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Thread: Orchids

  1. #1

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    Unhappy

    I love plants. I want to expand into the realm of orchids...I really like the delicate ones that look like they are just balancing on the thin branch (please excuse my lack of knowledge of orchids and proper names) if anyone can give me some reccommendations for orchids that are pretty easy to grow, good for a beginner, where to buy, and any tips that you can give me...it'd be great. thanks so much. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]
    M


    And everyday was just music...

  2. #2

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    Hi Pale Shadow,
    Be careful with orchids! They are as addictive as carnivorous plants!
    The orchid family is huge. Different orchids need different conditions, and its best to start with plants that are most suited to your conditions. Consider factors like light(intensity), humidity levels, temperature range that you can maintain as well as space available for growing healthy orchids. When you say "balancing on a thin branch", do you mean the entire plant up on a tree branch? Or do you mean the flowers on a thin bloom spike, appearing almost to hover near the plant?
    A lot of us here would be glad to help if you could be a little more specific.

    Trent

  3. #3

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    Sorry! I haven't done a ton of research yet, so I guess I didn't know what you needed. Ok, I live in Massachusetts, so it would be an indoor plant, can I keep them on my window sill? Light is flexible...if they're in the window, they'll be getting a lot. Are there species that don't require light? The type of orhcid I was talking about is where the blossoms are hovering near their stem...but it looks like a thin, arched branch. Does this make sense?
    M


    And everyday was just music...

  4. #4

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    You are probably describing a phalenopsis orchid...go to www.orchids.com and look at some pics...you will find somthing to macth it against. They are a great beginners orchid! Now read on......


    Some species need tons of light(Vandas/Dendrobiums) while others don't (phalenopsis/Paphiopedilums)....what I must stress is to do your reserch first....I would love to grow Vandas, but I can't because the humidity requirements and light needed to support growth and flowering are to high.....likewise I can't grow any of the Dracula because they need temps down in the 55-60 every evening along with good humidity.....

    While there are other more flashy books around Orthos "All about Growing orchids" is a good book to start with.....it tells you about basic important requirements for most orchids....since you are up North I would also recomend that you give Cypripedium's a chance....they are an orchid native to the American north and can be grown outdoors year round in pots!

    Also find out what the strength of light is in the area(window, corner, hallway) you intend to grow the plants....many plants can survive just fine in lower light levels but will never give you a single bloom....oh and don't forget ocrhid fanatics do everything in footcandles!

    Then once you have a firm idea what you have in your house go find an expert in your area...see what he(or she) is growning, ask their advice and all around steal as much knowlege as possible from them....most orchid growers LOVE to talk about their plants so ask questions, questions, questions!

    Good questions sound like this.
    How often CAN it bloom?
    What kind of conditions does this plant favor?
    HOW FAST DOES IT GROW?
    how LARGE/TALL can it get?
    what kind of feeding strength is correct for our area?
    How much feeding and how often for this plant?
    Is the city water ok for my plants?

    The feeding strength and type is different across the country. I feed with every watering following the "Weekly, weakly" rule. I also feed in a cycle of 3-1.

    Many books recommend a 30-10-10 formulation at 1/2 strength but down here in Texas we use a 20-20-20 formulation at about 1/4 to 1/2 recommend strength for 3 general feedings and 1 watering of 15-30-15 formulation1/4 to 1/2 recommend strength for root promotion(the 3-1 cycle). Ask a local expert what work for them.

    Here is a big one..roots are they key to orchids...if you get a plant with shoty roots you need to try get those things growing.....when we(in Texas) come across that situation use 15-30-15 at 1/4 strength for 3 waterings and a balanced 20-20-20 once(3-1 cycle again but reversed). Ask a local expert what works for them.

    Where to find experts?
    Look in your telephone book...look under orchids....go to one of those because orchid growers know plants better than any book---if there are no entries like that look for your local chapter of the AOS or local orchid society....

    Summary-Do you reserch first.
    Find a local expert(or 2) and steal their knowlege!
    Shop for plants you can sucessfully grow.
    And have fun with them of course! [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html312/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif[/img]

  5. #5
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    Maybe you're thinking of a nobile type Dendrobium. Examples include Dendrobium nobile and Dendrobium aphyllum (or pierardii). Those are nice because they're deciduous so, by late fall, you stop watering them, let them drop all their leaves, and put them in a coolish spot. I hang them in a difficult to reach north window. When you notice buds in the spring, you start watering again and bring them back to a good growing area. They're really nice plants because the mid-winter indoor humidity plunge doesn't matter.

    Can you keep the orchids outside during the summer? I'm in CT and believe much of my success with orchids is because they have a nice vacation outside for the summer. Window orchids seem to do fine indoors during fall and mid-spring, but winter is tough on them (low humidity) and late spring can be hard too (roasting at a hot window). But all is forgiven when they get to go outside for 3+ months. Some of the big hybrid Phals, especially, do more growing their first six weeks outside than they had the previous six months.

    If your orchids have to stay inside all year, plan to move them from window to window as seasons change. The mid-winter sun in the northeastern US is weak enough that pretty much any orchid will prefer a south window. But few would like it there mid-summer.

    But don't be put off by intimidating instructions for growing orchids. I had vowed to never grow orchids because they're too hard. Then I bought a discounted Dendrobium (the phalaenopsis type I now know I have trouble with) on a whim and now have perhaps 70, almost all species. After using up all available E, S, & W window space, I made an 18" x 48" growing area on top of a TV/stereo cabinet. I consider many orchids to be easier than African Violets and other common houseplants. Good luck.
    Bruce in CT

    Madness is something rare in individuals but in groups, parties, peoples, ages it is the rule. Friedrich Nietzsche

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