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Old 08-05-2011, 04:51 PM
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Easy/beginner Masdie?

My fiance wants an orchid
He also wants me to help him find one. When I showed him many galleries of all the many genera, he picked Masdevallia.
I don't grow them and I may even have a tiny bias against them, BUT that's what he liked. Our growing environment is usually intermediate-cool and humidity is pretty low unfortunately.

So I am enlisting your help. He wanted one that was "sunset orange" (which to him means more of a copper/dark orange). He also wants to completely learn how to care for it on his own, without any meddling from yours truly. :X
He has a bit of a black thumb when it comes to plants. So needless to say he would probably need one that is pretty hearty.

I did a bit of searching on my part and found a few at J&L and SBOE (no idea if these would be okay for starter orchids):
Masd. Highland Fling
Masd. Peach Fuzz
Masd. Copper Angel 'Highland', AM/AOS

He also really liked Masdevallia Veitchs Candy Cane 'Super Striper', but I can't seem to find that for sale in the US.

So...fire away with suggestions!
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:58 PM
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Got more chutzpah than me...boy as much as those plants attract me, I can't bring myself to get one. I just know I'll kill it...it'll be interesting to read the responses to see if there is such a thing as a 'beginner' Masdie.
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Old 08-05-2011, 05:26 PM
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Rachel,
try looking at Parkside Orchid Nursery on the web. they have a pink stripped one.
'Masdevallia striatella'.
I have ordered from them, and they are very helpful. Shoot an email and just ask. Tom was super nice. I'll bet he would answer all your questions, and help you pick out one that would be sucessful in your environment.
They are in Penn. One of these days....roadtrip!!!
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:11 PM
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Only have one in the collection, here is a link to the last bloom... I find them easy to grow in spahgnum, tried in bark and it didn't seem to do all too much. But with the change over to sphagnum it now grows like a weed! I think he made a great choice!
http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/orc...revisited.html
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:45 PM
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If you could get a terrarium of some sort that would help with the humidity. They may grow in a less humid environment, but you'll have trouble keeping the blooms from blasting. All of the ones you listed should be as easy as masdies get, which isn't to say that they won't be a challenge. Just shoot for exellent water quality and high humidity and they will grow well. Water from the tap can be improved by mixing it with distilled.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:19 PM
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If the humidity is low, Masdies are really hard to overwater. So tell him to water it a lot. Like every day or two. If the temperature is a bit too high, reducing the lighting will help.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:32 PM
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Just one! Arghh!

Ok, well let's start with how to grow them. Straight NZ AAA spaghnum moss, no question. I just repotted my entire masdie collection and I couldn't believe the roots on those guys! Bolero posted photos of his roots a while back and I was sold. I have to say that most of mine looked a lot like his when I repotted.

However, I did learn something while repotting. The centers of the roots, when I had stuffed sphag up in there, had some die-off. I think it was too wet and not enough air. So, when repotting, I put the plants right in the net pot and simply stuffed sphag down the sides of the pot. In larger pots (I had to put the monster in an 8" clay orchid bulb pan it got so huge!), I inverted a net pot, or in the case of the monster, a 4" plastic vanda basket in the center of the pot to increase air to the center of the plant. This is because I observed that the roots all grew like crazy towards the "airy" zone around the perimeters of the pots. I guess we'll see if I'm correct when I repot again next year.

You just about can't overwater these guys. Kat keeps hers sopping all the time. Mine have occasionally gotten a bit dryer than that, but only by accident.

I've had good success with the "oxygen core dual pots" from repotme.com. Seems to increase the humidity at the roots while providing air at the same time. YMMV.

Getting the right amount of light has been a problem for me. I kept them in a north window with no supplemental light, and got lots of beautiful leaves but no spikes. Then I put them under lights and got spikes and yellow leaves. I think I'm going to try dialing way back on the hours of light this year and see if I can strike a happy medium.

Spikes in low humidity were also a problem, until someone suggested I mist them. It made a big difference, and I got a lot more to bloom instead of blasting.

Now, for my plant suggestion. At first I was going to suggest an exquisita, since they are blooming fools, but the colors aren't what your fiance (did we know you're engaged???? Did we?? If not, congratulations!), here's my suggestion. I bought a masd. Fire Queen from Kalapana Orchids earlier this year, and it just keeps sending up long-lasting spikes, one after another. It's a red/orange, very attractive, with tall spikes held well above large-ish leaves. Kind of a guy's masdie!

I'd steer clear of an Othello...while they are gorgeous, just the color your SO likes, but mine is also a PIA. I've heard that others have had some trouble with them as well.

Finally, I'm so jealous you've got a partner interested in growing orchids! Lucky you!
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by koshki View Post
Just one! Arghh!

Ok, well let's start with how to grow them. Straight NZ AAA spaghnum moss, no question.
I've had a terrible time with pure sphagnum. But maybe he will do better with it, especially since I'm not allowed to meddle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koshki View Post
You just about can't overwater these guys. Kat keeps hers sopping all the time. Mine have occasionally gotten a bit dryer than that, but only by accident.
This is very good news! I will pass this along.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koshki View Post
fiance (did we know you're engaged???? Did we?? If not, congratulations!
Thanks very much! We're getting married October next year.

Quote:
Originally Posted by koshki View Post
Finally, I'm so jealous you've got a partner interested in growing orchids! Lucky you!
He's so picky though! I also hope he doesn't get discouraged if it doesn't bloom right away.


Thanks for all the great tips/suggestions guys! I think I'm going to get some vendors on the phone and have a chat with them too.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:25 PM
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Something a bit easier to start with:
Masd. Peach Fuzz
Masd. Copper Angel 'Highland', AM/AOS

I think these are both good choices and you climate sounds good. As far as low humidity goes, I have the same problem. I just water a little more often and do some misting and things go great. Other plants I think you could consider with that colouring are:

Masdevallia Falcata
Masdevallia vietchiana

They both grow well for me as does Peach Fuzz.

The first plant you mentioned, I haven't heard of before.
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Old 08-07-2011, 11:44 AM
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Rachel, need to correct my post...I purchased the Fire Queen from Lehua Orchids in Hawaii. Our OS orders wholesale from both and I mixed up my sources, sorry!
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:04 PM
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I don't know if he would like the color, but Hampshire Prolific is a sequential bloomer. I had mine in bloom for about 4 months straight.
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Old 08-07-2011, 12:53 PM
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I have a few masdies and one I find pretty easy I got from Hausermann's, Tangerine Dragon. I have it growing in sphag, keep it moist at all times and even tho it is hot out loves the humidity. so far it doesn't seem bothered by the hot weather. Here is a link to a picture of my Tangerine Dragon.


http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/mem...-dragon.jpgugh
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