Orchids forum: A gift plant

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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 22, 2014 7:51 PM CST
Lynne gave me a moth orchid, in clay pot in a do it yourself hanging basket, the plants are done blooming she said and she was going to throw them out but decided to give me them to try my hand at growing them again, the flowers are purple. . lynne gave the plants a nice drink and repotted them out of their orginonal containers, now i've hung them up as close to my light as possible and drianed them the best i could, as was instructed to do by Lynne who gave them to me.


I've tried my hand at orchids once before and they bit the dust..... help please! I dont want this gift to go the same way.


Thanks
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Dec 22, 2014 8:39 PM CST
Orchid (Phalaenopsis)

My best advice would be to remember that these are epiphytes...air plants...excellent drainage, and good air flow is a must. Phals don't want full sun...bright light is good, but full sun is a no-no. My Phals only get late afternoon sun in the winter...bright, but shaded light the rest of the year. Overwatering is the biggest killer! They don't like to be wet! Allow them to 'dry' slightly. They really are pretty easy to grow.
Can you tell what the potting medium is? An 'orchid bark' medium is best. A totally wet Sphagnum moss...not so much...

Good luck!
[Last edited by terrafirma - Dec 22, 2014 8:44 PM (+)]
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 22, 2014 8:55 PM CST
Lynne repotted it in orchrid bark, she did water it, so how long should I let it go before watering again. I'll post photos of it when I get back from christmas with my family.


Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
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drdawg
Dec 23, 2014 8:32 AM CST
Is the plant in a solid pot, in a mesh-pot, in a hanging basket, or perhaps in a clay pot? Everything Tara said is right-on, though with the sun so low in the southern sky, there is not enough intense sun rays to damage the Phal. But that's a minor issue and really of no importance since you won't be growing it outside this time of year.........I guess you are not in S. Florida, right? IF you had more information on your "personal" information column (there is none), I would know more about your growing conditions.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 23, 2014 10:52 AM CST
Yes, ventilation around the roots is very important for Phals. Another thing that's important is to have the crown of the plant slanted a little bit so when you water, the water doesn't sit in the cup of the leaves. See in the pic below how the plants face sideways a bit? Also don't worry when they put roots up into the air, this is healthy. In nature, they cling onto the trunks of trees, so they like lots of air around the roots.
Thumb of 2014-12-23/dyzzypyxxy/867f45
I would water it only about every 3 or 4 days in the winter, and maybe a little more often in summer. But do try to keep the humidity up around the plant, by either spraying the leaves with a spray bottle once in a while, or keeping it in the kitchen or bathroom (if there's enough light). If you keep a tiny bit of weak soluble fertilizer in the spray bottle, the plant will like it even more. Orchids are epiphytes, and feed through their leaves as much, or more than through the roots.

Phals normally bloom in the spring, and mine get "insipred" to send up bloom spikes by a short spell of cool weather. Then as it warms back up, the spikes appear. Yours have been 'forced' to bloom out of season so they actually might bloom again in the spring. But after that only expect to see blooms once a year. They last a long, long time though. I've had blooms go for 3 months on a healthy Phal.

Will you put the plant outside for the summer? Be sure to wait until the night temperatures are staying above about 50deg. Then hang it in a tree with filtered shade and just peeks of sunshine. Trees create an area of higher humidity because of the transpiration of their leaves, so Phals and other orchids just love to hang in a tree. However, they don't like to be moved much, so it may pout a while after you put it outside. See below.

If your plant suddenly develops shriveled up leaves don't panic! People think the plant is dying when it does this, but if you just patiently wait and don't water it except for spraying the leaves for a while it will return just fine. I've had 100% of my Phals that have done this recover. Patience is really a virtue when growing all types of orchids. Rolling my eyes. Angel


Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 23, 2014 11:14 AM CST
I agree Everything Elaine says is right-on. Thumbs up I have a dozen or so that are now growing inflorescences. Some of those are new and some are off old growth. My NOID Dendrobium has five inflorescences and counting. My Phal. equestris was in constant bloom from April until August! 3-4 months is the norm.
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Dec 23, 2014 3:39 PM CST
Super information, Elaine! Thumbs up One thing I need to remember to do more of is the fertilization...Weakly weekly!
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 23, 2014 3:46 PM CST
its in a clay pot,thats hung by a ropelike supention, you basiclly fit the ropes around the pot and hang as is ., it was orgionally growing in moss but got repotted into some orchid bark from your enchanted florist- i forget the big box name. i found a orchid site i'll post on here later, that told me fur bark is bad for moth orchids as it retains too much water, they need a special growing medium. Is superthrive any good cuz I could make up a gallon or so of that when I go back on friday, (right now i'm vacationing with my parents in bamidji). and spray it on the plants every now and then.


I dont know how to update my icon/ which is why it still has an acorn on it. I live in twin cities mn, zone 4.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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drdawg
Dec 23, 2014 3:53 PM CST
Douglas fir bark is the cornerstone for almost every orchid potting media out there. Until it begins to break down (1-2 yr.) it retains practically no moisture whatsoever. That's why it has been used for many decades.

Superthrive is not a fertilizer, it is a hormone mixture and most people think the advertisement of it is a bunch of hype and that the product is of little value. There is absolutely nothing wrong in using it up, but mix it in your water or in your diluted fertilizer.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 23, 2014 3:58 PM CST
Okay.. any fertilizer you reccomend for spraying on the leaves of your plants- all plants though not just orchids.

The wesite is Repotme.com
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
Cat Lover Master Gardener: Florida Tropicals Multi-Region Gardener Vegetable Grower Region: Florida
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dyzzypyxxy
Dec 23, 2014 3:59 PM CST
SuperThrive is not a fertilizer, and its only real use is as a root stimulant. So if you're rooting cuttings, or growing seedlings it's ok, but there's no research that shows it has much benefit. It's definitely not what you want to use to spray on the leaves of your orchids. Any soluble fertilizer, like Miracle Gro, or Better Gro for Orchids will be great.

Does your clay pot have vent holes in the sides? Third pic is an orchid pot from Lowe's, about $4.
Thumb of 2014-12-23/dyzzypyxxy/70c7c4 Thumb of 2014-12-23/dyzzypyxxy/c9000b Thumb of 2014-12-23/dyzzypyxxy/3498e9
The fir bark mix from the big box stores works ok for my Phals. You just have to be sure to wait for it to dry out. As it breaks down (a year or two) it will get more moisture retentive so you need to keep an eye on it.

To add more info and a picture to your profile, click on the little icon of a person in the blue area under "All Things Plants" on the home page. Then you can click on "change your public profile".
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Dec 23, 2014 4:23 PM (+)]
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Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 23, 2014 4:29 PM CST
That works perfectly i'll get the mericle grow fertilizer, now will tap water be okay, or do i need ro/ distilled water?
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 23, 2014 4:34 PM CST
Tap water is all I have ever used. If you have to purchase the Miracle Gro anyway, why not get the orchid fertilizer instead? The big box stores will have it and when you break the price down to the cost of a 1/2 tsp. per gallon, the cost difference is negligible. You can use the orchid fertilizer with all of your house plants.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
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If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 23, 2014 5:11 PM CST
maybe I'll order the fertiliizer from repot.com instead
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]
Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
Composter Bromeliad Master Gardener: Mississippi Cat Lover Tropicals Plumerias
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drdawg
Dec 23, 2014 5:13 PM CST
They will have quality stuff. MSU and Grow More are two good brands that I use, but I have six different formulae on hand. You just need a general purpose one, something like 20-20-20 will do fine.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
[url=www.tropicalplantsandmore.com]www.tropicalplantsandmore.com[/url]
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Name: Alex Junge
MN st paul, (Zone 4a)
Plantsmylove
Dec 23, 2014 5:43 PM CST
I brought some stuff off Amazon, (Orchid love fertilizer) as most other online shopping places require credit cards I dont use credit cards as they are dangerous.

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