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Old 05-07-2008, 10:41 AM
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Unhappy i am so confused

i feel like chucking my orchids away every one that I have spoken to (nursery and the guy who has been breeding orchids for twenty five years make it sound like I will never succeed. I need some help I live in South Africa Rustenburg we have a very hot dry climate although I stay next to a big dam in the winter it is so cold that we need a fire place and a heater to stay warm because of the water. I have bought myself phal and cymbidiums and a slipper. the guy at the nursery said I probably wont ever see my phal bloom again but he came across as a bit "you wont be able to do it cause you donít know enough" kind of guy I donít know where to start could some one please tell me what are the Basic rules when it comes to phal and the slipper the breeder said that i should come back in sept and he will show me how to repot my phal and slipper the nursery guy said that you cant repot them they donít like it. HELP HELP HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THE ONE SAYS UDE THIS FERTILIZER THE OTHER SAYS NO IT WILL KILL IT

I decided to go with an organic type pelican poop.. it stinks really bad but the breeder said he uses it

I really have fallen in love with my phal and really want them to bloom again

oh ja the breeder told me that i should never cut my phals after they have bloom and leave the stem to dry off by it self I am so confussed that I just want to give up i am so discouraged
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:51 AM
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I am sorry to see you with such a poor source of advice.

I am a commercial grower in South Florida and my conditions may be more extreme then yours.

I think being near a dam for the cool breezes and moisture should be excellent for orchids. We use swamp coolers (running water over a corrugated system with fans behind to blow the cool air over the orchids) to cool our plants and it is expensive. You have it free.

The Phal and Slipper should not give you any problems. Both like low light levels so keep them in full shade outside or they can be grown indoors. The Cymbidium likes bright light and cool temperatures. You may want to limit them to the property near the dam.

The Phal likes a 20 degree (12.5 degree C) day to night drop in temperature in order to flower. They are very forgiving and will often flower regardless of temps. Go ahead and cut the Phal stem whenever you want it will not matter to the plant. We even cut the flowers to conserve strength for next season when the plant's flowers are no longer sell-able. Phals bloom in the very early spring here February to April, probably 6 months difference for you in the southern hemisphere.

Paphs (slippers) bloom whenever they like. Neither likes to totally dry out but equally they do not like to be wet all the time. Re-water when they are almost dry.

All orchids like good air circulation and you may have enough naturally.

Food is necessary for Orchids like any other living thing, but they do not need much. Use anything you like for your regular plants and reduce the amount to only 1/4 the amount for tropical plants. You will get a good amount of natural fertilization in your conditions and not using anything may work.

The breeder really does not sound like much of a business man to discourage you when it is not necessary. I think 80% of the members of this forum would gladly exchange for your growing conditions.

I have been to Africa many times but not South Africa. If I make it there I will expect to see a fabulous orchid garden from you.

You did not say if you intended to move the orchids after the winter to another location. If you do and want more advice about that, just ask.
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:55 AM
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oh i have all my plants on a table at the windowsil that gets the morning sun (west) i have them potted in bark and some of them are in moss because i have no idae what i am doing i dont know which one is the best medium and need someone to tell me which ones they think are the best
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Old 05-07-2008, 10:56 AM
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thank you jerry I really appreciate the advice
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:09 AM
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remember, if you get 10 orchid people in a room and ask them a question, you will get 11 different answers. and all the answers might be right; and they all might be wrong. you simply have to watch your plants and see how they grow in *your* conditions. i live in a house with forced air heat--and most of my plants do fine and rebloom. if i can do it, you can too.

just enjoy your plants and they will tell you what they need over time.

also see the sticky threads in the cultivation section; there's some general information in there.
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Old 05-07-2008, 11:25 AM
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Is your enviroment very humid or dry? The Phal and Paph like moist conditions so you can provide that with either a bark, spaghnum moss or coco husk mix. I have both and my mix consists of cocohusk and bark. You can add spagh for a more retenative moisture hold.

Cyms aren't picky and can be potted in any mix that is free draining. A lot of us use coco husk or bark mix, or a blend of both. Cyms like to be moist, and a little dry before the next watering.

You can use any fertilizer you choose as long as it's balanced 20.20.20
Rule of thumb is to use fertilizer "weakly weekly". Taking the recommended amount and reducing that by half, if not even less, and using that.

As for the stem on the Phal, you can cut at the first node and see if you can initiate another spike. Maybe possibly get it to bloom again. There are threads on here about that getting Phals to respike.

Do you have pics of your plants? We'd love to see them?!

I hope this helps. Hopefully others will jump in on this. Good luck with your 'chids, and I agree. You got bad advice the first time around. Shame on them.
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Old 05-07-2008, 04:21 PM
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It just irks me that there are people that pretend to know it all and let you know about it. It certainly isn't helpfull to the novice grower of any plant. Gives the rest of the industry a bad name.

You will find lots of friendly people here and good, sound advise. Be patient, you can get your orchids to bloom again.
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Old 05-08-2008, 12:48 AM
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Sorr you are having such a hard start, don't give up, just take a deep breath, also if your orchid are in the house, I would find some other type of fertilzer besides pelican poop,maybe a liquid you mix with water and pour on.
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Old 05-08-2008, 01:36 AM
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Don't be discouraged. We've all killed plenty of orchids and probably still well. Eventually you'll figure it out and learn from your past mistakes. The more they say you can't, the more you tell yourself that you can and will!
You have many people here that can help and give you very good advice.
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:00 AM
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i am living in a place that is very dry but i live next to a lake so there i a bit of moisture the days are exeamly hat and then the evening are very cold
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:01 AM
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that made no sense sorry the city i live in is very dry but i live next to the lake where there is a bit more moisture
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:03 AM
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the pelican poop is in a liquid form
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Old 05-08-2008, 08:13 AM
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In addition to any other questions we can help you with, I'd suggest getting a general orchid care book. It would be good to read up on the the general topic just to familiarize yourself with everything.
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:08 PM
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DO not let this man get to you, at the begining there will be trials and error, and you will learn, there are websites like this one, where you are among other orchid lovers that will help you and walk you through anything you need, there are books, I have so many books, that I read over and over again. So don't dispair you are among friends here, and no one will tell you that you will fail. WELCOME!
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Old 05-08-2008, 02:24 PM
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Welcome to the forum Tina Jacobs!

Your Cymbidium will love the warm days and cool nights. I grow mine outdoors all year here and our weather is fairly similiar. Put them in bright light without hard direct sun and they will do fine. I have temp swings from 100 F (38 C) down to 35F (2 C). Just how cold do you get??

This is a great tip to help you properly water your orchids, regardless of what you have them planted in:
http://www.orchidgeeks.com/forum/orc...f-orchids.html

Also, this is a perfect site for basic orchid culture. AOS | Home

If you want to get a book there is a sticky thread in the newbie section that has recommendations and comments on why we like a particular book.

But most importantly! Don't let anyone discourage you, bad man, bad bad! We all started out with
that first orchid and had no idea what to do with it. You are off to a great start coming to this forum; don't be shy and ask lots of questions!
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Old 05-08-2008, 07:42 PM
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I say start with orchids that will do well in your climate, like Cymbidiums. Then you can try other ones as you learn. That's what I'm doing now. Good Luck!
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tina jacobs View Post
I live in South Africa Rustenburg we have a very hot dry climate
The nursery guy said that you cant repot them they don’t like it.
Oh, don't listen to that jerk... The climate is pretty hot and very dry where I live, and I have had success with both phals, cymbidiums and lady-slippers. Cyms don't like high humidity anyway, and you can raise humidity for the phals and paphs (lady-slippers) by humidity trays and many more. For example, you can wet the floors if they're not wooden. Mine are, so I usually wet the curtains or put wet towels around the orchids in summer. And there is of course spraying the orchids (not paphs, they don't like it). Don't worry, your plant will be ok. If they feel that they are loved and cared for, they won't bother to be in a bit dryer conditions. And, sure they don't like repotting, imagine you have to move out of your home every 2 years or so, but that doesn't mean you mustn't do it.
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Old 05-25-2008, 06:44 AM
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Your question as the the best potting medium usually gets a 100 different answers.

The simple answer is orchids will grow in and on just about anything.

Sphag and bark are among the most common, just different. Bark is probably the most popular because it is loose and drains easily. It allows good air circulation and allows the roots to dry out. It is good for Cattleya, Dendrobium and other types that like to dryout. Sphag holds more water and therefor needs to be watered less often. It can be used with Cattleya etc that like drying if you water less.

Many members of the forum do not like moss. If a person is heavy handed with watering the moisture retention of moss can cause rotting, especially when grown in a home where drying is slower and the temptation to water to often is great.

Myself and most other commercial growers like moss for Phals and Slippers. Since these plants do not like to dry out, moss is a good choose.

So the conclusion is that the best medium is the one that matches your watering habits and the needs of the orchid.
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Old 05-25-2008, 02:00 PM
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If your nights are cool, I would not grow your Phalaenopsis outdoors. I would recommend that you get a max/min thermometer, and find out for yourself what your conditions are. Most Phalaenopsis will take 60F (16C) at night regularly, and occasionally down to 55F (13C). Humidity isn't really a problem. My Phals are experiencing 20% humidity right now, and the plants are fine, but some of the more tender flowers are having a shortened life. I will be raising the humidity soon with a tray of gravel and water which the Phals will sit on, but with water NOT touching the pot bottoms, as that would cause continuous wetness and rotted roots. High temps are not much problem for Phals. The other thing I will be doing is getting a special heating pad that goes under the tray of water the a thermostatic control to keep the water at a set temperature to add heat to the area (and promote evaporation too) when the weather is such that we stop using the house heater, spring and fall, and I need a little more heat for the Phals. The Phals are currently under fluorescent lights in the bath room that is a very small room with its own heater vent, resulting in it being a very warm room in winter.

And, Phals can take repotting anytime.
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