Orchids forum: Need some advice !!

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Name: Jeff
Hudson, Fla (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America
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Moe
Jul 23, 2016 3:52 PM CST
Hi everyone !! I just received some Orchids that are in just terrible shape.. The man that owned them passed away some time ago and his wife just let them go... There is hardly and some absolutely no media in those baskets..I am going to repot them all in new baskets with new media..The Lady i met while on a jog this morning I had a great talk with her ..She started talking about her husbands Orchids and i explained i was just getting into growing them...She then took me to the back of her house and gave me 5 of them..I know 1 is a Vanda in terrible shape...She told me they were all brought back from Hawaii....I am wondering if you can help me identify the types by leaf or not...What my plans are : new media, watering, and a good fertilizing..Any other thoughts or suggestions are appreciated...Thanks so much!!
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[Last edited by Moe - Jul 23, 2016 4:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Jeff
Hudson, Fla (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America
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Moe
Jul 23, 2016 3:57 PM CST
I also have no clue on Vanda !! do they need media?? There is not a bit of it with this plant?
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
Jul 23, 2016 5:14 PM CST

Moderator

I would think those baskets on the table are Dendrobiums.
Now none of them looks really bad to me. I would simply cut out the really dead stuff. ( I like to use razor blades, a clean one for each plant) Just clean out the old debris. I would think you grow them outside? So, after the clean up really water them well. In a couple of days fertilize them too.
Some of the growth looks well attached to the basket and those roots will be permanently destroyed if you try to pry them off now.
New medium? Probably not at all, if they go outside and get flooded daily in your location.
Regarding the Vanda, also water it really well. And then I would take a closer look at that loopy old growth. The now main plant has plenty roots, so I would cut that (in your picture the upper loop) large old curved stem off. Then you can straighten out that plant already and hang it up properly.
If you water that plant well, no medium is needed. Vandas want warmth, bright light and lots of water and fertilizer.

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 23, 2016 5:19 PM CST
The ones on the table all look like Dendrobiums to me. That poor Vanda hanging from the eaves , I can't help you with...as it doesn't appear to have any healthy roots, and I don't live in Vanda country.
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 23, 2016 5:21 PM CST
Glad you beat me, Ursula! Hilarious!
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
Jul 23, 2016 5:24 PM CST

Moderator

You will be able to tell how alive the roots are, when you water them. They have a covering called Velamen which will change color when thoroughly wet. If you flood the plant and the roots stay brittle and don't change color, then you might have a problem. But I truly don't think so.
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
Jul 23, 2016 5:25 PM CST

Moderator

Carol, just trying to help! Smiling
Honestly, I have seen a lot worse!
Name: Jeff
Hudson, Fla (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America
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Moe
Jul 23, 2016 5:57 PM CST
Kind of a mess Huh? Believe it or not that Vanda does have some good healthy roots...Thank you Ursula and Carol....Good idea on not removing them from the baskets ..I will clean them up and give them some help..Thank you for your help !!!!!
[Last edited by Moe - Jul 23, 2016 5:58 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 23, 2016 6:11 PM CST
Ursula, You have a lot more experience than I ever will! That Vanda is just the worst looking I've ever seen, but as said, I don't see many.
Name: Jeff
Hudson, Fla (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America
Image
Moe
Jul 23, 2016 7:15 PM CST
It will be a beauty when I'm done with it Carol...It isn't very upright..In fact when I go out and look I find myself cocking my head sideways....I am going to do what Ursala said and cut the S shape out of it and get it upright...That thing was buried in a bunch of banana trees I'm surprised it's alive at all... Sticking tongue out
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 23, 2016 7:43 PM CST
Somehow they manage to live in the wild with no help from us at all. Smiling
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 24, 2016 7:54 AM CST
Amazing survivors there, Jeff and I sure admire you for adopting these sad little orphans. Please keep us posted on their progress.

I'm with Ursula on not re-potting right now. Just clean out any dead material you can get to, and start watering and fertilizing those babies. A gentle spray with the hose might wash out any old, rotting medium to help clean things up a bit. Then as the weather gets more dry in the fall, you can add a handful or two of orchid bark to the baskets to hold a little bit more moisture around them. Go very dilute on the fertilizer at first, too - maybe 1/4 strength than what the package says. But you can fertilize every 5 days or so in the hot weather.

Vandas like to grow with their roots hanging out in the breeze like that, yes and without any medium whatsoever. But they do like to be sprayed with the hose until their roots turn green, every day pretty much, if it doesn't rain. Did I recall you said you have a mist system already in place at your house? Perfect for those orchids!

Have you watched the "Free video . . " at the top of the Orchids forum? It's really informative about growing orchids in Florida, a great reference and great advice from a true expert on the subject. (I have his books too, and they are great)
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Jeff
Hudson, Fla (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America
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Moe
Jul 24, 2016 1:58 PM CST
Thank you Elaine !! I managed to clean a couple of the baskets out today ..I sure want to put some bark in them, the roots look lonely....Yes I watched the movie 3 times Elaine...That's what it takes to get anything implanted in my brain Whistling ...yep I have those misting units ..They are going under them for sure..
[Last edited by Moe - Jul 24, 2016 2:00 PM (+)]
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Name: Jeff
Hudson, Fla (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America
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Moe
Jul 27, 2016 9:41 AM CST
I have all of the baskets cleaned out for the most part...I've cut most of the dead stuff out and treated all of my cuts with cinnamon ...There seems to be a lot of old broke down media in amongst the roots I've cleared all I can with my fingers...I'm thinking I may go back in with some tweezers to get more...I've been also going through my misting system..It all works but I need to take each head off and clean them completely...Some work some not so well ..I think if I just soak them in some vinegar or CLR I will be good to go...My computer crashed but as soon as I can I will post some photos...
[Last edited by Moe - Jul 27, 2016 9:42 AM (+)]
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Name: Jeff
Hudson, Fla (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America
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Moe
Jul 27, 2016 9:46 AM CST
Now on to the Vanda !! I have an idea I think will work perfectly for that gal....She is going to come back like the Terminator would say...I will be back !!
[Last edited by Moe - Jul 27, 2016 2:28 PM (+)]
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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
Jul 27, 2016 2:50 PM CST

Moderator

Heh, I like that!! Thumbs up
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 27, 2016 2:58 PM CST
Jeff, as long as you rinsed the baskets out with the hose, most of the small, broken down medium (looks like dirt) will have been washed away. That will allow nice, big air spaces between the larger pieces so the plants' roots can dry out between waterings. With our fabulous humidity working for you, those orchids will be happy to just have their roots exposed to the air, and to be getting some regular water and fertilizer. Wait until you start seeing some new growth before you add new bark.

Once the first cold front comes through in October, the humidity will drop and that's the time you'll need a little more moisture-holding material around the roots.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
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
Jul 27, 2016 4:15 PM CST
October is only 65 days off, not that I am counting or anything. Crying
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
Name: Jeff
Hudson, Fla (Zone 9a)
Region: United States of America
Image
Moe
Jul 27, 2016 7:57 PM CST
Elaine I washed them out real well...The problem I'm seeing and it may be not a big deal but it appears the roots on a couple have kind of wrapped completely around some of that broken down old stuff and the water just doesn't flush it out...I guarantee the roots are definitely getting more air..A couple have well rooted onto the baskets and I can see most all of the roots they appear healthy but the darn basket is 3/4 empty...It's strange to me because I'm used to growing things in soil .:tongue_smilie:
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
Image
dyzzypyxxy
Jul 27, 2016 8:49 PM CST
Yeah, that's one of the early challenges you face with growing orchids - the concept that you don't need to bury the roots. It's a whole different kind of plant. Don't worry, as long as you can see lots of roots and they look like they're happy, the plants will be fine. Just imagine what they have to deal with growing in the wild?!

Well, just to mess with your brain now, I'll tell you that there are also terrestrial orchids that DO grow in soil. . . Phaius and Spathoglottis are a couple that I grow. They grow pretty much like 'normal' plants. But they really love lots of earthy broken down stuff, loose friable loam.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill

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