Orchids forum: One has buds, what is the other?

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Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Nov 11, 2015 8:23 PM CST
Two of my 'rescued' Walmart Orchids. The first photo I'm sure is a flower stalk with buds but I'm not really sure what the other is. It's been growing like this for quite awhile. As you can tell I'm really an Orchid newbie.
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Chris
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
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 11, 2015 8:45 PM CST
That's also a flower stem, Chris. Nice going there! You're obviously doing things right. Yes, the flower stems grow agonizingly slowly.

Um, you've got a lot of hard water deposits on the leaves, though. If you have time, take a damp paper towel and try wiping that stuff off. Your orchids really want to absorb water and nutrients through the leaf surfaces, as well as their stems and roots, so keeping the leaves clean helps them a lot.

If it won't come off with just water, people who show their orchids use a combo of mayonnaise and water - the mayo has a little bit of vinegar as well as some oil to make the leaves shiny. The vinegar dissolves the hard water deposits.

If you have any way to collect some rain water, and keep it in a jug or spray bottle so you can use that instead of tap water to water your orchids, you won't get that white stuff on the leaves.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
[Last edited by dyzzypyxxy - Nov 11, 2015 8:46 PM (+)]
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Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Nov 11, 2015 9:52 PM CST
Thanks Elaine, hopefully my propane heater will keep them warm enough in the greenhouse this winter. I've noticed the deposits, they're from my misting them daily. I'll give the water and paper towel a try if now do you know how much Mayo and water to use? Since we're supposed to get a lot of rain from 'El Nino' this winter I may try collecting some rain water in some tubs I have and use that. I've noticed others that seem to have stalks starting to form also.
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Chris
Name: Jim Hawk
Odessa, Florida (Zone 9b)
Charter ATP Member Hibiscus Birds Bromeliad Greenhouse Master Gardener: Florida
Garden Photography Region: United States of America Roses Tropicals Region: Florida Orchids
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hawkarica
Nov 12, 2015 5:54 AM CST
Lemon juice might work as well.

Jim
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Nov 12, 2015 8:15 AM CST
Thanks Jim, might give that a try.
Chris
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
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 12, 2015 9:09 AM CST
Yes, anything with a little bit of acid, but if you use lemon juice, be sure to dilute it. On the mayo, I mixed about a tablespoon of mayo with 1/2 cup of water, and wiped the leaves with that on a paper towel, then wiped again with a dry paper towel to take off most of the oil. The leaves look really beautiful for a few weeks after you do this.

It's great to mist your Phals daily, especially in winter when the humidity tends to be lower. Those plants are looking really good for 'rescues', Chris. This is the time of year you generally start seeing the flower stalks growing, and they bloom in the spring, sometimes for a couple of months.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Nov 12, 2015 3:10 PM CST
I'll give both a try Elaine. The mayo sounds a bit better though. I should have built myself an automatic misting system as we're going on vacation the first week of Dec but I'm hoping my humidity trays will kind of take up the slack with keeping moisture in the air. It also looks like I'll have to run my propane heater on low in the greenhouse all the time we're gone. Wish I had someone to come over and turn it off during the day and on at night to save propane but unfortunately that's not the case. I bought 23 of the best looking Mothers Day orchids I could find in June of this year before they threw them away. Walmart let me have them for 1/2 price or less.


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Chris
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
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SarasotaPatty
Nov 12, 2015 4:09 PM CST
I would be very careful with using mayo on your plants...I had read about that many years ago and to 'surprise' my mother one time, I used mayo on her HUGE, potted, indoor tree (I don't remember if it was a rubber tree or a ficus), and it looked gorgeous when I was done. Mom loved it. And then it started to turn brown,lost every leaf, and DIED....She was told it was from the mayo clogging all the 'pores' on the leaves so they couldn't breathe and it killed the tree....I have never put mayo on another plant!

Maybe mixing it with water like Elaine suggests isn't as dangerous...but I might still shoot for the lemon juice myself. I've never gotten over killing that tree of my mom's when I was trying to do something nice. I felt SO horrible!
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
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Nov 12, 2015 5:25 PM CST
I've used the dilute mayo for years, Patty. No problems so far. As you say, it's cut pretty well with water, and I do also wipe most of it off again once I've got the hard water deposits off. I can see how using straight mayo might be too much, but I'm guessing it also depends upon how fine the oil is - we do use oil sprays on plants to battle scale insects, too. As I recall one of the products is called "ultrafine" oil. I also spray a dormant oil spray on the orchids in winter, so it can't be all that bad for them.

Got this as a tip from someone who shows her orchids at big shows up north, and she's used it for many, many years.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
Nov 12, 2015 5:39 PM CST
It was probably just me using straight mayo or something...but it has scared me SO much ever since (this was back in the late 70's!) that I will never do it again, ever! I'm a chicken! Hilarious!
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
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chris1948
Nov 12, 2015 5:43 PM CST
Thanks Patty, I'm considering the diluted lemon juice at the moment. I'm sure that's a lot cheaper than mayo anyway.
Chris
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
Nov 12, 2015 5:49 PM CST
You're welcome Chris.

I didn't mean to rain on your suggestion Elaine...I don't think I've used ANY kind of oil on plants since then (I have a thing of neem oil I've never even used for the same reason!)...I'm just scarred for life from my experience! Shrug!

What dormant oil do you use on your orchids in winter? Why?
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Nov 12, 2015 5:57 PM CST
Once those leaves are cleaned of the hard water spots, I've found that using milk ,with paper toweling, works really well for cleaning the leaves of dust, and any other environmental "spots". I use this on all of my houseplants. And the best part is there's no need to rinse, and it leaves a nice "clean" shine. Smiling
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Nov 12, 2015 6:21 PM CST
I don't have a lot of orchids but I use neem on every plant I have, it has both fungicidal and insecticidal properties; it is my go to spray. I suspect hard water deposits are harmful in themselves.

Patty, I understand your hesitation, I killed a large and favorite plant of my mother's once when I was a teenager. I put it in the shower to wash the leaves and used cold water. I figured warm would shock the plant but it turned out to the the other way around. Every leave fell off the following day. This was almost 60 years ago and I can still see my mother's face when she saw her naked plant.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Patty
Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
Orchids Garden Art Bookworm Garden Photography Birds Cat Lover
Butterflies Bromeliad Region: Florida Garden Ideas: Level 2
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SarasotaPatty
Nov 13, 2015 1:55 PM CST
That's it exactly Alice! Isn't it awful to carry this around for your entire life!
Name: Alice
Saint Helena Island, SC (Zone 9a)
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Garden Photography Container Gardener Butterflies Bromeliad
Birds Ponds Region: South Carolina Tropicals
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ardesia
Nov 13, 2015 3:12 PM CST
Sighing! I guess we are pretty fortunate if this is our only transgression.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
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Ursula
Feb 8, 2016 4:46 PM CST

Moderator

@Chris1948 asks about Epsom salt
"Water Spots still with distilled water + Epsom salt"

chris1948 said:I'm still seeing a little bit of white spots on the leaves and the stalk of my Phals even though I've switched to using distilled water for a couple of months now. I'm mixing in about 1/2tsp of Epson Salts with a bit more than 32oz of distilled water. Is that too much Epson Salt? Is it not dissolving completely? This is just plain, run of the mill Epson Salts like you soak your feet in. I must say though that since I switched they look much more healthy that they did when using tap water.



Would you please answer him here, I will now delete his new thread in an effort to consolidate some posts.
[Last edited by Ursula - Feb 8, 2016 5:06 PM (+)]
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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
Herbs Orchids Birds Garden Ideas: Level 2 Garden Sages Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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dyzzypyxxy
Feb 8, 2016 6:12 PM CST
Chris, good to hear your plants are greening up. That amount of Epsom Salts is roughly what I use, too. But I am probably watering my plants more than you are because we have higher temperatures than you do right now. (even in your greenhouse) I only use the Epsom Salts about once a week, and water with plain water in between on those plants that need it.

Why don't you try cutting it back to 1/4 tsp. for a while and see if the deposits on the leaves ease up. it might be salts from the tap water you were using before, but whatever it is, you should try to wipe it off as best you can.

You absolutely should be sure that all the Epsom Salts are dissolving in the bottle before you spray, because it's possible some remains in the bottom of your spray bottle each time you use it, causing the concentration to increase.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Chris Pollock
Copperas Cove, Tx (Zone 8a)
Greenhouse Region: Texas Orchids Adeniums Cactus and Succulents Hibiscus
Dog Lover Seed Starter Garden Ideas: Level 1
Image
chris1948
Feb 8, 2016 7:55 PM CST
Hi Elaine, here are a couple of photos of what I was told are still hard water spots. Don't know where they're coming from. I'm still misting in the morning and early afternoon and only watering/feeding every 11days or so. I'll cut back on the Epson Salt like you suggest and see if it helps though they're looking a lot better to me. I'll set up a chair at my work table in the greenhouse and get my lemon juice and distilled water mix out and go over them again. I'm shaking the spray bottle up really well before I spray and sometimes while I'm spraying.

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Chris

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