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How many of you have at least one thriving Bulbophyllum in your collection?

This is a discussion on How many of you have at least one thriving Bulbophyllum in your collection? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Originally Posted by citywildcat I a NOT a Bulbo grower..the 1st (& only) one I ...

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  1. #11
    Nataliwind's Avatar
    Nataliwind is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by citywildcat View Post
    I a NOT a Bulbo grower..the 1st (& only) one I got, died in record time. I've been too chicken to get another one. HOW MANY OF YOU OUT THERE HAVE ANY BULBO'S IN YOUR COLLECTION? This is just sort of an informal survey. (I'm trying to get my confidence up to buy another one and try it.). HOW DO THEY COMPARE IN DIFFICULTY OF GROWING TO OTHER ORCHIDS YOU HAVE? Fill in the blank: BULBOPHYLLUMS ARE GROWN SIMILARLY TO ______. I realize it's difficult to generalize but in terms of cultural requirements, just pick another genius of orchids that are close in their requirements to Bulbos. MANY THANKS!
    Hi!
    First of all, never give up.
    Plants are like people: some are healthy, some are sick. It is possible that you bought a weakened\sick\unfortunate plant. Yes, sometimes plants just die, no matter how experienced you are. If you really like to try growing this genus, go ahead. Try something really easy to grow, like Bulb. sikkemense. I heard the Bulb. frostii is easy to grow, too. I purchased one plant only three months ago, so I don't know much about it yet. It seems to be doing well.
    I cannot answer your questions about comparison in difficulty of growing Bulbophyllums to other genera because there are so different. For example, I tried to grow Bulb. beccarii four times and they all died. My last plant last for two years but finally died, too. I am not only unlucky Bulbo. beccarii grower. I know a few more experienced growers that me who did not succeed in growing this species. Those Bulbos need something what I cannot give them in my conditions. I will try to grow this species again in the future, but not very soon. There are a few Bulbophyllum species which I like a lot but cannot grow successfully in my conditions. Another stubborn species is Bulbo. foetidum. I have one 6-y.o. plant which is not dead yet but will be there soon after six years of fight. I know what it needs to be happy but I cannot manage such conditions. However, there are many different Bulbo. species which are easy to grow in different conditions.
    Anyway, to make a long story short. Bulbophyllums are wonderful plants, gorgeous and unique just as Zainal said. I think they are worth of trying!!!
    Good luck!!

  2. #12
    pavel's Avatar
    pavel is offline change is the only constant
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    Personally, I find bulbos quite a bit harder than many other orchids. However, I grow mainly catts and phals which can handle low RH and getting completely dry between waterings. Bulbos seem to be particularly resentful of getting thoroughly dried out. Keeping them at least lightly moist at all times appears to be more to their liking. If they didn't have such a rambling growth habit, I would try them in terraria with my micro-minis. Unfortunately, they would likely sprawl all over in a terr, consuming too much of the limited space.

  3. #13
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    I find Bulbos to be among the easiest...but I like to water! They will grow like weeds for me in about any light. Blooming well takes more light than I originally thought and they tolerate it well. It's keeping them well watered and fed that seems to be an issue. They like lots of air and LOTS of water. Growing them indoors is difficult.
    Posted via Mobile Device

  4. #14
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    citywildcat is offline Senior Member
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    To cakedaddy, natal, & Pavel: (one of my pet sitting clients has a Siberian cat named Pavel... you don't hear that name very often). Quite a broad spectrum of experiences and opinions! Natal, I was perplexed by your post. After six years, why would you say that one Bulbo is not going to be around anymore? what are you doing differently now? Why did it thrive for almost 6 years and now it isn't? DO ORCHIDS HAVE A "LIFE EXPECTANCY"? If all the conditions are met to grow a particular plant, why would it not live in definitely??? In my experience, if I can get through one whole year (or four seasons), and have it still survive , it will be around for a long time. Pavel, I was encouraged when you said you had difficulty with them also (no offense). It just made me feel like I wasn't the only person who had an orchid die in 4-5 days. I did everything I was supposed to do too! (except maybe picking one that was difficult to grow, Bulbo. medusae.). I was so angry, I threw it off the front porch into the grass, pot & all. I SUSPECT THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE IN THE GROWING CONDITIONS BETWEEN PAVEL, NATAL, CAKEDADDY, & myself, which likely accounts for why some of us have success with them while others don't (NATAL grows outside only, I grow inside, in a mini greenhouse only, CAKEDADDY, I'm guessing you either grow entirely outside, or partially indoors AND outdoors. PAVEL, I'm not sure if you grow your Phaphs & Catts just "inside" (like on a windowsill) and maybe have a small terrarium type area for high humidity loving minis. When someone has success with something we'd like to grow, it's important to find out their growing conditions, and not label ourselves as a failure, which is what I did!! Hypothetically, there could be someone who made a post about blooming something very difficult and exotic. We may later find out that they have a large commercial greenhouse operation. The standard orchid nurseries I've seen have a cool house, intermediate house, and a warm house. Some even have a 4th greenhouse with conditions not provided in the other three (EXTREMELY hi humidity, etc.). I assumed most orchids would like high humidity but when it got over 80, I ran into trouble.). ALL IN ALL: it sounds like there are more growers that have some trouble with BULBOS than the opposite, SO FAR. I thank everyone who has posted and appreciate your encouragement. I haven't quit at anything else I've wanted to do in life so I'm not going to quit on BULBOS either. In fact, the very next one I buy, which will be my second purchase of a Bulbophyllum, will be something I don't even research...it may be difficult or it may be easy. Let us continue this talk about Bulbos, & particularly, A DISCUSSION ABOUT "LIFE EXPECTANCY'S" ... would anyone care to tackle that question? MANY, MANY THANKS!

  5. #15
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    I grow all of my plants outdoors on my deck until weather dictates that I should take them in...for my Bulbos that means any temperatures less than 40f. I make it a point to grow plants with wide ranging temperature tolerances. Maybe trying out a hybrid is best for you? Something like Daisy Chain, Elizabeth Ann, or Lovely Elizabeth? They are all beautiful and tend to be great growers!
    Posted via Mobile Device

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cakedaddy View Post
    I grow all of my plants outdoors on my deck until weather dictates that I should take them in...for my Bulbos that means any temperatures less than 40f. I make it a point to grow plants with wide ranging temperature tolerances. Maybe trying out a hybrid is best for you? Something like Daisy Chain, Elizabeth Ann, or Lovely Elizabeth? They are all beautiful and tend to be great growers!
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Cakedaddy (OMG, my speech recognition got that one right!), that's kind of what I suspected, you being a combo indoor AND outdoor grower. So NATAL grows ONLY outside, I grow ONLY INSIDE/GREENHOUSE, I think PAVEL grows INSIDE/non-greenhouse WITH A SMALL TERRARRIUM/GREENHOUSE-TYPE secondary environment, with you being a "pure" indoors AND outdoors grower. What a great experiment it would be for all of us to attempt to grow the very same plant and see what type of results we had!! (Of course, we would all have to purchase from the same source, all other factors being equal to make it a true "experiment".). Oh, never mind..... I'm just talking out loud and pipe dreaming, LOL (too much of my "analytical" mind remains, even tho' I dumped my job). THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH FOR YOUR PATIENCE AND TOLERANCE IN MY PERSISTENT QUESTIONING. I WILL try another Bulbophyllum in the very near future and report my results, THANKS TO ALL OF YOUR ENCOURAGEMENT!

  7. #17
    Nataliwind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by citywildcat View Post
    Natal, I was perplexed by your post. After six years, why would you say that one Bulbo is not going to be around anymore? what are you doing differently now? Why did it thrive for almost 6 years and now it isn't? DO ORCHIDS HAVE A "LIFE EXPECTANCY"? If all the conditions are met to grow a particular plant, why would it not live in definitely???
    citywildcat,
    I never said that the plant was thriving. In fact, it was slowly degrading all those years. I purchased a wonderful mature eight bulb division, huge healthy leaves, as good as it gets. Right now I have tiny three or four bulb division with sick leaves, probably 20 or 25 times smaller than it was when I purchased it. All the time I was just prolonging the agony. I know what the plant need: 95F temps and 95% humidity all year around, but I cannot manage it in my conditions. That's it.
    P.S.
    Please call me Natali or Nat, whatever you prefer.

    ---------- Post Merged at 05:13 AM ----------

    I found one mistake to correct. That plant I mentioned was purchased five, not six years ago. Just looked in my "archives"
    Bulbophyllum foetidum
    Here is how it looked:



    Here is what I have today:


    I don't know if it is an achievement or not, to keep it alive for five years.
    Last edited by Nataliwind; August 17th, 2014 at 07:14 AM.

  8. #18
    citywildcat's Avatar
    citywildcat is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nataliwind View Post
    citywildcat,
    I never said that the plant was thriving. In fact, it was slowly degrading all those years. I purchased a wonderful mature eight bulb division, huge healthy leaves, as good as it gets. Right now I have tiny three or four bulb division with sick leaves, probably 20 or 25 times smaller than it was when I purchased it. All the time I was just prolonging the agony. I know what the plant need: 95F temps and 95% humidity all year around, but I cannot manage it in my conditions. That's it.
    P.S.
    Please call me Natali or Nat, whatever you prefer.

    ---------- Post Merged at 05:13 AM ----------

    I found one mistake to correct. That plant I mentioned was purchased five, not six years ago. Just looked in my "archives"
    Bulbophyllum foetidum
    Here is how it looked:



    Here is what I have today:


    I don't know if it is an achievement or not, to keep it alive for five years.

    Nat, you think like I do..... looking at the glass being half full. (indeed, you did accomplish something to keep it alive for five years!). As I mentioned, perhaps they have a life expectancy and yours was a very senior citizen....?? That's a whole lot different than losing a plant in four or five days. You did GOOD!

  9. #19
    Nataliwind's Avatar
    Nataliwind is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by citywildcat View Post
    Nat, you think like I do..... looking at the glass being half full. (indeed, you did accomplish something to keep it alive for five years!). As I mentioned, perhaps they have a life expectancy and yours was a very senior citizen....?? That's a whole lot different than losing a plant in four or five days. You did GOOD!
    Thank you! Oh yes. The glass is half full
    I really like the Bulbo. If I ever get a bigger property and greenhouse, I will obtain the species again.
    I don't think that a life expectancy is a problem for Bulbophyllums, at least not in this case for sure. The plant was mature and robust. I just could not provide the plant with what it needed. Not a very easy species to grow in my conditions. Zainal grows them successfully. Take a look:
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...-foetidum.html
    http://www.rv-orchidworks.com/orchid...-foetidum.html
    Every time I look at his blooming Bulbos I dream about going to Malaysia one day and visiting his orchid estate.

  10. #20
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    Like a lot of orchids, I start with one of the genus (a reportedly easy one), see if I can grow it properly before trying others of the same genus. I have one B. lobbii 'Kathy's Gold' that seems to be growing well, nice leaves and roots etc., but it has not bloomed for me yet. It is in a plastic net pot with a mix of sphagnum, bark, CHC, which I try not to let dry out completely. Gets the same light as my Phalaenopsis. I am trying to go light on fertilizer with all of my plants, so this gets about 1/8 of the package-recommended strength of any orchid fertilizer I provide (which varies throughout the year), about 1 or 2 times a month.

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