Orchids forum: Just couldn't stand leaving without one....

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Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 21, 2017 12:53 PM CST
For some reason, seeing the lady at the grocery store unpack the tiny orchids finally got to me. I've looked at them for the last year, but today, I gave in. I chose this one because I thought it was the healthiest looking, and since this is my first orchid, I need to start out with easier care.

This was one of the $8.99 specials, but it doesn't say anything about mini, or small, or regular size orchid. I'm thinking its just a young regular size orchid. Is there an easy way to tell?

Also, it says to water once a week. Really, even for a smaller size orchid? I guess I need to do some research on how to care for these. I've seen larger ones at a garden center, that were suspended from the ceiling, and the roots grew in all crazy directions. They were really artistic looking. I'm thinking this will be fun!

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Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Butterflies Orchids Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 21, 2017 1:29 PM CST
I found the company's website. It says this is a pocket Phal, and is more compact than a teacup orchid. When I search for "pocket" Phal, nothing comes up. I'm thinking it must be the company's own line.?
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Apr 21, 2017 2:26 PM CST
Hi Alyssa, Welcome to our Orchid forum..and the fabulous world of growing these fun plants! If you haven't already done so, I recommend you check out the threads at the top of the forum , there's a TON of really helpful info in there. Most people do start out with Phalenopsis like the kind you got and there is some specific tips we have shared with others, that you might find helpful. While you got something that the grower refers to as a 'Pocket Phal' , I think the culture is similar for all of them.
In addition to the educational threads there are monthly 'What's in Bloom' threads...' and there you will see ( and post pictures of YOUR blooms) what everyone else is growing..there are several folks here who do a good job with Phalenopsis ( I grow outside and find them very challenging) and I'm sure they will help you get going in the right direction.
Again welcome!
Group hug
lindsey
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 21, 2017 7:26 PM CST
Thanks, Lindsey! I did read through a couple of the posts, some of them are very long. But I didn't find the answer, if a "pocket" phal is actually just a young standard Phal? If anyone knows, could you please pass along the info?

I've picked up the rest of the care instructions. Interesting that orchids seem to have the most varied options for watering and care. Some say dunk, some say ice cube, etc. I guess whatever works for each plant!
Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Apr 21, 2017 10:05 PM CST
Alyssa,
It's my understanding that those are miniature Phals...they will always stay small. Think tea roses vs huge floribunda type roses...toy poodles vs the standard poodle.
and yes..we each have different methods and there are so many variables..your humidity vs mine, your light vs mine, your breeze vs mine...the minerals in your tap water vs mine. It's impossible to say something simple like water once a week...your plants will tell you ( sometimes quite quickly!) if they are happy or not. One thing we all agree on though is NEVER put ice cubes on your plants. Orchids do grow all over the world but no where do they get hail pellets or cubes ..room temperature water will do. Generally, Phals like the same conditions that people like..moderate temperature, nice bright light ( not direct sun) the pot should drain ...so if that pretty decorative pot doesnt have holes in it..then let the plastic inner pot drain well after watering before you return it to the pretty pot, and let it dry out before you water it again.
lindsey
Name: Alyssa Blue
Ohio (Zone 5b)
Bloom where you're planted
Garden Art Butterflies Orchids Hummingbirder Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Birds
Houseplants Dragonflies Hibiscus Plant Identifier
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AlyssaBlue
Apr 22, 2017 11:36 AM CST
Thank you for answering my question about size! I travel frequently on short trips, and want to make sure I don't have too many little plants around, because I will have to plan accordingly for watering. But, now this situation now just makes me want to go out and buy a larger one too.....just to have one. And I've been checking the links provided on the other posts- so many beautiful types to choose from, how fun!

I have to laugh about the ice cubes. My daughter has used them and swears by it for watering......except she's now having trouble getting it to bloom. I don't understand the ice cube method, because like you said, orchids like the things we like and I wouldn't like ice water poured down my back!. To me it makes more sense to water it very well, letting it run out the bottom then keeping it airy in between.

Name: lindsey
wesley chapel, fl
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Orchids
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sugarcane
Apr 22, 2017 5:12 PM CST
I'm glad my analogy made sense to you.
There's many reasons why a plant is reluctant to bloom..it may be the kind of plant.
For example Phals. start their spikes when the night time temperatures drop. So when I lived in NC , I put all my plants outside for the summer ( the Phals went to a shady corner , either tipped on their sides or under a porch roof) and they stayed outside until the nighttime temperatures went down into the 50's. A few weeks of that little bit of temperature difference was all it took, and usually I would see spikes beginning to form in late November. Other plants like Cattleya..need quite a bit of sun and if they are not reblooming , that's usually the reason.
I think the ice cube thing started because the #1 cause of death is over watering..too much AND too often. If you can visualize how much water is in an ice cube..that's a good amount. . . but that's hard to communicate..so the ice cube concept was born!
lindsey

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