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How do I know which species are right for my environment?

Discussion in 'Growing Areas' started by MrsJiminy15, Nov 7, 2016.

  1. MrsJiminy15

    MrsJiminy15 New Member

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    I've only ever grown Phals in my home, mostly because that's what's most commonly available to purchase around me. But there's a local orchid supplier that has many different types of species but I would have no clue what types do well in my home. The four Phals I have now are sitting in a west facing window that stays in the 60s F for temperature and humidity between 60% and 70%. Perfect for Phals I've heard, though I've had a terrible time in getting them to rebloom. What do growing conditions for other common species look like in your experiences?
     
  2. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

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    A very astute question! Kudos.

    In order to initiate new inflorescences, most phalaenopsis need a 10-day, to 2-week period when the average growing temperature is reduced about 10-15 degrees compared to the average they had been experiencing. For windowsills in northern climates, that typically happens as the fall temperatures drop, but if your temperatures are too stable, you may have to figure a way to do that, if you want reliable blooming.

    Back to your original query, when it comes to species, I find that orchid species.com is a good starting point. Not 100% reliable, but not bad.
     
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  3. Gregg Zollinger

    Gregg Zollinger Active Member

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    Try some Cattleyas. You can put them outside all spring/summer/fall. Just under a tree or somewhere that gets morning and/or afternoon sun, but no mid-day sun. When the temp is going to drop below 50, bring them in and put them in a window that gets some sun.

    In tennessee we get enough rain, I can get away without watering them almost the whole time they are outside. If we get a few weeks in a row without rain then I turn the hose on them. I only worry about fertilizer when I bring them inside and start watering them ever week or two.

    Now I am not saying you will get amazing plants with dozens of flowers like many of the folks on this forum get, but you will get a few really nice blooms on the plants when the gloomy winter starts. And for me, they have been really easy, even easier then the prolific phals.
     
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  4. MrsJiminy15

    MrsJiminy15 New Member

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    Thanks Greg. When do cattleyas typically bloom?

    Still working on getting the two phals to bloom and keeping the two minis in the office humid enough. A nice change come spring would be exciting. Maybe I'll treat myself for my birthday in march.
     
  5. Gregg Zollinger

    Gregg Zollinger Active Member

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    The ones I keep bloom in fall/winter. Usually the flowers start outside around the time I bring them in, then I have flowers through Christmas. I think that is sort of common for Cattleyas, but I only grow a couple.

    Cattleya maxima is one that I have found hard to kill in my conditions.
     
  6. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Ask your local grower. He/she should be able to give you recommendations for what would work in your conditions.
    Have fun!
     
  7. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    I have keep hybrid Oncidiums on alike conditions and they do just fine! Just they like more water than the Phalaenopsis I guess...
    I have hear many people complain about Oncidium being hard to care thought... Just one hard advice, without constant water supply or humidity, the leaves are going to get wrinkled and the pseudobulbs deformed...
     
  8. AnonYMouse

    AnonYMouse aka Ree, the not-so-stealthy lurker

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    Walk into that local orchid supplier and ask them!
    Ditto what KellyW said.
     
  9. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Oncidiums do tend to get wrinkled leaves when there isn't enough water getting to the leaves. But it is usually not from lack of watering, but from over-watering. If the medium is kept constantly wet or starts to break down, the roots die off and the plant is unable to take up the moisture it takes to expand the leaves and let them break free of bracts enclosing them.
     
  10. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    But if they have tons of healthy roots? (Visible in the clear pot and medium)
    Also if the media is inorganic, it won't likely break down within a year, right?
    Then could it be for a low humidity or lack of watering?
    Please let me know!
    This matters a lot to me...
     
  11. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Wolf, yes, if the roots are good it could be from lack of watering or not watering properly or thoroughly.
     
  12. Wolf

    Wolf Member

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    Thanks for the information I appreciate it.
     
  13. MattWoelfsen

    MattWoelfsen Active Member

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    Informative thread. When I talk about shriveled leaves, it is almost always too much watering. Glad to see it confirmed again.