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How old is your OLDEST orchid?

This is a discussion on How old is your OLDEST orchid? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; i have a mokara about 17 years old....

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  1. #11
    coeruleo's Avatar
    coeruleo is offline Night Bloomer
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    i have a mokara about 17 years old.

  2. #12
    citywildcat's Avatar
    citywildcat is offline Senior Member
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    Coeruleo, I think you're in the top three: we have 36 years (Carolla), 25 years (Orchidlady), followed by 17 years (which is you)...... I guess I know who to go to when I need advice

  3. #13
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    theflowerbread is offline Senior Member
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    I have a simple white Phal that is my first orchid and it could be around 7-8 years old in total. At my home I have it for 4 years and when I've bought it, it was already circa 3 yrs old I think (I'm thinking because of the size it was back then).

  4. #14
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    If you come to me for advice as to how I kept mine alive for 36 years, I'd tell you I neglected it horribly and forgot to water it or care for it until it was down to about 2 leaves. Then I decided I wanted it to live and started to care for it. Even then there was a pretty good amount of benign neglect. It's the one in the green pot without flowers. It got to be a pretty large plant and bloomed every year, keeping last years spikes and reblooming on them. The size is a bit hard to see, but this is an 8" pot. I think you can also see the media is too fine - it was sold as for Phals, but it compacted over the roots and it just started rotting. Only took a week or so to go from this happy big plant to too late.

    The plant with the flowers is my next oldest Phal, Phal 'Black Jack'. It is somewhere between 10 and 15 years old, I don't remember when I got it, but it's at least as old as my oldest grandson! I made some mistake in adding the pictures and can't seem to be able to fix it, but oh well!

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  5. #15
    citywildcat's Avatar
    citywildcat is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by theflowerbread View Post
    I have a simple white Phal that is my first orchid and it could be around 7-8 years old in total. At my home I have it for 4 years and when I've bought it, it was already circa 3 yrs old I think (I'm thinking because of the size it was back then).
    theflowerbread, 7-8 years seems to be about the average for most average sellers :-)). The rare exceptions to that are the ones I mentioned that are 36, 17 and 20 something years old (see above). Strangely enough, I have to agree with Carolla. Many times, orchids need to be "challenged". I don't know if this is true but I read somewhere that it's hardwired in all living things, that when they are on the brink of extinction (elimination), to fight to survive/prevent itself from dying off. I'm not saying I agree with that (or even believe it) but I feel there is a fine line where that philosophy needs to be met SOMEWHAT (in other words, the more you fuss with them, the less success you'll have.). Since I just started growing again about a year ago, all of you have me beat. I was on orchid grower about 30+ years ago, under lights/had many failures because I didn't pay attention to what is BASIC in orchid growing (above home environment humidity levels, above home environment air circulation levels, and variations among orchids in potting/mounting preferences). My oldest is about 4 years old, a big Phal. NOID, currently in spike. Like Carolla & her "neglect" theory, I kept it in my pantry with a grow light for year and a half, until I could figure out how to grow orchids indoors, away from my cats. When I got my mini greenhouse, I put it in there and it took off. I don't see why some of the plants I currently have shouldn't continue to survive as long as I maintain the same individual care levels. I feel that if I can get through ONE ENTIRE YEAR, which is four seasons where I am, with an orchid growing successfully, I should be able to continue that way (barring the introduction of a "bug" or some disease that could bring everything down.). YOU've done well!!

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