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  #41  
Old 05-08-2022, 11:24 AM
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And slugs love little lids filled with beer. An excellent reason to open a good IPA.
With the risk of getting banned from the forum... I don't drink beer.

Definitely not buying beer just to give the snails. I can at least eat the lettuce myself if no snails show up.
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  #42  
Old 05-08-2022, 03:28 PM
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With the risk of getting banned from the forum... I don't drink beer.
What? No liquid bread?
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  #43  
Old 05-08-2022, 07:14 PM
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What? No liquid bread?
I also prefer my bread in loaf form. Plus, it leaves more money for orchids! (...and dogs, chickens, and gardening)
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  #44  
Old 05-12-2022, 09:58 AM
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Angry MORE pests?! Really?!

I can't believe this... I was happily taking pictures of the surviving buds on my tiny collection when I spotted something fuzzy in the photo of the most mature bud on the Phal. CTL Christopher. I thought it looked suspiciously like a mealy bug, got some rubbing alcohol on a q-tip and removed the offending fuzz. Sure enough - mealybug.

I've removed the Phal. CTL Christopher from its pot, cut off the spike (as I could see more mealybugs inside the bracts on it) treated the entire plant with neemoil, and now it's drying while awaiting new media.

I've done the same with thing with all 11 plants, just to be on the safe side. I really don't want a mealybug infestation. I know it's dumb to treat orchids that aren't showing any symptoms, but since the mealybugs are so sneaky and since I have all orchids in the same area (but with some distance in between), I felt it was better to do it. After all, a dead plant never blooms.

I wiped down the table and windowsill they stood on with rubbing alcohol and I really hope I managed to catch this in time, as they hadn't started causing visible damage on the plants just yet.

Before posting here, I wrote to Schwerter to let them know that they have both snails and mealybugs where they keep the Phal. CTL Christopher-plants. I think that they would like to be informed about that, preferably before it gets out of hand.

I seriously don't know what's going on. I've NEVER had this many issues with pests on my orchids before! It's disheartening to say the least, but I'm so glad I ordered the neemoil after the scale-incident. I really hope I'll be able to nip this in the bud.

***

Some good news then; the Nellys are doing well so far. At least pre-mealybug treatment. The stronger of them is growing a new psudobulb, so that's great. The "weaker" of them looks a bit more wrinkly, but continued to open buds, so I'm not super worried about it.

Also talked to the orchid specialist on the garden center where I got the Nellys from, and apparently it's standard procedure to put two plants in one pot. Otherwise, they would get too expensive for the end consumer, and I can understand that. At least now I'm prepared if I'd ever buy similar orchids in the future.
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  #45  
Old 06-04-2022, 04:44 AM
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Thumbs up A little update

It's been almost a month since I wrote here last and I made one significant change that has affected my Phals quite a bit.

I figured since I can't do anything about the night temps, then I could maybe do something about the days temps. Said and done, I switched out my curtains to thinner ones, allowing for more light and warmth to come through. The temperatures when the sun hits the window directly, went from 25°C to closer to 30°C (77°F to 86°F) and boy did the Phals love that! Especially the Phal. Yaphon Blue Bird took off like nobody's business, which makes me super happy. Unfortunately, the weird stem rot it has, progressed after the neemoil treatment (not surprising), but I hope it'll be able to outgrow it. The rot has halted again, but four of its seven leaves are showing signs of not being able to absorb enough water.

Here you can see what it looked like when I got it:

And this is how it looks today (look at how much that leaf has grown!):


My Phal. Wiganiae is another of the really happy Phals, and just as the one I had before, it has decided that roots are great to have; the more the merrier. Oh, and why not have roots that split into three instead of old and boring single tipped ones? Yeah, let's do that as well. If it keeps this up, I'll have to repot it this summer.


Oh, it seems I won't be without flowers this summer either. Another of the happy Phals has decided to put out two little spikes! It's my Phal. Liu's Berry 'ES' that felt I lacked some cute flowers to look at (those leaves got broken during the shipping, unfortunately):


One Phal that had me a bit worried was the Phal. 'Magic Art', since I had managed to murder almost all of its roots, which I discovered when I repotted it when treating it for mealybugs. I just decided to stake it (it was very wobbly in the pot) and leave it. Now, it has five new roots growing and at least five new tips on old roots!


I also talked to Schwerter about the snail and the mealybugs. They weren't worried about the snails and couldn't see any mealybugs where they kept the Phal. CTL Christpoher-plants. I was offered money back for mine, or a bonus code for the same sum. Naturally, I chose the bonus code (still need to get a yellow Phal). I haven't seen any signs of mealybugs or snails, so I hope I managed to get all unwanted guests before.

So, how are the Nellys doing then? Well, I've already given the "weaker" of the two away, as it started growing a new p.bulb. I figured it was a sign that it was strong enough and gave it to my friend as planned. The stronger one that stayed with me, is still giving me (positive) headaches. It was growing a new p.bulb and while it would be a bit cramped in the pot, it would've fitted kind of perfectly. If it had stuck with one new p.bulb that is... But why have one when you can have two, it seemed to think and started on a second one as well. Yesterday, I moved it to the same size of pot that I got both of them in (since you guys said it was a good size for a Nelly with four p.bulbs). I didn't repot it, just moved it with as little disturbance of the roots as possible. I tried to take a picture of its second p.bulb, but I've no idea if you can see it (I've moved the skewer to the other side of the plant, so both new p.bulbs will have plenty of space):

Just look at how plump the big p.bulb is! It makes me super happy to see and it seems that so far I'm doing something right with the Nelly. As thrilled as I am about it getting two new p.bulbs, I also hope it won't continue getting two growths on every new p.bulb, because it'll turn into a monster really fast then.

I just realized that I will have actually have my four p.bulb-sized Nelly within a year. Yay!
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  #46  
Old 06-14-2022, 11:24 AM
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Talking Last Phal haul and more...

I've gotten my last Phals now and my collection consist of 15 orchids; 14 Phals and one infiltrator (my Nelly Isler).

It's small and will stay as such since I feel I've hit the ceiling for what I can manage.

So, what Phals did I go for then for my final ones? I ordered them from Schwerter again and went with a 50/50-ish split between novelty Phals and more "ordinary" ones this time as well. As I've decided to get heating mats later this year, I don't feel as limited in regards to temperatures and decided to be a bit brave.

My first priority was a yellow Phal and Schwerter had some that had caught my attention. In the end it stood between a Phal. Yen Shuai Sweet Girl 'Shiny Girl' and a Phal. Yaphon Green Batman. I went for the latter, but it wasn't an easy decision.

Here's a pic of the Yaphon Green Batman; a very nice looking plant that I'm super happy with and with a spike to boot:


I also got a second Phal. Yaphon Blue Bird, since I still don't know if the one I have will make it or not. The one I got did NOT have stem rot and a better root system, so yay!
My second Yaphon Blue Bird, this one also with a spike that might make it:



While looking for Phals to order, I realized I wanted a white Phal. I like the ones with smaller flowers and with a contrasting colour on the lip. When I had my previous collection, one of my favourites was a Phal. equestris Aurea, for example. Schwerter had recently gotten an interesting white Phal in stock that I went for; Phal. Younghome Godspeed '377' (discovered the day after repotting it that it also has a spike):


I was interested in getting a Phal. Germaine Vincent and they had several combinations. I went with a discounted one, hoping for flowers with maybe some interesting patterns. Unfortunately, I don't seem to have gotten that as I got one with an opened flower, but the lovely fragrance made up for some of it. And who knows? It might not always give me solid coloured flowers, if I'm lucky (I think it's Phal. Germaine Vincent since it's a primary hybrid between tetraspis x violacea and from my understanding, tetraspis and speciosa are synonymous):



And then I wanted a more "ordinary" Phal, and got a Phal. Sogo Diamond 'HLW', yet another very healthy looking Phal:



Finally, I ordered a younger plant, even though I said I didn't want any. I got it because it was cheaper than a BS one and because I felt a bit adventurous. My eyes have been caught by this particular hybrid every time I've been scrolling through the list, so I decided to go for it. I ordered and payed for a Phal. Tying Shin Fly Eagle 'TS-66' a year from blooming size and got a huge surprise when the largest Phal of the order was this one and it had two spikes on top of that. Schwerter clearly sent me the wrong plant and it would've been awesome to get a BS sized plant if it wasn't for the trespassers that came with it... Yep, it had mealybugs hitchhiking on one of the spikes. I've informed Schwerter of the mix-up and the mealybugs and gotten reimbursed. Unfortunately, this meant I had to treat the new batch of Phals and cut off both spikes of the Tying Shin Fly Eagle. I did take a chance and leave the spikes on the other Phals. I really hope I won't pay for it later. Anyway, here's a picture of the Phal. Tying Shin Fly Eagle 'TS-66':

Aside from the mealybugs, it's a big and healthy looking plant and the second largest now in my collection.


***

Aside from the new Phals getting acclimated to their new home, the other ones are still puttering along. I've found some more spikes, which makes me super happy!

Here's an update of the two spikes on my Liu's Berry 'ES':

I'm thrilled they're both still going strong.

Found the beginning of a spike on my KS Pride 'Golden Diamond' as well:


And my Magic Art decided that billions of new root tips wasn't enough, it clearly needs to flower as well:

It might be difficult to tell due to the angle of the picture, but it's a spike next to the new root. It's not round and it doesn't have a green tip like the roots have.

My first Yaphon Blue Bird has also decided to toss out a spike, which makes me both happy and worried. Its leaves are showing obvious signs of the plant not getting enough water and I don't know if it's due to the stem rot or the lacking root system, or maybe both. I've started watering it every day now, but I can't enclose it in any way to increase the humidity because of the stem rot... It's a tricky situation.

It has two good roots in the pot as far as I can tell and more growing down into it, but the old ones are pretty much dead below the surface of the medium.


***

And some Nelly updates. I found another snail while watering it the other day. At first, I thought it was a piece of bark debris since it was so small, but then the smooth and even shape got me to take a closer look. It was TINY so it's only thanks to me accidentally getting water into one of the new growths that I even found it. It got stuck on the paper I used to try and remove the water with. I suspect it wasn't an adult snail since it was so much smaller compared to the other one it had earlier.

This meant that my Nelly got a bath. A coffee bath.



Luckily, I had purchased I large vase that could fit the entire plant and when I bought coffee earlier, I went with a big package.

After the bath, the Nelly spent the majority of the day on the balcony to dry up properly.

So far, I haven't noticed any side-effects of the bath and both of the new p.bulbs are happily continue to grow and no signs of more snails. Hopefully, that was the last of them, but if it wasn't, I have more coffee waiting.
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  #47  
Old 06-15-2022, 12:16 AM
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tmoney tmoney is offline
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looking good!!

really interesting to see that version of the germaine vincent, as we love this hybrid and have a couple ourselves. seems to be a lot of variation. it's worth noting that our plants are not straight violaceaxspeciosa, but varietals crosses (which, according to a very confusing thread fromawhile back, should also be called a germaine vincent). both of ours have a nice branching habit and keep old spikes, so there is a potential for a lot of flowers in the future. yours looks like its coming into some maturity and holding multiple spikes as well, nice!!

keep up the good work!

edit: it's disappointing to hear you potentially got snails and mealys from schwerter. i suppose no grower is spared from critters, but i expect better from them. but i think you agree that their plants look amazing when they arrive at your door, regardless of any pests

2nd edit: i don't think that is a germaine vincent then, as from my understanding a germain vincent is violacea x speciosa. yours is referred to as a jennifer palermo, and is much more similar to standard blooms of this hybrid. not sure if you are aware, but the order of the parent names is also important as it denotes which was pod and which was pollen parent. but your jenny looks great, too!!
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  #48  
Old 06-15-2022, 03:30 AM
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looking good!!

really interesting to see that version of the germaine vincent, as we love this hybrid and have a couple ourselves. seems to be a lot of variation. it's worth noting that our plants are not straight violaceaxspeciosa, but varietals crosses (which, according to a very confusing thread fromawhile back, should also be called a germaine vincent). both of ours have a nice branching habit and keep old spikes, so there is a potential for a lot of flowers in the future. yours looks like its coming into some maturity and holding multiple spikes as well, nice!!

keep up the good work!

edit: it's disappointing to hear you potentially got snails and mealys from schwerter. i suppose no grower is spared from critters, but i expect better from them. but i think you agree that their plants look amazing when they arrive at your door, regardless of any pests

2nd edit: i don't think that is a germaine vincent then, as from my understanding a germain vincent is violacea x speciosa. yours is referred to as a jennifer palermo, and is much more similar to standard blooms of this hybrid. not sure if you are aware, but the order of the parent names is also important as it denotes which was pod and which was pollen parent. but your jenny looks great, too!!
Oh no, you're right! Somewhere along the way, my brain switched which one was the Germaine Vincent and which was the Jennifer Palermo! I used to have a Jennifer Palermo and didn't want to get one again as the flowers really aren't my cup of tea. Darn it! Oh well, it was relatively cheap, so there's that I guess and I might get lucky and not always get solid colours. Fingers crossed! They only have one Germaine Vincent available (unless they wrote the cross wrong on the one they've named "Germaine Vincent", then they have two) and I have been drooling over it quite a bit. Don't know if I'll get that one though as it'd be very expensive to order one plant.

Schwerter are innocent to the snail as I got snails with the Nelly from the local gardencenter. I did get a snail with the CTL Christopher (together with the mealybugs) but haven't seen any signs of neither pests on it since I treated it. Schwerter do seem to have an issue with mealybugs though and I've gotten one plant per order with the little bastards.

But yes, the plants look great! Pests or no pests and they tend to acclimate fast thanks to being as healthy as they are, so I'm still happy with my order. Except for the Germaine Vincent/Jennifer Palermo mix-up... I'll have to check how expensive it would be to order a single plant.
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  #49  
Old 06-22-2022, 07:18 AM
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Smile A couple of more spikes

I can't take credit for these spikes (probably not for any of the other spikes either, aside from the Magic Art's one), but I just wanted to show them regardless.

My Phal Yaphon Green Batman came in spike and the spike has just continued developing since it got here. No stalling or anything:



And my Phal. Younghome Godspeed also came in spike, but I didn't even notice it until the day after I had repotted it (eyes like a HAWK!):



Aside from those spikes growing and making me happy, I also removed my first Phal. Yaphon Blue Bird from its pot since it started wobbling. I got a good look at its less than impressive root system and the weird stem rot as well:


Good news is that it IS getting new roots. It's just going very slowly and unfortunately it will lose another root to rot. The subpar root system is the most likely explanation for the wrinkled leaves it has as I think the stem rot doesn't affect the leaves like that. Other good news is that I think the stem rot (or whatever it is) has completely stopped its progress.

Now that I have two Blue Birds, I've come to the conclusion that they really don't like cooler temps or staying wet in any way. If I could, I'd mount them because I believe that that is the best way to grow this hybrid. Or at least the ones I have. We'll see how they are going to fare in these less than ideal conditions.
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