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New Soon-to-be Murderess, errrr grower

This is a discussion on New Soon-to-be Murderess, errrr grower within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have been eyeing orchids for a while and planned to buy one, but my ...

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  1. #1
    Serenity is offline Member
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    Default New Soon-to-be Murderess, errrr grower

    I have been eyeing orchids for a while and planned to buy one, but my friend beat me to it and surprised me with a Den. orchid. It had just finished blooming when I received it. I have read the posts concerning Dens, but still can't really tell exactly which one this is. It was purchased on a big box store and I THINK it has hard canes. The flowers were very small. I know from reading that some Dens like a winter rest, but have no idea if my orchid needs one or not. What happens if one doesn't get the winter's rest it wants? It was completely dry, so I did water it and noted it is planted wrapped around a large piece of bark. Is this good? I cut back its flower spike and dusted with cinnamon. I used to grow africian violets but this is a whole different ballgame! It is in front of a window that gets a SE exposure and I live in the sunny South of the USA. Any thoughts or help would be appreciated! I swear, though, this time I am NOT going to go crazy and end up with nearly 100 plants like I did the violets.

  2. #2
    Cjcorner's Avatar
    Cjcorner is offline Senior Member
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    You think you aren't going to end up with 100? lol You so funny!!! You stumbled across the biggest bunch of orchid enablers on the web I do believe.
    Dendrobiums are great to start with. They like small pots that have great drainage. If the material it is potted in looks like black dirt and the roots are dark it's time to repot into some fresh orchid bark. Keep the pot as small as you can, they don't need a huge pot. Like your African Violets they like a smallish pot. I have a three foot den in a 4 inch pot currently and it's happy as can be. Read the posts on here and you'll soon find alot of questions that answer yours. Anything you cannot find in the other posts, ask, there are some great people on here. If you have bugs or other problems, there are posts for that as well, and when necessary to post, it's great to show a picture of what you are talking about. Most of us have the same bug and fungus problems with our orchids.
    Welcome to the group....
    Connie

  3. #3
    Serenity is offline Member
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    Thanks for the welcome, Connie. The roots look great on this plant and they are all wrapped around a large piece of bark. I am resisting the urge to put it in a larger pot since it seems to be happy enough where it is. Yeah, I figured this would be a major orchid enabler site. :-) I live about 45 minutes away from a vendor and plan to make a visit there next month. I want to buy a few (just a few!) cats. and phals. to see how they do. I can't have my den. getting lonely.

    Serenity

  4. #4
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    Serenity, Welcome to Orchidtalk! Feel free to post photos of your new den when you have that part figured put. If you were growing AV's, you will have no problem growing orchids. The den might like a bit brighter light than the violets and a LOT less water. don't water again untill you poke a finger into the bark mix at least an inch deep and find it dry. Then set it to soak in a pot of water for 10 minutes or so, let it drain, and you are good to go for a week to 10 days.

  5. #5
    Ron-NY is offline rothaholic
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    LOL, I bet you said the same thing about the African Violets. I know myself better than to make that kind of statement. I currently have over 500 orchids...it started with one

  6. #6
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    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    Hi Serenity! Glad you got in and registered!

    Welcome!!

    Cheers,
    BD

  7. #7
    Serenity is offline Member
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    Cindiras, I can't really poke my finger in mix, per se, because the den is planted around a large piece of bark. However, it felt very dry so I watered it Monday or Tuesday since I knew I would be on the road most of the week. Should I repot it into a medium with smaller pieces of bark? (I know not to use potting soil. :-) Also, I can't tell which family it belongs to. I did read the descriptions and think it MIGHT be one of the Big. ones. I will take a pic of it and post when I get back home. Ron, I was actually an innocent when I went into AVs. The friend that got me started had only four. But I started researching them and discovered all the beautiful ones out there and that was that! Knowing my past history with the AVs, though, I am seriously worried. I don't have room for 70 orchids. And I gave away my light stand when I lost most of my AVs due to going back to school, plus working full time, etc. BD, sorry it was such a pain getting me registered. I have no idea what Bellsouth did with those messages! What happens if this is a den that needs a rest and does not get the rest of withheld water? I don't know if I should keep watering it now that the blooms are spent or not.

  8. #8
    JoeW's Avatar
    JoeW is offline Senior Member
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    "I want to buy a few (just a few!)"
    LOL! Me too. My wife now says "Is that another one?"

  9. #9
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    rich63 is offline Senior Member
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    lol,Serenity,Welcome.I don't know what to tell you,since you found us.As Connie said WE ARE ENABLERS !! I'm a chid addict.I have a bunch of Den.s,They grow great in the south.You shouldn't have any problems growing what you like.I started with one Phal., now I have darn near 50.We all love to see pictures.You can pick up a moister meter with a probe at any box store for about $8.00-9.00 That will really help on the watering issue.Good Luck Growing And Welcome Again,Rich

  10. #10
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    Becky15349 is offline Senior Member
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    Hey Serenity, welcome! Many of us who grow dends don't do anything special to give it a "winter rest"...if your plant wants that, it will probably rest on its own - it doesn't require that you should move it or anything, as the plants would not move in nature during this time. Some of them are deciduous, which means that they lose their leaves when their rest period comes, but don't be alarmed - this is totally normal and a good thing for them to do...it rejuvinates them when it comes time for them to grow again (allbeit can be a bit unsightly)...

    About watering...since you are keeping your plant in a SE window, it will probably not really "rest" as much as some would in nature, because the light levels are going to keep photosynthesis going....so I'd say, like Cinidras said, water 1x per week by soaking and you should be good to go

    Does your dend have a tag? Tell us the name, that way we can dig around and find out some more info on your particular plant.

    Oh, and btw, lots of growers are having sales now at the end of the summer.......so...your collection will probably grow. Its best not to fight the inevitable....besides, its fun!! And we are always here to help

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