Winter Wilds

penfold2(4b, MN)December 11, 2012

I haven't posted in a while, so I thought I'd share a few pics from the greenhouse. They're not the greatest, but a new camera is on the way. I once had plans to make individual trellises for each of my Hoyas to keep them neat and tidy, but I got lazy and only managed to set up a few wire panels and hanging chains for them to climb. Here were my four Eriostemmas last spring:

I think they've taken matters into their own hands now. The Eriostemmas reached the peak of the 12' roof a while back, and now the other Hoyas are beginning to climb the Eriostemmas and each other. It's kind of a jungle, but I think I like it.

Some newer plants beginning to climb near the front of the greenhouse:

Does anyone else let their plants go wild, or are you all more disciplined than that?

-Chris

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cpawl(8)

Chris,thanks for taking the time to post your photos.I love seeing how others grow there plants.
Do grow your hoyas in your green during the winter month?.If you do,what do you use to heat your green house.
I ask because this spring I have been told that I am getting a greenhouse.

Cindy

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 4:12PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

My plants stay in the greenhouse all winter long. When building the greenhouse I dug a trench and buried some large diameter PVC which carries a copper pipe for natural gas along with water, power, phone, and internet. I figured as long as I was running water and power I might as well run anything else I might use, and natural gas is cheaper than electric heat. I use an Empire direct vent heater. The greenhouse is heated to 75F during the day and 60F at night. I also have a solid insulated north wall and triple wall polycarbonate which keeps the heating cost down.

-Chris

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 5:49PM
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mdahms1979

Thanks for sharing your photos with us Chris. I have to admit that if it were possible I would let many of my Hoyas roam free. I think that growth is much faster if you don't try to manipulate the plants too much and that means seeing flowers sooner. I think the only problem I could see with this is that figuring out what is what if you plan to do a trade might be difficult. That and some species with short peduncles might have their flowers obscured by all the foliage.

I see some other familiar plants in your greenhouse. I am a huge fan of Bulbophyllum and orchid species in general. I used to have several hundred Bulbo species but cut back as many are hard to bloom without high humidity and other are just too difficult to maintain in pots due to their growth habits. Is that Bulbo frostii and maybe Bulbo lindleyanum on the coconut fiber filled tower? I can't really make out the other plant to even guess at the species.

Cindy congratulations on the news of your forthcoming greenhouse!

Mike

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:09PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

"I think the only problem I could see with this is that figuring out what is what if you plan to do a trade might be difficult."

Definitely. I sometimes have to trace a stem upwards in order to figure out what it is I'm looking at, but other species are quite easy to identify just by looking at them. The Eriostemmas would be the worst since they look nearly identical and are probably 15-20' long now. " Is that Bulbo frostii and maybe Bulbo lindleyanum on the coconut fiber filled tower? I can't really make out the other plant to even guess at the species."

I don't have a B. frostii yet, but I am pretty amazed that you were able to identify B. lindleyanum from that photo. It's actually developing its first flower spike right now, so I'm excited to see some flowers soon. The others are gracillimum and tingabarinum. I developed an interest in Bulbos last summer and have collected several of them, but several hundred would really be something!

-Chris

    Bookmark   December 11, 2012 at 6:38PM
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mdahms1979

I spent a lot of time researching Bulbophyllums and grew as many species as I could get my hands on so I was pretty good at identification. There are relatively few species that have pseudobulbs shaped like B. lindleyanum's and even fewer available to hobbyists so that was my hint. Bulbo gracillimum is a fantastic species and one I should add to my collection again. I for one would love to see photos when your plant blooms.
I have a very neat species in flower at the moment, Bulbo ornithorhynchum. Unfortunately I let the mount dry out a little too much during the flowers development so it's not perfectly formed and not really worthy of being photographed. There is another flower spike forming so I will just have to wait to photograph it. I have a few of my Bulbophyllum species photos on my Flickr but many have not flowered or they did so before I started my Flickr account.

Is your greenhouse a lean-to that is against your home? I think this this would be the ideal style for most hobbyists, especially in cold climates.

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: My Flickr

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:05AM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

I clicked on your Flickr link only to realize that I'm already subscribed to your account, lol. Haven't looked through all of them though, so I'll have to do that. That B. ornithorhynchum is an odd looking one from what I saw in a search. It's pretty cool when you get enough different kinds of plants that there's nearly always something in bloom or about to bloom. I have a Coryanthes (bucket orchid) that's spiking right now. The flowers are some of the most bizarre looking things I've ever seen. We should have a thread dedicated to all the non Hoya plants we grow. (That's probably been done already and I missed it.) I could find some pics of my epiphytic ferns, orchids of course, ant plants, caudiciform succulents, and a few others. I'm also trying a couple Nepenthes and just in the last few days have been looking into neotropical Ericaceae (epiphytic blueberries). There are just too many weird and interesting plants in the world.

As for my greenhouse, I considered a lean-to, but sunlight is a limited commodity in my yard so I had to go with a free standing location to get maximum sun. But in this climate a lean-to would be the way to go if you could make it work.

-Chris

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:49AM
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mdahms1979

Some of the Coryanthes orchid flowers remind me of something out of the Alien movies. I am all for a general plant topic thread but I just generally sneak in a few photos along with my Hoya posts. Speaking of the epiphytic Blueberries, I also tried one from seed (Agapetes from Strange and Wonderful Things) but was unsuccessful.

Mike

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 12:08PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

"Speaking of the epiphytic Blueberries, I also tried one from seed (Agapetes from Strange and Wonderful Things) but was unsuccessful."

Did it fail to germinate, or did you lose it sometime after? I'll probably order from there and/or Rare Plant Research come spring. Agapetes serpens is one that is on my list. It's going to be a long wait though. It's not the time to be looking at new plants when there's nearly a foot of snow on the ground.

-Chris

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 5:00PM
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mdahms1979

There was no germination although I forget if I just gave up on the seeds or if they eventually were attacked by fungi. I think all too often we throw seeds out that just needed more time. I know a while back I dumped a bunch of failed African bulb seeds into a large potted Aristolochia plant only to discover a very healthy seedling many months later. It's still growing strong going on two years in with the Aristolochia.

Mike

    Bookmark   December 12, 2012 at 6:12PM
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denise_gw

Very nice setup, Chris! Do I see some Dischidias growing mounted? How often do you water your mounts? I don't have much success growing mounted, but I'm trying one I got this fall. It's difficult enough to grow them in winter, but mounted is going to be even more difficult to winter over.

I like the "free roam" look, but I move mine around a lot, so I can't really keep them that way. Do you just open up your GH in the summer and leave them inside?

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 9:45AM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

Thanks, Denise. Yes, there are a number of mounted Dischidias in the background. I grow astephana, bengalensis, cleistantha, hirsuta, imbricata, major, ovata, and vidalii. They get watered twice a day, sometimes more, but they're mounted on bare cork bark with no moss. Dischidias seem to be fairly drought tolerant, and some, like astephana, will rot if kept too wet. I keep the humidity around 70-80% and temp 60-75F, and they don't seem to mind winter, but are not growing much right now. I'm also growing some Hoya DS-70 and H. serpens mounted, but I think they'd be more productive in pots.

During the summer I use shade cloth, an exhaust fan, and evaporative cooling to try to keep the temp below 85F, but it sometimes goes up into the 90's during particularly hot weather. I'm going to try some fogging heads next summer which I think will help.

-Chris

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 11:22AM
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tropicbreezent

Mine are running rampant but up into trees. It's not too difficult to trace stems from flowers to pot and some are less rampant. My pubicalyx has a tree of its own but recently I put a bella next to it. Those won't be difficult to tell apart although I'm not sure if the bella will take well to that setting. Also got starts of lauterbachii, pottsii and australis (not sure if tenuipes or sanae) sharing another tree. They're distinctively different. I guess I just like that "wild look".

    Bookmark   December 15, 2012 at 5:34PM
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greedygh0st

So nice to get an update on your plants, Chris! I have to say that despite your 'failure' to establish individual trellises for each plant (I like the chains), your greenhouse looks so tidy and well organized. I'm really impressed. (Although it does fit with my general impression of you as a thoughtful, disciplined grower).

I have to say I like the jungle ceiling effect, too. I definitely think my plants seem to spurt heavily when I leave them untouched for a while. On the other hand, that's also when they tend to get into trouble (growing into the curtains or developing unobserved pest problems.)

Also, thanks to everyone for opening this conversation up to greenhouse design strategies. I feel like this is a topic that doesn't get enough discussion, considering how much people learn from the process of designing their grow space. Cindy, congratulations and please let us know all the nitty gritty details you're willing to share about your own greenhouse decisions.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2012 at 1:59PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

Thanks, gg! You can see your rigida and a couple others in the last couple pics. They're all doing great, except incrassata which just sits and does nothing. Maybe I'll have to repot it.

I'm hoping the Eriostemmas will bloom next summer now that they've climbed as high as they can. Your H. not macgregorii bloomed several times with a nice lemon scent. And hopefully some others will as well.

-Chris

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 9:59AM
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greedygh0st

Wow you sure can. Thanks for pointing them out - I hadn't noticed. Look at that 1669 go! xD I'll have to take some pictures of of your Dischidias on my end. They're getting nice and lush now. :)

My incrassata seems to go in distinct... spurts. It has been busy filling in missing leaves lately. I think I might not be ready to see it go full throttle. Those mature vines look like they could bring down a tree.

That would be quite the show if that thick bower of Eriostemmas was studded with blooms. I'm looking forward to it.

    Bookmark   December 18, 2012 at 1:03PM
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