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Orchid Keeping
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Irons
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2005.05.12(Thu)8:08    Post subject: Orchid Keeping Reply with quote

Does anyone have any good resources on keeping orchids?

I just got one a few weeks back. It is in a bark/moss "soil" in a plastic container in a clay pot. I put slits in the plastic to increase air flow. It doesn't seem enough and doesn't seem to have enough space. Today I'm going to pick up a spray bottle to wet it down with.

Few questions:

What should I look for in a larger container?
Does the orchid "soil" available in hardware stores work well?
Any good tips or tricks?

I know I did it. I became a plant "haver" didn't do all my research first.
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.05.12(Thu)10:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

I use RO water to mist. anything else seems to kill mine!
since that its been much easier. I water when the media is bone dry, but daily mist the plant. For dry areas a platter of water under the orchid (no direct contact with the soil or other media!

Finally, air flow, air flow, air flow. They seem to need plenty of light and plenty of fresh air. I open the window that they are near to allow the air to really circulate around these plants.

From my experience and what I've heard, most orchids are killed by lack of light, or using tap water.
The quality of the media they are in seems to be largely unimportant (as long as its the right media for the type of orchid of course.)
I'm not expert though. I have yet to get mine to flower... only been one year so far. This spring should be t... one has a definate flower stalk starting!
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Susan Wright
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Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Location: Tulsa, Ok

PostPosted: 2005.05.12(Thu)15:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

You also need to remember that the orchid comes from areas like the rain forest. They prefer a warm moist climate. Mist everyday and it also helps to keep them in a tray of water sitting on pebbles. In the rain forest the orchids live higher up in the canopy so you would like your lighting to be simular. Most orchids that are bought are usually grown in a greenhouse that simulates the warm, moist air. In these kind of conditions they will bloom better.


You can also use rain water, but you need to collect it after the first bit of rain because of the impurities that it takes out of the air when the rain first starts.
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number6
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Joined: 07 Feb 2003
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: 2005.05.12(Thu)15:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Susan Wright wrote:
and it also helps to keep them in a tray of water sitting on pebbles.
Hi Susan, just to clarify as the dumbest of us (ie me) won't realize the pebbles keep the orchid pot out of the water. You don't want the water touching the orchid soil or bark chips and drowning the orchid... lost me 1st one that way... hey, what did I know! LOL
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Zeco
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Joined: 06 Feb 2003
Location: S

PostPosted: 2005.05.12(Thu)16:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if my advices in this issue are of any value for you. Here in Brazil we use, as staple substrate, treated coconut fibers (it must be treated to remove the excess humic acid). Alternative substrates are: charcoal pieces or pine bark. Vandaceous orchids and Cymbidium grew great in it (charcoal).

Moss is rarely used here, as it retain too much humidity and our problem during most of the year is the too much water. We use half to two third of the pot filled with pebbles as drainage layer, to avoid excess humidity.

Solar light is absolutely necessary, filtered according to the necessities of each species, but if a plant is not capable to reach solar light, it can even grow healthily, but will never flower.
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Susan Wright
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Joined: 09 Mar 2005
Location: Tulsa, Ok

PostPosted: 2005.05.12(Thu)17:34    Post subject: Reply with quote

number6 wrote:
Susan Wright wrote:
and it also helps to keep them in a tray of water sitting on pebbles.
Hi Susan, just to clarify as the dumbest of us (ie me) won't realize the pebbles keep the orchid pot out of the water. You don't want the water touching the orchid soil or bark chips and drowning the orchid... lost me 1st one that way... hey, what did I know! LOL



I know, just read my quote, didn't write it down like I was thinking it. The pebbles need to be deep enough to keep out of the water in the tray, as it is used mainly for the humidity it makes. I feel like such a dummy sometimes. I guess my brain and my fingers don't work together. Its one of push-pull type situations. Rolling Eyes Like they say engage brain before mouth, but the fingers can't keep up.

Also, when did the number 6 happen?
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Irons
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Joined: 27 Feb 2003
Location: Buffalo, NY

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)6:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like I'll have to take this one home. I was keeping at the office. Ther is some ambient sunlight, but only get direct sunlight in the evening. Air flow is just about Nil. Thanks for information.

2la, I was hoping you would chime in. I've seen some of your pictures. Wink
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naclh2ofly
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Joined: 07 Jun 2003
Location: MD's Eastern Shore, USA

PostPosted: 2005.05.15(Sun)7:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

Irons,
Here are a few Aussie orchid sites...

ANOS Org. Newcastle

ANOS Org. Home

There is a Vivarium & Paludarium section over at the All Wet Thumb Forums... although the info is limited, it is a good starting point.

Fred
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