looks like the first tee at the local golf course.
Nearly all plants have started to bud up and the few hybrids that I have are doing well. I am surprised that most of my plants are in active growth with all Dockrillias having strong growing root tips. Have you ever examined your plants and noticed the root tips a lot of our orchids have different colour at the root tips.
I have most, if not all, of my Dockrillias now in port pots and net pots from the 80mm and 140mm being the most common. I also have many Sarcochilus falcatus in the 80mm size and find they do better in these than on mounts but it depends on your watering regime. I have had discussions with my friend Cary about the 200mm net pot and we originally thought that the holes or slots on this size made it better suited to a pool filter. However after this season I have changed my mind. It seems that the plant roots don’t agree with me and not only do they spread over the outside and inside of the structure of the pot but find no difficulty in penetrating the slots and carry on regardless.
The weather has been so mild I am still watering, albeit only twice a week, my Cymbidium canaliculatum plants. They have had enough though over the last few days. I have 5 of these hanging on our old Hills Hoist in the backyard and when I am out there during the day I place my hand on the black plastic pots and find they are very warm.
Plants in flower at the moment Dendrobium prenticei, Dockrillia Limestone (again), Dockrillia rigida, Dockrillia Ida Mary x (fuliginosa x cucumerina) Dendrobium Hilda Poxon, Bulbophyllum shepherdii, Dockrillia Grandma ‘Pure’.
Plants in growth and new growths coming include Dockrillia Foderata, Dockrillia racemosa, Dendrobium johnsonii, Dendrobium adae and Dendrobium speciosum var. speciosum, Dendrobium speciosum var. curvicaule.
So while plants are still going and preparing for the flowering season ahead I continue to fertilize with Peters Excel Cal-Mag Finisher. Also on the first of each month give the plants a dose of Seasol. I also have been working to reduce the effects of codling moth by spraying the plants with AzamaxTM which contains botanical oils and a concentrated botanical extract from the neem tree (Azadirachta indica). I will let you know how this goes after this flowering season.
Happy growing – Bill.