Orchids forum: jumped into the world of orchids

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Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 19, 2016 4:50 PM CST
Hi everyone,

This afternoon I finally went into the world of orchids. I have always looked at them at the stores like Lowe's, the grocery stores that have small flower areas and such. So today I saw one that interested me and didn't get it and went to the growers and decided to get 2. I am attaching pictures of them and their names.
Thumb of 2016-07-19/creativeclover/b6ae71 Thumb of 2016-07-19/creativeclover/be5baf


Thumb of 2016-07-19/creativeclover/a6f0d5 Thumb of 2016-07-19/creativeclover/071000

They mentioned that these are the easiest to grow and if you can grow these and keep them going then the others (more hybrids kinda) should not be a problem. The employees were helpful.

Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jul 19, 2016 6:08 PM CST
Well they were right about one thing...if you can get them to grow, the rest will be easy. Joshua tree? I hope you have a swamp cooler. I do, but still have to grow over a shallow bowl of pebbles and water.
Welcome! to the orchids forum!
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
Jul 19, 2016 6:19 PM CST
Richard, welcome to the orchid forum and the crazy world of orchids. You have a couple of Phalaenopsis orchids there. They are the easiest to find but perhaps not the easiest to grow. Tell us about your growing environment and where is Joshua Tree located?

Jim
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
Jul 19, 2016 6:20 PM CST
We crossed posted, Carol.

Jim
Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 19, 2016 6:58 PM CST
Hi Ct Carol and Hawarica,

Carol, I do have a swamp cool, It is my only source of cooling during the summer. Thanks for the tip

Jim, Joshua Tree is located about 50 minutes north of Palm Springs CA. Im just over an hour away from Coacehllafest the music festival.

It is very dry here. It gets about 105 during August and as low as the 20's during December. I am growing indoors in a room. They mentioned that they don't care to be in direct sun as it can burn them. Also to replant them after they bloom (saw that here to earlier today), and to plant them in bark. I am totally new to orchids. Have always grown irises in the past.

Jim, you mentioned about cross posting, where else would you have posted it?
[Last edited by creativeclover - Jul 19, 2016 7:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jul 19, 2016 7:06 PM CST
Jim, I certainly don't want to discourage any potential orchid grower, but Phals are a poor choice for the SW desert. . If you were to drive a major highway (there's only 1) through that area, there are signs telling you NOT to run your air conditioning. ...because if your vehicle overheats, you're 100 mi. from any services. The west coast snowbirds go there for the winter, but few stay. If Richard has a swamp cooler, and grows as a houseplant, the blooms will last a long time. For a grower to tell him it's an easy orchid to grow is an outright lie! I can't grow them outside here...10 mi. from the coast with reasonable humidity and much lower temps. When I buy a Phal, it's like buying annuals. Pretty, long lasting blooms, but getting one to grow and rebloom takes dedication.
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jul 19, 2016 7:13 PM CST
Richard, Jim and I posted at the same time. That's what he meant. Your Phals are lovely, and Blooms should last a long time if kept cool. There another regular here that has a daughter in Utah. I'm sure she will chime in with tips .
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
Jul 19, 2016 7:27 PM CST
Richard, Phals don't like change or direct sun so growing them in the house is a good thing. Your challenge will be keeping the humidity high enough for them. They should be kept fairly wet but allowed to dry between watering. Once you find a spot that makes them happy, let them be. Re-pot when the bark breaks down and turns to dirt. Most of us grow them on an angle to keep water from setting in the crown which may cause crown rot and kill them. Best of luck.

Jim
Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Jul 19, 2016 7:34 PM CST
Welcome, Richard. If your interested there is an orchid show this weekend at Westminster Mall. Pretty good sized and some of the top regional growers are usually there
Carol, I think I am going to cheat and tell the crew I have a 'customer meeting' in Orange County Friday and have to leave early. When are you planing on going.
Lynda is visiting family in Chicago so it will be a solo trip this time. She told me not to spend the entire weekend at Andy's Hilarious!
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jul 19, 2016 7:43 PM CST
Hilarious! I'm not sure when I'm going. I like to do the Friday, but I've invited my (almost ) daughter -in -law, and will go with her schedule, unless I hear otherwise. Which reminds me, I told her the last weekend, but it's not.
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
Jul 19, 2016 8:23 PM CST
Hey there Richard, welcome to the Orchids forum. Yes, as Carol said, I have a daughter who lives in Utah. Similar dry, hot environment (at least in summer) to where you are.

She pestered me until I bought her an orchid which she keeps in her bathroom. Luckily it has a nice big south-facing window so lots of good light, and of course it is the most humid place in their house as well. Her orchid is an Oncidium, not a Phalaenopsis, though because I thought it had a better chance of survival in her dry climate. She's managed to keep it alive and even re-bloomed it twice in two years. A minor miracle.

Jim's given you excellent advice on how to keep your little orchid going, so I won't belabor it. As Carol said, if you do use a swamp cooler to cool your home, that will help your orchid a lot with regard to raising the humidity for it. They can be "divas" but are lovely and the flowers last very well. One more tip, for when you re-pot is to buy pots that have ventilation holes as well as drainage holes. Phals love to have lots of air circulation around their roots.

I think I see some sphagnum moss in those pots you have there. That medium is notorious for packing too tight, holding a lot of water and for breaking down very quickly as well. If you can gently wiggle a chop stick or something down into the medium, it will help your plants to "breathe" better while they are still blooming. Then by all means re-pot and change the mossy medium for some orchid bark.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 20, 2016 6:40 AM CST
HI Carol and Jim, The person might have gotten confused when she recommended that particular one or was possibly told the wrong information. There was also another one she mention but was a not a mini. I will try them in different spots until I find a location that they prefer. Also, I have a small tabletop humidifier unit. Should I use that around the area I keep them to add moisture to the air?

Elaine, currently they are in moss. Here in a few weeks I was going to get some bark so I can transplant them after they finish blooming. They mentioned that when we go to transplant them to go only a little but bigger on the new container. Has anyone heard of this?

Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Organic Gardener Garden Sages Birds Frogs and Toads Plant Identifier
Dragonflies Butterflies Hummingbirder Orchids Container Gardener Garden Procrastinator
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terrafirma
Jul 20, 2016 7:32 AM CST
Hi Richard, and welcome to Orchids!

As everyone else has said, yes, the more "humid" the better, and little to no direct sun. Personally, I grow my phals in a mix of bark, and maybe 10% long fiber sphagnum. Especially for those that I keep indoors. Being in NE. Fl. most of my orchids do go outside in the spring, summer and fall, but then come in for the winter. But some of my Phals stay in year round,(only because I don't have enough shaded areas outdoors) which means they have to suffer with A/C. For those, I find that putting them on a tray of pebbles, with added H2O for more humidity helps. Along with occasional mistings. And yes, when you do re pot, I would go just one size larger.

Good luck with them!
And good luck with what could become your newest passion/obsession! Hilarious! At least that is what happened to me!!! Big Grin
Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 20, 2016 9:02 AM CST
Carol and Ted,

I wont be able to go to the orchid show this weekend. Have things to get done. I didn't know that there was an orchid show going on. Only one I knew of that happened was the One at Gublers Orchids every Year in October.

Edited,
Thanks Tara, I will remember that about the Phals.
[Last edited by creativeclover - Jul 21, 2016 8:01 AM (+)]
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Name: Ted
Brea, CA (Zone 10b)
Bulbs Region: Southwest Gardening Container Gardener Region: California Herbs Hummingbirder
Dog Lover Tropicals Cactus and Succulents Orchids Ferns Garden Ideas: Level 1
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Ted5310
Jul 20, 2016 9:48 AM CST
Mark you calendar. Another on in Sept in Costa Mesa 24th and 25th
Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 20, 2016 10:50 AM CST
@ctcarol Do you have a picture you could share of your bowl pebbles and water by chance? Thanks
Name: Carol
Santa Ana,Ca. (Zone 10b)
Sunset zone 22
Charter ATP Member Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Orchids Region: California Plant Identifier
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ctcarol
Jul 20, 2016 12:25 PM CST
Here ya go
Thumb of 2016-07-20/ctcarol/81f075

I've used the tumbled river rock for the Phal, and done the same, with smaller pebbles for the Lycaste in the pot, as it requires high humidity too. It really doesn't matter what you use as long as the orchid pot doesn't sit in the water. Gravel is commonly used, but you need to mound it up so the plant doesn't sit in water. The more surface of rock, the more evaporation.
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
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sugarcane
Jul 20, 2016 1:24 PM CST
Welcome to the party Richard ! Group hug
lindsey
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Jul 20, 2016 7:49 PM CST
Hi Richard

Welcome! to the Idiorchids crew

I live in a very dry place (Reno, NV) where the humidity often drops to 0% (no not kidding) and the temps in my greenhouse get to 110. I am planting more and more of my orchids in straight moss just to keep them damp.

I think the problem with the growers is that they pack the moss too tight. When we plant in bark, the rule is that the bark is packed tight enough that you can pick the plant up by the leaves and it won't fall out of the pot. So my thought is: watch the roots (I am assuming they are in pot liners you can see through) as all the roots the Phals have are on the outside of the moss. There are no roots in the middle - they just can't break through. Water when you can't feel dampness in the bottom hole (stick your finger in) and then water by soaking, not sprinkling.

When you do decide to repot, unless its in a 2" pot, put it back into the pot it came out of. The whole idea with orchid pots is to hold some moisture against the roots. They are epiphytes - they attach themselves to trees and let their roots hang out in the breeze.

That's why I say that the nurseries are packing the moss too tight. Loosen up the moss, soak until the moss is wet and think carefully about the move to bark.

Daisy
Name: Richard
Joshua Tree (Zone 9a)
Birds Irises Ponds Orchids
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creativeclover
Jul 20, 2016 9:59 PM CST
Thanks for the pictures Carol. It helps.

Hi lindsey.
Hi Daisy, yes they came in a clear astic container. They are in moss and when they stop flowering and.can gdt I was going to get the bark. I watchex a video today that mentioned to change the potting material /repot about every 2 years. Menti ned jt was due to the material. Reakinv down. I am going to make a small greenhouse in my house. I will lost t Bh e link tomarrow.

I do have a question about fertklizinv them but I will make a new post for it.

Edited:
Here is the video to a guy who built an indoor greenhouse in his apartment for his orchids. Its looks pretty good to me.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wzQA2cWq7II
[Last edited by creativeclover - Jul 21, 2016 5:45 AM (+)]
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