Orchids with no mess or watering
Would you like to own the world’s rare orchids?
Would you like to own your own collection of specie plants?
Would you like to do all this and have no mess or watering?
Well you can, how you might ask? Well it is not by being a secret investor in a large orchid house. It is so simple you will laugh. The answer is to take up stamp collecting. Orchid stamps or stamps depicting orchids from around the world can be purchased from many a source. By looking for a theme or just any with orchid stamps on one can soon have a collection of orchids, and no mess or watering.
Stamps once you have a few, make a wonderful impression on the eye when you see the variety of shapes and colours of the orchids depicted, just as you would if you actually owned the particular plant, and think these are in flower for 12 months of the year. Countries all round the world are issuing stamps depicting orchids. It may the national flower of the country, or a special occasion such as an orchid congress, maybe to even commemorate a great grower or horticulturalist.
I have been collecting slowly for a number of years and now have a
wonderful collection all laid out in a proper stamp album. Some I have two and three of, but don’t we do this with our plants by splitting, so it does not matter. Starting for a few pence plus a decent album and you are on your way. You can then ask friends for all their orchid stamps, keep an eye out for local stamp fairs where you can add to your collection and at the rate you can afford to spend.
Then there are the special editions to look out for like the ones at the moment available from Singapore for the 20th world orchid congress. You can get the same thrill of waiting for a new set of stamps to arrive as you can for a new orchid and the one big difference is you don’t have to worry about Cities if they are coming to you from across the other side of world. Once you have your stamp you can still look up the orchid and understand where it comes from and how it grows so enlarging you knowledge of orchids.
Wild orchids, rare orchids, specie definitive orchids, you can collect the lot or do as you do with your orchids and specialise. What ever your taste you can cater for it so branch out into another world of the same and start orchid stamp collecting.
A Blistering Moment?
We have all done it, busy using tools or trying to do more without help and bang you have trapped a finger or thumb and produced a “blood blister”. We stand there shaking our hand to try to relieve the pain or instantly stuff it in our mouths to try to get relief. But in the instance I am going to tell you about none of these remedies are possible. It concerned my
Babtisonia echinata. Having taken it indoors to try to initiate flowering for a show I watered the plant and put it on the window sill, to give it more available light. A couple of days later I noticed the sheath looked tatty and decided to strip this from the pseudo bulb. Gently peeling it back I exposed what looked like the head of a slug, panic, panic, proceeding further I was able to reveal what looked like the whole body in a sleeping position. I reached forward and touched it, to wake it up, nothing moved, so picking up pot I looked more closely to see what looked like a large blister on the side of the plant. Applying gentle pressure to the blister it proved to be soft. My heart sank, as I imagined a great hole beneath having been bored by some insect of as yet unknown entity. I took said sick plant into the kitchen. I got a needle and a piece of kitchen roll, having sterilised the needle and holding the tissue against the plant I proceeded to pierce the bottom of the blister and to my surprise it bled or that’s what it appeared to do. A dark red liquid poured forth containing a certain amount of solid looking material. Allowing the blister to drain first I then gently squeezed the whole thing into the kitchen towel until it was dry. The blister now gone I inspected the plant and saw there was no hole in the pseudo bulb, amazing.
My next action was to lightly rub the skin or shell of the blister and it came away clean from the plant leaving no real sign it had even been there. Just in case I had pushed the needle too far and gone into the pseudo bulb I rubbed the surface with cinnamon powder to assist drying and healing if required.
Next was to find out what it was and how it was caused. After finding nothing positive I phoned Ray Creek who was on it straight away. There is good news and bad news he said, the bad news is to destroy the plant to prevent spread. The good news is to do what I had done isolate and treat. He did suggest I rubbed it with flowers of sulphur as this is a bactericide. The blister, well it is caused by water that contains bacteria that has not dried away and so grown in its own water environment it can only be got rid of by destroying the plant or by being very careful for 5/6 weeks and keeping it….. A) Dry and not allowing the area to get wet, so only watering the compost and NO spraying. B). Keep away from other plants for this period of time.
So if you get a blister on a pseudo bulb or leaf treat it in isolation and you will keep your plant as the bacteria will die off once it has no contact with water.
May 2012 Abridged
Odont. Golden Rialto
X Eric Young