Calling all orchid growers

  • Thread starter BansheeRider
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BansheeRider

BansheeRider

Haven't been to find any decent grow guides for phalaenopsis ocrhids, i decided to try my luck here....

i have been growing one for about 2 years and have witnessed many changes in the plant.
i was wondering if anyone here has some good expert knowledge on keeping orchids or could point me in the right direction...

cheers
BR
 
Seamaiden

Seamaiden

Living dead girl
I don't, but I know so many people who do grow orchids I'm rather surprised you can't find a decent growing guideline or primer. Aren't Phalaenopsis one of the most common, easily grown orchids? Easily propagated, too, IIRC.
 
K

koopa troopa

hey i'm your man. are you on the cabana? i won't post my orchid pics here, since it is a public forum.

i grow over 100 of them, mixed genera, with a focus on species. phalaenopsis is my favorite genus at the moment and i've been gathering up all the species i can. for example, i grow phalaenopsis, dendrobiums, bulbophyllums, paphiopedilums, and other asian genera.

grow them in an east windowsill because they like the low intensity of the morning sun. if you grow them in a south window, then make sure to have them away from the window. never let them get hit by direct sun. bright diffused light is the best. you can also put up a shade cloth in the south window and keep them near the window.

for potting medium, i grow with new zealand sphagnum moss. watering happens 2-3x a week and the moss dries out between waterings. i do have some seedlings in fir bark, charcoal, and perlite as well. same watering goes for that too, sometimes more often. i have some phals growing on mounts made of either cork bark or driftwood (preferably hardwood). the moss dries out faster than if potted, so they get watered every day or every other. i use a pump mister to water in order to maximize water absorption and not waste as much water since the medium drains so fast.

for ferts, you can use half strength of PBP or foxfarm products with RO water. no softened water should be used and tap water generally avoided. rainwater is good too. there are orchid ferts out there that you can use, but if you have weed nutes, then you can just use those. i prefer to use water from my freshwater shrimp tank that has nitrates in it, which is what feeds the orchids. bark can be fertilized every watering, but moss only every 3-4 waterings.

when you phal gets done blooming, you should not cut the inflorescence or flower spike unless it turns yellow or brown. they will bloom again off the same spike. if the spike starts to die, cut off at the nearest node and it will branch a new spike again. never repot a blooming orchid. repot in the spring or when you notice new root growth. trim off dead roots with a sterilized scissors. always sterilize to prevent spreading fungus amongst your plants. there is a great product called phyton 27 that is a systemic bactericide/fungicide that you can use to treat problematic plants. phals that have brown/black soft spots on the leaf is a sign of fungal infection and same with roots that collapse and turn black. you can save them by repotting in fresh medium and treating with phyton 27. leaves will completely collapse in as little as 2 days when infected. avoid watering from the top and getting water in the crown or growing tip. that is one easy way to get fungal infection. let the medium dry out too. too wet will lead to fungus.

try to stay away from chain store orchids. they come from taiwan and you should be supporting the growers here. it's a multi-million dollar industry over there and you will never get proper tags that identify lineage. they may look nice, but i suggest you take a look at orchid nurseries here. there are a lot of good ones out there...
 
BansheeRider

BansheeRider

Hi Koop,
thanks for your informative post. I was looking for some detailed info like the type we can find for weed :)
My roots were turning magenta and was wondering whether it was some nute deficieny.

Thanks for your insights, they were very helpful. I'll send you a PM ;)

cheers!
BR
 
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