The joys of growing Draculas.
The cold greenhouse has been in place for about 1 1/2 years and I'm beginning to see the fruits of my labor. Numerous Pleurothallis, Draculas and Masdevallias are in bloom. Tomorrow there is a meeting of the Southern California Species Society I'm a member off.
It also happens to be close to 90F with humidity approaching zero. I would off course love to take these beautiful plants to the show and tell portion of the meeting. The Dracula vampire 'Walter' I have which has a wing span of over 10", lasts about 15 minutes outside it's cool, 80% humidity home. It literally wilts on the way to the car.
I use an ice chest, ice at the bottom with a folded wet beach towel on top of the ice. The Draculas and some of the small Pleuros will go to the meeting in there. Masdies and most of the Pleuros are OK in the air conditioned car and the air conditioned meeting hall.
We line up our show and tell plants against a wall where they are displayed during the meeting. My ice chest will sit under the table. Then we each say a few words about the origin and care of our plants. This is the first time I will take the Draculas out of the ice chest and let the members look at them. Immediately after they will go back. This, by the way is not necessary for the small flowered Draculas and a very few of the larger ones. The large ones, by and large, require this care if one wants them to be open. Vampire, a crowd pleaser, literally wilts in 15 minutes as stated earlier. Roezelli, another one people go gugu-gaga over, also last a very short time.
Anyone else dealing with these and how do you bring them to meetings? This meeting happens to start at 1PM and is 30 miles inland from the ocean. When I get back to the car afterward, you could fry an egg on the dashboard. In the winter, this is not a problem, but then most don't bloom in the winter.