Friday, November 09, 2007

A Perfect Flower

Before i left for a 2 week vacation ago, this orchid was budding and sending out a long inflorescence. It is the largest inflorescence that it ever had. Fortunately, i was able to have a friend who's an expert plant babysitter. Under tender loving care; under bright indirect light, careful watering, voila: the flowers of Habenaria lindleyana!

This is a seasonal terrestial orchid from thailand and maybe found in other neighboring countries of indochina. After flowering, the inflorescence and leaves will slowly yellow and die. Meantime watering should be reduced correspondingly. A underground tuber will form in time and if the plant is vigorous, mature and robust... with luck maybe one can get 1 large or 2 tubers. It is important that a dry rest is given; tubers can remain in the potting mix with a dribble of water weekly or twice a month. Normally, the tuber will wake up and develop a growing tip after about 3 months of dormancy not very differerent from onions left on in the kitchen. The active life cycle starts here... regular watering, feeding and pest control etc. Light regular feeding with higher P, K is important to ensure vigorous and active growth. Interestingly, i find that this habenaria enjoys a sandy clay mix which retains moisture.

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