Orchids forum: Growing unusual-looking species orchids? And advise on plant choices

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Name: Lore Lisa
Central New York State (Zone 4b)
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Lorli
Oct 4, 2014 11:59 AM CST
Hello,
I am a beginner with orchids and grow them in the house in the winter (fortunately I have south and southeast facing windows) and outside during the summer. I have been really lucky with the cattleya and cymbidium hybrids, but I have always wanted to grow species orchids, especially the unusual looking plants that look so interesting in or out of bloom.

I have tried to grow a few of them, but haven't done well, and I wondered if it is possible to grow them without special conditions. I'm interested in

- Dendrobium/Dockrillia cucumerinium (sp?)
- all other Dockrillias.
- Psychopsiella
- Porpax
- Ancistrochilus
- Eria species (there are some with interesting p.bulbs)

Any advice? Of course, first you have to find them, but I have seen a few of them on Ebay recently. Thanks!
Lore Lisa

"We have met the enemy and he is us."
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
Oct 4, 2014 1:03 PM CST

Moderator

Ok let's go through the list:
http://www.orchidspecies.com/doccucumberina.htm
I grow this one mounted, water daily year around, sunny condition, same as for other Dockrilleas

Psychopsiella limminghei
I found this one to be somewhat intolerant of tap water, in my hands this was a touchy plant. I would grow it also mounted

I am not familiar with Porpax

Ancistrochilus
http://www.orchidspecies.com/ancistrochilusrothchidianus.htm
I grew rothschildianus for many years, never found one lately in the trade. I would love to have picked up another plant of this.
This species is really beautiful, unfortunately if I remember this correctly, after a couple of years no new (Hershey kiss) -shaped pseudobulb formed and the plant expired. Not an easy one to grow. Perhaps a different species in this genus might be easier, I don't know.

Eria species
I can't grow any, I lose them within a year. But just google orchidspecies.com to see which one of the species matches your conditions.
Remember I can only compare them to my conditions here in NJ, perhaps others here can chime in with different thoughts on the subject.

In my hands a super-easy species is Ornithophora radicans, in spike now. Medium light, mounted, lots of water.
Ceratostylis rubra, grows easily mounted, water daily bright light. Blooms every so often year around
Domingoa haematochila, bright light, mounted, daily water. Also blooms every so often year around.
Epidendrum porpax, full sun, mounted or basket, water daily
And so on and so on….
You might simply peruse our monthly threads, pick what you like and ask questions?
Have fun. Smiling


Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Oct 8, 2014 7:55 AM CST
I grow Dockrillias from Australia in my cool room (minimum 50 degrees F) and water very rarely (every 10 days to 14 days) in late fall/winter. Then in spring I get a show of flowers. Here my Dock. schoenina.
Thumb of 2014-10-08/boojum/2c320b Thumb of 2014-10-08/boojum/e6053f

Name: Lore Lisa
Central New York State (Zone 4b)
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Lorli
Oct 8, 2014 9:40 PM CST
Thank you for the advice. Do you both find Docks relatively easy to grow? Do they need full sun?

Where did you get them from? I don't see many on the Internet? I love them, love terete leaves,which is one reason I like Brassavolas.
Lore Lisa

"We have met the enemy and he is us."
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
Oct 9, 2014 7:05 AM CST

Moderator

http://www.orchidspecies.com/doccucumberina.htm
I grow this one mounted, water daily year around, sunny condition, same as for other Dockrilleas


And no, I don't think it is a difficult plant to grow

I would think under Kathy's conditions they are probably not kept as sunny? @Boojum ?

I got mine from Andy's Orchids, listed as Dendrobium cucumerianum and he also lists the growing conditions right on his page. Andy is very good with that. Smiling
http://www.andysorchids.com
http://www.andysorchids.com/pictureframe.asp?pic=images/Spec...

Bright; 2500-3500 Footcandles (very bright indirect light) Warm,Intermediate to Cool;45°F min. to 98°F max.(tolerant of extremes,favoring warm)
Miniature Fragrant
Moist/Dry; 2-4 waterings per week (let dry between waterings)

Under my conditions is dries up very fast , that's why I water daily.

Hope this helps Smiling
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
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boojum
Oct 11, 2014 9:13 PM CST
This one is in north light (medium light).
Name: Lore Lisa
Central New York State (Zone 4b)
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Lorli
Dec 8, 2014 8:16 AM CST
Sorry, I never finished this conversation as I got sick a week or so after that. Those are lovely, Kathy! How do you treat them in the summer? So encouraging to know that someone who lives up here can grow such amazing plants...

Off topic, are you near Northampton? The Smith College garden must be one of my favorite places in the world. Actually, I went to Smith because of it, I went along with my older sister when she was interviewing at Smith and I fell in love with the botanical garden. I didn't get accepted when I applied there but I went to UMass for a year an reapplied. I loved it there and I majored in Botany.

When I graduated, I moved to England and was so lucky to be able to spend time in the Oxford botanical gardens in Magdalen College and then, later, Kew. I used to pass Kew on my way home from work and stop whenever I could. I think it was 1 or 2 pence to go in. Mankind is not lost if such places can be created and maintained by humans.
Lore Lisa

"We have met the enemy and he is us."
Name: Kathy
Western MA

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Dog Lover Region: Northeast US Orchids Irises
Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Image
boojum
Dec 10, 2014 8:39 AM CST
Lore, I live a half hour from Smith and often go to the greenhouse. Maybe we could meet there next time you are here! I also got my BA from UMass. I have been to Kew years ago now, but loved it. I'm hoping to have time to go to the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens this weekend while in NYC. I spend most of my computer time on my crazy orchid lady website but I check in here periodically. You can send me a tree mail.
Name: Lore Lisa
Central New York State (Zone 4b)
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Lorli
Dec 10, 2014 1:40 PM CST
Kathy, thank you! That would be wonderful! I always plan to go but never quite get round to it, so this will motivate. I also didn't know about your website, so I will take a look. I'll tree mail you!
Lore Lisa

"We have met the enemy and he is us."
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
Dec 11, 2014 4:03 PM CST

Moderator

Lore asked :
Can anyone advise me on a couple of plant choice questions?

First: I would like to give a plant to a friend who loves orchids but I don't think has ever grown them. It would be nice to give her something a little unusual (our local grocery store sells Phals and I don't want to give her anything like that), but one that wouldn't be too difficult to grow, o require any special conditions.

Second question: although I am a beginner, too, I like to experiment, and I saw pictures of Diplocaulobium chrysotropsis and D abbreviatum. Are there any particular difficulties in growing this genus? I have not even checked to find out if the mail order nurseries have them.

Thank you in advance.
Lore Lisa.


"We have met the enemy and he is us."
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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
Dec 13, 2014 5:52 PM CST
Did you get ideas for your gift orchid? I have no clue on your second query but as a fairly new orchid nut I do think there are some easy ones that are not generally seen at Home Depot or the grocery store.

First consider if your friend will want to fuss to keep humidity up for the plant. No matter what kind you give them, some level of misting or other humidifying will be needed. Orchids are the one plant I've never given to my daughter because they live in Utah. Failure is nearly certain there.

I'd look for a Brassavola type as a beginner orchid. They're tolerant of a range of temperatures and bloom quite often given enough light. One I'm shopping for this week that makes a great holiday gift is B. Little Stars. I tip my hat to you.
Elaine

"Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm." –Winston Churchill
Name: Lore Lisa
Central New York State (Zone 4b)
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Lorli
Dec 13, 2014 10:14 PM CST
Thanks, Elaine! I love Brassavolas and the hybrids too. Ken has some lovely plants on his site to choose from, I actually have a Brassavola nodosa I got from him a long time ago that is doing really well!
Lore Lisa

"We have met the enemy and he is us."

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