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Thread: Need lots of help!

  1. #1

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    Wink

    Hey everyone! Ok, here's the deal... I rescued this poor orchid from a rack at our local K-mart that is going out of business, god knows how long it has been sitting there in neglect, but it still looks ok, just one dead leaf, the lowest one. There are three main stocks, one has flowers, so I am taking this as a sign that it is still in at least decent health. I need to know the following...

    1. Does anyone know what variety this may be, like what do stores like this usually put out? It's the same type I always see at stores in my area (Eastern Washington). So I would just like to know some types to look for on the internet to compare it to.

    2. Second, I need to know how on earth to take care of this poor thing. I know Orchids need way different care than all my Neps, at least I think so, this is why I am checking. I have never owned an Orchid, just always thought they were gorgeous.

    That's pretty much it for now. I need to know how I should go about re-potting it and all that jazz. Is there anything special I need to tend to right away...HOW SHOULD I WATER IT Please, someone with good knowledge, I very much appreciate tips on this.
    Can anyone see such marvelous things, knowing them to be only plants and feel no wonder?

  2. #2

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    I would guess dendrobium or phalenopsis based on local stores here in FL. Do a search on these and you should get lots of info on plant care. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    There's a tunnel at the end of the light...

  3. #3

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    Its probably a dendrobium. The like quite a bit of strong light. Orchid bark works fine for a soil. Other things like perlite and charcoal can also be added. Water it just before the soil dries out. A humidity of 50% or more is good. Very easey to take care of.

  4. #4

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    Ok, it seems to me it is a dendrobium. So, when you say bright light, do you mean, just a well sun lit room, or direct sun? I thought orchids prefered an almost shady environment with like filtered sunlight.

    Also, alot of the pictures I am looking at have them in containers that trap water, won't let it drain out, so how much and how often should I water if I go this route? I know they like warm pure water. Also, how often should I give it orchid food stuff (the special fertilizer for orchids) I have some, have had for a long time, use it when one of my CP's are lookin down.

    Also (I know I am asking alot of stuff here, sorry) there are three blossoms left on the shaft, they are already open, I read somewhere else on the forum about cutting the shaft at the second node...I am curious, are the nodes the buldges in the shaft, does that mean above or below the node, and is it too late to even bother since all the blossoms have opened and all but three have fallen off it seems.

    I also saw alot of these planted in long fibered sphagnum and the roots were growing out of the top of the pot. I thought this looked really cool, is there some special potting technique for this, something under the sphagnum like DIRT, lol, or is just because of the type of orchid it is?

    Ok, that is PLENTY of questions for now, thanks so much for the answers I have already gotten.
    Can anyone see such marvelous things, knowing them to be only plants and feel no wonder?

  5. #5

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    I've seen orchids in sphagnum as well. I doubt it would be the best choice for a dendrobium, but they are adaptable, and would probably adjust. My mom even grew one in plain potting soil for years (though it didn't grow nearly as fast as it does now in orchid bark/potting soil mix). Sphagnum mixed with orchid bark might work fairly well, but I doubt sphagnum could stay alive in the same conditions. Dendrobiums really don't do as well in undrained containers. They're more tolerant of overwatering then phals, but I still would make sure they aren't sitting in water for more than a couple days at a time. The cutting of flower stalks won't encourage it to flower (it works mainly on phals), but it should flower after sending up new canes (once or twice a year usually).

    Some orchids prefer shade, but dendrobium isn't really one of them. In fact, my mom grows them on windowsills right next to nepenthes. They can take slightly shadier, but in general, the same light will work.

  6. #6

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    Check out this site for orchid care tips. There are plenty more if you search. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img]
    There's a tunnel at the end of the light...

  7. #7

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    Thanks guys, I think this is enough to get me going [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img] . I appreciate it.
    Can anyone see such marvelous things, knowing them to be only plants and feel no wonder?

  8. #8
    Moderator Schmoderator Fluorescent fluorite, England PlantAKiss's Avatar
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    Hi Flint

    Long time, no see. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif[/img] You most likely have a dendrobium (which you may already have identified it by now). Dens are happy in an east window. And as with most orchids they don't like wet feet...so a loose, well draining medium is preferred. I use orchid bark, lava rock and charcoal in various amounts. Some are in pots and some are in orchid baskets. Let the medium dry out a bit before watering. Some people water by dunking the plant in a bucket and let them soak for a while. I put mine in the sink and give them a tepid shower to get dust off the leaves as well as soak the roots.

    If your plant was rather sickly when you got it, I'd let it finish blooming and then cut the stem off. Let the plant recuperate from its stress and then it should bloom nicely for you on the next go round.

    Let me also put a note in that I (unknowingly) purchased some dens with black spot disease...and it has ravaged quite a few of my dens. I am sick over it. So when you buy from a place like Lowes (who does not take care of their plants and get diseased plants from their supplier), make sure you buy one that does not have yellow leaves with black spots on it or you may be bring something bad into your home.

    I have four paph orchids in bloom now and hope to get some pics to post soon.

    Good luck!

    Suzanne
    "Fox terriers are born with about four times as much original sin in them as other dogs." - Jerome K. Jerome

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