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Aliceara (Beallara) Peggy Ruth Carpenter "Morning Joy"

Aliceara Peggy Ruth Carpenter 'Morning Joy'




Peggy Ruth Carpenter "Morning Joy"

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Beallara orchids, or Aliceara - depending on the current name after the change in naming in the orchid society, are by far one of the most amazing and beautiful plants. I love them with all my heart for their qualities and ease in care, but what are they?
Beallara's are a cross of several different types of orchids, oncidium, odontoglossum, brassia, miltonia and so on, Sometimes the parentage is so complicated it's hard to track it in a straight line.

The parents of Peggy Ruth include Brassia, Miltonia, Odontoglossum and Cochlioda, and each of them passed specified characteristics to the plant and it's flowers.

This specific cross was created by Milton Carpenter in 1980 from Everglades Orchids who crossed a famous Beallara Tahoma Glacier; which is a stunning and successful orchid available almost in any flower shop; with a Miltonia Purple Queen. The result was a stunning specimen with spidery flowers, white base in the petals which turns into purple and violets into the centre of the flower, with spots and gorgeous detailing.

*No plant will have identical flowers! They will have different markings, the colours may be more or less saturated, which makes the beauty of this plant. Furthermore the colour of the flower will depend on the amount of light it receives - in winter the flowers will be darker and in summer more white/pink*

The orchid is best grown in intermediate temperatures, between 12 Degrees Celsius up to 25 Degrees, if the temperature is higher ensure that the air is well ventilated and spray the air occasionally. Avoid by all means direct sunlight, morning gentle sun or southern exposure will be excellent and will help you avoid leaf burns. If the leafs are of light grass green colour then the conditions are good but if they start turning into shades of green-yellow then it means the sun exposure is to high.

Some cold air especially during night can be beneficial for the plant. I observed in September and October that a night with temperatures dropping to around 10 Degrees won't harm the plant - although don't do it everyday, but three or four days with some breaks in-between - can encourage the orchid to start a growth period. Not sure why but it seems that colder spells can have a beneficial influence for the plant.

Water weekly, although if the potting medium dries out quickly then it's recommended to water twice to keep the bulbs plump. Especially in period on increased growth activity and flowering.
I usually water with clean water in the middle of the week and then add fertiliser on the second watering during the weekend.

The best growth medium will be bark, medium sized chunks mixed with smaller ones and some hydroton balls to help aerate the medium better and avoid water sitting in-between the roots and causing rot.

The plant grows very quickly. I started with a plug plant - which was a single bulb with a growth and within one year i have four bulbs and new growths and a first flower spike coming through, and I can't wait to see it bloom.


Where to buy them?

Although they are stunning they are less popular than the royal Beallara Tahoma Glacier which is amazingly popular and well loved by people. Try looking in your local garden centres, nurseries and other shops. In the UK the best place to buy is Ray Creek Orchids as they always sell the young versions of this plant and they are very healthy and cheap! Real bargain!
In the Europe try in Orchideen-Wichmann, as they have a great choice of Aliceara and Beallara orchids.

Some pictures presented in this article may not belong to me and are a property of their respectable owners.


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