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New to Orchids - could use some tips (long post w/pics)

This is a discussion on New to Orchids - could use some tips (long post w/pics) within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I've had some orchids for a while but was never good about keeping up on ...

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  1. #1
    HeathBar is offline Junior Member
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    Default New to Orchids - could use some tips (long post w/pics)

    I've had some orchids for a while but was never good about keeping up on their maintenance or researching their needs. Recently, I've become more interested in maintaining my garden and I've fallen in love with my orchids again. I'm working on resurrecting my poorly cared for ones and I've acquired some new ones as well. I could use some tips on how to care for them so they can get healthy and stay that way this time.

    This is one of my worse ones (in the blue pot). I probably watered it once a month for the last year, I'm surprised it's still alive. It's potted in a bark/perilte mix with moss on top to keep moisture in. One of the stems doesn't have any leaves anymore, should I cut it? I did that with the old ones but I'm not sure if that's what I should be doing. There is only one mature stem left with leaves on it but there are 2 small new ones coming in.

    New growth on it:


    My next one is also dehydrated, it was basically growing bare root in the basket for the last few years with very little water. I added some moss to the basket and I've been giving it a good mist twice a day for the last week. The roots still look really healthy but the leaves are really shriveled up and limp. I have no idea what kind it is, I've never seen it bloom sadly.


    This orchid was given to me as a clipping about 5 years ago. It has been basically been growing wild on my patio. It took over my desert rose pot and start growing into a nearby bush. When I went to tidy it up, the main stem it was almost 8ft long!!! most of it was really unhealthy so I took the best looking "side stems" with good roots and planted them in this pot. I also have no idea what kind it is, it recently bloomed a few weeks ago, very small orange flowers. How do I contain this one? It seems to want to grow down like some sort of vine instead of a traditional orchid.

  2. #2
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    kiwiorchids is offline Plant Nut
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    PIC 1/2) Take the moss out-dendrobiums hate the stuff. They LOVE crammed roots, and i would pot them into either broken terracotta, or a medium grade bark mix. Remember, dendrobiums are mostly used to conditions where they grow on rocks or trees. This one will like a bit more moisture than others, so water it more frequently, a good indicator is when the medium looks dry on-top.
    PIC 3) This is a vanda of some description, cant tell you what though! lol
    This LOVES to have open air around its roots, so dispose of most of the medium, especially that moss! Ive seen these growing in baskets with only one piece of lava rock, and the roots are metres long! very spectacular. They like high light situations, and very humid.
    PIC 4)This is Epidendrum, probably Epidendrum redicans. These will grow anywhere, but again dread wet roots. Grow in a loose soil mix, bark mix or coconut fibre. Ive even seen them growing in the garden! They like high light, but no as high as vandas, and keep it out of the frosts and direct sun. It blooms about spring-time.

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    Your vanda (in basket) would appreciate being soaked, especially the roots, on a daily basis. Hold the hose on it for a minute and you will see the roots green up and grow.

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    Your vanda leaves will take time to recover through my experience more than 2 months provided you give water everyday. Good luck

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    Thanks for the advice everyone, I really appreciate it! I picked up a couple new orchids last week too. I could use some help with ID'ing them. They were just labeled as "intergenetic" at the store.

    First one looks like a epidendrum?


    Here is the pot it's currently in. It looks a little crowded.... Should I repot this into something bigger after it's done blooming?


    This is the second orchid I got at the same place.


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    For now, it looks like your dendrobium cane is still green so I would leave it. Even though it has no leaves, it has energy stores that will help the new growths.

    Your two new orchids are both from the oncidium relations, that's why they call them intergenerics. That first one is probably an odontocidum--a cross between odontoglossum and oncidium. I would not repot this into a larger pot until the new growths are hanging over the edge. They like to be pot-bound. Looks like a nice healthy one.

    The second one might possibly be a beallara or maybe a burrageara. That one looks way overpotted to me. I have bad luck with pots that are much larger than the root ball, the media stays too soggy.

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    These stores can be a pain, simply because they dont lable the orchids properly. The top looks a bit like a spieces actually, or a Miltonodium which is a cross between Miltonia (the brazilian one) and Oncidium. This should be fine for a few years yet in its current pot. You have much to learn Grasshopper

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    With the second one-First mistake-WHY DID YOU USE SOIL!? That could be classified as blasphemy..lol NEVER use soil unless it is a terrestrial. This needs either Sphagnum moss or a fine bark mix. Dont just buy a bag of potting mix, you need to buy a bag of specially processed orchid bark.

    Second mistake: It is WAY to overpotted. The pot needs to be JUST larger, by less than an inch, than the former pot.

  9. #9
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    First thing you need to help recover your orchids is patience. A lot of it. For the dendrobium, i agree with Jordan to remove the moss from the pot, as this will worsen the condition. Dendrobiums are hardy ones ( in my opinion) just water it regularly.
    For the vanda in basket, you can soak it in water even for hours, may also add some rooting hormone during soaking. and keep humidity hight. ( I myself got trouble with humidity)
    For your new plants, repot them when you see "baby" with coming out, better if the "baby" got new roots shooting out already. This will make establishing the plant easier.
    Good luck!

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    kiwiorchids's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dukejenn View Post
    First thing you need to help recover your orchids is patience. A lot of it. For the dendrobium, i agree with Jordan to remove the moss from the pot, as this will worsen the condition. Dendrobiums are hardy ones ( in my opinion) just water it regularly.
    For the vanda in basket, you can soak it in water even for hours, may also add some rooting hormone during soaking. and keep humidity hight. ( I myself got trouble with humidity)
    For your new plants, repot them when you see "baby" with coming out, better if the "baby" got new roots shooting out already. This will make establishing the plant easier.
    Good luck!
    Good advice, but again, the new one (no.1) still has room to grow.

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