Perfecting Senor Perfecto

by Colleen Rochette

So as we inch our way into May I will admit that I have been slightly absent. Yes, I will issue my first humble “blog apology.” Sorry I have not been here for you! Rest assured, I have been surrounded by glorious orchids during my short hiatus.

Here in Brooklyn the orchid blooms have faded, but lush green flesh is growing wildly in response to our new found sunshine. Before I begin talking sweet about my Ladies’ Springtime progression, I figured that I would give them a few weeks to progress. Now that they are coming along quite nicely, I will begin to swoon once again.

Laeliocattleya Melecio Huerta “Senor Perfecto”  has been hanging around my home for about 15 months now. When I say that she has been hanging, I mean that she has been faithfully hanging around. This busty, rainbow-hued corsage flower caught my eye at the Philadelphia Flower Show back in March of 2012. Unfortunately, it was not until some months ago that I had started to take orchid care quite seriously. The notion of re-potting any orchid did not exist in my cute little mind until the end of 2012.

This Spring Senor Perfecto had not produced any new growth, nor did she produce any flowers. Upon acquiring a pretty vast knowledge about an orchid’s likings, I had not even thought about what might be going on inside of that pot. Senor Perfecto was doing okay, but there were quite a few brown, dead roots. I cannot even remember what kind of medium she had been festering in all of this time, but I recall being rather displeased once removing her pot. To say the least, she is much more lively today!

LC-Full-Shot-for-WebAfter grooming Senor Perfecto and introducing her to a new airy vanda basket, she has been as snug as a bug in a rug. The new root growth that has taken place over these past 3 months has been mind blowing. Currently, she stands about 23″ tall. She is definitely a big breed!

LC-Front-Roots-for-WEBAll of the roots that are visibly creeping along the edges and out of the basket are newly developed. Most have clung to the raw cut wood and are smiling uncontrollably.

LC-Bottom-Roots-for-WEBThe underside of the Senor Perfecto’s basket is swarming with additional green, healthy, new growth.

LC-Half-Roots-for-WebA smile inducing presence.

Cherry on TopAnd the cherry on top of the sundae?

LC-New-Shoot-for-WebAt the beginning of April, Senor Perfecto sprouted a new pseudobulb. In this photo the new growth is about 3″ tall. As the days pass, it lengthens pretty quickly. I adore the purply-red tinge that swirls around this baby. I suppose this girl just needed a good re-potting!