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orchid mistakes, greenhouse

This is a discussion on orchid mistakes, greenhouse within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; i'm about 4-6 weeks into my orchid rescue. most were purchased for next to nothing ...

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  1. #1
    greensvideo is offline Junior Member
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    donna
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    Default orchid mistakes, greenhouse

    i'm about 4-6 weeks into my orchid rescue. most were purchased for next to nothing from a big box store that tried to drown them. i unceremoniously cut off the rotten roots (which was most of them) and repotted in bark or phal mix.
    mistake 1: didn't sterilize scissors and used the same ones on all the plants-no apparent harm from this noticed yet. also, didn't apply any sort of treatment to cuts.
    mistake 2: i did not soak the mix before repotting.
    mistake 3: i used packing peanuts in the bottom of the pots, so now if i try to soak the pot as you folks suggest, all my potting mix wants to float to the top of the pot and disturb my roots. my solution is to just pour water over them 2 or 3 times.
    mistake 4: put the cats where they got about an hour of direct afternoon light (this really was a mistake-i didn't realize the sun came in there) and burned some of the leaves. so far this doesn't appear to be a fatal error.
    mistake 5: applied fertilizer according to package directions on my orchids. i think this was wrong on several levels. primarily i should have weakened the solution considerably and i should have waited a little longer since they had just been repotted. i poured it over the leaves (according to package instructions) and damaged some of the leaves.
    i pronounced the first orchid DEAD today, but, i really think it was gone when i got it and it just took it this long for me to give up on it. i have about 4 more in "intensive care".
    i have about 150 orchids at this time and am expecting more (of course!) so i guess i've been bitten by the orchid bug! i'm in the southern u.s., so the weather is good here at this time, but it does freeze in the winter so i'm thinking about greenhouse. i've seen them made of glass, frames with hard plastic, etc. and i was wondering what is best for orchids. any advice would be appreciated.
    also, if you can think how i will try to kill the poor things next- advice will be welcome!

  2. #2
    Gin's Avatar
    Gin
    Gin is offline Senior Member
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    You realize your mistakes, that is good .
    I would get as big a greenhouse as you can afford ,also afford to heat and cool . I like the polycarbonate twin wall if it gets pretty cold in the winter ,costs more but will save on heating .. A green house is never big enough .. Gin

  3. #3
    margo's Avatar
    margo is offline Senior Member
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    Donna, don't worry we are learning from our mistakes. As I am reading your list I've done all of them but #1! I did another #1... mine #1- didn't cut all the dead roots because didn't know what was dead and what was still "breathing"...LOL
    Can't give an advise about greenhouse (it's still "dreemhouse" for me), but when you start your project please take pictures and post updates here!!!
    About how you will try to kill them next time- use your imagination!!! LOL
    To be on the safe side post here first before doing anything so you can be sure it will be effective!
    LOL

  4. #4
    greensvideo is offline Junior Member
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    margo- i'm not sure i cut ALL the dead ones! thanks for the the encouragement!
    someone around here has a huge glass greenhouse for sale they say was used to grow orchids. it looks beautiful, but from the little i know the glass will give it direct sunlight and this wouldn't be good. i'm growing them now on a patio with a polycarbonate roof (i think). if this is the right kind of stuff, maybe i could just close this in. it's on the south end of the house, upstairs.
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  5. #5
    cindiras's Avatar
    cindiras is offline Senior Member
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    If you get a good deal on the glass house, you can always add shade screening to cut direct glare. If using a foliar feed fertilizer (like miracle grow) dilute to about 1/4 recommendations and spray lightly on the leaves. I use a trigger sprayer in the winter when my 'chids are bunched close together on thier shelves (squirt, squirt squirt!) but you may want a small pump sprayer if you have them spread out.

  6. #6
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    walingwaling is offline Senior Member
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    hi,
    your patio looks perfect to me, i just dont know how hot it gets for your plants, especially the upper ones, you may have to install a ceiling fan.
    mine looks very similar, except im not facing south, but it gets extremely hot in there. since im still stubborn and refuse on fan's, i just accept the fact and grow oncidiums and alike, they seem to thrive well under this conditions and spray em once a day thoroughly.

  7. #7
    greensvideo is offline Junior Member
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    actually, i do have a ceiling fan. i keep it running as i read in the posts that they like a little breeze. it is hot and humid here in the summer, but too cold to leave them out in the winter. if i haven't killed them all by then i'm going to have to come up with a plan; either close in the patio (pretty easy once i figure out how thick the walls should be, material, etc), build a green house or bring them in and figure out how to get them enough light. i really don't want to wait until the first freeze to figure this out!

  8. #8
    Brutal_Dreamer's Avatar
    Brutal_Dreamer is offline Dreaming with my eyes open...
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    With that fan running, it looks like your orchids are happy. I hope as you get a greenhouse you will keep us updated.

    Cheers,
    BD

  9. #9
    greenmantis is offline Junior Member
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    Hello everyone :-)

    Donna: If you can get the greenhouse at a low price, I'de buy it , if i were you. Once you've started collecting orchids, you can't stop :-))

    A few things about me: I got my first orchid in 2006 , as a gift when my son was born. Now i have around 50. Mostly phalaenopsis because they bloom so long. I shortly bought my first species. Phalaenopsis pulchra. It's a very young plant , only 2 big leaves but it has strong roots, and i think it's bringing out a new one at the moment...

    Mistakes i've made until now: the same as Donna, all of them :-(

    Recently i forgot to check the leaves after watering a white mothorchid. Unfortunately one of the leaves got yellow and is dying off now because water rotted it :-(

    I've learned so much from this forum. Thanks!

  10. #10
    Gin's Avatar
    Gin
    Gin is offline Senior Member
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    I would enclose where they are, looks good to me considering where you live it should be fine .
    I have a porch enclosed with screen that is attached to the green house, in the winter we put the rolled plastic over the screen on the outside and the inside I keep some of the plants on it all winter and they do fine . I am in Missouri it can get very cold here, in the teens and sometimes below . I have one of the oil filled radiator looking heaters that is used if needed .. Gin

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