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Thread: Best way to get started?

  1. #17
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Then Clint I need to take you a picture of a purparata I have mounted. Its got a steady stream of arials coming off the bottom of the treefern slab. Looks pretty neat. Also OUtsider, there are some orchids you do not even grow in a pot. May vanda orchids are just grown in a little pot to have something to hang the hanger on. All the roots are exposed and just hang out the pot. You will learn over time that you addapt your potting style to your growing conditions for your plants. Its alot harder to change the environment, and a little less dificult, but still hard to shange your habits. So the easiest, Atleast for me, is to change the media I grow a certain plant in or go from pot to mount, or mount to pot. I basicly change the way I house the plant to go with what the plant wants. So starting with a basic mix from lowes gives you a good baseline. Don;t forget to soak the bark for aboug an hour before you pot with it. The stuff is hard to wet sometimes. So you pot with the basic mix, and if you notice that you have a regular watering scedual, and you have multiple plants, but a few seem to dry out faster than others. Instead of spot watering you just pot the ones that dry out in a more water retentive mix unless they like drying out. For example if I grew a C, walkeriana(sp) I thin thats the species I am thinking of, but anywho that plant likes to stay really dry. So instead of skipping it when I waster I pot it in such a way that it will dry out really quickly like in a basket with aliflour or gravel or something like that. You want to think about the people who will take care of your plants when you go on vacation. Trust me you need to make it as simple as possible, or you could end up with some dead or very unhappy plants when you return. My GH is setup where on hot days it can be safely watered every 2 days with no harm done to the plants. So growing orchids IS NOT hard, it just takes a little learning. Feel free to ask any questions you wish. No question is a dumb one, and someone will be glad to help out. We all were newbies once, and had questions. In fact alot of my questions were answered when someone else already asked the question, or I read something for the sake of reading it, then that situation arrises I already have the answer. Good luck!
    JB
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  2. #18
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    i used to think growing orchids was hard, just because of the way they looked. Eventually i grew an orchid and they aren't any harder to grow than anything else.

  3. #19
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Some can be tricky, but for the most part they are no harder than anything. Your absolutely correct Clint. You just have to knwo how to do it. Your not born with the knoledge on how to grow something. Most people are just lucky in the fact that some plants can prettymuch grow on their own. Orchids just need a little help. Whooooooo Clint. One more post and your at 3000 buddy! You go boy!
    JB
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  4. #20
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    happy birthday for clint.

  5. #21
    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    The environment the plants will be in is my home on window sills. I don't have a greenhouse yet (I'm thinking about making a basic one with PVC tubing who knows) but anyways is this a problem? I do have a grow chamber but I was liking the idea of having them as house plants. So climbing roots isn't a bad thing eh?
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

  6. #22
    Cardiac Nurse JB_OrchidGuy's Avatar
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    Nope. You have to think these guys grow on trees for the most part. They are not conditioned to grow confined in pots. Some species are easier than others to "tame", but others will ramble out the pot just as fast as you put them there. Hmm Bulbos come to mind there. I have two plants both are devision of the same larger plant out in my GH. Doth ar planted in the same mix, but one has roots growing down into the mix, and the other has all its roots on tip. Now the one with them on top is getting more light. Thats probably the reason. Its drying out faster so its sending up arial to catch the humid air instead of the humid mix. No big deal though. Just as a general rule repot every plant you recieve to get a general idea of health. Think of it as in introductory physical.

    My GH is made from wood and PVC. It has lasted, but I have had to modify it and recover it every year, since I use the cheap drop cloth plastic. Now I am going to rebuild it with all wood and probably use siding for the sides and just have a clear roof. I duno yet. I am still gathering wood.

    When you do window sill orchids it has been said to put them in a try with gravel or some ther means to suspend the orchids over a body of water. You do not want them sitting in the water, but you want them to be over the water. Many people use trays filled with peagravel. Then they fill water in the gravel till its just below the pots that is sitting on the mound of gravel. Now I have heard some people say this doesn;t raise the humidity inthe are and some say it does. So take from it what yo will. I do knwo you have to flush the trays once a week to keep the water fresh. Also orchids in the house tend to dry out QUICKLY. I have orchids in flower in the house and they need to be watered like every other day because of the AC. I let them sit longer sometimes, but they are bone dry when I water again. Makes for short flower life if left to be dry too long. The grow chamber would be a good idea to grow the plants in and then take them out to display flowers, but its up to you. You will have to make sure the windosills are getting enough light for the species your trying to grow, or else you will be frustrated with no flowering. Orchids will grow just dandy with less than optimal light, but refuse to flower. So, you need to learn to read your plant. Phals are op with green green leaves and gereraly flower, but Catts and lealia hybreds and even oncidium and dendrobium hybreds need to have a yellowish green tint to the leaves for good flowering.
    JB
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  7. #23
    Stay chooned in for more! Clint's Avatar
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    conversly, in terraria they can stay moist too long. i gotta switch all my media in fact because i didn't anticipate they would stay that moist for that long.

  8. #24
    Outsiders71's Avatar
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    So these guys prefer something to grow on rather than in? You say they like to be moist yet don't like to sit in water correct? Could you get by by using an airy media such as bark/coco/perlite where there is good drainage? Or perhaps a straight up mix of peagravel and grow it like a bamboo?

    Very interesting at the least.
    James 1:17

    "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."

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