Monday, November 28, 2011

amazing November blooms!

This is the most amazing thing, a large-flowered variety blooming in late November! This bloom and four other buds to bloom this upcoming week. This is "Waikiki Rainbow" and it has really gone wild with blossoms this year; simply incredible!!! Argus and Camillo Schneider are also blooming (Argus is another one that never stops blooming).

Friday, November 18, 2011

Camillo Schneider

Not too exciting as epi flowers go, but hey, blooming at Thanksgiving makes it extra special.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Repotting into a hanging basket

I've been repotting a few at at a time. I don't worry about the time of year, if they look potbound then it is time to move up. Of course, if your plant is in bud or bloom then wait until after the show is over. This plant was started from a cutting two years ago. It was slow to get started, but now is getting MONSTROUSLY huge for it's little 3" pot. Let's move it up!
Select a bigger pot. I've found that epies will expand to fit the pot you put them in, particularly when they have such a thick root ball as this plant does. So not too small, or you will have to repot again really soon. If you select a BIG pot, you'll have a HUGE plant in no time. That's not always good! I don't have space for big plants so I don't like to use bigger than an 8" pot. This plant has some scale insects noted just above the soil line, so I will also treat with a systemic insecticide. If you do use an insecticide then remember to put the plant somewhere out of the reach of small children and pets. Place plant in new pot, get your favorite potting mixture, tamp it around the root ball, include a tag with the name of the plant, add a hanger et VOILA ready to hang, grow and hopefully bloom next spring. Pretty simple! Potting up is easy, the tough job is getting the cutting established and growing. I'll do a post on that someday soon.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Trials and tribulations

This has been a terrible year for pests, I had green worms that did a lot of damage, as well as grasshoppers. There have been possums rambling through the epi area at night. Also, I have a plant with rust that appears and kills the affected branch within a day or two; the rust keeps spreading despite my best efforts. Tried dusting with cinnamon today, may just have to toss the whole thing. I moved a couple of plants, and broke branches on both, then I noticed "Princess Linda" had a sunburned branch, so had to move it as well, tried hanging a plant on the Bauhinia tree the past week, and today when I watered the plant the branch broke on the tree!! Just one dern pot was too much. Next on the agenda is getting out to Lowe's to get materials to build a lath house, that should be interesting to attempt, hopefully will have better luck this spring with everything. No place for all these plants, most of them are growing like weeds.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


I don't think I posted any photos of this one when it bloomed last spring. So, better late than never!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Harald Knebel" today

Sure likes to bloom offseason. Also have "Camillo Schneider" with about a half-dozen buds!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ESA meeting - September auction

Randy Buck talks about the food potential of cacti including epiphyllums. Brought in some tasty dishes featuring cactus.

Saturday, August 27, 2011


I've put off repotting too long! Today it will be probably over 105 degrees again, but it's not good to put off repotting, I try to do it as needed, regardless of the weather.
Today we will repot two plants that are potbound and need to move up to a bigger pot. Currently they are in 3" pots and are falling over! Both of these plants have nice upright growth at this time, so they are good candidates for being staked or tied up. I'm going to put them into 6" clay pots and stake them up.

"Jungle Night" on the left, "Arturo" on the right

You can pot up all your epis in hanging baskets and they will love it, but sometimes you run out of room for hanging  plants (:~0)  so you may need to consider keeping some plants in pots and staking them upright. That way you can just stand them on a table. For me, clay pots are good to use for staked plants because they are heavy and don't tend to tip over easily, but you can use plastic pots if you prefer. Plastic doesn't break when it falls over and retains more moisture. You will need to water clay pots more often than plastic pots because they dry out more frequently. 
First, gather your supplies:

  In addition to your pot, you will need some sort of stake. I found these bamboo U-loops at the 99 cent store, but you can also use tomato cages. You'll also need jute, twine or some sort of floral plastic tying material. I found the green plastic tape at Sunshine Growers' Nursery.  
You will need a bag of your favorite potting soil. I use this mix straight from the bag. You can also use any potting mix designed for terrestrial orchids, or any good quality commercial potting soil to which you must add perlite or ground bark for better drainage.

Gently knock the plant out of its pot, being careful not to disturb the root ball. I find it is easier to remove the root ball intact if you water the plant first. Once I tried to remove a plant with a dry root ball, and broke off almost all the roots! OH NO! That set the plant growth back quite a bit, but oh, well, they will survive. These are hardy plants! 

"Jungle Night"


Next place a pebble over the drainage hole or holes in your pot, then put a bit of potting mix into the bottom of the pot. Set the plant into the pot.
You may need an assistant to hold the plant upright, or you will need to temporarily prop it up with whatever you can find:

"Jungle Night"
Fill in around the rootball with your nice fresh potting soil, and tamp down gently but firmly. You want to pack it so the plant stays upright, but not so  tightly that the soil won't drain easily when watered.
Next, apply your stakes or cage. Don't wait until later, do it now! Once the plant starts to get a lot of new growth it is very difficult to stake it. Also, if you stake a plant that is already established, you will probably do damage to the roots. Now is the best time, so stake it now! Don't forget to tag your plant so you will remember its name a year from now.


"Jungle Night"

Last but not least, gently add ties to hold up the branches. Water your newly repotted plant and place it in a shady location. As new branches grow, tie them up. That's it! You now have a plant that won't take up a lot of valuable hanging space, and will be easy to display and move if necessary. You may not think about this with your hanging plants, but remember NOT to keep your potted plants on the ground. Snails and earthworms will quickly find them and do a lot of damage! Keep your plants up on a shelf or a table.

"Jungle Night"


Some plants just are naturally determined to hang and the branches don't start out growing up, they just hang down from the get-go! Those I put into hanging planters. Plastic is generally recommended but you can also use the coconut fiber hanging planters like this one.

Princess Kelly S.