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Introduction

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by Skip, Jan 14, 2015.

  1. Skip

    Skip New Member

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    Location:
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    Hello from northwest Wyoming. I am very new to orchids. I just bought three Phal's at Walmart over the weekend and I can't stop looking at them, thinking about them and reading many hours of the day about them. They came in clear plastic 4" pots with a bark medium. I watered them according to instructions I read in an ebook The Orchid Whisperer by Bruce Rogers. Now I weigh them each morning to better help me know when to water them again. I also ordered some fertilizer from rePotme.com and intend to follow a fertilizing schedule of weekly weakly. I have well water and it tested with pH 8.4 and alkalinity of 180. From what I read this is not good for facilitating the plants' uptake of nutrients. I also tested Walmart's bulk drinking water they sell and it tested pH 6.8 and alkalinity of 40. This is better but still not best so today I'm going to try to find some citric acid to bring down the pH. Here is the link that has helped me understand the importance of the water quality: www.repotme.com/orchid-fertilizer/Part2_WaterQuality.pdf

    Looking forward to reading everyone's posts and continuing to learn about these beautiful plants.
     
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Skip, welcome to Orchids Forum. You are certainly doing your homework and it sounds like you are on track for success. Keep us posted.
     
  3. Skip

    Skip New Member

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    Thanks Kelly. I enjoyed looking at your recent pics from your greenhouse. I'm going to Billings MT tomorrow which is the closest large city to see if I can find some orchids other than Phal's. I think I've been bitten by the orchid bug. Did your greenhouse come from a kit or built from the bottom up? Outdoor growing conditions here are not ideal and I've thought about adding a greenhouse.
     
  4. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I know it is a long ways but Missoula is the home of Botanica, Ltd, a well known grower and retailer of orchids. I have never been to their greenhouses and don't know if they are open to the public. I have bought from them at shows and Ebay. Here is a link
    http://www.botanicaltd.com/index.HTM

    My greenhouse is home made from pressure treated lumber and corrugated polycarbonate. With your extreme winters you would need a better glazing and heating system than i have.
     
  5. Brent W

    Brent W Owner Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forums.
     
  6. Skip

    Skip New Member

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    Thanks for the link. I'm so new right now that I don't know what kind of orchid to order from a site. Hope to see some more varieties today in Billings. How many orchids do you grow in your greenhouse? Do you like your greenhouse size or would you rather have bigger or smaller?
     
  7. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

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    We all remember the days when we didn't know enough about orchids to know what would work in our conditions or even what questions to ask. That will change for you soon I'm sure. Most plants you see in the big-box stores and grocery stores would likely do fine for you. If you do order from a grower, a favorite house orchid is Oncidium Sharry Baby because it has a great fragrance and blooms frequently. Good luck and have fun.

    I don't know how many orchids I have. The last time I counted it was over 200. Most of mine are intermediate-warm growers because of the hot summers and mild winters. My greenhouse started out as 8x12 but within 2 years I expanded it to 8x16. If you get the orchid bug real bad then the greenhouse is never big enough :) I hope to build another one within a few years.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  8. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Rather than citric acid, stop by a hydroponic store. The sell pH Up and pH Down. The pH down is phosphoric acid and will work very well.
     
  9. naoki

    naoki Well-Known Member

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    Skip, instead of checking the water pH, did you check pH of the pour-through, which is a bit more informative? You basically water/fertilize the pot normally. Then after 1 hour, you can pour small amount of RO water (I use about 50ml), and catch it. Even if the fertilizer is around pH of 6, pour-through could be much lower (like pH of 4). For Disa and Cyp. acaule, I use white vinegar (acetic acid) to lower the pH.

    How do you measure alkalinity? By dropping (titrating) 0.1N acid?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  10. gnathaniel

    gnathaniel Lurker Supporting Member

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    Welcome, Skip! Sounds like you're hooked... :)
     
  11. orchidnut57

    orchidnut57 Member

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    Yelp...you got the bugo_O
     
  12. annabanana1987

    annabanana1987 Active Member

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    Welcome!