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Help Me Choose My Next Orchid Purchase

Discussion in 'Everything Else Orchid' started by Dave The Scientist, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Hello Everyone,

    I haven't bought an orchid in a little while so I have decided it's time to aquire another. I am looking for suggestions. My growing area is a somewhat shaded sunroom with about 45-60% humidity and temps in between 55-77F (13-25C). I am looking for something fairly compact (should fit in a 4-5 inch pot or smaller), easy to grow, does well in intermediate to low light (so no vandaeous orchids), epiphytic, does well potted(mounts are too much work at this point), and preferably sympodial and a species plant rather then a hybrid(primary hybrids might be considered).

    It should bloom relatively easily and for at least a few weeks(the longer the better). Fragrent blooms are a plus but not absolutely necessary. I like things that are a little different from the norm so bulbophyllums or other lesser grown genera would be great. It would preferably be somewhat interesting to look at out of flower and relatively inexpensive, i.e. available for no more than $30.

    Let me know what you think.
     
  2. chicago chad

    chicago chad Active Member

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    ask and you shall receive:D

    any Trias sp. (seasonal blooms-most late summer) (Ooi Leng Sun-and ebay)
    Diodonopsis erinacea (blooms about 2-3 times per spike typically in fall) (Ecuagenera and many other places local)
    check out the genus Porpax (not easy but very cool) (ebay-Ooi Leng Sun-Thai exporters)
    Lepanthes telipogoniflora- blooms all year with proper culture (Ecuagenera or local vendors)
    Ceratochilus biglandulosus blooms seasonally (Ooi Leng Sun- also on ebay)
    Bulbophyllum lemiscatoides blooms seasonally- (many sources)
    Dendrobium masarangense can bloom anytime (Marni and Andy's)
    Dendrobium subuliferum can bloom anytime (Marni)
    Aerangis punctata blooms seasonally (Botanica LTD-. many sources)

    and if you are feeling brave-
    Drymoda siamensis (there are some locally and there are other vendors that bring them in for shows)
     
  3. chicago chad

    chicago chad Active Member

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    each is in your price range
     
  4. Rvorchids

    Rvorchids Eric Sauer, Dayton Ohio

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    Bulbo falcatum
    Maxillaria variabilis. Not to unusual but blooms a lot.
    Any of the Scaphasepalums will work. They bloom constantly.
     
  5. DPfarr

    DPfarr Well-Known Member

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    Try a Dendrobium cuthbertsonii.
     
  6. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Just a few thoughts but keep in mind that I have not grown these in a home environment ....

    Sarcochilus fitzgeraldii
    Ornithophora (Gomesa, Sigmatostalix) radicans. Probably some others in this genus as well.
    Phalaenopsis equestris. Though monopodial they are interesting because of frequent keikis on the bloom spikes.
    Some of the smaller Maxillarias such as pseudoreichenheimiana, reichenheimiana, pumila, sanguinea, uncata, etc
     
  7. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Chad, all of your suggestions are absolutely beautiful, but do you really think I could keep any of those micro-minis alive at 45% humidity? I have had enough problems keeping minis alive in my 70-90%humidity terrarium, although I think my problems in that regard have been from too much humidity rather than too little. I would be down to try but I am skeptical. I especially love the Lepenthes telipogoniflora, the Porpaxs, and the Drymoda siamensis. Do you know where I can find a picture of Bulbophyllum lemiscatoides? I keep getting pictures of Bulbophyllum lemniscatum.

    I should also add, I will hopefully be getting a job soon (hopefully, I have been done with school for 8 months, probably sent out 200+applications and I have nothing to show for it,but I finally have an interview on Wednesday!!!), so my growing areas is likely to change when I move for said hypothetical job. As I don't know what my growing set-up will be, Hardiness is of the Essence. I could end up in an apartment in some drafty 100 year old building, which won't hold humidity no matter how hard it run the humidifier, has a HVAC system from hell, or has no good light (although in that case I would probably build a lights settup).

    On another note, if any of you have any advice or wisdom for getting jobs related to orchids, either commerical growing or academic research, I would love to hear it. I have mostly been applying to pharma/biotech jobs, but if I could spin my love of orchids into a career, I would be a very happy man. FYI, my degree is in biology(hence the username).
     
  8. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    I must say I would not dare to try some of those recommended species in that growing condition. Many of them definitely need constant high humidity to grow well.

    I can throw in some uncommon, difficult plants to impress the viewers but that would be an irresponsible reply because I don't think they are right for your condition, My recommendations for your condition would be Phal and Paph. I think they will do quite well in your condition. Although you don't want vandaceous orchids, some the mini Phal. species are quite lovely IMO. Some of Bulbophyllum and its related genera will do fine in your condition also but majority of them are seasonal bloomer and they don't have long-lasting flowers, .

    PS, With all due respects, take anyone's advice with a grain of salt.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2014
  9. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Andy's Orchids has it and all the Bulbos are on sale now.
     
  10. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Thanks Tom for your suggestion, however I already have more than enough Phals(7, I am actually looking to downsize my collection of that genus) and Paphs don't do much for me ( and I killed the only one I have tried). I would love suggestions for Bulbo species though.

    I should also say I may have overemphaized how important hardiness is in my last post. Thus far, I have been doing fairly well with keeping a fair number of genuses( or is it genera?) happy (Brassia, Dens,Oncid, Phals, Encyclias, Liparis, Dinema). I haven't done as well with blooming really any of yet, but I think that is more due to the fact that I have only had most for a few months and they are still settling in rather than any problem with my growing techniques. They certainly are growing like mad and the ones I have bought in bloom have generally kept their blooms for the correct amount of time(my record is 5 months on my champ of a grocery Phal).

    So I am not some complete beginner that is going to kill everything I touch. So what I should have said is, Plants must be suitable for in home culture, but fairly skilled in home culture at that. No matter where I end up, I probably should be able to keep humidity at least in the 50s with my trusty thrift store humidifiers, however I will probably be growing in my living space so much higher than 65%rh gets a little uncomfortable for sleeping in (and hopeful some other extracurriculars that happen in the same place, wink wink, nudge, nudge). As for light, I will most likely be windowsill growing, but my obsession is to the point that I probably wont rent a place that doesn't have decent windows or space for a lights setup.
     
  11. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Tom, unfortunely, Andy's Bulbophyllum lemiscatoides are all stick mounted, which is not what I am looking for. I have one mounted Dinema porpax(addition to the one in the terrarium) which has made me realized mounted plants are not right for me at the moment. I often go visit friends for a weekend and having to set up someone to come water is just too much work. I am actually looking to get rid of that Dinema.
     
  12. chicago chad

    chicago chad Active Member

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    Sorry Dave, if I paid attention and spelled things correctly it would have not confused you. I was also thinking plants for your tanks, not in the house! The ones I mentioned are all terrarium plants. They may be a slight step up but many are doable. I think it is good to challenge yourself here and there. Especially for $25.

    I think lemniscatoides does better potted btw.
     
  13. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    You can pull the plant off the stick and pot it up. No big deal..

    It is genera not genuses.... There are so much to learn and you just walked in the door IMO. Another note, if you only have few grocery Phal, then you hardly know anything about Phal. Not to offend anyone here, Many of the orchid hobbyists call themselves experts after 5 years in the hobby, actually they are still a newbie. I have been in this hobby for over two decades and I am no expert either, Over the years, I have learned a lot from my own mistakes but I've also learned a bit from more experienced growers, a new may teach me a new trick or two as well..., I am thankful for all that.
    Good luck with your new hobby and job hunting.
     
  14. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Tom, shortly after I graduated from college a professor asked me "what is the most important thing you learned in college". I told him that it made me realize just how much I don't know and how much I will never know. He looked at me a little shocked :eek: and said that was the best answer he had ever received.
    I feel the same with orchids. The more I learn; the more I realize how much I don't know. I have been growing orchids for about 14 years now and still feel like a newbie. :)
     
  15. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Chad, I may have to add one or two of those to my terrarium(I think I can find another square or two in the terrarium, even if it is already super full).. I swear when that tank grows in, it just going to be one solid mass of plants.;)

    Tom, thanks for clearing up the correct plural form of genus. I know that I could unmount the plant, but I have heard, from a commerical grower no less, that when you unmount an established plant, it tends not to end well. As for my expertise, I do have a Phal deliciosa so it's not all complex phal hybrids. I may have only been in this hobby for about a year so I am definitely not an expert, but I have been reading books on orchid culture non-stop so I certainly have the book knowledge. I have literally read all but two of the orchid books in my entire local library system, and I am waiting on those for inter-library loan. I know that doesn't necessarily make up for hands on experience, but I have found in some areas, I seem to have a better grasp on certain topics than some of the people in my local society who have been growing for years. I think my science background helps with this.

    I was also looking at some Bifrenaria species. Does anyone have experience with growing them?
     
  16. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Kelly, this is so true. The more I learn, the more I realize how much is truely out there to learn. I kind of wish I could live forever just so I could just get a PhD( and a post doc too) in everything that interests me. Unfortunately(or fortunately depending on your outlook), life is short.
     
  17. Tom-DE

    Tom-DE Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    You are not going to have enough light for it and it is definitely not a plant for tank culture, so move on. Next?
     
  18. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I gave my son some orchid divisions which he grows potted in an east facing window in the SF Bay Area. The Maxillaria tenuifolia and Anacheilium (Encyclia) radiatum have grown and bloomed very well for him. These can grow so fast that to keep them in a 4" pot you may have to divide them every 2 years, especially the A. radiatum. Both are very fragrant and readily available. I didn't mention them earlier because they may get bigger than what you are looking for. Also, both will do well in bright light as well as shadier conditions. I grow mine bright.
    I know they are common but that doesn't mean that they are not fun and interesting.
     
  19. Carkin

    Carkin Active Member

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    What about a Jewel orchid? I only have one type (Ludisia negra) but there is a real variety that you can get. The flowers aren't showy but the leaves sure are beautiful!
     
  20. Dave The Scientist

    Dave The Scientist Active Member

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    Kelly, you might be on to something with the Maxillaria tenuifolia. They are pretty neat. You wouldn't still have that divison you were trying to get rid of? If I have to divide it, its no problem, divisons make great gifts.