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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orchid Bazaar at Singapore Botanical Gardens

In the meantime, I was trying to find out where orchid sources are in Singapore and what are the species suited to local climate. I heard about this monthly plant sales while visiting the website and decided to venture there to look at the offers.

There weren't many stores, roughly 3-4, and were set ups by local nurseries, as far as I can tell. One of which was Song Orchids. Please correct me if I'm mistaken. 

We loved some of these orchids and the colour just reminded us of the sakura we saw in Tokyo, coupled with the stems which looked like tree branches. Why didn't I buy this?Hahaha.. Moving on...

If I'm not wrong, this should be Coelogyne rochussenii, the spikes trailing to a length of almost 1.5m, I think. This specimen is one that I will specially reserve a spot in my garden for. =)

Snippets of info:
Plants bloom throughout the year with forty 6.25 cm wide flowers. Flowers can be fragrant with the scent of lemon.
This species was named after J.J Rochussen, governor-general of the Dutch East Indies in the mid 19th century.


Plant is found growing on large trees in the lowland montane forest of Malaya, Borneo, Java and Sumatra and the Philippines.


Plants are usually grown in baskets. Plant grows in intermediate to warm temperatures with partial shade. Water regularly through the year. Pot in a well drain medium. Pot in a plastic or clay pot with a mix of fine fir bark, tree fern fibers, and perlite or pot in New Zealand sphagnum moss.

source: orchids wiki
I really couldn't decide what to get and I was mesmerised by this young boy who was rattling off the names of the orchids just beside me. But as the weather was getting warmer, plus hunger pangs struck us, I decided to bring home a Queen. BLC Marie's Song to be precise. She was Georgeous! Rather like a ballerina, I fell in love with her skirts, even though her neighbour, had more spikes and more pseudobulbs.

I got her home and after 2 weeks, I finally found the time to photograph her blooms in the last stages.

Flask no 1: Vanda mini Palmer x V. Coerulea x V. Rinka

I choose this flask mainly because blue flowers are pretty rare compared to reds and yellows. Vanda leaves structure is upward growing and seem to be one of the easier ones that can tolerate the hot and wet climate.

First step of course: read through as many experiences as possible that other hobyists post. Since everyone has a slightly different way of doing things, I decided that true to character I should proceed with the most fuss-free and logical method.

Taken on Jan 2011

  1. I uncorked the flask and tried to forcep the seedlings out. Bad mistake. They are tender and their roots are very brittle and the flask mouth was tiny. 
  2. Wrapped in newspaper, I hammered the flask a couple of times and successfully fished out the seedlings in record time. 
  3. As they all advised, wash the seedling thoroughly since the gel will cause rot rot. I rinsed the babies with rainwater a couple of times and lay them out to dry.
  4. Next, I made little pits on the sphagum moss bed/charcoal bed to plant in the seedlings. This is mainly because some nurseries advised that the seedlings prefer to be in a community pot environment rather than individually planted. 
  5. I put them into 2 separate pots in case root rot sets in, I wouldn't lose the whole batch. They are covered under glass for the next 2 weeks to keep the moisture in and acclimatise them. I let some air in every day and at the last few days, I started opening them up at night and maintain the glass cover only in the day.


     So the question is, did they do well? Looking back at this photo taken in early Feb 2011, I think the seedlings looked definitely better when they were just deflasked. However, I do not know whether this is the norm- when the seedlings were shocked by the deflasking, they will take some time to regrow their roots(which were used to the gel medium) or my planting didn't quite suit them. 
    Taken on Mar 2011

    I have since repotted them into semi-hydro perlite, let's see whether this works before I try the other two.

    My Orchid Haven

    I supposed I have to do the 'self'introductory' post to begin somewhere. Luckily, I only got into the orchid craze about 3 months ago so I can sort of document my journey into orchids and the rewarding grace they bring. I find it hard to believe that it has only been 3 months. Already, I'm running out of sill space!

    What started me on the orchids was really quite incidental. If you have been to Singapore and you are an avid plant lover, I'm sure you know the Singapore National Park's Botanical Gardens.It's one of the most lush Asian gardens and I love walking around in the evenings. The Garden's souvenir shop has little orchid seedlings in glass capsule for tourists to bring home maybe a Vanda Miss Joaquin. I really like those plants and from there, I started looking around for the orchid nurseries in Singapore.

    There are helpful information on the web and most of all, the forums are alive with orchid lovers and they are really the friendliest people. I started out with 3 flasks of orchids, bought a few pots, was given a few more and started to really grow an indiscriminate collection.

    This idea of a blog really also begun after I read the Backbulbs blog by Richard Lindbergh. The idea of reviving orchids is really in my mind after a few friends gave me their dying orchids. In the tropics, orchids are common gifts for Chinese New Year and other festivals. Some people, after the flowers die off, have absolutely no idea what to do with these beauties. They are either rotted or dried out or discarded after the flowering.

    I like orchids. This blog is about my orchids and reviving new orchids that somehow winded up with me.  Thanks for starting on this journey with me.