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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 began wondering the other day (and even posted a question) about whether plants, in ...

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  1. #1
    citywildcat's Avatar
    citywildcat is offline Senior Member
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    Default How old is your OLDEST orchid?

    I began wondering the other day (and even posted a question) about whether plants, in general, or even trees, have a life expectancy. The question arose when I had an arborist over to my house to do some garden work. We discussed my next project, which is to remove one of my dead dwarf Japanese maples, which was thriving when I removed it from its previous home. (Its companion tree, which was doing very poorly when I removed it from the same previous home area, is now thriving beyond my expectations.). This led me to ask the question, do plants/trees have natural life expectancies, or times when they have just lived as long as they're going to live??? When I asked the arborist why that tree (that had been doing so well in its previous home and did fairly well here for around six years) died, his response was that perhaps "it had reached its life expectancy". IS THERE SUCH A THING FOR PLANTS/TREES, ESPECIALLY ORCHIDS? That being said, how old is your oldest orchid? What number of years have you had an orchid the longest? (Different from age/agree, hard to tell, see below post) (Please be honest here, LOL.). By the way, I didn't know where to place this particular question/in what category it belonged, so I figured this was as good a place as any!
    Last edited by citywildcat; September 5th, 2014 at 07:39 AM. Reason: additional information/clarification

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    A difficult question to answer for most I think.

    All of mine have been acquired in the last year. But obviously, they are older than that.

  3. #3
    citywildcat's Avatar
    citywildcat is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    A difficult question to answer for most I think.

    All of mine have been acquired in the last year. But obviously, they are older than that.
    I revised my question. Can we start over?

  4. #4
    78Terp's Avatar
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    I am willing to bet that I have none older than 7 tears old. Perhaps my Sharry Baby is older than that but she is probably the oldest one I have.

    I just realized that my poor, hailed on multiple times this season, cool growing Cymbidium could be 7 years or older, if it survives me and a Colorado summer outside.
    Last edited by 78Terp; September 5th, 2014 at 09:12 AM.

  5. #5
    kspalding's Avatar
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    In Ohio I had a basic white phal I had rescued from the trash after a company dinner party. It was my first. I had it for about 5 or 6 years until I moved and about two months later started dropping blooms prematurely and then ended up somehow with a virus that spread thru the stem first then to the rest of the plant. Not sure how long It woulda lived if that hadn't happened.

  6. #6
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    I bought a monster sized Phal at my local nursery. It was $12. It seems another long time customer was moving and couldn't take her orchids. It is a NoID, but I had to have it due to it's sheer size and health. I think this one may be older, but I have no idea how old it would be. I have only been really collecting since April - so I can't help you, but I am interested.

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:22 AM ----------

    Seems this was discussed and a biologist answered!

    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...l-orchids.html

  7. #7
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    I had a Phal that we used in our wedding flowers that lived for 36 years before I made a fatal mistake and killed it. It was a huge old plant and in thriving good health, no reason to think it wouldn't have lasted indefinitely. Who knows how old it was when I got it? It was a mature plant then. I have another Phal that has been kicking around for many years, at least 10, as I had it when my first grandson was born - he'll be 11 in Dec. It's still going strong. When you think of the clones that have been around in cloned form for decades that are still being used for breeding, I assume that the lifespan of many orchids is pretty indefinite. I don't have any orchids other than Phals that are old, because I didn't try any others until recent years.

    I do know that some trees tend to have lifespans - when you buy a fast growing tree, such as a willow, you can expect them to live for 60 years or so and then you will have to take them out, they just don't hold up. Others live indefinitely.

  8. #8
    citywildcat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 78Terp View Post
    I am willing to bet that I have none older than 7 tears old. Perhaps my Sharry Baby is older than that but she is probably the oldest one I have.

    I just realized that my poor, hailed on multiple times this season, cool growing Cymbidium could be 7 years or older, if it survives me and a Colorado summer outside.
    78Terp - 7 years old?
    Pretty darn good...my speech recognition just died on me.....do you think this tablet is trying to tell me something?

    ---------- Post Merged at 11:42 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by silverstoli View Post
    I bought a monster sized Phal at my local nursery. It was $12. It seems another long time customer was moving and couldn't take her orchids. It is a NoID, but I had to have it due to it's sheer size and health. I think this one may be older, but I have no idea how old it would be. I have only been really collecting since April - so I can't help you, but I am interested.

    ---------- Post Merged at 09:22 AM ----------

    Seems this was discussed and a biologist answered!

    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...l-orchids.html
    Thanks...I'll have a look....there seems to be sufficient interest for lots of us so I'm willing to continue :-)

    ---------- Post Merged at 11:45 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Carolla View Post
    I had a Phal that we used in our wedding flowers that lived for 36 years before I made a fatal mistake and killed it. It was a huge old plant and in thriving good health, no reason to think it wouldn't have lasted indefinitely. Who knows how old it was when I got it? It was a mature plant then. I have another Phal that has been kicking around for many years, at least 10, as I had it when my first grandson was born - he'll be 11 in Dec. It's still going strong. When you think of the clones that have been around in cloned form for decades that are still being used for breeding, I assume that the lifespan of many orchids is pretty indefinite. I don't have any orchids other than Phals that are old, because I didn't try any others until recent years.

    I do know that some trees tend to have lifespans - when you buy a fast growing tree, such as a willow, you can expect them to live for 60 years or so and then you will have to take them out, they just don't hold up. Others live indefinitely.
    Carolla, the one that was 36, how do you KNOW it was 36/I guess I'm asking did you have it THAT long? Wow!

    ---------- Post Merged at 11:48 AM ----------

    I have 2 plants from my mom's funeral - NOT orchids - they're 13.5 years..I wonder if growing hydroponically has any edge over other methods....anyone?

  9. #9
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    Part of that time my parents had it, the rest of the time I had it, we bought it for the white flowers to use at my wedding. I trained as a florist, but decided before I graduated college to groom dogs instead - I did my own wedding flowers, it was a lot of fun! Its the flower pictured in my profile. It survived years of neglect and was pretty sad when my daughter in law helped me get it back in shape about 12 years ago. That rekindled my love of orchids - I had some when I was in college too.

  10. #10
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    The oldest orchid I still have was purchased from an orchid show when I first moved to Seattle in 1989. The old girl still blooms every year like clockwork.

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