Angraecum leonis

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Angraecum Memoria George Kennedy

     The seed parent of Angraecum eburneum ssp. giryamae and the pollen parent Angraecum comorense produces Angraecum Memoria George Kennedy.  The plant was registered officially in 1981.  In my opinion it is one of the easier Angraecum hybrids to grow.  With that said, why does it seem I have kept my fingers crossed from the day I received my first plants?  These are the first non-miniature Angraecums that I am growing in 100% red lava rock (pieces range in size from 1/2 inch [1.3cm] to 3/4 inch [2cm].  Over the last 6 months, the plants have grown very well with one presently in bloom and the other three starting to spike.

Angcm. Memoria George Kennedy (new root development)

     The image above shows one of the plant's root systems developing at the base of the plant.  The size of the lava rock will give ample drainage, room for air movement and plenty of space for the root system to grow within the pot.  I do have one plant in an 8 inch basket with other non organic material as well as the lava rock and the root system on that plants has already grown out through the slats.  SPECIAL NOTE: I water as often as I can with rain water to wash away the salts that may build up on the coarse lava rock.
     Although both of the parents are a very strong growing epiphytes, mounted plants need plenty of water during the hot months of late spring through early fall.  These mounted plants would need to be watered twice a day.  Being in shallow pots with a somewhat coarse medium, they are watered once every two days for at least 6 months and that watering is cut back to once every three to four days when temperatures do start to drop into the seventies and even the upper sixties.  (read the August 29, 2013 post "LAVA ROCK as a potting medium... PROS and CONS" to see the possible advantages to using the lava rock).
     With the parent Angcm. eburneum ssp. giryamae having a stem that can reach over 3.25 feet (1m) in height and Angcm. comorense barely reaching a height of 12 inches (30cm), Angcm. Memoria George Kennedy should grow to a height between the two.  The four plants that I am presently growing have stems that average about 4 inches (10cm) and are blooming for the first time or getting ready to.  My thinking or hope at any rate is that they won't grow much taller than 18 inches (45cm).

 First sign of developing inflorescence.

Six weeks growth.
First time blooming inflorescence with 6 buds.

     Development of the inflorescence took about 5 months to reach a point where the buds did start to appear.  I am currently keeping track of the other three plants to confirm these timelines.
     As stated earlier, the potted plants as well as the one in a basket are watered every two days from late April into mid October (6 months with daytime temperatures at 80 degrees or above with three of those months in the low to mid 90s).  A balanced fertilizer of 20-20-20 is added to the water once a week.  I have not yet added any time release material to the plants.  Once every 21 to 28 days I treat the plants with a systemic fungicide; slternating every other month between Thyomil and Dithane45.  I spray the entire plant concentrating on the under sides of the leaves and also make sure that the fungicide gets into the pot so that the root system is treated.
     Two of the plants receive a couple of hours of direct morning sunlight and then receive 35% spackled light throughout the remainder of the day as do the other two plants (2000 - 3000 fc).  They are grown in an open arbor and have a constant cross breeze 24/7.  If winter temperatures where to drop below 55 degrees for more than one night, the plants are moved inside or the arbor would be wrapped to protect from the cold. 

Angrarecum Memoria George Kennedy

     Please keep in mind that I grow my orchids in the sub-tropical to tropical climate of South Florida.  This Angraecum will do well in a intermediate to warm growing greenhouse.