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Why not grow orchids?


Matt in SD

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A few of mine:

Laeliocattleya alba 'Snowbird'

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Laeliocattleya alba 'Snowbird'

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Hardy:

Bletilla striata

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Cypripedium acaule - Pink Lady Slipper Orchid (This one's a wild native growing in the woods out back.)

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Tom

Bowie, Maryland, USA - USDA z7a
hardiestpalms.com

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I've gotten bitten hard by the orchid bug in the last few months. I work at one of the big box stores in the garden center and get to care for the orchids and see when new ones come in. Since working there I've acquired 4 vandas, 4 cattleya hybrids (blc or other), iwanagara apple blossom, a phaleonopsis, and a brassavola. Many of them though were the really small bagged type sold by Better-Grow (Sun bulb Company) so those are a year or 2 away from blooming size.

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  • 2 months later...

Just a few images from the Sacramento Orchid Society show/sale ongoing this weekend in NorCal. I managed to limit myself to just three plants, ones that I can usu. grow outdoors most of the year: an Encyclia, a Dendrobium and an Epidendrum. :greenthumb:

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On 10/31/2007, 11:57:59, LJG said:

 

 

On 10/31/2007, 11:57:59, LJG said:

 

Someday I would love to see your garden. it seems you have a lot of cool stuff outside the palm world.

Soooo, did you ever get by Matts? :rolleyes::lol:;)

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Zone 10a at best after 2007 AND 2013, on SW facing hill, 1 1/2 miles from coast in Oceanside, CA. 30-98 degrees, and 45-80deg. about 95% of the time.

"The great workman of nature is time."   ,  "Genius is nothing but a great aptitude for patience."

-George-Louis Leclerc de Buffon-

I do some experiments and learning in my garden with palms so you don't have to experience the pain! Look at my old threads to find various observations and tips!

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Hey, Hillizard, hope you liked the show.  I helped to set up the SOS display on Friday, but I was so busy on Saturday and Sunday that I didn't even get to the show!  A bit late now, but Jim Rose at Cal-Orchids always has lots of plants that just might make it through a Sacramento winter.  I have lots of his plants mounted on my palm trunks.  I keep covers around just in case, but none needed this winter.

 

Bruce

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  • 9 months later...

Normally I have trouble overwintering Epidendrums in my east-facing, unheated sunroom, but this one I got last year from Cal-Orchid (Ep. Pacific Punch 'Purple fizz' X Pacific Rose 'Cottontail Coral') has not only grown but is now in full flower here in January. :D

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On 2/4/2019 at 7:44 PM, John hovancsek said:

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Nice... fuzzy little monsters.   What is the ID on this?  The fuzz reminds me of a Rhycholaeliana digbyana, but yours is completely covered with it.

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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It is dendrobium polysema. I was at an orchid nursery the other day and seen it and new I had to have it. I just am having a hard time waiting for the flowers to open

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  • 2 weeks later...

This Dendrobium hadn't grown much for a couple of years in my unheated sunroom... until I repotted it this past fall and... voilà... it's rewarded me with sprays of flowers that perfume the entire room! [from Cal-Orchid: Dendrobium Star King 'Irvine' (kingianum x Starsheen)]

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1 hour ago, Hillizard said:

This Dendrobium hadn't grown much for a couple of years in my unheated sunroom... until I repotted it this past fall and... voilà... it's rewarded me with sprays of flowers that perfume the entire room! [from Cal-Orchid: Dendrobium Star King 'Irvine' (kingianum x Starsheen)]

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.. If not already in your collection,    find yourself a few of these, esp the Yellow flowered specimen in the back. Believe these are various Dendrobium speciosum / kinganum / falcorostrum  cultivars. Just as.. if not more fragrant than  D. kinganum. I still criticize myself for not getting much better / more up -close pictures :mrlooney:.

Taken while attending one of the Orchid Expos up in San Francisco several years ago..   Great, easy Orchids.  
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13 minutes ago, Silas_Sancona said:


.. If not already in your collection,    find yourself a few of these, esp the Yellow flowered specimen in the back. Believe these are various Dendrobium speciosum / kinganum / falcorostrum  cultivars. Just as.. if not more fragrant than  D. kinganum. I still criticize myself for not getting much better / more up -close pictures :mrlooney:.

Taken while attending one of the Orchid Expos up in San Francisco several years ago..   Great, easy Orchids.  
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I agree these are easy orchids to grow, of Australian origin, forgiving of neglect, practically bullet-proof. I have two big pots of white flowering Dendrobium speciosum just now starting to push blooming spikes. I keep them outdoors year-round under my pergola. :D

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Something a bit less showy than the D speciosum but still fun are some of the miniature orchids which can be profuse bloomers.  This Epidendrum porpax has been a very dependable bloomer in the spring for me over the years.

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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On 2/22/2019 at 12:39 PM, Silas_Sancona said:

If not already in your collection,    find yourself a few of these, esp the Yellow flowered specimen in the back. Believe these are various Dendrobium speciosum / kinganum / falcorostrum

 

On 2/22/2019 at 12:58 PM, Hillizard said:

I agree these are easy orchids to grow, of Australian origin, forgiving of neglect, practically bullet-proof. I have two big pots of white flowering Dendrobium speciosum just now starting to push blooming spikes. I keep them outdoors year-round under my pergola. :D

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This winter, I had to protect the blossoms on my Dendrobium speciosum ssp curvicaule from all the rain.  I started to notice some bud rot, so I keep shifting it from it's exposed spot in the garden to under a patio to limit the rain on it.  For some reason, no buds on my Dendrobium speciosum ssp pendunculatum this year.  It had beautiful blooms last year.

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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1 hour ago, Tracy said:

 

This winter, I had to protect the blossoms on my Dendrobium speciosum ssp curvicaule from all the rain.  I started to notice some bud rot, so I keep shifting it from it's exposed spot in the garden to under a patio to limit the rain on it.  For some reason, no buds on my Dendrobium speciosum ssp pendunculatum this year.  It had beautiful blooms last year.

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Glad you're getting at least some blooms on that Dendrobium. I also don't think my Dendrobium speciosum will produce the same awesome floral display as last year. I think we're all waiting now for a spell of warmer weather in California to dry things out and activate some growth! :unsure:

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42 minutes ago, Hillizard said:

I think we're all waiting now for a spell of warmer weather in California to dry things out and activate some growth! :unsure:

There are some things that don't mind cool and damp.  Cymbidium's are doing fine in this weather.

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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36 minutes ago, Tracy said:

There are some things that don't mind cool and damp.  Cymbidium's are doing fine in this weather.

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Very choice flowers! :greenthumb:

My Cymbidium is only good at producing long strap leaves! Hah!

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37 minutes ago, Tracy said:

There are some things that don't mind cool and damp.  Cymbidium's are doing fine in this weather.

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Gotta love an Orchid that takes wet /cool California winters in stride, then can pretty much be left alone the rest of the year.  Grandparents in San Jose used to have several dozen varieties. They'd make regular trips to Rod Mclellan's place when he had his Nursery near San Francisco.  Trips i got to tag along when little helped get me hooked on growing orchids someday.  Favorite Cymbids are the pendant / hanging -flowering types, and the Hybrids between two Succulent sp. that can take a lot of heat and drought.. and have Black / Black-ish flowers, and smell like Chocolate or Coconut.

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14 hours ago, Hillizard said:

My Cymbidium is only good at producing long strap leaves!

When I have spoken to more experienced orchid growers about mature orchids which seem to grow well, but aren't producing flowers they have in general recommended more light.  In some cases it has worked for me but in others, I just can't get the plants to bloom no matter what I try.  I have multiple plants off an Epidendrum falcatum (no longer an Epi but Coilostylus falcatum) that I have been growing for many years.  Not one has bloomed for me.  I have them growing in different light trying to find the right match.  I see them in bloom every year at Andy's which is about 1.5 miles away as the crow flies from my yard, but  I still can't find the right balance of light and nutrients to get it to bloom.  They only want to grow, grow and grow.  Bottom line, try giving yours a bit more light in the summer than you have been and see if that works.  Unless you love the strap leaves, there isn't much to lose if it's not blooming.

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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37 minutes ago, Tracy said:

When I have spoken to more experienced orchid growers about mature orchids which seem to grow well, but aren't producing flowers they have in general recommended more light.  In some cases it has worked for me but in others, I just can't get the plants to bloom no matter what I try.  I have multiple plants off an Epidendrum falcatum (no longer an Epi but Coilostylus falcatum) that I have been growing for many years.  Not one has bloomed for me.  I have them growing in different light trying to find the right match.  I see them in bloom every year at Andy's which is about 1.5 miles away as the crow flies from my yard, but  I still can't find the right balance of light and nutrients to get it to bloom.  They only want to grow, grow and grow.  Bottom line, try giving yours a bit more light in the summer than you have been and see if that works.  Unless you love the strap leaves, there isn't much to lose if it's not blooming.

Thanks Tracy. I'll take your advice and move it... today!  The original mother plant from which it was divided got so much sun the leaves often bleached or burned, but it bloomed like crazy! ;)

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 3/6/2019 at 6:26 PM, Hillizard said:

I think we're all waiting now for a spell of warmer weather in California to dry things out and activate some growth! :unsure:

We got it finally, at least a few days of it.  The Dendrobium

  speciosum ssp curvicaule blooms have really opened up now to appreciate the little flowers.  Another Dendrobium hybrid and the first time my Cyrtochilum (Oncidium) falcipetalum has bloomed since I got it last year.

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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Better perspective on the Cyrtochilum (Oncidium) falcipetalum flowers and an unknown small Dendrobium I've had for many years.  Northern hemisphere folk are welcoming our first full day of Spring as our compatriots in the Southern hemi wellcome Autumn!

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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Tracy,

Thinking the second ( white -flowered ) Orchid is Dendrobium kinganum Var. "Alba" ..or a cultivar of that variety.

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Here are a couple of pictures I took today of my evergreen terrestrial Calanthe orchid 'Kojima Red' (I understand it will grow in zones 7a to 9b at least). This hybrid is a result of a cross between 4 species: Calanthe discolor, C. sieboldii, C. aristulifera, and C. tricarinata. Got it just as it was entering its blooming phase, but haven't decided where to plant it out yet, but probably under one of my Tecomas for light shade. Individual flowers are smaller than I thought they'd be, but eventually this plant will grow into a large clump with many blooming spikes... if I can keep the snails and slugs away! :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Flowers on my Dendrobium speciosum have now started to open with the (somewhat) warmer weather we've been having this week.

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Some pictures I took yesterday of the competition plants at the 72nd Annual Sacramento Orchid Show. I picked up a few more Dendrobiums and a purple Bletilla. :D

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Courtesy of In Defense of Plants: "This tiny epiphytic orchid grows fast enough that it can even live on the leaves of some trees!"

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ahem, lol.. Did someone say Cymbidiums?? 

Some pictures i'd forgotten were on my Facebook page, taken at a nursery back in San Jose. 2012.  Can't wait until i can grow  * a few * again..
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On 1/30/2019 at 10:47 AM, Hillizard said:

Normally I have trouble overwintering Epidendrums in my east-facing, unheated sunroom, but this one I got last year from Cal-Orchid (Ep. Pacific Punch 'Purple fizz' X Pacific Rose 'Cottontail Coral') has not only grown but is now in full flower here in January. :D

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This epi of mine is entering its 4th month of continuous bloom with a new development -- it's formed a crest at the apex of the inflorescence, which I hope means that'll extend the blooming period even longer! :D

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Cattleya and Cymbidiums are easy enough... Anyone daring enough to grow Paphs ( Paphiopedilum ) or Phrags ( Phragmipedium )?

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On 5/1/2019 at 11:37 AM, Silas_Sancona said:

Anyone daring enough to grow Paphs ( Paphiopedilum ) or Phrags ( Phragmipedium )?

Not yet... although I have been tempted by some Paphiopedilum.  I have really enjoyed watching the Epidendrum lacustre with it's colorful leaves pop open with it's white flowers the last couple of days!  It is something I would definitely recommend!

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33.0782 North -117.305 West  at 72 feet elevation

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5 hours ago, Tracy said:

Not yet... although I have been tempted by some Paphiopedilum.  I have really enjoyed watching the Epidendrum lacustre with it's colorful leaves pop open with it's white flowers the last couple of days!  It is something I would definitely recommend!

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Nice Epi Tracy..

Taking notes on which ones you're growing for sure.  Also visit SVO's page so often just to see what new stuff they're offering.  No doubt i'll be spending $$  ( $$$... ) re-building my collection once outta here, lol.

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On 11/1/2007 at 6:45 AM, Matt in SD said:

I have always been fascinated with orchids, and I sort of assumed that orchid fascination was pretty common.  I also used to think they were difficult to grow, at least in non-tropical climates, and so didn't bother with them, and again I assumed that this misconception was the reason more people don't grow them.

Matt

I like them very much but have not bought any to grow, either, perhaps I can start doing so.  The only thing I think I should do first is find some information on care of orchids, any ideas?

Edited by Dr Sha
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45 minutes ago, Dr Sha said:

I like them very much but have not bought any to grow, either, perhaps I can start doing so.  The only thing I think I should do first is find some information on care of orchids, any ideas?

Depending on where you're located, will determine which Genera / Species you can grow. Then again, Central America is home to a good number of Orchids we here in the states grow ( depending on location of course )  Generally, Orchids will fall into 3 classifications: Cool, Intermediate, and /or Warm growing.  Any species from near sea level / lowest elevations in the Tropics will generally require warm conditions. As you move higher up in elevation, or latitude, growing conditions are often cooler. I'd imagine you should have few problems growing all sorts of stuff.. I'd suspect there are likely several sp. that grow on trees, rocks, etc in any forested spot nearby.

The American Orchid Society has a really good website worth looking into to gain info on things like what each type likes light, temperature, and moisture-wise. There are also at least a couple nurseries located where you're at who i have met and purchased from at international Orchid festivals in California and Florida.  They always bring really hard to find / cool stuff that's not always easy to find here.. Very nice people as well.

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