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A few bright spots in this blistering heat

Posted by jandey Tx8 (My Page) on
Thu, Sep 1, 11 at 22:53

This has been the hottest and driest summer on record here in Central Texas, and that's saying something. Lawn is scorched because I refuse to waste too much water on it, and even my hardy natives like sage are struggling with the drought, so it was nice to see a couple of things blooming in spite of the blaze of August, with very little extra water from me:

A crazy unknown cattleya orchid that opened up on the record hottest day EVER (113 degree high, 81 degree low)
Cattaleya buds
Cattaleya orchid from my aunt 8-11
One of my unknown crinums/cape lilies that struggled to put out this inflo
Cape lily late August 2011
Here is a Vera Cruz Rose seedling with lovely pink stems and pale green leaves
Vera Cruz Rose seedling with pink leaf stems
It has some kind of splitting on two sides of the trunk
VCR seedling splitting at base
And for those interested in seedlings, here is a display of the big range of size of same-age seedlings
Seedling range of sizes
They are amazing in how much diversity they're already showing--lots of fun!
And one more from a (very slightly) cooler time, just for the heck of it, Giant Aussie Orange
Giant Aussie Orange 7-2011
Looking more "sunburst" than "orange" but, hey, I'll take it!


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

I'll take that "Orange" any day, Jen :-) It's a pretty flower!
Love your purple orchid as well!
My seedlings are like yours: all kinds of sizes even though same age!
Thanks for sharing the pictures! It sure is nice to see some things flowering despite the extreme heat!

RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

Hi Jen,

It is nice to see some plants thriving in the heat you all are having down in Texas. Your Orchids are beautiful and they are telling you that they are very happy in the awful heat....

That orange Plumeria is a beauty!!! Great find!! : )

Hope you all have some relief has to break sometime...

What is the weather reports saying? Anything promising for you or any relief on the way?

Take care and stay cool!!!!

Laura in VB

RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

Hey Jen,
That orchid is FAB! There never seems to be enough room to go on all the plant adventures that we would like! I had tried a BLC. before and din't have any luck but then again, back then, the thought of getting a plumeria from an ugly stick to a blooming masterpiece also seemed far fetched!

I have family in the Laredo area? I think that's it and I had seen there forcasted temps. Makes me have flash backs of living in Phoenix AZ for a while.

I remember when I went out there for the first time. I heard "Oh it's the dry heat, not humid so it's cooler!" Yeah I felt like telling that person 115 degrees is hot humid or not!!

Thanks for your seedling pics. I certainly enjoyed them as I am sure many others will. IT is certainly amazing to see the diffrences in growth habits, not to mention the diffrence in leaves.

No growing plumeria for too long, I think it's awesome that some varieties such as J105, and Sparkle, can have unique foliage. Not to mention the variegated plumerias!

Thanks for sharing pics of that awesome orange! I too hope you can finally get some cooler temps down your way. If anything, I wish you could send some of them up my way. This August has seemed to be cooler than normal.

Take care,

RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

Thank you, Sun, Laura and Andrew! You're very sweet. I know I sound like a broken record but it is like having a part-time job just hauling watering cans and hoses all over the backyard to keep the precious plants going. AND we have humidity, which is no fun for me but is probably saving the plants from even more stress.

The tropical storm brewing in the Gulf will miss us. It's getting blown east by the monster high-pressure trough that's been parked over us since spring. BUT on the bright side, we'll finally drop down into the double-digits on Sunday--high of only 96! Jacket weather!:P

My mom and I found cattleyas on clearance at Lowe's for $1.74 or $2.24 each and, of course, couldn't resist. The one in the photos is not one of them--it's much older, but at least we know it's Texas-compatible, haha!

I have great hopes for Giant Aussie when it matures; it's supposed to have 5" blooms. The one in the photo bloomed on a tip that was less than 2" long, very compact.


RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

  • Posted by kms2 9/10 (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 2, 11 at 9:45

Jen, Are you under water restrictions like we are? This week we will be in stage 3 so we can only water every other week by sprinkler.

I'm hauling 5 gallon buckets out from the girl's bath every evening to regular landscape plants to reuse it. I put a few drops of superthrive and pour into the plant beds. Just being careful about spreading it around so there isnt any kind of salt build up from the softener.

RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

K, I thought I was the only one crazy enough to re-use my kid's bath water! Seems so wasteful to let it swirl down the drain with a drought on. So far I've had no problems with the salts, and the soap may even help keep down some of the insects that lay eggs in my compost soil.

Heck, at Stage 3 you may as well let your turf go for the season and just hand-water your bedding plants. We're at Stage 2 (1 sprinkler/week, hand-water anytime) but I still see a lot of very green lawns out in my 'hood. Ridiculous to put high-quality drinking water several days a week on a turf that's native to Florida. Oh, well, as long as a higher percentage of people realize this may be our future and adjust their habits accordingly we may not get to Stage 3.

RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

Somebody should design a system to divert bath water into the garden :-)

RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

  • Posted by kms2 9/10 (My Page) on
    Fri, Sep 2, 11 at 16:25

You aren't the only one. I can get at least 20 gallons a night by bucket.

RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

Hi Jen,
Those beautifull catts for under $3! Were they blooming size at all?? Still a great deal Jen. I am going to set up another grow room this fall. I am hoping that this spring I can get some vandas going. I love the true blue colors of some of the vandas.

Then again, maybe I should just skip on buying those orchids. IT may just totally consume me like my plumerias!


RE: A few bright spots in this blistering heat

Andrew, some of them had the leftover stalks of blooms, even the tiny $1.74 ones, but that was probably under optimal greenhouse conditions with regular feedings. I, ahem, tend to be less pampering. It's more sink or swim here, so I was delighted by the cattleya blooms.

LOL, most of my other plants are being neglected for the plumerias, even my formerly beloved roses. I'm occasionally even glad to see other tropicals croak so I'll have more winter storage for my growing plumie collection. The plumeria are just more drought and heat tolerant for me here, with far fewer pests or disease.

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