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Mar 10, 2018 8:52 AM CST
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Annuals Roses Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Region: Mid-Atlantic Hostas
Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Daylilies Butterflies Bookworm Aroids
Yesterday I bought Schunkeara Big Shot 'Hilo Sparkle' at a local orchid show and sale. This will be my first attempt to grow an orchid other than Phalaenopsis.

The lineage is a complex mixture that includes some Oncidium and a lot of Miltonopsis (see lineage below).

Here is the bloom on a plant I didn't buy.


Here is the plant I bought.
Thumb of 2018-03-10/csandt/f51dd5

Here is the lineage.
Thumb of 2018-03-10/csandt/b0a3f6
Thumb of 2018-03-10/csandt/7f169e

I welcome recommendations for growing this orchid. I have no greenhouse or artificial lighting.

My growing conditions are:

1. Room that receives heat passively from adjacent rooms but has no heat source of its own. Temperature has ranged from mid 50s at night to high 60s during the day in winter.
2. South and east facing bay windows.
3. Humidity has been in the 28%-48% range during the winter.
4. My home is located in southcentral-southeast Pennsylvania (zone 6b).

Thank you for any guidance you can provide.

Carol
Last edited by csandt Mar 10, 2018 9:13 AM Icon for preview
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Mar 10, 2018 5:39 PM CST
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Ponds Organic Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida
Hummingbirder Hibiscus Fruit Growers Region: Florida Dog Lover Container Gardener
Wow, that it stunning. Thumbs up
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
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Mar 10, 2018 6:04 PM CST
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Annuals Roses Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Region: Mid-Atlantic Hostas
Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Daylilies Butterflies Bookworm Aroids
ardesia said:Wow, that it stunning. Thumbs up


Thanks! I couldn't resist. Any suggestions for helping it to do well? I love orchids but have never ventured beyond trying to grow a few phals until I got this orchid.
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Mar 10, 2018 6:28 PM CST
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Ponds Organic Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida
Hummingbirder Hibiscus Fruit Growers Region: Florida Dog Lover Container Gardener
I don't have a clue but you can be sure someone here will know what to tell you. @BigBill, @Ursula
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
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Mar 10, 2018 6:42 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
What you want to do with this plant is to give it an hour or two of morning sun, then bright for the remainder of the day. It is in the Oncidium group and as such, likes to be watered often depending upon the media it is growing in. Never let it dry out as Oncidium have very fine roots.
Because of the Miltoniopsis lineage, it would prefer to be grow a little cooler. Night time lows in the low to mid 50's and maximum highs from the low 70's to low 80's depending upon season. As long as the plant is not exposed to extremes for longer periods of time like say in the low 90's for a few weeks, it should be happy.
They bloom twice a year, spring and fall. The psuedobulbs should be plump indicating proper watering. If they start to shrivel give water more often. I would imagine if it is in a 5" pot, water it about once every week or so in the winter and perhaps once every five days when it gets warmer. Warmer meaning nights consistently in the low to mid sixties and days of 75-82.
Taught classes on Orchids and Orchid growing and led hundreds of bird walks. Retired Wildlife Biologist.
Last edited by BigBill Mar 10, 2018 6:44 PM Icon for preview
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Mar 10, 2018 6:49 PM CST
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Annuals Roses Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Region: Mid-Atlantic Hostas
Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Daylilies Butterflies Bookworm Aroids
@BigBill,
Thanks very much for the detailed growing guidelines. By "Bright for the remainder of the day," how close to a window would you suggest? One window faces east and the other southeast.

And thank you @ardesia for calling in the troops (i.e., experts)!
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Mar 10, 2018 6:59 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
You can let the leaf color tell you if the light is right. Start out by placing it a foot or so in from the window. The leaf color you are looking for is a nice medium green. What in the world is medium green you might ask. Well if the leaves get a darker green like " forest green" it needs it a bit brighter. If the leaves get yellow green, back off in the light.
The plant will bloom in any case but with optimum light the bloom spikes will carry more flowers, the spikes will be two per bulb.
In bright light the flowers will be paler in color, in too little light they will be fewer and darker and of smaller size.
I tip my hat to you. Welcome!
Taught classes on Orchids and Orchid growing and led hundreds of bird walks. Retired Wildlife Biologist.
Last edited by BigBill Mar 10, 2018 7:00 PM Icon for preview
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Mar 10, 2018 7:02 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
My sincerest wishes for your success!!
Taught classes on Orchids and Orchid growing and led hundreds of bird walks. Retired Wildlife Biologist.
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Mar 10, 2018 7:40 PM CST
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Annuals Roses Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Region: Mid-Atlantic Hostas
Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Daylilies Butterflies Bookworm Aroids
@BigBill,
Your guidelines for judging light are so helpful!
Thank you so much for the guidelines, welcome and good wishes.
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Mar 10, 2018 8:23 PM CST
Moderator
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Plumerias Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
Greenhouse Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums
Carol, you picked a beautiful plant and Bill, your instructions are terrific!
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Mar 10, 2018 8:42 PM CST
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Annuals Roses Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Region: Mid-Atlantic Hostas
Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Daylilies Butterflies Bookworm Aroids
@Ursula,
In choosing this orchid, I am indebted to a very kind and knowledgeable member of the Maryland Orchid Society who pointed me toward a couple of orchids that were likely to work in my conditions and with my lack of orchid expertise. She devoted considerable time to helping me with this selection, and I am very grateful to her. I am thrilled at the beauty of this orchid and hope that I can rise to the challenge of providing for its needs.
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Mar 10, 2018 8:47 PM CST
Moderator
Name: Ursula
Fair Lawn NJ, zone 6b
Orchids Plumerias Cactus and Succulents Region: New Jersey Region: Pennsylvania Native Plants and Wildflowers
Greenhouse Ponds Keeper of Koi Forum moderator Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Adeniums
I am sure you will! Smiling
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Mar 11, 2018 6:09 AM CST
Name: Carol H. Sandt
Lancaster County, Pennsylvania (Zone 6b)
Annuals Roses Peonies Region: Pennsylvania Region: Mid-Atlantic Hostas
Growing under artificial light Foliage Fan Daylilies Butterflies Bookworm Aroids
@BigBill, @Ursula,

I forgot to ask about fertilizing. I have Micracle Gro Orchid Fertilizer. Should I use that and if so what should the amount and schedule be? If not what should I use?

Thank you.
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Mar 11, 2018 6:45 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
That fertilizer will be just fine to use on all of your orchids. Normally I would use it at the rate of one half teaspoon per gallon of water.
So as an example if you had a little one quart watering can, you know those cute little ones from a garden center or hardware store, you would use like an eighth of a tsp. Not very much at all. Fertilize once a month should be more than enough.
If that seems like a lot of trouble for a single orchid, you could get Dynamite, which is a slow release fertilizer, and use it on all your plants both inside and out. I use the 13-13-13 formulation on my tropicals, my New Guinea Impatiens and my orchids here in Florida. I reapply every three months. Just sprinkle a half a teaspoon on top of the media that your orchid is growing in. Choose whichever option works best for you! I tip my hat to you.
Taught classes on Orchids and Orchid growing and led hundreds of bird walks. Retired Wildlife Biologist.
Last edited by BigBill Mar 11, 2018 6:46 AM Icon for preview
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Mar 11, 2018 6:50 AM CST
Name: Alice
St. Johns, FL (Zone 9a)
Birds Enjoys or suffers hot summers Ponds Organic Gardener Orchids Master Gardener: Florida
Hummingbirder Hibiscus Fruit Growers Region: Florida Dog Lover Container Gardener
Carol, It is so important to provide thorough background information and ask the right questions and you positively excel at that. Thumbs up
Minds are like parachutes; they work better when they are open.
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Mar 11, 2018 6:52 AM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
Oops and might I suggest that you visit the American Orchid Society's web site at www.aos.org
In one of the sections at the top of the site, there is a pull down labeled "culture sheets". These are pdf files that you can download and print. Use the sheet for Oncidium if more info is needed.
Taught classes on Orchids and Orchid growing and led hundreds of bird walks. Retired Wildlife Biologist.
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May 16, 2019 2:50 PM CST
Name: Mary
Naples Florida (Zone 10a)
I bought an Shk. aka Bllra Big Shot over a year ago. It has bloomed several times for me. It is in bloom now.
Apparently It survived a west exposure under a Florida screened lanai. Now that I know better I will move it to my east facing exposure under the roofline and will water it at least weekly, before it dries out. It is a beautiful orchid and is growing 4 inflorescences now. Imagine what it will do under its new conditions. In fact I am moving all my Oncidiums with it. Thank you Bill!
Btw my plant's name tag reads Big Shot 'Hilo Sparkle'.
Thumb of 2019-05-16/Sagereader/0425e7
Thumb of 2019-05-16/Sagereader/1aefa8
Thumb of 2019-05-16/Sagereader/062e45
Thumb of 2019-05-16/Sagereader/4031da
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May 16, 2019 3:38 PM CST
Name: Big Bill
Livonia Michigan (Zone 6a)
GROW ORCHIDS!!!
Bee Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Region: Michigan Hostas Growing under artificial light
Echinacea Critters Allowed Cat Lover Butterflies Birds Region: United States of America
It is very pretty!
Taught classes on Orchids and Orchid growing and led hundreds of bird walks. Retired Wildlife Biologist.
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