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Worst thing about growing orchids

This is a discussion on Worst thing about growing orchids within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; What is the project you hate? What was your worst experience. Broken spike? Lost plants? ...

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  1. #1
    MikeWA's Avatar
    MikeWA is offline Senior Member
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    Default Worst thing about growing orchids

    What is the project you hate? What was your worst experience. Broken spike? Lost plants? Dog eat your orchid? Cat chew a spike? Were you speaking like a Southern Baptist minister to your orchid and did it feel the moment and jump of the shelf? Is the worst thing repotting? Is is watering?

    Mine would have to be repotting and sticking my fingers into a nice juicy rotted PseudoBulb. It is soft enough to squish and yet firm enough to send rotten PB juice flying all over with that lovely rotten smell to boot! This usually happens with Wilsonara or Odont or something with a nice fat rotten juicy PB.
    Mmmm Mmmm Good!

    I have two close seconds and too many thirds to tell.

    I was a greenhorn. Only 5 or 6 years under my belt and I just acquired about 14 plants for a buck a piece from a local store due to there lack of flowers. I set them outside. My then very young dog decided to rip them to shreds when I walked in for about 20 min. I came out to total destruction. Not one plant was left to tell the tale. I had to walk back in and tell my wife to "Deal with the horror before I beat the dog black and blue" My wife did it without question and we still have the dog today.

    My last second is when I boxed up about 200 plants to send to my sister in Colorado. I bare rooted them all, wrapped in newspaper layered in a bubble wrapped lined box, layers and pockets of bubble wrap throughout. I sent it UPS who said they would ABSOLUTELY gaurantee the plants and I paid for insurance. (The plants were for my sisters very small orchid club to sell and raise money for the shows they attended)

    Well, the plants arrived Frozen. Some frozen solid, some PB's had burst from the freeze. Only a handful made the trip. UPS told me "We don't gaurantee plants" I fought it for about 9 months and stopped at taking them to court.

    OK there are mine. And yours?

  2. #2
    bench72's Avatar
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    the first thing I thought of was the lack of space I have.... so that answers worst thing about growing orchids...

    project I hate is deflasking... maybe more practice will help...

    worst experience... similar... coming home with a couple of Dends on the grass, or what remained of them after my dogs decided to have a taste of my preciousss...

    oh and I love to water and fertilize...

    Cheers
    Tim

  3. #3
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    Worst thing?

    Plants with persistent rots that will *not* go away until you've hacked off half the plant piece by piece. I absolutely *despise* what fungal and bacterial infections do to these things, and how prone they are to them.

    Absolute pet peeve.

  4. #4
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    Hmmmmmm...

    I suppose one of the worst is when I'm playing touchy feelie with my plants and find one that wobbles that didn't before. You just know there are root issues - usually bad.

    In the critter conrner without a doubt squirrels. I can't put a plant outside and expect it to still be there the next day. Last summer the final straw before all the plants went in chicken wire cages was a Milt pulled from its pot, chewed on the left in the sun to bake. Hate 'em, hate 'em

  5. #5
    RSJ
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    I'd have to agree with Louis...the creeping rot is the worst.

    The only plant I paid out my version of big bucks for is, of course, the one that got it. The rot stopped when the second to last pb was cauterized in half--top was the part with the rot--, packed with cinnamon, and the whole thing allowed to get completely dry before the next rewater. Rot stopped, but my previously lovely specimen-sized wilsonara is now one remaining full grown pb with one leaf remaining, and one tiny new growth coming on. <sigh>

    Second worst, BUGS. Mealies, mites, you name 'em, I despise 'em!

    RSJ

  6. #6
    Jmoney's Avatar
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    bacterial rots, root rots, critters, they all suck. but the absolute worst thing in my opinion, aside from the time commitment in maintenance and dealing with various issues that come up, is the difficulty in going away for a while without making elaborate preparations to take care of the @Q#^%@^@ things. especially the things in baskets or mounts or whatever.

  7. #7
    Gilda is offline "Master of the Moth and Phrags "
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jmoney
    bacterial rots, root rots, critters, they all suck. but the absolute worst thing in my opinion, aside from the time commitment in maintenance and dealing with various issues that come up, is the difficulty in going away for a while without making elaborate preparations to take care of the @Q#^%@^@ things. especially the things in baskets or mounts or whatever.
    You hit the nail on the head Jason !! It takes me longer to get my orchids ready for the babysitter..with notes on who and when to water,etc., etc. than for me to pack ! Plus, I always do a thorough watering before we leave ,and I also have to shift them around so it is easier for the babysitter(my daughter) to water. It is an all day sometimes 2 chore !!

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    Oh...and I thought that was just me...

    Traveling used to be fun.

    Julie

  9. #9
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    Well,

    I'm probably too new to really have a valid opinion, but breaking the spike off an Oncidium ornithorhynchum I'd just bought was a downer. I've broken one or two spikes or at least flowers on a couple of plants since and it doesn't get any easier.

    However, the most traumatic thing for me was going away for Christmas and coming home to find the furnace had conked out and that the IDIOT house-sitter (in spite of explicit instructions on what to do if this happened) failed to deal with it. Five Oncidiums got hit, three eventually died. Two Phals also died. I suppose it could have been worse, but I will never again be able to enjoy going away. (In winter, anyway.) I just know I will be brooding over it the whole time.

    Rob

  10. #10
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    An unexpected temp drop coupled with the increase in humidity heavily spotted several new growths' leaves on some of my best looking Stans. Overnight, it looked like I would lose weeks of steady progress on new bulbs and leaves.

    Fortunately, it was scarier than damaging. They appear to have done ok, pbulbs matured normally as far as i can tell.

    They've just survived a move, and i'll be setting them up in their new permanent positions today...I'm hopeful that this is an improvement to their previous conditions; it's a smaller space which will be eaisier to control for humidity and temp, there's better light, and the air and water should be cleaner.....

    [yah i know, a lame worst....hope it stays that way]

    p

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