Part three of orchids given an award of garden merit

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Part three of orchids given an award of garden merit
The
Orchid Review
Orchids given an
Award of Garden Merit
Liz Johnson continues this regular series profiling the outstanding
tropical, temperate and hardy orchids that have been given an
Award of Garden Merit by the RHS Orchid Committee
RHS / Sarah Cuttle
part three
Paphiopedilum Pinocchio on the Vacherot
& Lecoufle display at this year’s RHS
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
1 ➤
September 2013
161
The
Orchid Review
AGM Orchids
T
occasionally longer.
Paphiopedilum Pinocchio grows best
in intermediate temperatures with days
around 21°c, and winter night time
temperatures down to 16°c. Good,
indirect light is essential. When grown
as a houseplant place near, or in, an
east- or west-facing window ensuring
the plant is not subjected to direct
sunlight. If grown in a conservatory,
shading will be needed. This plant
thrives in a moist atmosphere and
weekly misting in the summer could
be beneficial, taking care that water
does not lodge between the leaves or
in the centre of the plant. Water
freely while the plant is in growth,
keeping the growing medium just
moist but not wet. Fertilize regularly
and repot annually in spring using a
well-aerated, free-draining peat or
sphagnum moss mix. Plants can be
divided when they have six or more
Sarah Forsyth
Sarah Forsyth
2
Paphiopedilum Pinocchio plants
for sale from Vacherot &
Lecoufle at the Hampton
Court Palace Flower Show
Paphiopedilum Pinocchio 1 2
The parents of this grex are Paphiopedilum glaucophyllum x P. primulinum.
It was made and registered by Marcel
Lecoufle in 1992. This attractive
primary hybrid has flowers of an
unusual colour combination of rosy
pinks, yellows and green. It is easy to
grow, and makes a good houseplant,
flowering sequentially. It can be in
bloom for six to nine months,
3
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Oncostele Wildcat ‘Bloodshot’
on Bournemouth Orchid
Society’s display at the
2013 Malvern Orchid Show
4
Oncostele Wildcat ‘Bloodshot’ has
particularly rich, ruby red colouration
September 2013
Paphiopedilum
Pinocchio flowers
sequentially, and
can be in bloom for
six to nine months,
occasionally more
growths, although some growers do it
sooner. Each division can be a single
growth, in which case a plant will have
to make a new growth before a flower
spike is produced.
Oncostele Wildcat 3 4 5
The parents of this grex are
Oncostele Rustic Bridge x Oncidium
(syn. Odontocidium) Crowborough
(1965). It was made and registered in
Sarah Forsyth
Sarah Forsyth
he orchids awarded an
AGM, and described here in
Part 3 of this series, require a
variety of growing conditions. Among
them there should be something for
everyone. All are robust plants which
the amateur should be able to grow
and reflower. Choosing the right plant
for the available conditions is the most
important first step when beginning,
or expanding, a collection of orchids.
Oncostele Wildcat with an attractive
balance of gold and red markings, on
East Midlands Orchid Society’s display
at the 2013 Malvern Orchid Show
September 2013
5
1992 by the Rod McLellan Co, USA.
For a number of years it was known
as Colmanara Wildcat, and can still
sometimes be found labelled as such.
It can also be found under the
commercial name “Cambria” in
supermarkets and large DIY stores.
Oncostele Wildcat is an extremely
successful hybrid and can be found
in many different colour variations
from ruby-red to yellow with brown
markings. Wildcat can be grown
successfully as a houseplant throughout the UK, but struggles in more
tropical climates due to the coolgrowing Oncidium (syn. Odontoglossum)
in its background parentage.
Flowering usually takes place in
spring or early summer, and the
blooms can remain in good condition
for more than two months.
Grow it in day temperatures up
to a maximum of 20°c, with nights
not below 13°c. It will struggle if
temperatures rise above 25°c. Give
the plant good light levels, protecting
it from direct sunlight. Water
thoroughly when the growing
medium is almost dry and allow to
drain. A buoyant atmosphere with
good humidity and air movement
would be beneficial. Decrease the
frequency of watering as temperatures drop. Fertilize regularly when
in growth. Repot when pot bound,
usually every two years, when the new
growth is about 5–8cm tall.
Phalaenopsis Brother Little
Amaglad 6 7
The parents of this grex are
Phalaenopsis Leyte Stuart x P. Ho’s
Amaglad. It is one of the highly
successful Phalaenopsis hybrids
bred by the Brother orchid nursery
in Taiwan, and was registered by
Brother in 1995. It is a floriferous
grex, having small, 4 to 5cm, but
extremely long-lasting, pink flowers.
Plants are usually available with two
➤
flower stems, and around 45cm in
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The
Orchid Review
AGM Orchids
Phalaenopsis Brother
Little Amaglad
6
7
height (including pot) so are a suitable
for many places around the home.
Phalaenopsis make ideal houseplants
and have become the biggest seller in
this market in the UK, and around
the world, in the last five or so years.
It was imperative that the Orchid
Committee should seek out and
recommend plants of this genus
as Phalaenopsis are often the starting
point for future orchid hobby growers.
The flowers may look delicate but
they are quite robust, often remaining
in good condition for more than three
months. The plants do not have an
annual rhythm and inflorescences
may appear in any season. Reflowering usually happens within the year,
given the right conditions.
164
When grown in the warm, above
20°c, and in indirect light, this plant
requires thorough watering only
when it is practically dried out. It can
put up with quite a lot of neglect but
should never be left to sit in water.
Good husbandry would include
regular fertilizing and repotting every
other year, but many Phalaenopsis
appear to survive without repotting
and on a diet of tap water only. The
higher the temperature, the higher
the humidity required. Conversely,
when grown at a lower temperature
humidity levels should be lower.
Although a cooler spell can trigger
production of a flower spike in a
reluctant plant, if kept in an intermediate temperature rather than a
warm one, below 18°c, the plant will
just tick over and not produce flowers.
Repot every other year in spring
when not in flower, primarily to
replace the bark-based compost
which will have begun to break down.
A very open bark mix is suitable for
this epiphyte.
Phalaenopsis Brother Pico
Sweetheart 8 9
This reliable Taiwanese hybrid was
also made by Brother, and registered
in 1998. Its parentage is Phalaenopsis
Be Tris x P. Ho’s Amaglad and it has
the same pollen parent as P. Brother
Little Amaglad. It also carries masses
of 5 x 5cm flowers, this time with a
white base, pink centre and strong,
September 2013
8
deep pink to red lip. Again, it is an
ideal houseplant and one of the most
suitable orchids for a beginner.
Care and cultivation is the same
as for P. Brother Little Amaglad.
Brassia Eternal Wind 10 11
The parents of this grex are Brassia
Bracdiana x Brassia Rex. It was made
and registered in 1993 by Sato orchid
nursery in Hawaii. It has recently
gained in popularity as a pot plant and
its cultural requirements make it an
ideal next step from the Phalaenopsis.
Members of the Brassia genus are
commonly called spider orchids. The
most well-known is Brassia Rex, which
is the pollen parent of B. Eternal Wind.
Brassia Rex puts on an impressive
display when in flower, but the large
size of the inflorescences make it
unsuitable as a houseplant. Brassia
Eternal Wind also produces striking
September 2013
RHS / Tim Sandall
Phalaenopsis do not have an annual rhythm and inflorescences
may appear in any season, with plants reflowering within a year
Phalaenopsis Brother
Pico Sweetheart
RHS / Tim Sandall
Johan Hermans
Johan Hermans
Phalaenopsis Brother
Little Amaglad
Phalaenopsis Brother
Pico Sweetheart
9
flowers, but is a more compact and
manageable plant.
Grow it in day temperatures up to
29°c (minimum 18°c), and nights not
lower than 13°c. Good, indirect light
is essential. If grown as a houseplant
an east- or west-facing window is
best, but ensure the plant is not
subjected to direct sunlight.
In the summer, when temperatures
are high, water frequently and never
allow the plant to dry out completely.
Decrease watering frequency as
temperatures drop and light levels
reduce. If temperatures fall below
11°c, stop watering. Gradually
increase watering in the spring as
temperatures rise, to encourage new
growth. Humidity is important to the
successful growing of this family of
orchids. Lack of humidity can result
in the shrivelling of pseudobulbs.
Light misting in the summer can
be advantageous. If grown in the
glasshouse, daily damping down
is advisable in high temperatures.
Both misting and damping down
should be carried out in the morning. ➤
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Orchid Review
AGM Orchids
Sarah Forsyth
10
Brassia Eternal Wind
on the McBeans Orchids
stand at the 2013 RHS
Chelsea Flower Show
166
11
September 2013
Pterostylis curta 14 15
This colony-forming terrestrial
species is a native of Australia, and
is usually found near streams in open
forests from New Caledonia to east
and southeast Australia. The species
was discovered by Robert Brown near
Sydney and described by him in his
Prodromus Florae Novae Hollandiae in
1810. Its common name is the blunt
greenhood, which is descriptive of
the shape of the flower.
Pterostylis curta is a robust plant,
easy to grow and increase. It is best
grown as a colony in a large, half-pot.
Plants usually flower at the same
time, one bloom per stem, very
occasionally two, and last about one
month in good condition. This species
can be grown in an unheated, frostfree greenhouse, or alpine house, or
September 2013
Bletilla striata is
named for its striped lip
12
13
Bletilla striata looks
good when grown in a
large colony outdoors
167
Jeff Hutchings
Sarah Forsyth
Brassia Eternal Wind ‘Summer
Dream’ on the Vacherot &
Lecoufle stand at the 2013 RHS
Hampton Court Palace Flower Show
Bletilla striata 12 13
This terrestrial is found from China
to Japan and was discovered by Carl
Thunberg. He described the plant
in 1784 as Limodorum striatum. It was
subsequently transferred to Bletilla
by Reichenbach in 1878. Its common
name is the Chinese ground orchid.
The plants can reach 60cm in height.
Their fragrant flowers are usually a
vivid rose-pink to magenta, but can
be found in shades of lavender to
purple. There is also a white form
which is not quite as vigorous.
Although it can be grown indoors,
Bletilla striata is hardy and makes a
good garden plant. Choose a sheltered
spot, preferably away from direct
midday sun. The soil should be free
draining but capable of holding some
moisture. A heavy, impacted clay soil
will need lightening with grit dug in
to the planting hole. Container grown
plants should be transferred carefully
into position, disturbing the roots as
little as possible. Alternatively, plant
the corm-like pseudobulbs in autumn,
about 5cm deep. In colder areas
where temperatures can fall to -8°c,
plant more deeply, 10–15cm.
In spring the flower stems appear
from inside the young shoots. Each
spike can produce up to 10 blooms.
Once the shoots appear water freely
and feed with a balanced garden
fertilizer. After flowering, the leaves
die down for winter, and the plants
can be left in the ground all year round.
Bletilla striata can also can be grown
on a cool windowsill indoors, or in an
alpine house in a large pot with very
good drainage. Plant pseudobulbs
in autumn, after the leaves have died
down, or in early spring before new
growth emerges. Temperatures
should be kept below 18°c, with cool
nights. Provide good light when grown
indoors; an east-facing window is fine.
Water the compost carefully from
the top when it is almost dry and
allow to drain. Water freely when the
flower stems appear but do not let the
pot stand in water for more than 10
minutes at a time. Using a quarter
strength general garden fertilizer, start
feeding after flowering and continue
until the leaves begin to die down.
Allow a cold rest period over winter
but water very occasionally to prevent
the pseudobulbs shrivelling.
Repotting is usually carried out
every year to freshen the compost.
Bletilla striata is fairly tolerant of most
free-draining composts, for example
50% John Innes to 50% horticultural
grit, or similar. When large enough
plants can be divided like other bulbs.
RHS / Tim Sandall
Feed regularly all year round with an
appropriate orchid fertilizer.
Repot about every two or three
years when the plant starts to overhang
its pot. This is best done in spring when
new growth appears, and preferably
before new roots start to grow. Bark
is often used as a growing medium
but various mixtures, including those
made with coconut chips, can be used
successfully as long as the result is a
very free-draining mix.
The
Orchid Review
on a cool windowsill. It enjoys good
light levels but not direct sunlight,
and kept cool in the day with night
temperatures of around 8–10°c,
although it can go lower for short
periods without harm.
In summer, plant the small dormant
tubers deeply (5–10cm) in a very open
mix with at least 20% perlite. They can
be grown in either organic or soil-less
mixes, but the compost must be freedraining to avoid root rot. When the
growth point emerges start watering,
sparingly at first to avoid rotting the
tubers. Increase the frequency when
the leaves unfurl. Once in growth,
water frequently as plants must not
dry out at this time. Feed with an
orchid fertilizer at half strength.
Reduce watering after flowering
when the leaves start to yellow and
plants begin to go dormant.
Dormancy will vary according to
conditions but is usually about two to
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Pterostylis curta can
be grown in a frostfree greenhouse,
alpine house or on
a cool windowsill
three months. Keep the tubers warm
and dry but not desiccated, in temperatures of 20–25°c. A very occasional
misting on the top of the compost
will keep the tubers from shrivelling.
Pterostylis multiply by producing
new tubers as they go dormant. Each
old tuber can produce three to five
new tubers. These should be potted
up during the dormant period. Small
tubers can be potted together in a
half-pot or pan to grow on. Some
growers store tubers in bags before
replanting, but care is needed to keep
15
them both warm and dry but not
completely dried out. They will need
repotting before root growth appears.
Coelogyne cristata 16 17
Nathaniel Wallich collected Coelogyne
cristata in Nepal, and Lindley described
it in 1824. It is found in the lower,
eastern Himalayas, Vietnam and
Bangladesh, usually at 1,500m to
2,300m in cool, moist areas. It flowers
in spring before the snow begins to
melt. Joseph Hooker wrote in his
Himalayan Journals (1854), while in
Darjeeling, that some timber trees
‘were literally clothed for yards with a
continuous garment of epiphytes, one
mass of blossoms, especially the white
Orchids Caelogynes, which bloom in a
profuse manner, whitening their
trunks like snow’.
Coelogyne cristata grows epiphytically
on trees, and occasionally lithophytically on rocks. Although it is often
September 2013
found in exposed places, the heavy
cloud cover of summer provides
protection from the sun. It is one
of the largest-flowered species in the
genus, and can eventually form a very
large clump with several hundred
flowers on pendulous racemes. As a
small, young plant it can be grown as
a houseplant that does not need much
heat, nor much attention in winter.
Young plants can be grown either
in a pot or a slatted basket. Flowering
may occur when the plant is small.
Each stem can produce a drooping
spray of four or five fragrant flowers.
It grows best in temperatures around
18°c with nights not falling below
10°c. Although C. cristata can tolerate
colder temperatures for short periods,
in these conditions care must be
taken to keep plants on the dry side
to prevent damage. An east-facing
window is fine as long as the plant
is kept away from full sunlight.
Water liberally when new growth
emerges from the base of the plant
but always drain thoroughly to avoid
rotting the young shoots. Good humidity and air movement are essential to
prevent the leaf tips from browning.
If the plant is large enough for a
hanging basket, regular misting in the
morning is beneficial. Feed regularly
while in active growth and allow a
cool rest period in winter, watering
about every three weeks. Once established, plants can grow quite rapidly
but repot only when really necessary
as C. cristata resents disturbance. n
16
Coelogyne
cristata at the
2013 Asia Pacific
Orchid Conference
Malcolm White
Pterostylis curta plants were late to bloom
this year, and this one was still in bud at the
Alpine Garden Society show on 26 March
RHS / Tim Sandall
Pterostyllis curta is known
as blunt greenhood
in Australia
Ian Chalmers
Sarah Forsyth
AGM Orchids
Liz Johnson is a Vice Chairman
of the RHS Orchid Committee, and
owns McBean’s Orchids nursery
in Cooksbridge, East Sussex.
AGM List &
RHS Hardiness ratings
See the full list of orchids awarded an
AGM by the RHS Orchid Committee,
and the RHS Hardiness Ratings, in part
1 of this series, March 2013, p34–41.
September 2013
Coelogyne
cristata
is known as
the crested
Coelogyne because
of the keels on the lip
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