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  • 1 Post By 78Terp
  • 2 Post By blueheron
  • 3 Post By Wade's Orchids
  • 2 Post By blueheron
  • 1 Post By 78Terp
  • 2 Post By Carolla

Orchid room looks like a doctor's office

This is a discussion on Orchid room looks like a doctor's office within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; Thanks everyone for the support when I wrote asking if phals were problematic to look ...

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  1. #1
    blueheron is offline Junior Member
    My Grow Area
    Sunroom
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    Phal
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    Jun 2015
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    Ontario, Canada
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    Default Orchid room looks like a doctor's office

    Thanks everyone for the support when I wrote asking if phals were problematic to look after--I was encouraged. But although I try to do everything right re temp, water, humidity, air circulation, watering, potting, spray fertilizing of the arial roots etc, I sometimes find new spots or wilting lower leaves.

    I have in the orchid room: Q-tips, cotton balls, alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, cinnamon, Listerine, a lighter for sterilizing the surgical scissors, skewers and a magnifying glass. When I find strange spots on the leaves I head to the internet to identify them and treat if necessary. I'm always wondering if their hidden roots are ok. Three of the 7 orchids are putting out new leaves and all buds opened despite these spots and dents--but it's nerve-racking.

    Thought I'd retired from nursing but I feel like I'm back on duty. Watching my patients and worrying. It's not a relaxing past-time...thinking that much as I love them, when they die I will turn to violets and save myself the stress.

    Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is online now An Avant Gardner
    Real Name
    Harvey
    My Grow Area
    Under Lights
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    1-Neo falcata,2-Phal,3-Paph
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    Nov 2013
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    My last violet grew to a beautiful plant then got caught by an open window on an unexpectedly cold night and was dead in a day. Orchids take much longer to die. I have been mostly lucky in my orchid growing experience but the number of losses are mounting. But that is all part of learning what a type of orchid needs to survive and thrive. As much as I love each orchid I own, losing them is just a learning opportunity. Maybe I learn that this particular (Masdevallia) type doesn't live with the local environment well. So I find another type to grow that is better suited.

    I have been growing orchids for 26 months and I have just now gotten phalaenopsis growing down. Many of us have rescued phals from going to the dumpster buying mark downs at big box stores. Perhaps an inexpensive way to be able to experiment that may help keep the emotional attachment manageable.

  3. #3
    blueheron is offline Junior Member
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    Thank-you for your words of wisdom. I probably am too attached to them and feel bad about not being able to keep them all in perfect health. Have to accept that bad things happen. Discouraging though when they started out looking perfect!
    Posted via Mobile Device

  4. #4
    Wade's Orchids's Avatar
    Wade's Orchids is offline Senior Member
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    Wade Hollenbach
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    Anything in bloom :)
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    Remember that the species that these plants come from is exposed to the elements. They don't get regular fertilizing. They get burnt, dehydrated, drowned, and everything else you can think of and they survive. An orchid judge told me that he uses "practiced neglect". I do pay attention to my orchids and I know that despite (or at times because of) our attention things do happen in the normal course of plants growing and blooming. I guess in the end what I'm trying to say is to enjoy them!

  5. #5
    blueheron is offline Junior Member
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    I think that in addition to the wisdom of your reply, the last phrase in your tag is my take-home message. I need to 1. accept that despite the care I take, bad stuff will happen sometimes and 2. see problems as learning opportunities. Better start working on an attitude adjustment!

  6. #6
    78Terp's Avatar
    78Terp is online now An Avant Gardner
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    Harvey
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    Under Lights
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    1-Neo falcata,2-Phal,3-Paph
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    Littleton, Colorado
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    In time, it does become a joy. Really! Once you start feeling comfortable about their growth habits and what to worry about and what not to worry about. Personally, I don't sweat the little stuff regarding my orchids. Only if the little stuff goes crazy into big stuff!

  7. #7
    blueheron is offline Junior Member
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    Phal
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    Posted via Mobile Device

  8. #8
    Carolla's Avatar
    Carolla is offline Senior Member
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    Carol
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    Under Lights
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    Phals, Catts, Onc. Alliance
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    Dec 2012
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    Eastern WA State, USA
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    Default

    You will also learn that lumps, bumps and spots are NOT the end of the plant and can often just be ignored. The more you fuss with them, the harder they are to grow. Give them the basics and then let them be, unless you have a real problem on your hands. I suspect that knowing what you can ignore and what needs to be dealt with will help the stress a lot. I had one orchid for 37 years and it went through periods of severe neglect and yet came back from two leaves at one point to 15 huge leaves when I actually watered and fed the poor thing! I have another that is 15? 20? years old, I don't know... its huge and blooms almost every year. I do feed it sometimes and water it every week or so, whenever I remember. Here is a picture of it having a nice drink in my kitchen sink - which it entirely fills up. My conditions are far from ideal and I mostly just do a little adjustment to the potting medium to compensate for the low humidity and my neglectful watering schedules and they adapt and do fine.

    The stress is NOT the plants, it is within you. Better than giving up on orchids, practice being calm and just letting go. They will do what they do, you can help them, but give up the nurse mentality, they don't need it.

    Here is a picture of my big old plant, I had to fold the leaves to get the whole thing in the sink. Today I water it in a container, where the leaves won't be in the water, as I don't want to damage the leaves.

    Name:  Orchids 2-25-2013 Black Jack web.jpg
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  9. #9
    blueheron is offline Junior Member
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    Phal
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    Thank-you for the straight talk about orchids. I vow, no more visits to the Pests and Diseases forums.

  10. #10
    Traci's Avatar
    Traci is offline Senior Member
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    Traci
    My Grow Area
    Windowsill
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    Phals, Paphs, Vandas and Dracs
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    May 2014
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    Female
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    New Orleans, Louisiana
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    843
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    I can two, you that quarantine was a really good thing for me. A plant purchased at a shoe can look fine and then all of a sudden a mealy bug appears.

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