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first orchid, no name & problems already

This is a discussion on first orchid, no name & problems already within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; hello all! i got my first orchid a few days ago and i know next ...

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  1. #1
    nicki is offline Senior Member
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    Default first orchid, no name & problems already

    hello all!

    i got my first orchid a few days ago and i know next to nothing about them. my cousin brought it back from a recent FL vacation. i've always liked them but never got one, they seemed too delicate for my care. so i've been doing online researching since. i have a couple problems i could use some help with. sorry if this gets a bit long...

    first, the plant didn't come with a tag. i think it's a dendrobium, biggibum. i'm still working on what all that means. i've been looking at pictures online trying to find a more specific name for mine. anybody have any ideas? or maybe point me in the right direction. i know there are thousands of species.

    second, i'm noticing a residue on the leaves. after looking on this forum i think it's from water? correct me if i'm wrong. i mist the plant with a spray bottle filled with tap water a couple times a day. is this ok? how do i get rid of the white stuff?

    third and sadly, i think after only a few days i'm already killing the poor thing.
    in a matter of 12 hours one of the leaves when from green to yellow. which i read could be too much sun. the room that it's in does get hit with most of the days sun. but i don't keep the blind open more than about 10". and i think i have the orchid out of any possible direct sun. though i can't be 100% till saturday when i'll be home during the day to check. also the room get pretty heated. i don't have a thermometer in there yet. at night it's still warm when i check on it but by morning it's cool. and i've watered it once since i got it. and will start using a fan for a little bit during the day to circulate the air.

    if book names are allowed to be posted i'm open for suggestions on a good beginners guide.


    thank!
    nicki
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  2. #2
    clintdawley's Avatar
    clintdawley is offline Wrapped in metal..wrapped in ivy...
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    It's not a D. biggibum...

    It's a Dendrobium hybrid from the section Spatulata....supposedly really easy to grow. You can google Dendrobium culture and get the AOS culture sheet--basically moderatly bright light...almost dry between waterings, warm temps...Don't worry about giving it direct light through your windows...that's what dends like!

    You can clean the leaves with lemon juice or some other acid. Get a cotton ball and dab away...

    As far as books go, I cannot recommend any good ones as I forget the names. Go to your public library and browse the stacks (that's what I do.)

  3. #3
    JoeW's Avatar
    JoeW is offline Senior Member
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    Hi, thanks for going the group! The experts here have also suggested we use milk to clean the leaves if you don't want to use a thin lemon juice. I wouldn't mist the leaves anymore. Yellowing leaves like that are often due to overwatering. The plant may also be going through a natural period of adjusting to the new environment. Den's like temp's in the 70-90 degree range. Regarding light, 2,000 to 3,000 foot candles are acceptable. (Direct sunlight through a window can exceed this by a couple thousand footcandles.) I recommend you to the following page on this forum:

    Orchids - River Valley Orchidworks - Care and Cultivation Guide

    You will find some excellent tips there that may be applicable to the situation.

  4. #4
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    Hi, welcome!

    You might find it useful to pick up a yard of light white fabric, the kind that is filmy, if you can't find pre-made curtains of the same type. (I got some nice fabric at a big-box store off their $1 yard table. ) A push-rod that you can quickly put into the widnow at any height to hold the cloth will keep the direct sun from hitting the orchid, just in case there is an hour or two of "burn" going on while you are away.

    This is a quick fix until you have a chance to look at your entire set-up. Cruise through this board for the threads about where people grow their orchids, and you will find some pictures and discussions of all kinds of window and other set-ups.

    Have fun, your orchid is the beginning of an adventure, so don't be discouraged!

  5. #5
    nicki is offline Senior Member
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    thanks. i'll try the suggestions posted and search for a culture sheet. not sure what 'filmy' fabric is but i'll see what i can find.
    there's so many areas on this forum it's gonna take me awhile to check everything out. if i manage to keep this one alive i see a few more in the future.

  6. #6
    JoeW's Avatar
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    Hi, Nicki, you will find culture sheets at the link in my post above and at
    AOS | Culture Sheets
    There are many types of dendrobium. If the grower's tag is still with the plant, I recommend sending them an email with the plant and flower pictures. The breeder there will probably tell you the name. This has worked for me in the past. Joe

  7. #7
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is online now Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hi Nicki, looks like you got into the forum! Great! The advice offered above is accurate. I am sure you will learn alot and find yourself collecting many more orchids. Especially since you are hanging out with this group Good luck!

    Cheers,
    BD

  8. #8
    dsm's Avatar
    dsm
    dsm is offline Senior Member
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    yes, none of us is truly willing to admit how many orchids bit the dust before we got with the flow...

    "filmy" fabric is the kind they make veils or semi-tranparent curtains from: organdy, cotton batiste, or any kind of very thin synthetic.

  9. #9
    nicki is offline Senior Member
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    ok, i do believe i have some old 'filmy' curtains at home i can use.
    i don't know if i'm supposed to start a new thread for a new question... but i was wondering if it is ok to move an orchid depending on the time of day. for example at night moving it to a different room with a better temperature. then during the day move it back to where it was. or if it's best it stays in one place.

  10. #10
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    Temperature is important for orchids, but you probably don't need to move it....what temp would you say that it gets in the room where the orchid is? I know you mentioned it is warmer at night and cools down by morning - sounds like you have a south or western exposure? I think its more important for you to make sure the plants aren't cooking in the sun...the sheer curtains that DSM was talking about above are really helpful for this. Here's a tip: if you touch the leaves in the afternoon when the sun is in that room, are they hot? If they are, that sun might be a bit too strong.

    Also, what is your watering schedule like? I don't think that was talked about at all, and is also very important

    And I will second what DSM said above, don't get discouraged!! We all kill plants now and then (not that you will kill your dend) ...as a matter of fact, I currently had to order this one cattleya for the 3rd time because I killed it twice already!! (but I know how I killed it, so I just order another, LOL)

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