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tolumnia orchid in bloom

This is a discussion on tolumnia orchid in bloom within the Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, & Intergenerics IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; last summer i was surfing the web and discovered tolumnia. they are tiny little members ...

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  1. #1
    coeruleo's Avatar
    coeruleo is offline Night Bloomer
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    Default tolumnia orchid in bloom

    last summer i was surfing the web and discovered tolumnia. they are tiny little members of the oncidium tribe. twig epiphytes from the bahamas and carribean islands. no discernable bulbs, but are supposed to have very tiny ones in the center of the fan of leaves. in nature most get night or morning dew or brief warm rains and dry quickly.

    the first one i bought was from the 'jairak rainbow' family. they range from yellow/brown to pinks and reds with some white and brown, and usually some spots on the lip. other hybrids and species can look quite different from the jairak family. i ordered the 'brown' named version but ended up getting a pink/rose one somehow. it came bare root, mailed in a bubble mailer envelope and it showed up in perfect condition, with no additional padding or care. they are sturdy. it was just starting 2 new groths, and the main fan was about 4 and a half inches to five inches tall. it did not grow any larger. the flowers came about 4 months after tucking it in the bulbs of my oncidium sharry baby. it took quite a bit of california summer sun in the morning, and very bright shade in the afternoon. it got misted or watered first thing nearly every morning and frequent mistings with fertilizer. it bloomed in october, with a small spray of the wrong color but very nice flowers. i kept it in all winter in a southern window with shade cloth, and it got morning sun and bright light all day. it bloomed again in january on one of the smaller new growths, which only grew about 2 and a half inches tall, maybe they were getting more sun than it was getting before so they stayed small? not sure. again the stem on the flowers was very short compared to the photos i see on the internet of other types of tolumnia. the flowers were about 1 inch by 1 and a half and lasted about a month. no fragrance. i have since potted it in a very small tree fern pot with bits of tree fern fiber tucked into the roots with charcoal. i water it well every other morning. it seems to be growing into the pot fiber, and looks happy. i'm putting it back out for the summer.

    after the second flowering, i decided to get another and ordered tolumnia sunray, a nice red and yellow flower. it came in bloom, and potted and attached to a 1 inch clay pot. with just a few pieces of tiny bark and a piece of sphagnum to hold a little moisture for a few hours. it also dries quickly. the stem was much longer though more like 9 inches before the flowers even started, like you see on the internet.

    i've heard many people say these are so hard to keep here because we have desert weather, but they also thought you HAD to grow them bare root. you HAVE to mist them every day if you grow them that way. the fern pot i water every other day in warm weather, and mist almost daily. the one in the clay pot gets a good drenching with the spray bottle. it looks a little wrinkled sometimes. if it ever comes loose, i will redo it in another fern pot. i also saw a tip somewhere to spray the leaves, as some suspect they gather water in between the leaves, which are v shaped like a terete vanda. i gently pulled the leaves back some, and found small rootlike thread growths in there, so i think they do take in some water that way, like a bromeliad.
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  2. #2
    Kmac's Avatar
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    Very pretty--thanks for the info on how you grow them as well...I haven't decided if I need to switch my technique for them.

  3. #3
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    Very nice color!

  4. #4
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    Nice.

  5. #5
    Clivedude is offline Senior Member
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    Very beautiful blooms...thanks for sharing

  6. #6
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    Pretty!!

    cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
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    Very nice! The little Tols are cuties, for sure.
    Cheers,
    Tony

  8. #8
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    Name:  MVC-010S.JPG
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    status update on these 2. the supposed jairak has done well in the tiny treefern pot. i have been taking it inside for winter, but it does seem to mess up its growth by the change (i really have a prblem with my oncidiums coming in for the winter, and active growth just stops growing and stunts??). i put it outside very early this spring, and it has done well, and is now spiking. i would like to risk keeping it outside this winter to avoid the stunting. it is in very bright shade. the flower stem is already 6" long and just barely forming the buds, so i think this blooming will do well. it took a whole year off to get acclimated to the treefern, but its roots are growing all through it now. the spike started right after i decided to begin fertilizing it. i had stopped fertilizing oncidium types due to leaf burn, but since these are so succulent, i don't think they burn like a normal oncidium.

    the genting sunray has not fared as well. it nearly died in the clay pot. once it came loose i put it in a small treefern pot also, and so far it is still alive, barely. it has 3 tiny growths left (it had 3 before), and 2 little new ones starting, but hardly any roots at all currently. it has never looked plump and alive like the other one, but i still have hope. the leaves do not open up much on this one, they stay sort of clamped shut, so i don't think it is getting enough water to grow correctly, the leaves don't catch water the way the other one does.

    i have spoken to a person who grows them outdoors here in socal, so i will most likely keep them outside, as well as the 'reward orchid' i have ordered due to the new spike coming, a hybrid of comparettia speciosa and tolumnia pink panther. the breeder is hoping to make a comparettia type flower that is easier to grow (i guess they cannot handle any heat at all?)... the plant looks very much like tolumnia, no idea what the flowers will look like. the grower has not bloomed one yet himself.
    Last edited by coeruleo; August 17th, 2013 at 01:12 PM.

  9. #9
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    Oh, these are so very very pretty!!!!!!

  10. #10
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    Very nice! I grow mine in tree fern pots also and they've done well for me that way. Good growing.

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