Bloom Watch #6 – To Bud, or Not to Bud

June 9, 2016
I just got back from communing with The Queen and boy is it hot. Last week it looked like there was one flower breaking stall. It was at 45mm and started to move and made it all the way to 50mm before she stopped again. Monday I checked and measured all the buds and did the same on Tuesday, and it looks like the stall is continuing with flowers stuck between 25mm and 50mm with the majority at 40mm.
There were several people who thought the increase in heat over the weekend would push The Queen into action, but as always she makes up her own mind regardless of what we think. For this year anyway, the jump in heat was not the trigger.
It seems as though the new bud formation has stopped. Two plants decided they had more buds than they could support and dropped one bud each, and one plant decided to reserve all her energy for growth and dropped both of her buds. This may be a good sign; at least she is making some solid decisions.
In the meantime, we are continuing with Bloom Night preparations. The luminaria bags are ready with candles and lighters at hand. The Desert Queen perfume and body lotions are being gathered, and the Peniocereus greggii in three sizes are ready to transfer to the Retail Greenhouse. The Garden Bistro is also finalizing their plans for the Bloom Night festivities. It seems like we are at the same place as last year, and all the previous, waiting for The Queen of the Night to say it is time. More info to come next week, unless she makes a move earlier.
Until Next Time – Lee Mason, Director of General Services, Tohono Chul