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Help to Identify this Orchid Plant

This is a discussion on Help to Identify this Orchid Plant within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Hello forum , I was wondering if you could help me ID an orchid I ...

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  1. #1
    Macleod1 is offline Junior Member
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    Default Help to Identify this Orchid Plant

    Hello forum,
    I was wondering if you could help me ID an orchid I have bought. It is my ver first orchid so I have no clue about these things. I am looking for an ID on the plant so that I know the best way to care for it.Name:  Untitled-1.jpg
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    The main thing is what medium I should be keeping it in. At the moment it is still in the original pot and medium, which appears to be moss. However I have read that bark is a good medium. I wanted an ID on the plant to know if I should move the plant into bark.

    Name:  Untitled.jpg
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    Also concerning the actual pot. There are holes in the bottom of the pot but I have occasionally heard that it is best to have holes in the side of the pot to allow the roots to escape. Is this the case?

    Thank you for your help. It is much appreciated and any other advice that can be given will be gratefully accepted!

  2. #2
    Carolla's Avatar
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    What you have is a Phaleanopsis. While it probably won't have an actual name, the flowers are the harlequin (spotted) variety.

    They like medium light and are pretty easy to care for. Medium light would be an east window with a bit of morning sun for instance, or under a grow light. Too much light will cause the leaves to get yellow, too little will cause them to become dark green.

    The green houses grow them in plastic sleeves in tightly packed moss, that usually doesn't work so well for home growing. It looks like there is some bark in there and that the roots are currently in good shape. If you are careful with watering - get it well watered then wait until it is really pretty dry before you water it again - you should be able to keep it in the plastic pot until its done blooming. Re-potting stress would probably cause it to lose the flowers. At least you can see the roots through the sides of the pot, that's helpful. As long as they are fat and green (when wet, whitish when dry), they are fine.

    When you re-pot an orchid and you use different media (which is pretty much always the case when you get one commercially grown), the roots that are already there are adapted to the media the plant is in, they won't do well and tend to gradually die off. The new roots growing will adapt (to the point of having a different structure even!) to the new media, its just something they have to go through. Generally I put my Phals in coarse bark with some sphagnum moss in it. It is pretty dry at my house, low humidity, and the moss keeps a bit more moisture for them. Phals like good air circulation in the roots, though they need to be snug enough not to wobble. When I go to pot them up, I soak the bark overnight first, so it will absorb moisture. I often water them by soaking the whole plant for a while (from 15 mins to an hour, depending on whether I remember to move them!), then wait a week or even two to water again. My Phals are used to this so they do alright with it. If I have a new one or a small one, I watch it more closely and water more often (as needed).

    Hopefully this will give you somewhere to start. As with all internet advice, I recommend waiting for several people to chime in and sifting through what they say while considering your own circumstances. We all do it a bit differently depending on our conditions. Pretty plant and welcome to the forum!

  3. #3
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    That is beautiful!!! I cannot advise as I too am new to Orchid care and am here learning and getting advice. I just had to chime in on how pretty that is!!!

  4. #4
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    T4tlrman is offline My name is Terry and I'm an addict ~
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    Should the bloom cycle end before repotting?

    ---------- Post Merged at 11:03 PM ----------

    Love it - tie dyed! My favorite.

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    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    Quote Originally Posted by T4tlrman View Post
    Should the bloom cycle end before repotting?

    ---------- Post Merged at 11:03 PM ----------

    Love it - tie dyed! My favorite.
    If possible it is better to wait for a bloom cycle to end before repotting but if the medium is degradaded. from what I can see, it appears that this Phal is in a bark mix and not Sphag moss.

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    Macleod1 is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mammatam View Post
    That is beautiful!!! I cannot advise as I too am new to Orchid care and am here learning and getting advice. I just had to chime in on how pretty that is!!!
    Thank you. That is the main reason I chose this particular Phal. I loved the colouration.

    Thank you all for your help and advice. I'll wait until the bloom is over then repot it into something more suitable. Thank you for your help!

  7. #7
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    That is a really pretty phal. I don't have any harlequin phals yet.
    And just remember not to follow the nursery instructions of it came with them. I typically like to go with the nursery rules for plants but they get it all wrong for phals especially since they don't really know your home environment. They will tell you to water once a week with no mention of letting the medium dry out first a bit. With my phals in moss I wait until the moss is kind of crunchy on top and a bit dry when I stick my finger in it to water.

  8. #8
    T4tlrman's Avatar
    T4tlrman is offline My name is Terry and I'm an addict ~
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    Carol, would this be a harlequin too?

    Name:  Phal 8 (2) (640x480).jpg
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    Have to confess - even though it's in bloom I transferred it from very tightly packed (moss) 2" clear plastic pot, to a little larger (3") (better vented) plastic pot while it's still in bloom.

    I put a couple shipping peanuts on bottom of new pot and covered those with rough bark so the roots have a chance to breath.

    I didn't remove any of the moss, or touch any of the roots. I did this 2 days ago and buds & flowers look fine.

  9. #9
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    I would have moved them and likely used coarse bark while I was at it. I kinda go by the theory that if I'm going to shock the plant get it all over with. If the roots are tightly packed in moss they just don't dry out well, so keep an eye on it and water somewhat sparingly (be sure its pretty dry), then re-pot into a more suitable medium when its done flowering. I try not to mess with them too much while still giving them the conditions they need.

    It's really pretty and I'm pretty sure that would also be a harlequin. I'm not nearly the expert on plant types, names, etc. as many are here, I've just grown Phals as houseplants for a long time and I've read tons on this forum.

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