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  • 1 Post By Jose R. Nieves
  • 1 Post By Jose R. Nieves
  • 2 Post By wetfeet101b

Orchid Seedling care

This is a discussion on Orchid Seedling care within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; I have a number of seedlings (around 2-5 inches) of different species. I wonder if ...

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  1. #1
    tawv is offline Member
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    Default Orchid Seedling care

    I have a number of seedlings (around 2-5 inches) of different species. I wonder if they need the same care & culture as is described for a plant that is (re)blooming?

    Most of these instructions include (near) dry spells, but the small plants seem to need water all year, until they are really strong enough to grow large leaves, roots and flowers.

    Your input would be appreciated!

    Thanks
    Alfred

  2. #2
    Jose R. Nieves's Avatar
    Jose R. Nieves is offline Senior Member
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    Depends on the species. Can you post a list?
    Jose

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    tawv is offline Member
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    Oh no sorry José, it's about 35 of them, spread all around the house. It's catts, dends, bulbos, epicatts, pterostylis, Habenaria, Encyclia, Epidendrum, Eria, Paph, Holcoglossum, etc. -- so all kinds. But is the principle not the same? Orchids that are not flowering, but still very young - don't they need 'continuous' water, fertilizer and light until they are adult and growing spikes ? (or larger roots)

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    No general rule here. What I do is place them in a shadier area and watch them closely first 2 weeks to see how they respond to the media and my climate. Once they have acclimated I start feeding them with the others (every 2 weeks or more for me) and see if there are any problems but again, you have to know your species. When it's time to repot they are usually hardy enough to go with the rest. It helps to know the original habitat and a good research works wonders, better yet if you have pics "in situ" . This forum is a great site to learn. Hope it helps!
    Jose

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    tawv is offline Member
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    Thanks a lot José! I will def. study further and 'play it by ear'...

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    That is a wide ranging collection you have there.
    I can only offer info on orchid types that I have grown from seedling compots:

    Cattleya types (and cattleya derived hybrids)
    They prefer almost always moist potting medium during the first year. Transition them slowly into mature growing culture as they get older.
    Around the 3-4 year mark, they will need to dry out between watering just like mature cattleya plants.
    They will need less light than mature plants.
    Protect them from cool/cold nights. They are less cold-tolerant than mature cattleyas.

    Dendrobium (cane types)
    Keep the potting medium moist at all times, until they start growing canes longer than 3 inches. After that, watering requirements will be similar to mature canes.
    From my experience, even the little seedings want the same light levels as mature dendrobiums.
    For *most* cane types, seedlings cannot tolerate temperatures lower than 55F. There may be some exceptions though.
    Dendrobium roots can be a pain to separate if they grow in a 'compot'. If you have them in a 'compot' then observe the roots and put them in their own pots once you see the roots intertwining.

  7. #7
    paphioboy is offline Senior Member
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    Seedlings most definitely do not take 'dry spells'. But drying off a little in between waterings is correct.

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    tawv is offline Member
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    Thanks all! Very helpful -- ☺

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