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Payneham Probus Club: Interest Groups

 

Payneham Probus has an active special interest group focussing on orchid cultivation.

It meets regularly during our refreshment break at each General Meeting. 

Full reports are published in our newsletter - examples are reproduced below.

 


Growing Better Orchids

 


28th August 2018

 

August is an ideal time to repot orchids. ( In fact any cymbidium orchid that is not in flower, will not spike, after May so can be repotted, if necessary!)

I was asked by some members to show them how I repot a cymbidium orchid, which I demonstrated during the morning tea break.

Yes, there are a few tricks to consider:

  • Use a reliable potting mix with solid clean bark – (I use the medium mix.)
  • It is a challenge to remove the plant from the old pot. (I turn the pot upside down and hit the top of the pot onto the table.)
  • Start removing the old mix by working on the bottom centre of the plant, (this spot seems to be ideal to start separating the roots from the bark.)
  • I never know what size pot I need until the roots are clear of the mix.
  • Don’t use too large a pot. (I have several sizes on hand and place the plant into them until I can see, which pot size is best.)
  • Hold the plant in your left hand in the height position you need – and with the right hand start filling the pot with bark. (I explained that sometimes I use a small potting mix just in the top of the pot, because the top dries out quickly and small bark seems to stay damp longer.)
  • Remember to use a label to write the plant name and the date you repotted it, and place the label at the ‘growing’ position to line up with the north pole when you put the plant down on your bench.
  • Any ‘back bulbs’ can also be repotted as in about 4 years these will flower for you – (put potting mix into a small pot, place the bulb upside down in the mix for a few days to form a callous at the end, them reposition the bulb and be patient waiting for a new shoot!)

 

A couple of back bulbs were donated to members to try their luck.

Next month I will answer orchid questions and bring in more orchids in flower.

 


25th July 2018

Thank you to the nine members who supported me by attending our regular morning tea get together!

I started off by tabling two documents that our friend Sophie Thomson prepared in the last two Sunday Advertiser articles about pruning roses.

I explained why we delay the pruning of them, as it has been so cold, lately.

The suggestion was that by the end of August, all roses should be pruned – even if they still had flowers - also make sure that you remove and collect all of their leaves, to avoid getting black spot and other nasties.

We then went on to firstly explain that the white orchid flowers are called a decorative form, which I achieve by hanging fishing sinkers from the spikes to keep the spike below the top of the pot. ( This orchid was bred at Reynella, in South Australia.)

This small orchid plant needs a less deep pot, because the roots are smaller – and you don’t want to waste potting mix.

With these small orchids as the plant gets larger, we try not to divide them too much as they look better with lots of spikes in the one container – but you need to watch the centre of the plant where the old bulbs are, because they can start to rot and you can loose the whole plant.

The second plant has an upright green spiking habit which I achieved by staking it very early, when the buds were seen, but no flowers were open yet.

It is a good idea to bring them under cover to protect the flowers from the rain and stops the sun burn on the flowers. (particularly for the green and white coloured cymbidiums.)

Next month I intend to bring in a couple of orchids and demonstrate how I repot or divide them, my way.

 


26th June 2018

It is cymbidium orchid flowering time! and with care, one can get a good flowering that lasts for a couple of months.

I was very pleased to see eight members come to the meeting room, where I discussed details about the cymbidium orchids that I had brought in.

One of the plants that you see in the photo is a tall spike from a species, that flowers in winter, (one of the early flowering type)- it had a different flower shape and colour - as well as one of the few which has a perfume. I explained that I had a piece of this orchid for over 30 years which shows what you can do to have it flower each year – the flowers have lasted over 6 weeks.

I need to repot it when the flowers have started to wilt – (it looks like I will divide the plant into 2 pieces but won’t know that until I remove all of the potting mix.)

The second red coloured cymbidium is called a hybrid with medium size flowers and is one of the easier types to flower regularly.

Also at the morning tea meeting, I spoke about the importance of using a stake to help keep the spike upright – it looks better that way, if this type of orchid, naturally ‘wants’ to display itself.

There are other orchids that display themselves arching, or decorative, (where they hang down naturally, below the top of the pot.)

 

Next month I hope to bring in a decorative type of orchid and explain how I got it do this.

 


22nd May 2018

Another warning was given about the citrus gall wasp. I found more of them on my grape fruit tree – and cut them off and put them into my green bin!

For the May Probus morning tea session, I brought in five orchid plants from the Zygopetalum, (pronounced – zy - go – PET – a- lum) group. There were two species with different coloured lips, included in the group

These orchids are renowned for their sweet perfume and a purple coloured lip

and tend to flower in Autumn.

They need to be hung high in the shade house and if they get plenty of air movement, will not have badly darkened marks on their leaves.

 

For the cymbidium growers, now is the time to look after your orchid spikes – bring them in under cover, to protect the flowers from rain damage – also keep an eye out for those caterpillars and snails.

Next month we will look at the progress of the species native orchids, the cymbidiums and answer any other questions.

 


24th April 2018

At the April Probus meeting I discussed with all members that it is time to look at your citrus trees for the citrus gall wasp again. Don Looker told me that there are small ‘nests’ appearing on the new growths which can be removed, or ‘painted’ with a glue, or similar.

I mentioned that it is time to prune or train horizontally, any climbing roses now, but because of the late season, pruning the bush type roses can wait until late July, but you can remove the ‘spent’ roses but don’t cut too much off yet as you may still get some flowers before winter.

Some orchids brought in to the meeting included, Cattleya , a species cymbidium, and an encyclia. More detailed advice was given to members who attended the morning tea session on orchids – including tricks about how to repot them.

Attending this meeting included Jacqui Berry, Sara Kennedy, Libby Kosmala, Sylvia Williams and Janine Keulen.

We spoke about the need to reduce the temperature to get spikes on the moth orchid – now is an ideal time of year to try this, because the night temperatures are lower.

 Libby bought in her moth orchid – and I explained that the moss that the plant is growing in, needs to be replaced as it holds too much moisture and can rot the roots. Also, a new flower spike will eventually appear between the bottom leaf and the stem of the plant, and looks different to a root. I will repot the moth orchid for Libby and bring it in, next month.

Next month we will continue to discuss how to prepare the Cymbidium orchids and answer any other orchid questions!


27th March 2018

At the morning tea break, Jacqui Berry, Sara Kennedy, Nell Kandelaars, Sylvia Williams and I

discussed how to culture the Cymbidium orchids at this time of year.

The focus was on being able to test, if there was a spike on the new growth, or just a shoot. (by carefully squeezing the top of the growth, if it is in spike, you can feel the starting of the spike, as it feels like a ‘hard’ growth)

Also, each member practiced how to tie the spike to a stake with a twisty tie,

The need to have no nitrogen in the fertiliser at this stage, was stressed, to encourage more orchid spikes.

Next month we will again concentrate on the culture of Cymbidium orchids.

 


27th February 2018

At the February Probus meeting I discussed with members that it is important to repot the species of orchid that several members had at home, from last year. If you can’t attend the morning tea get together – then if you have a pot of these orchids, you need to keep them out in the open air and water them once a week. Also I asked members who have a ‘moth’ orchid at home, to think about an area in their home with a room that will be about 10 degrees cooler during April. During the morning tea break, Sara Kennedy, Nell Kandelaars, Jacqui Berry, Rick and Leila Ziemek – all assisted in repotting the species tubers of Serapias lingua. Jacqui had brought in her pot of tubers from last year so she led the discussion and action to remove all the material from the orchid pot, carefully find all of the tubers, then fill the pot up again with the ‘old’ potting mix and place the tubers around the inside rim of the pot – (which took about 10 tubers.) Sara and Rick have their pots at home to conduct this task, while Nell was given her new pot full to take home and get them to flower

 


23rd January 2018

At our January meeting I brought in one of the newest types of moth orchids that does not have the usual single colour – but splashes of reddish markings on the flowers. I suggested that you can boast to your friends when seeing his type by declaring that you know they are called Harlequin types!

A secret of getting moth orchids to flower is to reduce temperature by about 10 degrees for about a month.

I usually do this in April and get flowers, from September – the flowers last for months.

This particular plant did flower for me in May – but I did not like how it formed, so I cut the spike off.

To my surprise – it flowered again in December and lasted for our January meeting.

(Moth orchids are one of few types that you can control, when you want them to flower (by the method I described above) Most other orchids will flower only once, predictably during a certain month, each year.)

It’s that time of year again when we can continue the Payneham Probus Club’s morning tea orchid group.

Our first get together will be on February 27th.

It is an important time for you to repot your orchid you have at home. It may be looking, ‘none  existent’ at the moment – but believe me, the little tubers are starting to sprout and need help to get them set up to flower in September.

Please bring your orchid pot our next meeting so that I can help you admire your efforts and success this September

 


24th October 2017

During the morning tea breaks at monthly meetings of the Payneham Probus Club, Richard Fishlock was given permission to conduct a group of interested members, to learn more about the best culture of their orchids.

Yes, cymbidium orchids were well known, and members present had basic knowledge on how to flower them.

But what about these orchids now coming into shopping centres called, Phalaenopsis or the ‘moth orchid’? They look spectacular but when do you remove the flower spike and more importantly, can you re flower them in your home? – or do you just throw them away and buy another one?

Richard Fishlock has four members in the Club that he calls his ‘apprentices’ who have been given some basic skills to re flower their plant, (at our monthly tea break meetings, progress reports are shared.)

As more members start purchasing or are given this orchid as a present, the interest is expected to increase.

Topics covered include recommended:

Size of pot, potting mix, repotting time and method, watering, fertilizing, and the special tips on getting the moth orchid to re flower, in their home.


23rd May 2017

There was insufficient time during a very heavy scheduled agenda in May, for me to discuss with all Members, the orchids that I had brought in.

However, during the morning tea break in the meeting room, I spoke about the understanding that some orchids are in nature, deciduous.

This means that when the leaves ‘disappear’, you don’t throw the whole plant away – like some people do!

That in a few months time these orchids – after their dormant period, start to show their growth again. The orchid was called Stenaglottis longifolia.

There was a brief mention that most orchids either grow in pots or on trees in bark, (i.e. epiphytic) or they naturally grow in the ground, (i.e. terrestrial)

One orchid that I brought in is happy being tied to a piece of fibre and flowers every year if enough sun light is available. This orchid was called an Oncidium.

Next month, Silvia is bringing in one of her cymbidium orchid plants and I will demonstrate how it should be divided or repotted. It should be fun – all members are welcome to join me at the next month morning tea break in the meeting room.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


18th April 2017

At the beginning of the April monthly meeting, two orchids in the ‘Cluster’ Cattleya group, were tabled.

There was some brief description about the two species orchids that were introduced to produce more that eight orchid flowers, which qualify for the Cluster class.


During the morning tea break, eight members met in the Meeting room.

  • We discussed details about repotting and the correct positioning of a cattleya orchid plant, in the pot.
  • A tip about how to get the moth orchid to flower, was detailed.
  • The topic then went to tips for the Cymbidium orchids – checking for spikes, using accepted staking
     methods and the important trick to have the growing part of the orchid always facing the same direction, i.e. facing North during the winter months to take full advantage of the sun’s heat in winter.

 


 

28th March 2017

The group meets for discussion during the morning tea break on each meeting day to discuss various aspects of orchid growing.


During the March monthly meeting, Plan A was to show a special hybrid orchid but it was spoilt by the hot weather which affected the flowers on

the spike.

Plan B was to see a cattleya called Wedding Song ‘Virgin’ with two clear white flowers, of good shape and quite a strong perfume. As the name implies, - many years ago it was popular for the Bride on her wedding day.

In the class during the morning tea break a plant of Lc Chit Chat ‘Tangerine’ was demonstrated and divided into two plants. Then the members repotted the pieces thems
elves and took them home to flower in about two years time.

Special mention was made that these orchids are ‘forward growing’ types so you need to place them in the ‘back’ of the pot, not the centre, so that the new growths can move forward in the potting mix. Also a ‘u’ shaped piece of round aluminium rod was used to help keep the plant firmly in the medium size potting mix.

All being well we will see another different orchid called an Oncidium, will be presented.


28th February 2017

Good reports coming from Kate Gater and Sylvia Williams about the progress with their moth orchids, was encouraging.

The orchid of the month on display for members at our February meeting was an Encyclia (en- SYK -lee-ah) alatum, a species from Guatemala.

The large single plant in a large pot is over 30 years old and displayed eight upright spikes with flowers having a strong fragrance.

During the morning tea break, in the small meeting room, Janine Keulen, Sylvia Williams and Jacqui Berry, placed small species Serapias lingua tubers into a pot containing some potting mix and original old potting mix which has a special fungus, to help produce the flowers in Spring. They each took home their pot of orchids to see if they can flower them later in the year.


22nd November 2016

Early in the November Probus Club meeting, I discussed details about the sarcochilus (pronounced sar – ko – KYE- lus). There were five different coloured flowers within their small pots. I explained that the white coloured flowers were the first type found in nature – many years later, a pink form was discovered. With hybridising, we now find larger flowers and striped forms as well as a much deeper red colour than the species parent.

                                           A Group of  Sarcochilus Hybrids


At the morning tea break, Sylvia Williams brought in her moth orchid with three spikes of white flowers – This is an excellent result for Sylvia who is growing her orchid, ‘ inside’.

I demonstrated and explained how to remove the spikes, then the plant from the pot, followed by removal of old roots and potting mix and the placement into the appropriately sized new pot. Medium sized bark was placed into the base of the pot, then the plant went in followed by some smaller size bark and finally, some cocoa peat on the top.

Sylvia will place her pot once a week only into warm water for about three minutes and mist the leaves with a sprayer, maybe every morning during summer.

Now Kate Gater who also has just been given her moth orchid, will have some idea about how she repots her plant soon.

Sarah Kennedy asked about repotting her Cymbidiums – because it is late now and the roots are growing, I suggested that she wait until after May 2017. Any Cymbidium that does not have a spike visible by then, can have a repot.

There will not be any more ‘classes’ until February 2017.

At the April Probus meeting I discussed with all members that it is time to look at your citrus trees for the citrus gall wasp again. Don Looker told me that there are small ‘nests’ appearing on the new growths which can be removed, or ‘painted’ with a glue, or similar.

I mentioned that it is time to prune or train horizontally, any climbing roses now, but because of the late season, pruning the bush type roses can wait until late July, but you can remove the ‘spent’ roses but don’t cut too much off yet as you                                                        may still get some flowers before winter.

                                                            Some orchids brought in to the meeting included, Cattleya , a species                                                                         cymbidium, and an encyclia. More detailed advice was given to members who                                                             attended the morning tea session on orchids – including tricks about how to                                                 repot them.

                                                            Attending this meeting included Jacqui Berry, Sara Kennedy, Libby Kosmala,                                                             Sylvia Williams and Janine Keulen.

                                                            We spoke about the need to reduce the temperature to get spikes on the moth                                                             orchid – now is an ideal time of year to try this, because the night temperatures                                                             are lower.

                                                            Libby bought in her moth orchid – and I explained that the moss that the plant is growing in, needs to be replaced as it holds too much moisture and can rot the roots.

Also, a new flower spike will eventually appear between the bottom leaf and the stem of the plant, and looks different to a root. I will repot the moth orchid for Libby and bring it in, next month.

Next month we will continue to discuss how to prepare the Cymbidium orchids and answer any other orchid questions!