Happy Tails, Crappy Dots

by Colleen Rochette

It feels like minute moments have passed since I mounted my Dendrobium lindleyi onto her new cork slab. I believe that she made her transition on February 23rd? Days later, little Lindleyi was shooting spikes like a porcupine. Despite the large quantity of rotten roots that were removed, she was truly happy.

Presently, three large spikes have emerged from the sides of her pseudobulbs. Unlike our other orchid friends, the spikes do not appear at the base of the pseudobulbs or from a leafy crevice. Yeah, I think that this is so neat! Over the last few days I have been watching these spikes carry on and it seems as if they are growing about a half an inch a day.

Luckily, there are also a few additional ‘nubs’ on the sides of some other pseudobulbs, but it is hard to tell if these have previously bloomed or if they will be fruitful this season. These particular pseudobulbs look rather young and still have their leaves, so I am hoping for the latter!

IMG_5852In the photo above, the largest spike is emerging from the top of the orchid. You can also sneak a peek at the middle spike. The pale magenta coloring is quite beautiful and the buds are so teeny-tiny! I am also smitten with the paper that wraps so tightly around each pseudobulb.

IMG_5855A close-up of the middle spike, along with a smaller one that is emerging from the side of the lower left pseudobulb.

Some additional bits of Chilean 5 star sphagnum have also been tucked around the base of the orchid. This medium is so light, fresh and fluffy! Because Lindleyi is mounted, she dries out very quickly from the air circulation in my growing area. The sphagnum helps keep her a little more humid throughout the day as her mount dries.

IMG_5868Unfortunately, during the happy-spike celebration, I discovered a few black spots on Lindleyi’s leaves. Panic did set in a little; I had never noticed these before. After sorting through some initial photos, I came across the spots. They had been present the entire time.

Hoping that these discolored dents were from over exposure to the sun, I searched a few orchid forums for clues. Of course, I could not find a clear answer; I became worried that it may be fungus.

Eventually I examined all of my other orchids, but these spots did not appear anywhere else.  Okay, so I would rather be safe than sorry. At this point it was 1:00AM. This could definitely wait until morning.

Upon rising, I treated Lindleyi with Physan 20. I mixed the solution as directed, about 2 teaspoons per gallon of water and then I applied it to the leaves with gloved hands. The instructions called for a spray application, but considering that I did not have an extra spray bottle on hand, this seemed sufficient. I also treated a few small black dots on my new Zygopetalum. This was probably nothing to worry about, but hey, both ladies received a deep, flower-educing massage.