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Confessions: How many orchids did you kill last year

This is a discussion on Confessions: How many orchids did you kill last year within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Forgive me, orchid-friends, for I have sinned. I killed one masdevallia last year (and in ...

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  1. #1
    Alplily NH's Avatar
    Alplily NH is offline Senior Member
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    Default Confessions: How many orchids did you kill last year

    Forgive me, orchid-friends, for I have sinned. I killed one masdevallia last year (and in record time, I might add). One small phal seedling is touch and go, and one onc is reluctantly returning from a sudden near-death experience. I wonder if it saw a bright light?

  2. #2
    Piper's Avatar
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    If you haven't killed any orchids, then you just aren't trying... to grow them, not to kill them. Besides, Masd's in NH would require a cool case in the summer with high humidity in the winter. Certainly not windowsill conditions!

    I don't know how many I killed, but mine have been suffering from an overcrowded schedule of writing and book promotion the last few years. Where I was up to about 200 plants at one point, including a ton of seedlings, I'm now under 100, and some are still touch-and-go.

    It breaks my heart to see beloved plants croak, but I've got to keep telling myself the book comes first and I can always buy more 'chids when I'm finally making some money.

    Feel better, AlpJulie?

    McMassMurderer

  3. #3
    hcubed's Avatar
    hcubed is offline Senior Member
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    Hmm, I've probably got quite a few on my books, but you really have to take into consideration the level of culpability.....

    Ergo: I don't really feel all that bad about some of the ones that died technically on my watch but were fairly questionable acquisitions in the first place (rescues, big box store purchases of debatable life expectancy).

    I'm a sad about the ones that were doing well, despite being of questionable origin, and then suddenly aren't well and die. I have at least a phal and a milt in that category lately.

  4. #4
    cindiras's Avatar
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    *Sigh* I must confess to a Miltoniopsis, a baby phal, a vuyl, and I am keeping a jaundiced eye on an Otarra Island Fragrence.

  5. #5
    Orchidzrule's Avatar
    Orchidzrule is offline Senior Member
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    I think hcubed makes a good point about distinguishing between ones that died "on your watch" but where you were not the cause of the problem, and those where you were. In the first category, I acquired three plants from the local city park conservatory when it got rid (almost all) of its orchids. Two of the three were near death when I took them, and duly croaked. As to ones where my care is the principal cause, I lost at least 5 Masdevallias. I was careful to choose species tolerant of warmer conditions, and I put the cause of their death squarely on my bad watering practices. (Sad confession: I really don't like watering plants very much. I'm always surprised at how fast the time flies between waterings and my reaction is "Is it really time to water them again???") If a plant dislikes drying out between waterings, it's probably a plant I have no business growing! I doubt I will acquire any more Masdies ever, and I gave away several others that probably would have joined the ones already in orchid heaven. One of these is very happy in its new home and its new owner brought it to our OS Show & Tell in bloom in November!

    I lost a couple of Phals over the summer, and two Bulbos. The phals were, again, probably stressed by not enough watering, as was one of the Bulbos. The other Bulbo probably was in too bright & warm a location. I moved it when I noticed it suffering to the spot I keep most of my other Bulbos, but it was too late.

    So, to sum up, I think I killed about a dozen plants, and two others were not my fault.
    Not great, I know, but I often find I have trouble with plants over the summer when I'm so busy with work.

    Cheers,

    Rob
    Last edited by Orchidzrule; January 3rd, 2009 at 03:04 PM.

  6. #6
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    2 phals were in the trash due to rot within a month of bringing them home from the store. I'm going to assume they were already dying when I got them.
    1 more phal is pretty much done, but I'm trying the sphag & bag thing one last time. I had a new root growing about a month ago, but it died.

  7. #7
    pavel's Avatar
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    Hmmm, a phal comes to mind. It was a bit stressed when I got it but I had expected it to recover. It didn't. Also had an ailing Gongora that just refused to 'recover'. Finally got tired of nursing it and put it out of my misery.

    Still have a lil minicatt that even after a year is just this side of death. May just pitch it and look for a replacement. (Quite a shame too, mature plant was only 6" tall and had nice purple & white blooms.)

  8. #8
    odvdveer is offline Junior Member
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    A masdevallia, a phal and an oncidium. Underwatering and overwatering

  9. #9
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    I try not to think about all the ones that have died or I have killed one way or another over the years; I chalk it up to learning. Hopefully, with experience and time, fewer and fewer orchids pass through this world on my watch, but I certainly helped several along on their way when I was first starting. Maybe by raising a bunch of orchids from flask I can help balance things out at some point.

    Cheers,
    BD

  10. #10
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    I do not want to start counting,I started growing in 1994 and it was quite a while before I worked out what I could grow and what I could'nt.
    Tednz

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