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Can someone tell me what this is, and why I cant get to flower?

This is a discussion on Can someone tell me what this is, and why I cant get to flower? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; I have had this plant in my care for many years now, and I can ...

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  1. #1
    Howdy is offline Junior Member
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    Default Can someone tell me what this is, and why I cant get to flower?

    I have had this plant in my care for many years now, and I can not get it to flower. It seems to be very happy. I hope that maybe getting an idea of what it is I may figure out why it hasn't flowered yet.
    The odd thing is that it has a very strong root system like it would grow on tree branches, and even looks like it would look more natural verticaly, but it reacts pretty quickly to having its roots exposed by stop growing, is noticably happier humid, and seems to like bright light, but don't know why it won't flower.
    any one can tell me why?
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  2. #2
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    my first thought is dendrobium aemulum... but it really is hard to know for sure unless the plant is in flower...

    as for getting it to flower... sometimes giving the plant extra light can be a trigger, other times giving it a winter rest where it becomes dryer or even colder can act as a flowering trigger as well...

    it does seem to be a healthy plant so good luck getting it to flower!

    cheers
    tim

  3. #3
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    Looks like a Schomburgkia or Myrmecophila to me. They tend to resent repotting, and will sulk, so keep it in place as long as possible. They need very bright light to bloom. I keep mine in full sun about 1/2 to 3/4s of the day (until winter). They have hollow pseudobulbs which, in nature, serve as home to ants, which help protect the plant from other, harmful insects.

    I haven't bloomed my Myrmecs, so I'm not much help on that front. Sounds to me like you're doing everything right, though. Try looking them up on Jay's Orchid Encyclopedia (orchidspecies.com).

  4. #4
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    I concur that your plant is a Schomburgkia or a Myrmecophila (species belonging to Myrmec. used to be part of the Schomburgkia group; the pseudobulbs from Myrmec. species are hollow.) (Sorry Tim!) From the picture, I have to say that your plant is still very young, probably many years from blooming. Except one or two dwarf species, most are giant plants and have very tall mature pseudobulbs; at least 8 in. tall for certain species and up to >2 feet long pseudobulbs and 1 feet long leaves for others. They make giant clumps before they would flower. But when they do that, you would have something like 4-5 feet long spikes with long lasting and showy flowers, some of them also very fragrant.
    You should keep it and as long as the plant is happy and makes new growth every year, you are doing well.

    Cheers. Hoa.
    Last edited by Hoa Tony Nguyen; January 18th, 2006 at 08:18 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoa Tony Nguyen
    (species belong to Myrmec. used to be part of the Schomburgkia group; the pseudobulbs from Myrmec. species are hollow.)
    Thanks for the clarification! I thought, based on the statement "I have had this plant in my care for many years now" that it might be one of the dwarf ones. Howdy; has it still been getting larger with new growth, or does it seem to be maxed out? I have a Myrm. brysiana that looks to be about the same size . . . and I think it's got a while to grow before reaching blooming size, and the new growth is not much bigger than the old ones. But I haven't had it long, and it only recently got established.

    The reddish colour seems unusual to me . . . but maybe I'm just not giving mine enough light?

    Hmm. Sorry to have rambled so much.

  6. #6
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    Schom. species need to grow for a while to muster their strength for flowering. Sue, your Myrm. brysiana probably might need to form a clump of a dozen bulbs before it would flower, but it could give you an impressive 7 feet long spike!!! They also need a lot of light and heat. When I was in Mexico a while back, I saw people mounted these schom. on trees at very exposed areas where the plants got almost full sun!
    The reddish color could come from being exposed to the sun and cold at the same time but people told me there could be other factors as well like micronutrients. But they seem to agree that this coloration does not affect the plants.

    Cheers. Hoa.

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    Thank you all of you for your insight,, I never heard of a Schomburgkia, or a Myrmecophila. I will have to go look those up. I have to say thow that I cant see this one getting very big. What was given to me was a single back bulb of what I was told was a very large clump of verious sized bulbs. The first growths on it were in the quarter inches, it is now six years latter and with each growth it is noticably larger, but the canes are still only a few inches long. I am not sure how to tell if they are hollow, all the ones that would be large enough to actualy be hollow are all alive and well. The purple color gets darker when I give it more light, and the canes are darker with it on the sunny side, and it gets pretty pale and sad looking pretty quick in dark light.
    Glad to hear that it may not like to be repotted, I have been repotting every year to be prudent, maybe it held it back, but it has been doing about two bulbs a year.
    I will look to see if there are any micro sized schomburgkias or Myrmecophilas

    thank you all

  8. #8
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    What started out as a single backbulb and you manage to keep it alive for 6 years, that is not bad at all. Actually, you are doing very well without really knowing of what to do. However, I think that you could do better since I think that after 6 years, you should have a clump of a dozen bulbs already.
    Try not disturbing the plant by repotting although for Schom., mounting on wood is the best for them. They also like it dry, i.e. water them and let the medium dried out. Don't forget to give it some fertilizers. Give it more warmth and sun! After all, they are tropical American orchids.

    Good luck.
    Cheers. Hoa.

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    Just checked out some of the pictures on the internet of the suggested identities, I sure do like every one of them, I am even more gratefull now for all the input every one of you have given me, I am so glad that I know that this plant does desearve all the special care that it seems to demand. Does anyone know if there are many different types of the micro ones?

    You know I realy want to believe that this plant should be mounted, unlike any Catleya I have seen the bulbs on this plant are trying to grow horizontaly;like if the plant was horizontal, then the bulbs would be going up. The leaves look like they are unaturaly bending back since it being forced to grow in a pot
    But,, or the big but in this case is that one day about a year ago I tried to convince myself that I could remove all the loose bark on the top, and pull the plant slightly out of the pot to test it and see what how the plant would react. It did not take but about a week for entire back half of the plant to die off. Do you think I might have been jumping to conclusions to assume that this would mean that the plant would prefer not to be mounted? I did keep watering it the same as was before,, I am scared that if I do mount it that it might kill the plant.
    I am wondering if the best plan would be to leave it alone, and that maybe the reason that it is going slow is because I keep messing with it trying to figure out what it likes best. would it be good to use a large bark chip next time it does need to be potted?

  10. #10
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    Well,
    If that is the case, then I think that is due to for being too dry. After yanking it out of the pot, well, you need to place the plant in environment with very high humidity. Not enough of this, the roots died and you lost the backbulbs. Just leave the plant in the pot, but when it overgrows the pot, just leave it like that and let it grow. Another option is putting it in a bigger pot and use very coarse medium like large barks mixed with gravels to pack it. I grow some of these guys in my greenhouses in very small basket with some bark chips thrown in or in pots filled with gravels and rocks and let them do their things! They scramble around, looking for light but when they are big enough, they go upright!
    Cheers. Hoa.

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