The Orchid Forum, for the UK and Europe (previously known as The UK Orchid Forum) • View topic - White Christmas
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 Post subject: White Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:07 pm 
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This plant was kindly given to me by a former forum member, labelled Calanthe vestita, however when it flowered I was very excited to find that it was in fact the very old hybrid Calanthe Harrisii made in 1895. Unfortunately, like many old orchids it is infected with Cymbidium Mosaic Virus, but it doesnt seem to affect it too badly, apart from some leaf marking, which have of course all dropped off now, just leaving the pure white flowers which are reliably open by mid November, and carry on until after Christmas.



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 Post subject: Re: White Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:32 pm 
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Ah pretty.

I keep failing with these Calanthe vestita-types. This year mine seem to have produced half-sized new bulbs which have then largely rotted through the autumn into winter. I've saved what I can but it looks largely like the 2-year old bulbs which are still there.

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 Post subject: Re: White Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 5:05 pm 
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A lovely pristine white flower.

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 Post subject: Re: White Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 6:29 pm 
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Really nice!!


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 Post subject: Re: White Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 8:14 pm 
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Rob-Rah wrote:
Ah pretty.

I keep failing with these Calanthe vestita-types. This year mine seem to have produced half-sized new bulbs which have then largely rotted through the autumn into winter. I've saved what I can but it looks largely like the 2-year old bulbs which are still there.


Don't despair the 2 year old bulbs will re-sprout from the base if you separate them and keep them dry to ward off further rot. Even if the basal buds are dead they will often sprout from one of the upper leaf axils or even the bulb apex.

In my experience there are 3 reasons for the bulbs rotting:

Cool temperatures: they are much less tolerant of mildly cool weather than say Phals, in fact I have had Calanthes rot when left behind the curtain at night in conditions where Phals thrive (typically the bulbs rot from the bottom up)

Unsuitable growing medium: they like a very loose open mix with good water retention, I used to use 2:1 Peat/Perlite, but now I use 2:1 Miracle Grow ericaceous compost/perlite, which seems to really suit them. I had a disastrous year least season when I used a bark based peat free ericaeous compost and lost one of my plants to rot early in the season (typically the old bulb rots and kills the new shoot)

Lack of light; they really like as much direct sun as you can give them if growing indoors, if they are too shady they will have floppy rather than stiffly upright leaves, and the bulbs will be poor and fail to flower. If too shady the new shoots may rot early in the year as they get growing. Mine are on a south facing bathroom windowsill all year except when they are leafless and thus not having any water, when they come in to the living room as decoration.

hope that helps
cheers



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 Post subject: Re: White Christmas
PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:45 pm 
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Excellent.

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 Post subject: Re: White Christmas
PostPosted: Sun Dec 31, 2017 10:44 am 
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Many thanks for those tips. I think the problem may be keeping them too cold then.

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