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a few Vandaceous orchids Ascda Chuiangmai Gold and Vanda Susan delight

This is a discussion on a few Vandaceous orchids Ascda Chuiangmai Gold and Vanda Susan delight within the Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM forums, part of the Orchid Photography category; Hi Maura, the f4 end is good when you want to isolate the flowers and ...

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  1. #11
    Dorsetman's Avatar
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    Hi Maura, the f4 end is good when you want to isolate the flowers and throw the background out of focus, when working fairly near ; the depth of field is then very shallow. The other end - f40 etc, is great to get as much sharp as possible, when the background is fairly plain, so there is nothing which would distract if it were seen in good focus. I often use coloured cardboard ( black or grey especially) and then the f40 stop comes into use. When taking pictures in the greenhouse with other plants inevitably in the frame, then it's the other end of the range , even down to f2.8 at times. The other factor is the shape of the fllowers or spike. The wide open F2.8 is for flat flowers, but any long spike, especially a horizontal one extending towards the camera needs the small stop (f40) or only the one part is in focus.
    Hope I'm not teaching my grandnother to suck eggs....

  2. #12
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    Default Further need for advice from the sage

    Putting aside your charmingly infelicitous reference to grandmothers and eggs, there is, I assure you, very little of anything whatsoever in which I have developed such expertise as to have become unteachable, f-stops included. That said, I realize that I first raised the cymbidium potting issue in the intro thread, but as I am an essentially simple person, I'll ask you here instead. You described the new spiky growth (like pencils, I think?) that cyms put out behind the backbulb, I believe, and these may be repotted for new growth - whether successfully is, at this stage in my orchid career, moot. Is that a fair description? I am including the best shots I have of what, to me, might be new growth. Can you tell from my photos whether I am on track? I'm including one photo of the monster cym in full, as well as 2 or 3 of the best closeups I could get.
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  3. #13
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    Yes, you have some new growths here Maura, but caution "they" are not to be repotted if you mean taking them off and potting separately. No, you need a pot big enough to accommodate the whole plant and allow these new growths to develop into bulbs ( technically pseudo-bulbs - real bulbs have layers, like onions, these don't, they are solid, like potatoes). If they get big enough, which means a lot of water when the leaves start to extend ( quite soon now) then much later in the year, maybe December or early next year, you will have bulbs bigger than the present ones, and see another lot of growths etc start up the same way, but ( and this takes a lot of experience) you may be able to detect that some of the new "pencils" arising are narrower andd others are fatter and more rounded - the latter will be flower spikes, the former new vegetative growths. They will develop at different rates, in fact the new growths usually stand still whilst the flowers develop.
    I hope this makes sense ? If not , fire away...

    BTW as to water, and frequency , one of the species used to develop cymbidium hybrids comes from a particular part of the foothills of the Himalayas, where in the monsoon season- which is when the new growths develop - they get the equivalent of a few inches of rain, every day... you need ideal compost, well drained, and everything else dead right to be able to copy that, but it may give you some indication. Between the main monsoon abnd the little monsoon, there is a period of a month or two when it doesn't rain at all ,... However, when I had a greenhouse solely devoted to cymbidiums, all potted in a free draining mix of Douglas Fir bark, Perlite and Charcoal, I watered by immersion in a tub, at intervals between once per week and once per 2-3 weeks depending on the state of the growth - when developing most frequent. When the flowers out least frequent.

  4. #14
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    Okay - hurray! No doubt this plant is still benefitting from the expert who prepared it for the orchid show in February, so I'm going to do my best not to destroy it with enthusiastic overkill. I think I have 3 new growths. The whole plant has three big 3 1/2-foot mature pseudobulbs that ring the exterior and one smaller one in the center (about 2 1/2 feet with new and fewer leaves. I don't know if it's been there all along but I just noticed it about a week ago. I think I have 3 new growths otherwise - one is about 11" tall, the other two are 8". The pot that it's in is a sturdy black plastic that's 6" diameter at the top and 4" at the bottom and 8" tall. I know orchids like to be crowded, but there is no way 6 or 7 mature pseudobulbs will ever fit in this pot.

    So....we are looking at repotting the whole darn thing, you say. Well... I bought some of the potting mix they used at the nursery I went to, but they use it as an all-purpose and mostly grow phals and catts. It has a medium bark component and the rest looks like coconut husks, vermiculite, etc. Doesn't sound like the mix you used. Here I am in the middle of Atlanta, not and nowhere near the foothills of the Himalayas, or in any likelihood ever to have a greenhouse since I rent a lovely apartment that comes with a small terrace and no terra firma. I'm also finding that there are very few orchid nurseries around here, so my resources are further limited.

    I'm going to have to come up with some solutions from the materials I can find at boxstore, or one of the regular all-purpose nurseries here. Do you think that's possible? If I can't find Douglas fir bark, is there a reasonable substitute?

    More questions: 1) what size to repot in? Does the pot have to be so tall and tapered?; 2) right now, I lack an immersion tub, and unlikely to have one in the indefinite future, but I drench the cym in the sink, let it drain for several hours, and then put it back by its most-favored spot in front of my shaded, south-facing, sliding glass door. I do this once a week and will add a weak solution of 30-10-10 fertilizer, when it's still drenched, every other week; and 3) to set the buds, you mentioned So. Cal. growers icewatering their cyms - should I try that, and if so, when? The plant was in full bloom from early February through early May.



    Needless to say, there is no way on God's green earth that I'm going to get this "dead right" but do you think I have a chance here? And do mature pseudobulbs rebloom, or is it only in the new growth?

    You said "fire away", so I'm firing.....

  5. #15
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    The mix you have will be OK.
    You want to put the back of the plant - the side where there are no new growths, against the wall of the pot, so that all the free space ( because you are using a larger pot) is in front of the new growths . You need enough space there to allow for the lovely new bulbs you are going to grow - say 1 1/2 inches space.
    Hol;d the lant in position, and pour in handfuls of the new compost , and gently tamp it down with your fingers. Finish with the surface up0 to an inch below the rim - which leaves you space to fill with water . Tap the pot on the bench/table whatever, to settle it in nicely. Soak in water. Then let it get really dry before you water again - maybe a week ? depends on your temperature/light/humidity... hard to guess.

    BTW when we talk about how big bulbs are we don't include the length of the leaves - so not 3 feet... It is the swollen solid part which we call the bulb. When your leaves on the new growths are long enough the new bulb will start to form, the growth just thickening out imperceptively.

    Good luck Maura.

  6. #16
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    Thank you for your patience and expertise. I will follow directions to the best of my ability and report back when anything interesting happens. BTW - I know bulbs are not referred to in feet - my mistake. I have no experience in growing "pseudobulbs", but if the pseudobulb on the cym refers to the solid base whence emanate the leaves, my 3 mature bulbs are about 10" in diameter (measured from about 1/2" up from the potting mix). That's for my pink cym. My pathetic orphan "Geyserland" cym has two pseudobulbs measuring about 4" in diameter, no new growth that I can see, and I don't hold a lot of expectations for it. Just waiting and seeing. As for temp/light/humidity, the cyms are indoors in front of the southern exposure, generally air-conditioned in the summer, but about 80 degrees where they are, fairly low humidity. I open the doors in the evening when it cools off, so they get the advantage of the cooler, much more humid air overnight.

  7. #17
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    When fall arrives, set your cymbidiums on the terrace to enjoy the cooler night air. They can handle temps down nearly to freezing. If you give them a good drop in temps then you will not need to try the icecube trick.

  8. #18
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    Default Cymbidium care for beginners

    Thank you, cindiras, for the feedback on my continuing plight with my cymbidium. Fall in Atlanta arrives sometime towards the end of October (unlike my native Maine, where fall arrives anytime from mid-August onward) - do you think that will work?

    I am also struggling with a repotting issue, since my cym has 4 new spiky growths along the backbulbs, and they are competing with the mature pseudobulbs for watering, nutrients, etc, but mostly space. I'm afraid they will wither if they don't get a little more room and potting mix. I've posted pictures of it somewhere in either this thread, or the Introduce Yourself thread, and have received some pretty sage advice from Dorsetman; however, some local growers (who admittedly haven't seen the plant yet) have cautioned me against repotting - so I am truly stymied! I can repost the photos here if that might be of any use. Thanks again for your input and please don't feel you have to respond - I know it takes time to explain this stuff. I may have actually started this question in the thread for advice from senior growers - my memory is terrible, so forgive me if this is the wrong place to be talking about this. I take direction very happily if I should switch over to another place.

    Maura

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by mauraec View Post
    Thank you, cindiras, for the feedback on my continuing plight with my cymbidium. Fall in Atlanta arrives sometime towards the end of October (unlike my native Maine, where fall arrives anytime from mid-August onward) - do you think that will work?

    I am also struggling with a repotting issue, since my cym has 4 new spiky growths along the backbulbs, and they are competing with the mature pseudobulbs for watering, nutrients, etc, but mostly space. I'm afraid they will wither if they don't get a little more room and potting mix. I've posted pictures of it somewhere in either this thread, or the Introduce Yourself thread, and have received some pretty sage advice from Dorsetman; however, some local growers (who admittedly haven't seen the plant yet) have cautioned me against repotting - so I am truly stymied! I can repost the photos here if that might be of any use. Thanks again for your input and please don't feel you have to respond - I know it takes time to explain this stuff. I may have actually started this question in the thread for advice from senior growers - my memory is terrible, so forgive me if this is the wrong place to be talking about this. I take direction very happily if I should switch over to another place.

    Maura
    Take a look in the repotting articles here in the forum: Repotting Cymbidium Orchids

    Cheers
    BD

  10. #20
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    Thanks for the tip, Bruce. Have read the article, and a few others with great interest.

    Maura

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