Shop Orchid Care OrchidTalk Orchid Forum Weather Station Links Nursery

Welcome to OrchidTalk Orchid Forums


The Friendliest Orchid Community on the Internet!


  •  » Learn to Repot your Orchids
  •  » Learn Orchid Care Tips and Secrets
  •  » Find the perfect Orchid for your Growing Environment
  •  » Chat with Orchid Growing Professionals

OrchidTalk - "Bringing People Together to Grow Orchids Better!"


Let us help you grow your Orchids better; Join our community today.


YES! I want to register an account for free right now!


Register or Login now to remove this advertisement.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 27
Like Tree32Likes

Blooming Orchids all year - what "calendar" does one go by?

This is a discussion on Blooming Orchids all year - what "calendar" does one go by? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; In the past year I have accumulated orchids that pretty much bloom in somewhat overlapping ...

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Maura Caffrey
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Paphiopedilum lowii
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Englewood, FL
    Posts
    3,092
    Member's Country Flag

    Default Blooming Orchids all year - what "calendar" does one go by?

    In the past year I have accumulated orchids that pretty much bloom in somewhat overlapping succession - so that at least one of them is blooming at all times. The problem with this is that I honestly am confused about the advice I read that says things like: repot orchids in the late spring, after they have bloomed and while active growth is just emerging; and, water less frequently in the winter when most orchids are dormant. As for when to fertilize, I can't make heads or tails of most of the advice.

    Here are my questions:

    1) If an orchid blooms in the winter, then when is it dormant? How can you tell an orchid is dormant - and how frequent is "less frequently"?

    2) Do all orchids go into an active growth period after blooming?

    3) At what stage do you use a balanced fertilizer, or a "superbloom" fertilizer, or a just plain MiracleGro fertilizer - or no fertilizer at all? For instance, If an orchid is in bud, or just spiking, is THAT when you use superbloom-type fertilizer?

    4) Given that the generalization are based on a calendar year when most, if not all, orchids bloom in early spring, begin active growth in late spring-early summer, and set buds at some point thereafter, do I need to have 75 different calendar years, based on when mine are blooming?

    5) And this would REALLY be a help - which orchids go into dormancy, and when is that most likely? I'd like to know which ones I can pay a little less attention to, and when.

    Thanks for any guidance - trying to work this out is really giving me a headache.

    Maura

  2. #2
    opaline's Avatar
    opaline is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Matt
    My Grow Area
    Sunroom
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catasetinae
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    830
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Hi Maura! While not addressing your Qs directly, logically, I certainly can throw in my opinion from my experience. All orchids or say 90% that are brought into my care enter some kind of a confused and muddled pseudo time warp and not all return/ adapt. As I have purchased orchids through year whatever the season the orchids generally hit 'halt mode' with varying time lengths. It is this that seems to dictate their new body clock.

    While ambient temp, length of photoperiod often trigger/ promote orchids to react I can surely say with the season changes here that its the halt mode to acclimatize that makes the decision.

    My catasetinae are specific in care routine etc so should expect growth in spring, leaf fall in autumn, flowering within this timeframe and then dormancy. Some induce dormancy with cutting leaves etc. I had the spring summer autumn lifecycle and i use natural available light. So these catasetinae had day length access and therefore the reduction in sun with current winter. The majority skipped dormancy and went str8 to spring mode and my grow area is temp steady and controlled all year but with noticeable lower temps at night!. Go figure!? No one can tell an orchid what to do in manmade situ but we can try/ infact try very hard!

  3. #3
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Geoff Hands
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya ?
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    England, South coast.
    Posts
    3,241
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Hi Maura ; this thing about repotting in the Spring is one area where I fall out with my Orchid Society ; they trot out this advice following some long established dogma. I say to them - people who I know as good cultivators - "but do you really do this yourself ?" And they say "no, of course not, but we mustn't confuse the beginners". Me, I tell it like it is, at every opportunity.
    The ideal time to repot any orchid - absolutely any orchid is governed by only three factors ; 1. The plant is in need of repotting ( because the compost looks old, is old, or you think it unsuitable - you have had second thoughts for example ; or maybe the plant is outgrowing the pot.)
    2. You want to repot it and have the time and materials available.
    3. The plant has just started a new batch of roots, or you are sure that it is about to.
    If you can tick all three boxess - repot. If not, not.
    Today I repotted about a dozen plants....

    Your other questions - you can't generalise. Some go dormant, some drop all their leaves, some need a dry hard rest hot, others ditto cold, others grow the whole year.

    I increasingly think that all the chat about fertilisers is irrelevant :-
    Fact ; 97.5% of the mass of any green plant is made up of elements sourced from air and water.
    Fact ; 99.99% or more of the stuff we put in the water and pour on the plant goes on the floor or is thrown away when we repot.
    Fact ; nutrients do not enter the plant with the water - they can't. Water enters through semi-permeable membranes in the root cells, designed to keep out everything except water.
    Fact the actual nutrients enter between the cells, by a different process which works just as well with dry compost as it does with wet compost.
    ( You can find all this stuff on the internet from a dozen sources, if you look long enough - it is not even controversial - just ignored by orchid growers.
    Fact; up until say 30 or 40 years ago it was normal to grow epiphytic orchids without using any fertiliser at all - relying on the very slow decomposition of organic composts - and look at old Orchid Books and see the wonderful; plants they used to grow then !

    Cheers , must rush off now to watch some rubbish on tv with my sweet wife.
    Last edited by Dorsetman; December 26th, 2011 at 04:39 PM.

  4. #4
    Kassie's Avatar
    Kassie is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Trish
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Iowa
    Posts
    232

    Default

    Maura, I could feel your headache in this sentance:
    "4) Given that the generalization are based on a calendar year when most, if not all, orchids bloom in early spring, begin active growth in late spring-early summer, and set buds at some point thereafter, do I need to have 75 different calendar years, based on when mine are blooming?"

    If this is the case, my Rth. AhChung Yoyo Little Goldfish, which blooms 3-4 times a year, is aging in dog years. I can just imagine you've been reading some lovely, but vapid, Orchid coffee table book. Some of the general advice you see becomes completely worthless when extrapolated over thousands of species and hybrids. You are going to love the culture information on OrchidWiz when you get a chance to get it running.

    Many orchids suitable for home growing don't have a true dormancy and others that might have a period of slower growth may abandon that trait altogether under artificial lighting in indoor climate control. Unless you have certain dendrobium species, catasetums, cynoches or other more obscure species, you probably don't need to "rest" them. It might be easier for you to post your growlist and others can tell you if any of your orchids needs a dormant period.

    From my tenure as root killer, I can attest to the importance of #3 in Geoff's repotting criteria. I used to routinely repot every new orchid immediately, whether it had new growth or not. Now, unless I absolutely can't maintain it in its media, I wait until I see green root tips or new growths emerging. A growth phase is key to helping the orchid acclimate to its new pot environment. "Springtime" or "after blooming" don't seem terribly critical to most types.

    Geoff, have you stopped fertilizing? Switched to a time release, like osmocote? In my opinion, "optimal nutrition" is a fairy tale, whether for plants, companion animals, or humans. There's thousands of additives and micronutrients and different NPK levels and different plant requirements in different environments, it's simply impossible to get it perfect. But, I have a few vandas in empty baskets and several encyclias that seem happiest in lava rock, so I have to feed them something. Can the water absorption and nutrient uptake processes occur simultaneously?

  5. #5
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Geoff Hands
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya ?
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    England, South coast.
    Posts
    3,241
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote ;Geoff, have you stopped fertilizing? Switched to a time release, like osmocote?
    no - for many years I have used water mixed with nutrients all the time - i.e. not fed every so many waterings.
    However, the three or four hundred plants I have hanging up which are rarely watered - say only every 2 or 3 weeks, but sprayed with plain water daily are doing so very well ...it led to my latest brainwaves....
    I have now got most of the plants which are on the bench under those hanging plants in S/H using Hydroleca and of course standing in water/nutrient mix, and this weeks great thoiught is to empty all that out, and replace with plain water which is merely pH adjusted . Its only the water which travels up the media by capillary action , not any nutrient.
    Then supply nutrient using foliar feeding only.
    But attempting to feed according to the point in the life cycle of the individual plant is simply impossible with a collection as large as mine.

  6. #6
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Maura Caffrey
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Paphiopedilum lowii
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Englewood, FL
    Posts
    3,092
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    I tend to put a little Superthrive in with the weekly-weakly routine - does that fall under the same category as fertilisers? What about fish fertiliser? Is it more easily accessed by the plant? (Not that I'm ever going to do that again - once nearly drove me out of the orchid-growing world entirely.)

  7. #7
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Geoff Hands
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya ?
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    England, South coast.
    Posts
    3,241
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Bob Gordon wrote a very good little book about raising seedlings (orchids) which is propely science based but written so that you don't actually need a Masters degree to understand it. He recommends using Superthrive, largely based on experience from life-time successful orchidists in Hawaii. I follow his advice - add a very small amount to the nutrient mix as an extra. Neither of us cvan prove that it does any good, but if you read Bob's words you may come to agree .

    Fish fertiliser - a tiny amount is used by some people in flasks ,as an alternative to green banans, coconut milk or other ju-ju. I have never used it on orchids, don't know nuffink abaht it !.

  8. #8
    mauraec's Avatar
    mauraec is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Maura Caffrey
    My Grow Area
    Outside 24/7
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Paphiopedilum lowii
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Gender
    Female
    Location
    Englewood, FL
    Posts
    3,092
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorsetman View Post
    Bob Gordon wrote a very good little book about raising seedlings (orchids) which is propely science based but written so that you don't actually need a Masters degree to understand it. He recommends using Superthrive, largely based on experience from life-time successful orchidists in Hawaii. I follow his advice - add a very small amount to the nutrient mix as an extra. Neither of us cvan prove that it does any good, but if you read Bob's words you may come to agree .

    Fish fertiliser - a tiny amount is used by some people in flasks ,as an alternative to green banans, coconut milk or other ju-ju. I have never used it on orchids, don't know nuffink abaht it !.
    Okay - so much for fish fertiliser.... glad I don't have to do THAT again. Thanks for the ref to the book. If I can, I'll pick it up, but as you see, I am already using it much the same you do (it's probably the ONLY thing I do that you do, but that's only because I can't follow you around like a puppy, learning how to grow orchids properly). I can't prove it does any good - although it would be simple enough to devise a controlled experiment, should the mood overtake me, but I did give it to my mother and she swears her pansies sit up taller and happier when she she feeds them with it. I wish orchids were as simple little souls as pansies - but, not the case, so it's morning here and "off to the moors" I go - time to water.

  9. #9
    opaline's Avatar
    opaline is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Matt
    My Grow Area
    Sunroom
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Catasetinae
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    830
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Geoff! is it possible that the bacteria required to brake down urea in the nitrogen cycle could exist within the epiphytic situ when moisture is present and time plus additional favourable factors such as added organic matter.? the new tropical fish aquarium hobbyist will immediately encounter the learning curve of the nitrogen cycle resulting in severe results such as fish death if not understood and adhered to, inaddition implementing measures/ due dilligence. Products a plenty saturate the market using primarily fear mongering to earn a few quid from the new inexperienced hobbyist panicking at dead angel fish floating at top because not enough plants allowing build up of excess nitrates/nitrites and filter sponges and gravel/ faeces substrate not yet matured sufficiently to maintain mini eco system.

    Surely this eco system exists everywhere in varying scales/sizes.?? While the fertilizers are restricted in variety, would a rotation of diff products help better. We alone will allow only selected amounts/ quantities nutrients to be absorbed while excess soluble amounts are wasted compared to our requirement.

    Fertilisers are a major underestimated problem, pain and nuisance. Had many cases of burns, disfigurement, deformities. Strongly contemplating abandoning fert products altogether and stick to just superthrive and seaweed extract.

  10. #10
    Dorsetman's Avatar
    Dorsetman is offline Senior Member
    Real Name
    Geoff Hands
    My Grow Area
    Greenhouse
    Favorite Orchid(s)
    Cattleya ?
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    England, South coast.
    Posts
    3,241
    Member's Country Flag

    Default

    Quoting what I said earlier- "Its only the water which travels up the media by capillary action , not any nutrient" referringto S/H - I have been thinking about that on and off all the time since I wrote it. I am wrong , quite wrong.

    For years I puzzled over capillary action - why does liquid disobey the law of gravity and flow uphill, this way ?
    There are no published laws of capillary action that I could find, and I constructed elaborate hypotheses based on Brownian motion of the molecules , and took into account that in ordinary evaporation of a nutrient mix ( or of a simple gravy in the kitchen !) it is the water which evaporates, not the salts or whatever which were dissolved in it. If that happens in S/H , it would explain why the water/nutrient bath gets stronger all the time - the water is somehow used up, and the concentration thus increased.
    But it suddenly came to me, how capillary actionmust work - it is all to do with surface tension. Think of a drop of water on a newly waxed clean automobile . It does not spread out. On an old banger, dirty and unpolished, it spreads out as a thin film. The individual particles of media in S/H are like the dirty surface, and the water spreads out as a thin film which is lifted by the surface tension so that the wetness spreads all over the surface of the particle, and wets the next one above, and so on. The surface tension ( I do know) depends on some of the chemical characteristics of the surface (specifically the electrochemical series ), hence it is not the water (alone) which spreads, it is the liquid - the water plus whatever is dissolved in it . It gets more concentrated simply because of evaporation of water (alone) at some point in the S/H process - nothing to do with the capillary process. So my idea of growing in water alone and using foliar feeding alone would not necessarily be a good one.
    One I'll shelve.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Dendrobium nobile Yellow Song "Canary" and Spring Dream "Apollon" in bloom
    By BearWithMe in forum Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: February 13th, 2013, 08:51 PM
  2. Phal. Massachusetts Stripe "Normandy" AM/AOS x Dtps. Happy Jewel "Peppermint" AM/AOS
    By grubea in forum Phalaenopsis, Oncidium, & Intergenerics IN BLOOM
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: January 9th, 2012, 08:47 PM
  3. Phal Golden Pride "Harford Select" x corningiana "Yellow Bird"
    By delilah in forum Phalaenopsis ('moth orchid') Information
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: August 24th, 2010, 08:29 PM
  4. Happy New Year "TẾT NGUYÊN ĐÁN of Vietnam"
    By hoanglong in forum Cattleyas, Vandas, Dendrobiums IN BLOOM
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: February 15th, 2010, 12:44 PM
  5. My 8 year old Phal. "Sunshine"
    By pallmall77 in forum **NOT IN BLOOM** All Genera
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: November 26th, 2007, 10:20 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
OrchidTalk --An Orchid Growers Discussion Forum brought to you by River Valley Orchidworks. A World Community where orchid beginners and experts talk about orchids and share tips on their care, cultivation, and propagation.