Art by Alexander Vasiljev, Copyright © 2015

Monday, October 31, 2016


Since March, I had my FUUKIRAN placed outside under the shade of a live oak tree. Often watered by the rain and with regular foliar spay of Super Biogold fertilizer, the orchids were growing well and many have produced pups. Most of my plants are definitely becoming bigger clumps.

I re-mossed my entire collection in the beginning of October in preparation for their rest. Since then their roots and leaves growing have been slowing down for the most part. My FUUKIRAN are entering hibernation. The night temperatures now have established in their 60s (60F / 15C) and soon will start to deep into low 50s (50F / 10C), as an average.

It is usually the coldest month, when FUUKIRAN rest, during December-January-February and into March. Watering must be reduced to every 5-10 days and the light intensity is lowered too.

It seems that here in Florida my FUUKIRAN, so far, are following their natural growth cycle:

December/January/February/March - hibernation
March/April - beginning growth
May/June/July - active growth
July/August - rest
August/September/October - growth
October/November - preparation for hibernation

Blooming occurs from late spring to June/July and may repeat August/September/October.

Neofinetia falcata 'Shoujou' 猩々 in the fall, with five new growth developed this year.

Friday, September 23, 2016


I acquired this Neofinetia falcata 'Gojo Fukurin' 御城覆輪 as a single growth last August. Year later, it started to produce new growths, three of them at the same time. While two of the three growth are starting to show mutation, but still unclear. One of the growth has shown a definite mutation, where instead of its regular marginal cream color stripes known as FUKURIN, it is developing NAKAFU or center stripe.

Although, 'Gojo Fukurin' 御城覆輪 is known to mutate into other striping patterns, nonetheless, it is fun to observe it first hand. It is especially exciting to see new developing leaves on these mutated growths and discover what they will grow into in the near future. To be continued ...

Tuesday, September 13, 2016


Off season, my Cymbidium goerengii 'Setsuzan' 雪山 is in bloom! First flower is open, two more are getting ready.

I acquired this orchid last August. It originates from Kumamoto Prefecture in the central part of Kyushu island, Japan, The plant came with three matured growths and nice healthy roots. Here is the photo of the potted plant then.

A year later, 'Setsuzan' or 'Snow Mountain' is in bloom. It has been growing quite nicely and developed multiple growths and more compact leaves. The leaf length changed due to better light. Keeping it outdoors has been quite beneficial. 

The flower emits a peasant aroma reminiscent of a Cyclamen. The fragrance is stronger in the morning and can be sensed around the plant. 

The leaves are beautiful on their own, dressed with a thin white border, beautifully harmonizing with the orchid's green and white flowers.

I grow my SHUNRAN in a mixture of Akadama (baked Japanese clay) and Kanuma soils. This acidic and well draining mixture assures healthy white roots. I fertilize with Super Biogold pellets placed on the substrate and with occasional Super Biogold foliar spray.

With night temperatures gradually getting cooler, I am looking forward to seeing how this SHUNRAN will respond to a Florida winter chill and how it will effect the quality of its flowers. Cymbidium goerengii 'Setsuzan' 雪山 is known for requiring less chill time to bloom successfully.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


There has been a silence on my blog. The only explanation I can find, is because my FUUKIRAN are resting and


Yes, a dream come true! I am very excited about the move and the new challenges and possibilities in growing FUUKIRAN and other Japanese orchids in a completely different environment. It's outdoors, it's with addition of rain water, it's with better temperature range and high humidity, and it's with employing more traditional techniques.

The climate, where I am going to live is similar to southern Japanese Islands and in particular Amami Island. Summers are hot and humid In Sarasota FL, but coastal location makes it a bit cooler and breezier, than in central Florida. Also the presence of two seasons - dry/cooler and rainy/hot/humid makes it very similar with Amami Island.


Average High Temperature
Years on Record: 30  
Average Low Temperature
Years on Record: 30  
Average Precipitation
Years on Record: 30  


Average High Temperature
Years on Record: 30  
Average Low Temperature
Years on Record: 30  
Average Precipitation
Years on Record: 30  

I have big hopes that my collection will respond well to the change. This spring/summer for sure, will be a busy time for me!

Time permitting, I will be posting updates and notes of the progress. In 3-4 month my FUUKIRAN should start blooming in Florida!

Thursday, January 7, 2016


NeoNut wrote, Dec 17, 2015: "One of the questions I have is what would be the name of the seedlings of 'Tamagawa' be. I have seen in the market seedlings of 'Hisui' x self being sold as 'Hisui'. 
This would like x selfing 'Red Delicious' apple and selling its seedlings as 'Red Delicious' which isn't correct since any cross creates a new cultivar. Comments?"

I got this and many more questions from others after my article "NOMENCLATURE NOTES ON FUUKIRAN. CULTIVAR VERSUS VARIETY OR FORM" was posted.

Here are a few thoughts.

It has always been a big mass, to deal with nomenclature! When mentioning "variety", one have to be specific whether mentioning "variety" as a botanical variety (taxonomic rank) OR a horticultural variety OR a legal term.

Botanical variety occurs in the wild within the species rank that is geographically separated from other varieties within the same species and is different. Botanical variety is true to type (plants propagated by seeds look like their parents)

Horticultural variety or a cultivar is a plant selected under cultivation for desirable characteristics that can be maintained by propagation (not always sexual). Although, can be a special selection from the wild. Here is a great explanation of what cultivar is and does:

"Cultivars are not necessarily true to type. In fact cultivar means "cultivated variety." Therefore, a cultivar was selected and cultivated by humans. Some cultivars originate as sports or mutations on plants. Other cultivars could be hybrids of two plants. To propagate true-to-type clones, many cultivars must be propagated vegetatively through cuttings, grafting, and even tissue culture. Propagation by seed usually produces something different than the parent plant." (from the article by Cindy Haynes, "Cultivar versus Variety", published originally on 2/6/2008 at the Horticulture & Home Pest News, Iowa State University).

"Variety" is also a legal term and used by breeders for some legal protection, providing so-called plant breeders' rights.

Regarding Neofinetia falcata, some are true botanical varieties (those that can be still found in the wild). For example, depending on who's view you except Neofinetia xichangensis or N.richardsiana could be botanical varieties of Neofinetia falcata. Majority of neofinetias we grow are cultivars that were selected under cultivation by human.

There is no one solution to resolve the mess within the plant names (especially orchids!), but one can reject or accept someones view and follow it.

Personally, I am rejecting new taxonomic combination for Neofinetia, and will NOT call it Vanda. I am accepting "cultivar" (horticultural rank) and will be writing the name as follows - Neofinetia falcata 'Tamakongo' 玉金剛

Botanical and horticultural nomenclature is not an exact science and heavily depends on expert's personal view (splitters vs. "clumpers").

Now, that I can breathe easier, I have the time to enjoy my fuukiran, instead of chasing one expert view from another.

Finally, answering NeoNut question:
If the seedlings of 'Tamagawa' look like the parent plant, they will be called 'Tamagawa'. If not, get the selected seedling registered with AOS (American Orchid Society) and call it whatever you would like. Japanese Neofinetia registration is whole other system on its own. The rest of the seedlings would be called 'Tamagawa' X self, indicating that plants are NOT true to type.