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Calling all Orchid enthusiast

Discussion in 'Live Plants' started by pirminiamac, Feb 4, 2018.

  1. pirminiamac

    pirminiamac Arachnosquire Active Member

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    So! i came across Orchids reduced to just £1 from £10! with really nice pots too so I grabbed a couple.
    I know they like humidity, I've left them in the plastic cover and stuck them on the bathroom window but what else do I need to know? Also do I repot or leave them root bound?
     
  2. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    There are 30,000 species of orchids, so we'll need to know what species these are to offer any specific care advice. Although to begin with, I would probably remove the plastic cover, since airflow is important, the bathroom has high humidity, and you need to get the orchid to acclimate to lower humidity anyway.

    I wouldn't repot yet, it's probably already stressed and there's a good chance it doesn't need it. Many orchids prefer being underpotted anyway, due to their epiphytic habit in the wild.

    If you don't know what species, post a picture and an ID might be possible.
     
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  3. pirminiamac

    pirminiamac Arachnosquire Active Member

    Oh my bad! Orchid noob here. A species ID would be good:banghead:

    I know the pots a lil dry I will start misting as of tomorrow, the water is sitting out in a bucket overnight but my water comes out the tap very hard and leaves residue, do I need to do something about that?
     

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  4. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    I wouldn't use water that's hard enough to leave a residue. You can water with bottled water, distill (that's difficult and I don't recommend it unless you're used to it), capture rainwater, or I think there are chemicals you can add to water to precipitate calcium carbonate.

    Those are both Phalaenopsis hybrids, as I expected. They'll do ok in windowsill conditions--low but not dim lighting and ambient humidity. They'll probably be very happy in your bathroom, since they do like high humidity if they can get it. It doesn't look to me like they need repotting.
     
  5. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    You should also take into account the incredible speed that orchids react and respond to various changes in environment. Along the lines of 3 or 4 months down the road it starts waving a red flag to signal it will be dead by Christmas if you don't do something.
     
  6. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    Oh, one other thing: by far the biggest killer of cultivated orchids is overwatering. Remember that they would dry out pretty quickly in the wild, given their epyphytic and lowland habitat. I'd water twice a week or so. If they do well for a couple of months, we can discuss fertilizer.
     
  7. pirminiamac

    pirminiamac Arachnosquire Active Member

    Thanks for the replies I'll do some more research now I know the sp and grab some bottled water. Thanks again! :happy:
     
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  8. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    If you water with bottled water, you'll probably have to use a broader-spectrum fertilizer, since the water will be missing certain micronutrients. Just a heads up.
     
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  9. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    Yupsers. A lot of the orchid nurseries around here literally dip their plants in filthy canal water once a week. Abundant nitrogen and I'd rather not think about what else. The fertilizer use is only to promote and sustain blooming.

    A Tommy Chong voice: "Hey dude, your plant just tested positive for e-coli, hepatitis, leptospirosis, giardia, ...."
     
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  10. pirminiamac

    pirminiamac Arachnosquire Active Member

    True.:shifty: So when I say leaves a residue I mean my ph straight from the tap is 7.5 - 8 I get a build up around the fishtank waterline after around a month, is this major?
     
  11. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    What is the build up? Slimy organic material or hard crust that stubbornly refuses to scrub off? pH of 8 says it's loaded in minerals and the build up is scale.
     
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  12. pirminiamac

    pirminiamac Arachnosquire Active Member

    Well yh that's what I mean hard water mineral build up,,will this bother my Orchids? I usually gently wipe broad leaved plants that like a mist
     
  13. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    Yeah, that's unlikely to be good for orchids or many other plants in the long run. It's really not a big deal, though--it just means you have to be more careful when choosing fertilizer.
     
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  14. The Snark

    The Snark هرج و مرج مهندس Old Timer

    I can't imagine how any orchids would ever be exposed to significant quantities of minerals in the wild. Their world is rainwater and purely organic materials. I would think the respirations of epiphytes would inevitably become inhibited by the presence of the minerals.
     
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  15. pirminiamac

    pirminiamac Arachnosquire Active Member

    This orchids business isn't all that simple is it :hilarious: Good points people! Thankyou. Would flushing with the bottled water every so often solve the build up problem? If not would using only bottled mean ferts everytime I water?
     
  16. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    First of all, I generally recommend fertilizing every day anyway, as long as your fertilizer is very diluted. An epiphytic orchid in the wild gets a relatively constant stream of dust, essentially, which is the source of its nutrients (with the exception of Bulbophyllum beccarii, which collects leaf litter). The closer you can get to small amounts of nutrients often, the less likely you are to cause damage and the more likely the plant is to be able to utilize the nutrients. Second, while flushing is something that works in general, I wouldn't recommend it for water with a pH as high as 8. That is really hard water that I would only really recommend for a plant from ultramafic soil (i.e., basic--there are plants that grow on pure gypsum, for example, or limestone, both of which have a high pH). Third, plants need the micronutrients in tapwater less often than they need the macronutrients in fertilizer, so if you choose not to fertilize ever day, you don't need to worry about your orchid not having enough micronutrients.
     
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  17. MetalMan2004

    MetalMan2004 Arachnobaron Active Member

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    I only have one orchid myself and don’t have much to contribute but I’ve been following this.

    I always figured that bottled spring water would be better than distilled, just because it has the micronutrients without getting crazy with the ph.
     
  18. pirminiamac

    pirminiamac Arachnosquire Active Member

    Ok so I'm going to mist pretty sparingly everyday, bottled water with a diluted fert. I'm guessing ferts is a whole other mine field and I should grab any off the shelf orchid specific stuff for now.

    It's a good thread! Who knew that person with all the 'weird' pet bugs also grows beautiful orchids! This part of the forum is a lil slower than say T questions and discussions but there is some gold here;)

    Thanks again :kiss:
     
  19. schmiggle

    schmiggle Arachnoprince Active Member

    Honestly, don't worry about fertilizer yet if you don't feel good about it. The plant will be fine for a few months.

    MetalMan is probably right about spring water.

    Orchid marketed fertilizer is often identical to other fertilizer--it's just sold in smaller quantities at higher cost per weight. Don't spend money on it. Whenever you decide you want to deal with fertilizer, I just made a thread about how to work out how much and how often to fertilize (to some extent), and if that's overwhelming I'm also happy to offer simpler advice. But again, orchid fertilizer is not particularly better than any other fertilizer for orchids.

    Misting every day sounds good. You should probably also water more thoroughly once or twice a week. I would err on the side of under-watering, since it's easier to see and fix. Drooping, wrinkling leaves usually mean under-watering, but root rot is invisible for a long time, and by the time you see it, my understanding is it's usually too late to save the plant.
     
  20. pirminiamac

    pirminiamac Arachnosquire Active Member

    I'm going to lean towards underwatering atm and ok I'll leave the ferts for now if it's not necessary, I will certainly pick your brains a few months down the line and check out your thread :)