Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Moar Pleiones? O yez, moar!

Pleiones have started becoming popular among the aficionados of accent plants in recent years, and several members of our local club have started growing and showing them in bonsai pots.  When we were members of an Orchid Society over 10 years ago, I got the impression that Pleiones aren't as popular as the epiphytes (or the equally showy Cymbidiums), but perhaps that has changed over the years as well.

For some reason, last year's Pleione tongariro post is one of the most visited on this site, but so far the lazy bugger still hasn't fully come out of bud.  Saving grace is that this year I've managed to lay slug protection down before he got munched.  Fingers crossed.  So this spring, we get piccies of other Pleiones.  These two varieties were purchased last year but we had to wait until this spring to get them into these pots by John Pitt. 

This pink-flowered one with the red spots on its frilly yellow lip is Pleione Shantung, although we are unsure as to the exact variety.  Possibly 'Ridgeway' - but I'm no expert.

We don't know which variety this white Pleione is, unfortunately.  It was also supposed to go into the green pot that the Shantung is in, but it was a tad too big.  Luckily I had picked this brown one up at a recent show.  Unfortunately the splashes of aqua and other shades of brown on the pot aren't visible in this photo.

TOH uses a mix of akadama, gravel and wood bark as potting compost for the Pleiones.  We have one variety that lives outdoors (for no good reason other than we keep forgetting to pot it up and bring it into the greenhouse), has now completely outgrown its pot and is in no growing medium whatsoever.  It's doing relatively well given its circumstances, but it comes out in leaf much later than the ones that get mollycoddled in the cold greenhouse.  Maybe this year it'll hit the jackpot....

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