Peak Summer Blooms of Cymbidium finlaysonianum with 6 spikes in our backyard

Cymbidium finalysonianum or also called as boat orchid is again in bloom, But for the first time we were rewarded with 6 spikes and its blooming season spanned mid- March 2021 to past May 13, 2021.

Cymbidium Finlaysonianum Peak Summer Bloom

Cymbidium finlaysonianum orchid flowering season tend to peak during the hot and dry season from early March to early June in the western part of the country. But it can vary in some regions of provinces where rainy season would gradually tapers off.

There is not secret, This once a year bloom is much awaited and anticipated by many growers. Its yellowish flowers are long and quite impressive when grown en masse. The flowers had also some color shades and some variations.

This is also the hottest recorded heat index and peak high temperature in many parts of the country.

3rd inflorescence

The orchid started showing its inflorescence during second week of March and gradually its flowers began to develop. This one is mounted on Manila palm ( Adonidia merrillii) for a number of years. The first inflorescence grew 54 inches with 23 flowers, then 1 week later another one which grew 56 inches with 30 flowers, 3rd inflorescence grew with 27 flowers, then 4th inflorescence grew 32 inches and with 18 flowers, the 5th inflorescence grew 40 inches with 24 flowers, the 6th and last inflorescence is 60 inches long with 32 flowers.

4th inflorescence

Since it is very hot in Metro Manila with average day time temperature hitting between 33 to 36 degrees C, The flowers usually wilt within two or three days after it bloomed. But having over 150 flowers in indeed spectacular.

Cymbidium Finlaysonianum Care and Fertilization

small pieces of cloth with slow release fertilizer are mounted on top of the roots of Cymbidium finlaysonianum 1st inflorescence

During its growing season which coincide with the onset of the rainy season in western part of the country. We would put several slow release fertilizer ( ratio is 20 to 30 pieces per small cloth) and mount them on top of the root this orchid.

Since the orchid is quite big and over 25 years-old, we would put between 5 to 6 small cloth then mount them near the roots of the specimen orchid.

4th and 5th inflorescence

Then alternate every week with weak doze of water soluble fertilizer 20-N, 20P, 20K diluted into 1/4 to 1/2 strength, normally after watering the orchid. Then, try to apply some trace elements, calcium nitrate and epsom salt in small quantities once every two weeks intervals.

Try to spray the diluted water soluble fertilizer in the underside of the leaves and leaves too, whenever possible. In some instances having a companion plant like ferns particularly Asplenium nidus or Asplenium musifolium ( pakpak lawin/ dapo, paipaimo, dapong lalaki, dapong babae, manalo/ manalu) Davallia ( rabbit foot fern) would increase humidity around its roots and helps in retaining water.

3th which withered off , 4th, 5th and 6th inflorescences

The slow release fertilizer, water soluble diluted fertilizers and other trace elements would help fertilize the ferns hence maintaining a symbiotic relationship between the orchid and other plants. In some cases, insects like bugs, cockroaches, moths, garden spiders and geckos are observe making a small ecosystem or micro- climate.

Repeat the procedure of putting slow release fertilizer sewn in small pieces of cloth after 3 to 4 month intervals after all its content were flush out, This would be around late July or early August ( same formula balance) when the rainy season is on its peak. By the end of September or early October when the small cloth bags have leached out the nutrients. We would change the formulation to 10N-13P-13K for the slow release fertilizer and at the same time the formulation of water soluble fertilizer, 10N-30P-30K in preparation for its blooming season. By mid-November or early December, most of the nutrients coming from the slow release fertilizer have already leached out completely.

This is also the time that we try to reduce watering and completely stopping any form of fertilization for this orchid species. Drying is important for this species to induce its blooming season from early March to early part of June. This will depend on your respective local climatology chart posted by the Philippines Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration ( PAG-ASA ).

Metro Manila and western part of the country is usually classified under type 1- with Two pronounced seasons: dry from November to April and wet during the rest of the year.

But thru years of growing and observation, Majority of our Cymbidium finlaysonianum blooms between mid- March to early June. The orchid species is commonly grown in Novaliches, Fairview, White Plains, Corinthian Gardens, Quezon Memorial Circle, Quezon City and in many parts of Metro Manila.

Cymbidium finlaysonianum orchid is sold in Eaton Centris (Sidcor) sunday market, Baclaran Plant Bazaar , garden centers and sometimes peddled by ambulant orchid/ plant sellers.

The larger specimen Cymbidium finalysonianum can have dozens of inflorescence during the duration of its blooming season. Hope that this small practical care and fertilization will inspire new growers of this wonderful species.

The smaller and more compact type Cymbidium finlaysonianum had also started to bloom. Happy Growing to all !

Note: all photos are taken by the author

Summer Blooms of Dendrobium aphyllum 2021

Summer season or dry season in western part of the country was officially declared by the weather bureau. It is when day time temperature would reach between 33 to 36 degrees Celsius or more.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said in a statement on Friday March 26, 2021 that the “gradual shift of wind direction from northeasterly to easterly over most parts of the country” signified the end of the northeast monsoon.

Dendrobium aphyllum aka fairy, dainty, lesser sanggumay grown on a palm for almost 7 years

Summer Blooms of Dendrobium aphyllum

Dendrobium aphyllum locally known as dainty sanggumay, fairy sanggumay, lesser sanggumay, sanggumay, salome, latigo among others blooming season. It was incorrectly called Dendrobium pierardii or Dendrobium cucullatum for a long time by orchid hobbyists.

This is one of the most common Dendrobium orchid species that is found in many parts of the country. The orchid species can be naturalize in fruits trees like duhat, mango, lansones, macopa, jackfruit, guava, coconut and Manila palms.

Since it rained a few times during its rest period from mid-November 2020 to early part of February 2021. Only a handful of inflorescence were form.

This Dendrobium aphyllum specimen orchid was given to the author last March 1, 2014 at an eyeball of Pinoy Coke Fanatics.

This orchid species is quite hardy and can survive lowland hot and humid condition. This orchid species can be found growing up to about 1,800 meters altitude. The blooming season is during the onset of the dry season in western part of the country up to late May or early June in some parts of the country.

Water and Fertilization

We would alternate slow release fertilizer sewn unto a small cloth, Usually between 20 to 50 pieces depending on size of the orchid plant. The larger the specimen plant, the more slow release fertilizer are included. We normally use 30N-30P-30K then alternately use water soluble fertilizers 10N-30P-30K at weakly weekly solution 1/4 to 1/2 the recommended dosage.

Aside from application of small amount of calcium, magnesium and trace elements at least twice a month during the growing season. We start putting small pack of slow release fertilizer 1 to 2 weeks after the orchid plant had bloomed. This process will be repeated at least two to three time during the growing period of Dendrobium aphyllum.

During the transition from wet (rainy season ) and dry ( summer season) which is usually around middle of September. We would change the fertilizer solution from 30N-30P-30K to 10N-30P-30K, to help prepare the orchid for the blooming season. The slow release fertilizer can last up to 3 months in which watering and feeding the orchid is much reduce.

Fertilization and watering should be minimized or reduce in the hemisphere which also starts the autumn or winter season in the northern hemisphere.

With proper care and applying fertilization techniques, Once can be assured that this orchid species can be a garden centerpiece.

75th Philippine Orchid Society’s Bazaar at Quezon City Memorial Circle

Philippine Orchid Society‘s 75th annual orchid bazaar kicked off last February 11 at the elevated garden / runnex garden within the iconic Quezon Memorial Circle in Quezon City.

Ms. Delia Pionela of Del’s Orchid and Garden Supplies

75th Philippine Orchid Society Bazaar

Quezon memorial shrine

The bazaar is in partnership with Quezon City government, Quezon Memorial Circle administration and Manila Bulletin.

Mr. Andres Golamco Jr.

There were 40 stalls selling different kinds of plants, cacti, bonsai, ornamental plants, orchids, aroids, flowering plants, gardening supplies among others.

entrance to the orchid bazaar

Unlike the previous shows- there was only one commercial exhibit which promotes hybrid papayas, celosia, vinca, marigold and seedlings for sale near the center of the bazaar.

Other Plant Shows in Metro Manila

We saw some familiar faces and new people in the industry, This is the fourth garden show within Metro Manila – Horti Filipina 2021 held at the Bonifacio High Street from February 4 to 14, 2021– which drew few people due to pandemic and restrictions in Bonifacio Global City ( BGC),Taguig. Arid and Aroid Colors Garden show held from February 6 to 16, 2021 at Robinson’s Magnolia drew a lot of plantitos, plantitas, batang maghahalaman and even new collectors because of the “BIG Scam Sale” last February 13, 2021.

King Louis Flower

Another plant show dubbed ” “Plant Fest” at SM Megamall, Mandaluyong from February 15 to February 26, 2021.

The orchid and garden bazaar of the Philippine Orchid Society is almost 20 days or three weeks!This will offset the lack of landscape exhibit, orchid and plant competition. While a live talk held last weekend about basic orchid culture was shown on the offical FB page of the Philippine Orchid Society.

We think it was quite long for an orchid and garden bazaar,at least customers will have a luxury to canvass plant prices from other bazaars and plant centers in other parts of Metro Manila.

Out of the four plant shows, The Arid and Aroids Colors Garden Show really stand-out and a blockbuster hit! We still have to wait for the last few days of the “Plant Fest” in SM and 1 week of the 75th Annual Orchid Bazaar show and see the results.

It was good that in all of the show that i have attended, there were no entrance fees. The most comfortable ones were at Robinson’s Magnolia and SM Megamall. The air-condition was just right with nice people around.

With the relaxation of the quarantine protocols in the coming few months, visitors and plant enthusiasts wanted to view better and quality exhibits in mid-year shows.

75th Philippine Orchid Society’s Orchid and Garden Bazaar

Philippine Orchid Society in partnership with Quezon City government, Quezon Memorial Circle administration will be having the 75th annual orchid and garden bazaar to be held from February 11, 2021 to March 2, 2021 at the Quezon Memorial Circle elevated garden area.

75th Orchid and Garden Bazaar Show

Philippine Orchid Society will mark the Platinum Jubilee anniversary which was formed right after the second world war. This will be first of the two orchid shows slated this year . The next one will be held sometime late August to early September 2021.

There will be exhibits, orchid competitions, ornamental plant display, daily talks and bazaar at the evelated garden area, Quezon Memorial Circle within Quezon City.

Those who wanted to view the exhibit and orchids on display, it would be better to visit the show during the first few days of the show. As of the moment there is no posted schedule of daily talks and demonstration.

Entrance fee is Php 50.00 for the general public, Php 30.00 senior citizens, students and person with disabilities with valid identification card this was based on the last orchid show entrance fee.

For additional information on the garden show and bazaar, Please try to contact:

Secretariat :0917-848-5468 / Landline (+632) 795-735-24 ( office hours- 8:00am to 5:00pm)

75 Trendy Plants for 2021 in the Philippines (Part 1)

Plantitos, plantitas, plantiquarians,halamoms,plant enthusiasts from many parts of the country are waiting for the next plants to watch out for 2021 to early 2022.

Unlike the last quarter of 2019 and towards the end of 2020, There are a lot of ordinary plants which became craze and fancy among many plant collectors. 2021 and 2022 year will be a different ball game and a more educated gardening public will be always on a look-out for plants to propagate and grow.

75 Trendy Plants for 2021

75.) Christmas Aglaonema hybrids– pink, reddish colored aglaonema and anything with spots. Some of the cultivars are old time hybrids grown in the country. While there are exciting new aglaonema hybrids developed in Thailand, Taiwan (ROC), Malaysia,Cambodia, Vietnam, Costa Farm and elsewhere. Lunar Chinese New Year 2021 will be celebrated on February 12, 2021 and this will drive -up the demand for more of these “La Swerte” or Chinese Evergreen in the market.

Photo courtesy of : Suan Unyamanee

Plant collectors and those who believe in feng shui will surely drive the prices of the reddish, pinkish,those with spots and new hybrids. Practitioners believes that having several plants inside one’s home will surely drive negative chi away.

Coleus blumei hybrid

pixabay user: jamesdemers-3416

74.) Coleus blumei hybrids ( aka Mayana) Plectranthus scutellarioides – This had different colors and is considered as a medicinal plant ages ago. This can be grown in partial shade, semi-indoor locations or sometimes grown as hedge plant all over the country. A proprietor in small garden stall within Quezon City had to keep on propagating mayana plant in order to supply their growing clientele. Their supplier from Tabang- Guiguinto, Bulacan always ran out of stock.

A recent big discount sale at Philvirra Homes near Project 8 in Quezon City also drew record buyers for their Coleus blumei hybrids.

Euphorbia milii hybrid

73.) Euphorbia milii hybrids- which are different color types of Euphorbia milii and Euphorbia lophogona hybrids which are more popularly called ( Corona de Cristo, Crown of thorns, Christ’s thorn) have flowers that grow in clusters of brilliant blooms. They are considered indestructible because they can grow year-round on a sunny windowsill in a warm, bright location, tolerating long periods of dryness.

They are in demand as flowering and curiosity plant in the country way back from 2005 to mid-2007, When local farm propagators imported a lot of varieties from neighboring Thailand, Vietnam and Taiwan. The hybrid had a short come back around 2016 to 2018 when more hardy types or those which did not rot in the care of the propagators for the past several years.

72.) Dracena marginata – Locally called as Dragon’s tree, Lucky Dragon, Madagascar’s dragon tree among local growers, This is a relative of the more popular snake plant/mother’s in law tongue or formerly called Sanseviera. The ordinary ones are quite affordable in the local market and are used in dish garden, terrarium and stems are grown in water culture.

People are always in a look-out for the variegated types and those with compact leaves. Chinese, Thai, Indonesians, Singaporeans, Indians, Europeans and other Southeast Asian countries have a fancy for these types of plants. They are quite hardy and can be propagated via cuttings or rooted on water.

The popularity of these plants will surely be trendy and people will still propagate these plants.

71.) Tillandsia species and hybrids- Tillandsia are known as air plants and close relative of Bromeliads. For the past few years, small tillandsia species, hybrids and cultivar varieties have cause sensation among plant lovers. These plants do not require big space and can be grow within minimal care. Tillandsia fasiculata, Tillandsia capitata, Tillandsia ionantha are some of the popular ones grown by beginners and even seasoned collectors. They will still be popular in the market as almost all plant center stalls would carry at least few species or hybrids.

Epiphyllum oxypetalum or Queen of the night

70.) Epiphyllum oxypetalum ( Dutchman’s pipe cactus, princess of the night, queen of the night ) – This is a semi-epipiphyte cactus which is grown in the country for centuries. This was introduced via Acapulco, Mexico to Manila, Philippines during the later part of the galleon trade and one of the old time favorite among plant growers in the country. It’s blooming season normally coincide with the rainy season around late June to late October.

It is quite popular in many Asian countries Taiwan,Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, naturalized in China and many parts of the world.

A recent episode of Kapuso Mo Jessica Soho aired on GMA channel 7 last November 28, 2020 featured this cacti plant which is said to worth at least a million pesos if properly grown with blooming flowers. Some old time growers would give a blink of an eye and give their expert opinion that there are many growers of this particular species of cacti.

Plant stalls would sell their newly propagated stems between Php 100 to Php 450 depending on the lushness of growth. A popular online selling site sells a foot of this cacti for about Php 888 obviously targeting numerology or Filipino-Chinese buyers. Bigger specimen queen of the night would command a few hundreds of pesos or at least a few thousand of pesos. But not hundreds of thousands of pesos or millions of pesos as claimed by some FB or online sellers.

Almost every house within our area grew this kind of cacti from the mid-1970’s to early 1990’s. Whenever this cacti is in bloom. This had become some sort of viewing celebration and photo taking opportunities by people who grew this cacti. There are also some myths behind the blooming of this cacti as one wish can be granted thereby propagating the plant will help the owner brings luck.

Some believe that it can repel the negative vibes and even ailments.

Note: These are just a partial list of the 75 trendy plants for 2021 and 2022! Happy Growing to all .

Sources:

Personal Interview among plant center owners, Orchid and Plant Lovers of the Philippines FB, Mindanao Avenue Garden Center, Fairview Neopolitan Garden Center, Cartimar Garden Center, White Plains, Bulacan Garden, Arid and Aroid’s Farm, Quezon City Memorial Circle, Tabang -Guiguinto Plant growers, GreenScapes Garden CenterNovaliches, Farmer’s Garden Center -Cubao, Sidcor -Eaton Centris Sunday Market, Rona’s Garden.

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