August Monthly Meeting
One of our members Tony Taylor was the speaker for our meeting this month. His talk and slide show was on Mounting Orchids and Growing in Baskets.
He said when starting out just do an odd plant or two, do not do them all, as some need a different attention. If you succeed then do more.
With mounting and growing in baskets the plant has a different growth habit, there are the pendulous plants, some orchids have a sprawling nature and others need a basket as they flower from the bottom. Vanda’s can be potted up but mainly they like to be hung from a basket with their roots dangling that need spraying sometimes twice a day. You can grow them in glass vases with a little water touching the roots or even potted up in pots to which you would not have to water so often. The levels of light vary for them we were shown some slides of Tony’s greenhouse with many hanging orchids hanging way up high, he has them in baskets on tree ferns which he says is very good, some are also in bark.
In the greenhouse stands a large dustbin full of tap water in it he has fixed a disc so that is helps to make the mist that flows around the greenhouse.
He said when using a chunk of bark , not to get silver birch and hawthorn as this disintegrates inside and you cannot see that this is happening.
If you have mounted orchids either on bark or in baskets more watering is needed. Tree fern is best it holds the water for longer but only if you mount the plants across it and not down it, the water stays in the fern rather than running out of it. Dunking is another part watering being careful not to dunk the whole plant only the roots. When spraying plants spray them once leave for ten minutes then go back and spray again.
Most orchids like a lot of humidity (which are not suitable in the house,) plus air movement with fans. As for feeding this is more often, as it is getting washed away by to much spraying .
If you are going away on holiday your plants need not to suffer as there are automatic systems to use. You can hang plants around buckets of water or get the plants so their roots just touch the water. In Tony’s greenhouse he has no ventilation only fans going, circulating the air around the orchids all his plants looked well for it. It was a very good talk everyone seemed to enjoy it.
Fly Trap Plants The Silent Killers.
Bernard and his wife Pauline were our speakers this month (September). Bernard has been growing carnivorous plants for forty years and orchids for much longer. All the plants are kept in the greenhouse together amongst one another. Bernard says there is one golden rule , use only rainwater on them. They like to be kept pot bound, so don’t put them in bigger pots.
He had brought some plants to show us, Venus fly trap, Nepenthes, Drosera and Sarracenia. Plus some for sale.
Nepenthes grow very tall if you let them best to cut off the top and repot the piece you have cut from the top as will root. Then are seventy two species known and they are they tallest carnivorous plants in the world. They are pitcher plants which have elongated tendrils bearing pitcher traps at their tips each one has thickened rim and a lid to stop their prey from getting back out. Inside the pitcher it produces its own liquid.
Drosera’s have leaves that are covered in dense thickened hairs which are very sticky, tiny flies get stuck to this and eventually are digested and absorbed by the plant.
Sarracenia plants have a vase like leaf with downward pointing hairs on a slippery wall this prevents the insects from coming back up and they drown in the liquid enzymes at the bottom.
Carnivorous plants can stand very low temperatures and also stand up to some heat. Have to make sure they kept wet all of the time do not them let dry out. Also they like light not direct sunlight though. To get seed heads you have to pollinate the flower each day with a brush for about a week until the petal falls off. Peat is used for the plants with added non limed silver sand and perlite. Six peat to one of each of silver sand and perlite.
Everyone enjoyed his talk and plants he bought with them were being sold to the members. A really good night again.
Strathmore.raine j w