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Malala 2011

Discussion in 'Everything Else Orchid' started by mrbreeze, Jan 28, 2011.

  1. xmpraedicta

    xmpraedicta Prairie angraecoid nut Supporting Member

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    BRAVO!

    Exactly my thoughts as well - three years down the road when all these guys are flourishing and blooming, there will be much pollen swapping and pod making.

    And yes, I'd like to also add my thanks to Botanica for arranging the opportunity to get these special plants out of Madagascar. I've said this before: if anything, our $$ will hopefully go towards further efforts rescuing these plants.
     
  2. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    OH! :eek: Gilles you are a superstar! :clap: I can hardly contain my excitement :D

    Thanks Calvin. I am sad about my losses but I was mentally prepared for anything. My sorrow for the DOAs is eclipsed by gratitude for the diversity of viable plants I did get. I am sure Michelle grows these plants with a lot of love. I have friends and colleagues who have spent time travelling and doing field work in Madagascar and have heard much about the difficulties there. This gives me even more respect for Michelle's prowess in sourcing her material from such disparate parts of her massive island and then in turn growing them all under such low-tech growing conditions. I take my hat off to both her and Botanica Ltd. Also, getting CITES documentation for plants in that country is no small feat, surely!
     
  3. T. migratoris

    T. migratoris Active Member

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    I think I'm over the initial disappointment and now I'll focus on keeping these little guys alive. Couple of comments & questions for the Malala veterans:

    - I took them all off the sponge as recommended by Brenda. In the process I noticed that almost all of my plants were layered as follows: the sponge, on top of which was a slab of what we're affectionately calling "jungle junk" with roots & stuff - apparently a little bit of the wild substrate; on top of which was a blob of relatively fresh moss.

    - I jettisoned the moss and the sponge (after extricating roots ... that was fun) and in all but one case I removed the last vestiges of jungle junk from the roots before mounting the plant on a cork slab with a bit of sphagnum.

    - Question: who, if anyone, leaves the jungle junk on the roots & mounts them up that way vs. cleaning it away from the roots? In some cases it fell off the roots so there wasn't any decision to make, however on a couple I questioned the wisdom of removing it. So on the last plant I left it in place & we'll see what happens. Any thoughts or experiences?

    - All of mine are on cork with a small pad of sphagnum. I've already moved them several times but they're currently in a location that gets very high humidity (80+%), moderate light & moderate temps. The humidity's high enough that the sphagnum dries out very slowly - sometimes not before evening - so I'm beginning to think that they need to dry more completely on a daily cycle. Thoughts? If I need to I can move them to a spot that has higher air movemement so that the sphagnum's essentially dry by evening.

    - I put the Ang. sororium in a pot of very coarse, hard, uniformly graded sand (effective size at least 1-1.5 mm with almost no fines) based on guidance from Hillerman and others. Does anyone else have experience with this plant from Malala?

    Thanks in advance for the guidance. Couple of pics ...
    P4220010_sm.jpg P4220021_sm.jpg P4220017.jpg
     
  4. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Personally, I always completely remount/repot every orchid as soon as I get it, whether it is from Andy's or Malala because having consistency in media and substrates makes it possible for me to predict all my plants needs more uniformly. The only exceptions for me are really sensitive species that are already really well established and would be set-back substantially by disturbing them. That jungle junk (nice term!) is really gross and looks like it will retain much more water at the roots than I want to put up with, so I wash it all away. I went into more detail in this thread.

    This is a tricky equation. I fiddle with this every time the seasons change even under my very controlled conditions. I think much of this has to do with the age of the moss. Good quality NZ Sphagnum starts to change properties after a month or so and at that time I would begin to peel away layers of it until your plants can do with only a thin layer or none at all. After 6 months I would totally remove it from most angraecoids. Some of the thin-rooted species will probably initially benefit from staying moist from one day to the next, but IMO the thicker-rooted species will need to dry off at least once a day (preferably by nightfall). Also, I don't think the sphagnum is a viable long-term medium for most angs. I like coconut fibre because it dries out faster but still provides slower root-drying than no cover at all.

    My sense from my experience is that increasing air movement almost always relative humidity or it reduces the plants ability to benefit from humidity. Of course the flip side of this is root and leaf problems :(

    Dan Newman of Hanging Gardens grows his in osmunda. I potted mine up in some wonderful Japanese pumice that I bought from Napa Valley Orchids. I have potted lithophytic orchids in domestic pumice (equestrian dry stall) with good results but Napa Valley Orchids is having such great root growth using this larger grade Japanese pumice for everything from paphs, bulbos to angraecoids and vandaceous, that I thought it would be great for Ang. sororium and Ang. protensum. Also this larger grade dries out faster than the domestic pumice in my conditions, which is better for me. Pumice is a great medium because it doesn't break down. Repotting is only necessary when old roots build up and retain too much water. The roots don't penetrate pumice and it juts falls away when repotting, making it less traumatic for sensitive roots.
     
  5. Reyna

    Reyna Orchid Obsessed Supporting Member

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    I usually repot / remount my orchids too -- regardless of where they come from. Like Morabeza I have found that having consistency makes my collection much more manageable. And, I have found that most plants aren't really all that established on their mounts or in pots when they arrive--especially young plants.

    So, Malala is no exception. I always get rid of that sponge and all the jungle junk. I do sometimes keep the healthy newer, clearly alive moss. I break it into small pieces and use it instead of sphagnum in bark mixes etc--if I would use sphagnum ordinarily. I don't know that it does any good, but I figure it has come from the same environment, and so far it hasn't done any harm.


    As for sororium, I have posted a picture of mine from Malala last year. It came with 4 leaves and just the lower two roots. I've been really happy with how well it has grown / recovered from import. I have Hillerman's book as well -- and I generally use his angraecoid mix as a starting point. I did NOT however, use sand as he recommends. Mine is in a 6" plastic pot. The mix is fine Rexius firm bark(10 pts), coconut husk (3 pts), perlite (1-2 pts), charcoal (3 pts) , lava rock (1-2 pts) and the shredded Malala moss (1 pt--at most). My proportions are a bit approximate. I generally mix at those proportions, but adjust it until it looks right. And I haven't tried the pumice that Morabeza describes, but that sounds like a good option as well. The bark has worked well for me, but I am always up for trying something new. :)

    As for humidity, I tend to go higher humidity and keep the roots moist for the first month or so. In fact, I usually add a layer of moss to mounts that I will remove once the plant as stabilized a bit. If you leave it on too long, it will rot the roots. I don't do any kind of wet/dry cycle during the first month or so. Honestly, I am trying to keep the little guys alive long enough to get them to start growing. Once I see new root or leaf growth, I will remove some of the sphagnum moss.

    And by all means, please ask more questions and share with us what works for you. The more of us who can grow these angraecoids--and get them through rehab post-import--the more of these amazing flowers will be alive and well in the world. :D
    IMG_0931.JPG
     
  6. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Wow Reyna, your sororium looks super. Brava! :clap:
     
  7. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Did anyone order Angraecum falcifolium? I am so pleased I did. They arrived in surprisingly good health
    5658393815_6153b1cbec_z.jpg
     
  8. mrbreeze

    mrbreeze Anglican Supporting Member

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    Is that one plant??? I ordered one and it is maybe half as nice as one of your stalks. :(
     
  9. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    MrB, I am so glad you got one, but sorry yours wasn't as healthy. You can breathe easier knowing that I ordered two plants and mounted them together.
     
  10. gg68

    gg68 Angraecoid addict

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    In my opinion this orchid looks a bit like some A.conchoglosum I saw in Madagascar...
    The only solution to be sure of its name is to see it bloom...you know what you have to do now!!:D
     
  11. Uluwehi

    Uluwehi angraecoids, dendrobiums and more Supporting Member

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    Gilles, you are right, it does resemble conchoglossum, but the leaves are teeny tiny, only a 1-2,5cm long and 0,5cm wide. It is in spike but I think I won't allow it to flower, I prefer for it to get established before putting energy into blooming.