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Phals with higher-light orchids?

This is a discussion on Phals with higher-light orchids? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Like many of us, I started out in orchids by killing a few Phalaenopsis in ...

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  1. #1
    poetiscariot's Avatar
    poetiscariot is offline By virtue of the absurd
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    Default Phals with higher-light orchids?

    Like many of us, I started out in orchids by killing a few Phalaenopsis in a row. I had such better luck with Cattleyas that I swore off the lower-light ones entirely but I got kind of tempted by a phal at a big-box store today. Haven't bought it yet but I might. It's very fancy -- white with magenta markings like someone hit each bloom with a paintball. Anyway, I'm wondering, if I can grow Cattleyas pretty well, and other higher-light orchids (Oncidiums and Dendrobiums), what might I need to do with a Phal if I got one? Put it a little farther from the window for now, I assume, but in the fall, when I move them under a grow-light -- leave that one in the window? Put it at the edge of the humidity tray (18" x 36")? If I'm still likely to kill it, no way am I spending $20 on the thing. Which seems high for a Phal to me anyway, but this one was really, really pretty. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    ANY excuse is enough for buying an orchid... This is interesting... I've never heard of anyone killing phals with high levels of light!... I think your method will have no problems... Remember to post pics of your new plant... I'm sure you'll make it this time... Don't worry... Good Luck...

  3. #3
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    Sounds like a very pretty phal! The only thing you might need to do is to repot it. The biggest problem with the big box phals is the potting sphag. Once you take that out, pour some peroxide on the roots, clean the roted ones and pot it in bark mix. There is a risk to loose the blooms so you should be very careful but better have a healthy plant that will bloom for you again.

  4. #4
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    Victoria, A foot back from a south window, with no direct sunlight hitting the plant, will be fine for a phal. In the winter, put your high light plants directly under the grow light, but the phal can set slightly off to the side. Repot right away when you get the plant is a good idea. Most big box store phals seem to come in sphagnum moss and that can be a bit tricky watering for some of us.

  5. #5
    poetiscariot's Avatar
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    Oh, I didn't kill them with too much light -- just general orchid screw-ups (overwatering, mostly). But now that I kind of know what I'm doing, I don't want to give this one so much light it won't want to bloom or something. I never did figure out what was really good for phalaenopsis; I just gave up on them.

    Thank you all for your advice, especially Cindi -- that's fantastically specific and just what I needed. I did go back today to get it and it had stupid little mites of some sort on it! Showed an employee and they hit it with insecticidal soap and gave me a few dollars off, so I took it home anyway. I now have it in another room from my main orchid area, awaiting a repot at which point I am gonna wash it with the sink sprayer like crazy, and probably soap it again. But I took a picture of the blooms -- I think they're sort of unusual, anyway.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  6. #6
    margo's Avatar
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    Victoria, I can see the why this beauty got your attention!!! Stunning!!! Congratulations!

  7. #7
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    Wow, that is so pretty. Follow the advice above and all should be great! Good luck!!

    Cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
    poetiscariot's Avatar
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    My plant turned out not to have mites, but scale. I'm not happy about this. I cleaned off all the moss it was in & tossed that, picked off the scales with my thumbnail, blasted it with the sink sprayer, put it back in bark/charcoal/perlite, and soaped it again. Then today I found a scale I'd missed way down in the crevice where one of the leaves comes out of the stalk. The internet seems to say you need to keep them isolated for a month and keep checking during that time? Grr.

    Seriously, I think I might just be phalaenopsis-cursed.

  9. #9
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    You should also continue using the soap once a week too in order to make sure you get all the crawlers.

    Susan

  10. #10
    Maggie is offline Member
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    that sure is a beautiful phal. Phals are my favourite and I certainly wouldn't be able to resist that one.
    WP

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