Orchids forum: A friend's present but she doesn't know what it is or how to care for it??

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Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
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extranjera
Apr 10, 2016 1:48 PM CST
My best friend got an orchid as a birthday gift and she really doesn't want to kill it so I said I would try and find out here what type it is so we can see what it needs. It has little knobby things at the base, and I tried to get a pic of the flowers that are still on it.
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Thanks for any help, I'm pretty sure the orchid will thank you too Rolling my eyes.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Apr 10, 2016 1:54 PM CST

Moderator

Hmm, some sort of Encyclia? Our Floridians might be closer with their growing condition than I am. Here in NJ I would give it bright light.
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
Apr 10, 2016 7:00 PM CST
We have some native Encyclias here in Florida so I find them easy to grow. Filtered light, warm and humid should do it.

Jim
Name: Jolana
Mountain City, Tx (Zone 8b)
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Bee Lover The WITWIT Badge Region: Texas Garden Art Irises
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froggardener
Apr 10, 2016 7:30 PM CST
That's pretty!!
Gardening is learning, learning, learning. That's the fun of them.
You're always learning !
Helen Mirren
Name: Elaine
South Sarasota, Florida (Zone 9b)
The one constant in life is change
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dyzzypyxxy
Apr 10, 2016 10:23 PM CST
It's a beauty, Jonna. No idea what it is either, but Ursula and Jim are our resident experts. My only comment would be to try to keep it as cool as possible during your hot summer weather. I think in Merida you get hotter in summer than we do in coastal Florida - mid-90's is about the worst we get since the summer pattern usually gives us sea breezes and clouds in the afternoons.

Under a large shade tree is often a few degrees cooler than other shady areas near buildings (that retain heat) since trees transpire so much water on hot days, they cool their surroundings.

A light spray of very dilute fertilizer might be helpful every week or two, and if you have a run of wet weather, pull it in under a roof overhang so it doesn't stay too soggy for too long. Most orchids like to be thoroughly watered then let to dry out before they're watered again.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Apr 11, 2016 9:44 AM CST
Thank you all. I will look around her house for a good spot for it. I take care of her house as she works every summer in Europe so I'm the only one around during the rainy season. Where it is now is a small enclosed terrace off a bathroom that might be perfect in the winter but I'm afraid it will get really hot in summer, we are already having over 100°F temps. There are a bunch of banana plants growing in the back corner of her garden, it is usually cooler, moist and shady under there, that might be a good spot for the summer as the big leaves will keep much of the rain out. It is planted now in mostly lava rock, not much soil so probably we should leave it alone at least until after the rains?
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
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
Apr 11, 2016 10:48 AM CST
The lava rock sounds fine but the soil, not so much.

Jim
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Apr 11, 2016 1:27 PM CST
OK, we'll pull it out of the pot as the blooms are about done now anyway and just use gravel, lava rock and coconut chips. I may put some coconut coir around it so it doesn't have to be watered every day. I've discovered that I have to water my bare root orchids too much for it to be practical in this heat so I've got them on a tree but wrapped with some coconut coir and some coconut chips inside so it holds a little moisture. I don't often get blooms on some of them, the vandas, and I'm guessing that is because they need fertilizer. I'm going to work on getting that sorted.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
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
Apr 11, 2016 8:21 PM CST
Sounds like a plan, Jonna. Just make sure there are good air spaces around the roots. Most orchids would rather be too dry than wet all the time. That's why soil doesn't work - not enough air in the mix.

As far as your Vandas not blooming, they might need more light. Vandas are pretty demanding of sunlight. The headache there is how to give them sun without getting them too hot - east facing exposure so they get sun when it's coolest in the mornings? But they do also like to be fed more than most orchids. Maybe keep a spray bottle with some dilute fert in it near them and just spritz
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Apr 12, 2016 11:37 AM CST
hmm, one of the vandas is on the back wall facing north and it gets light but no direct sun. The other 2 are newer and are mounted on wood with a hanger, actually made from a coat hanger. I bought them on a street corner near the main market a couple months ago, they probably came from Veracruz. Anyway, I have them hanging on the filter of the indoor pond and for now they get about an hour of direct sun and lots of light. I dunk them in the pond water every day and hope that the fish poop counts as fertilizer. I will have to move them in the fall though, the sun moves lower and does not come directly in the overhead opening in the winter. Maybe I can work out a space for them on the roof that isn't too hot. They can have a winter home and a summer home Hilarious!
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
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
Apr 12, 2016 3:00 PM CST
Hmm, wish I had a winter home and a summer home. Whistling
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
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
Apr 12, 2016 9:17 PM CST
The indoor pond situation sounds perfect, Jonna. The fish poop sure does count as fert.

The roof might be excellent during the cooler months, too.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Charter ATP Member Spiders! Native Plants and Wildflowers Region: Pennsylvania Greenhouse Cactus and Succulents
Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Ponds Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Region: New Jersey
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Ursula
Apr 13, 2016 7:21 AM CST

Moderator

My Vandas got fish water/poop all Winter long. Smiling

Regarding their exposure to Sun and heat, we saw blooming Vandas everywhere in Thailand on porches and such, roots waving in the hot Summer breeze. A friend who grew up in Malaysia told me that their driveway in Kuala Lumpur was lined with blooming Vandas. ( that must have been a sight)
He always grew the prettiest Vandas here in NJ outside and he flooded them at least once daily in hot weather and fertilized weekly. I grow mine here in NJ always in the sunniest spots, water daily. I have always grown them also with their roots hanging free, hanging either from a basket or without any anchor.
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Apr 14, 2016 3:14 PM CST
Good info. All I knew was that people in Florida seem to grow them in their 'Florida rooms' and I had assumed that was a screen room with a roof, ie no direct sun. I'm probably mistaken on the concept, the only time I've been in Florida is at the Miami airport so I don't know anything about it. I always wondered why they all seem to have these rooms over their pools on the House and Garden channel, are there that many more bugs there than here?
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
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
Apr 14, 2016 3:37 PM CST
I think it is just the FL style. My son has had two homes with screened rooms in FL, over the pools in his case, but he has few if any bugs and he lives along the coast. No one has screened rooms over pools around here in the SC Lowcountry and most have even glassed in their screened porches because of the pollen and those d@mn no see ums that can sneak through even the finest screening. When we were in HI everyone was warning us about the mosquitoes and we just laughed, they didn't have 10% of the skeeters we have.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
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
Apr 14, 2016 4:42 PM CST
There's a cage over our pool, (it was already there when we bought the house) but it doesn't really keep out many mosquitoes or, as Alice pointed out, the no-see-ums either. I have a few carnivorous plants hanging in the shady corners that take care of a lot of the uninvited guests. The cage does keep a lot of leaves and stuff out of the pool though, not to mention critters like raccoons and snakes. Squirrels are also known to enjoy eating orchid flowers so it's nice to have them protected by the screen cage.

Almost all my orchids are growing out there in the cage, and I figure the screen reduces the sun's intensity by about 20% which is great most of the year, but in summer, not quite enough so I have a small tarp of Aluminet that goes over the very top of the cage for late may through July. It's shade cloth that comes in different shade factors from 30% to 80% (I think) and mine is 30%. So even my sun-loving orchids get some mid-day sun protection in the hottest time of year. The shade cloth also keeps my pool from getting too warm through the summer months.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Apr 14, 2016 6:41 PM CST
ah, that makes sense. I have found bats in my pool and giant ants when they do their mating flights but no snakes, I would not like that. My dogs and high walls keep the coatimundi's and raccoons and possums out of my yard. Luckily we don't have noseeums although I have experienced those on caribbean islands, hate them. The mosquitoes are not so bad that I need a screened room except at dawn and dusk or if I skip the exterminator too long. Well, that's me - my partner would say they are bad in the rainy season.

Good to know that usually it is screening on top so there is sun, I had thought it was a solid roof.
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
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
Apr 14, 2016 7:45 PM CST
I had a pool cage but took it down to build my greenhouse. Now I have what amounts to an indoor pool surrounded by orchids. If you have no screen, you get snakes, squirrels, wasps, bats, deer flies and all the rest. The screen also keeps out snails and slugs. I wouldn't have a pool without one. The greenhouse has large sliding windows with screens and is like an extension of the house. I love it.

Jim
Name: Jonna
Mérida, Yucatán, México (Zone 13a)
Garden Procrastinator The WITWIT Badge Region: Mexico I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Ponds Tropicals
Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Plays in the sandbox Dog Lover Cat Lover
Image
extranjera
Apr 14, 2016 8:15 PM CST
Yowza! and I thought I lived in the buggy tropics!! Sticking tongue out
A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
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
Apr 15, 2016 5:15 AM CST
Oh, you have no idea, LOL, although at least, we do not have slugs, it is too salty here. It is strange though that you just do not see the pool cages along the SE coast with any degree of regularity until you hit Jacksonville - then every other house with a pool seems to have one. We certainly have as many snakes, etc and they and the alligators do get into pools here regularly, the idea just never caught on. There is one development, in our county built by Toll Brothers who are big in FL I believe, and almost every house there has a pool w/pool cage.
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.

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