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Thread: Terrestrial orchid "?"

  1. #1

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    I got an orchid from my uncle a couple of weeks ago, and I'm not sure what mix I should use for it. He got it from somewhere on his property, and gave it to me since he knows I like to grow stuff. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] I know it's a terrestrial orchid, but that's about it. I have it right now in a mix of perlite, peat moss, lavarock, charcoal, and orchid bark. I just want to know if this is a good mix or if I should change it. It hasn't done much since I put it there, but I checked the bulb and it looks fairly healthy, with a couple of new roots.

    Joel

  2. #2
    fatboy's Avatar
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    Hi Joel

    Kind of hard to say for sure without knowing what your orchid is.
    A couple of general "rules" that will apply to your orchid, whatever it is:
    make sure the mix is quick draining, no orchids that I know of like to sit in muddy, clayey soil. They'll rot very quickly.
    you said it has a bulb, plant the bulb so it sits on top of the soil, not under it.

    Cheers, fatboy.

  3. #3
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Hi Joel

    I would love to have one of those and hope to one day but they are expensive! However they can be difficult to grow as they do need a very specific soil mix that replicates their native acidic soil. (These are normally grown outdoors in shade to part shade gardens. I think you can grow them in a pot but I"m not sure about indoors. And Fatboy is right about drainage. They like moisture but not soggy or clayish soil. The terrestrial variety are cypropedilums and you can search the web for more info. I thought I had a link to a site but I can't find it. If I find it I will drop it in here.

    Suzanne

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    It's been a while since I started this thread, but I want to add a little update if you don't mind. [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]

    Anyway, I've had this plant for a month and a little bit, and I'm still not 100% sure what it is since there are lots of terrestrial orchids (PlantAKiss says its a cypropedilum but I have no idea [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]). I thought that it had died for a few weeks since the original leaves that it had dried up. However, a few weeks ago I noticed that it started putting out new leaves! :o Here's the pic!



    You can see two bulbs there, and they are both green (I think that's a good sign...right? :confused:). The new leaves are coming out of the bulb on the right (I think). I have it in a mix of sand, charcoal, vermiculite, perlite, peaty soil, orchid bark and big lava rock chunks (I have all that stuff hanging around in the garage [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif[/img]). On a side note....

    I went to the "national astronomy and ionosphere center" arecibo observatory ( http://www.naic.edu ) on saturday (for my astronomy class) and I noticed a lot of similar looking orchids around the area (as well as some tillandsia but never mind that) that looked a lot like the ones that I have. The wierd thing is that they were growing on the rock walls!! The bulbs were really small, but they looked almost identical to mine. The coolest thing though was that they were also flowering!! :o I wish I had taken my camera that day! [img]http://www.**********.com/iBhtml/non-cgi/emoticons/sad.gif[/img]

    So is my orchid terrestrial or not? Thanks in advance.

    Joel

  5. #5

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    Hey Joel,

    You may want to ask your uncle where on his property he found the orchid. If it was growing in the ground, it is terrestrial; if it was growing elsewhere, consider it epiphytic. Common sense (the only thing I can go by here!) 'dictates' that terrestrials would grow in a less airy, more compact mix with smaller pieces of bark and less of it.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    I think most cypros like acid soil...peat, pine needles, etc. but it must be well draining soil. They don't like wet feet.

    Suzanne

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