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Easiest phal, paph or phrag

This is a discussion on Easiest phal, paph or phrag within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; My sister told me last night that she wants an orchid. I'm trying to figure ...

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  1. #1
    Traci's Avatar
    Traci is online now Senior Member
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    Default Easiest phal, paph or phrag

    My sister told me last night that she wants an orchid. I'm trying to figure out the easiest orchid for her because I know she will likely not do the best on her first try and I don't want to set her up for failure. Don't know whether to just go to a big box and grab a phal or if there is something else that might be easier for her that actually has a name.

    My sister may lose interest in this orchid so I will likely get it after it blooms so I'm trying to pick something that I will like too.

    Any suggestions on orchid species, hybrids or noid?

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is offline An Avant Gardner
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    IMO, phals are the most forgiving.

    They can tolerate being drier than paphs or phrags, if you are worried about too little water (after she becomes bored with it).

  3. #3
    Traci's Avatar
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    Thanks Harvey,
    I do worry about too little water. Possibly too much just at first but I will counsel her against that.

  4. #4
    BigSteve's Avatar
    BigSteve is offline Senior Member
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    Sequential blooming paphs tend to be pretty easy(paph Pinocchio for instance) or a hybrid phal.

  5. #5
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    When it comes to Paphiopedilum, a good one to try is a Maudiae. Of course Phal's are always a good start, that's were a lot of people get into orchids first, me included. I've never tried a phrag before, so I'm not sure how they are to grow. But I've been pleasantly surprised in the hybrid Oncidium 'Twinkle' (cheirophorum x ornithorhyncum). I purchased one in November and it has done nothing but grow and grow - I divided it and it is still putting out lots of new growth (I may need to divide it again soon as it is just producing pseudobulb after pseudobulb). There have multiple spikes created with lots of flowers that are delicate, around dime size, and have a great sweet vanilla fragrance as well. Plus, being an Onc. they can deal with boughts of dryness.

  6. #6
    Wade's Orchids's Avatar
    Wade's Orchids is offline Senior Member
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    Maybe show her a couple of pictures and let her choose. I keep most of my phals in a bark mix but sphagnum moss is nice in that it is very easy to tell when to rewater. If the moss on top is dry then the moss in the middle should be barely moist meaning it's watering time. I do like using clay pots for moss though. Moss in plastic can stay very wet for a long time.

  7. #7
    chingjervis's Avatar
    chingjervis is offline Senior Member
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    I agree with wade, show her a couple of pics, but make sure the orchid pics are hardy and you like also...hehehe

    Like you said "My sister may lose interest in this orchid so I will likely get it after it blooms so I'm trying to pick something that I will like too"

    Good Luck.

  8. #8
    Carolla's Avatar
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    Default

    Look for really popular orchids for the mass market, they are usually quite tough for their genus. Oncidium "Twinkle", Oncidium "Sharry Baby", Phal Sogo Yukatian (big white, very tough). Most hybrid Phals seem to do well for a variety of people. Get her a nice big healthy plant too, not a rescue. That really increases her chance of success.

  9. #9
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    I would say that the Paphs are easier out of those three, but the Oncidiums mentioned already would be my pick for a starter orchid. Phrags can be a bit finicky and with Phals, if anything goes wrong with the crown, it's probably game over. I say Oncidium because of your worry about her underwatering and the fact that they are sympodial...if something goes wrong with the mature growth, it's bound to put out a new one.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  10. #10
    Traci's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your helpful information. We shall see what she decides that she wants. Don't know why she didn't go to the orchid show with me a few weeks ago. We could have found something pretty easily.

    ---------- Post Merged at 05:32 PM ----------

    Well this was fortuitous. I stopped by my local box box on what happened to be orchid truck day. I was going to see of I could find a plant for my mom to give her before her eye surgery tomorrow. Many of the phals had IDs and I spent a lot of time inspecting roots. All seemed healthy. The workers told me I wasn't bothering them by looking while they were putting them out. I picked out two nice phals and my mom liked them especially the mini. I told her that I suspected that her other daughter might want the larger one (which I loved too as it is a harlequin) and she said it was fine if she did.
    I also told my sister to check hem out as there was not a bad one in the bunch of them.

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