Welcome to OrchidsForum.com. We are a friendly online community for Orchid Growers all over the world. If you haven't joined yet we invite you to register and join our community. Hope to see you on our forums!

Addicted to Orchids (it's a problem)

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by MoonjaTao, Sep 20, 2023.

  1. MoonjaTao

    MoonjaTao New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Hello everyone!

    Had a 'grocery store' orchid given to me that I had for years. It was green, so I kept it. Started blooming after we moved to a new house. Bloomed beautifully for a few years and then...last year, I moved it. No blooms.

    In researching what I did wrong, found a wealth of knowledge and a wealth of different types of orchids. And I was hooked.

    I now have six 'baby' orchids of different varieties (Laelia, Vanda, Paphs, Cymbidium and of course, Phals) and have geeked out and studied each variant's growth habits, water/moisture necessities, air circulation, etc. And have learned a lot just from watching them grow.

    About to 'mount' my Laelia (as she just doesn't seem very happy in the bark) and thought it would really be nice to 'chat' with folks about their experiences and learn from their expertise.

    Here's most of my orchid 'family':

    upload_2023-9-20_16-24-38.png
     
  2. KellyW

    KellyW Orchid wonk Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    6,565
    Likes Received:
    2,363
    Location:
    Redding, California, USA
    Welcome to the Forum.
     
    MoonjaTao likes this.
  3. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,854
    Likes Received:
    617
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    Mounted plants take a lot of watering, especially in a home environment.

    You have a collection of plants that span a fairly broad range of growing conditions. Trying to grow them all under the same conditions will be unsuccessful. Do some searching for cultural information on the various types you have, then figure out how to give each individual what it needs.
     
    MoonjaTao likes this.
  4. MoonjaTao

    MoonjaTao New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC

    Thanks so much for the reply!

    Yes - before I purchased each orchid, I 'studied' the care for each one. I have simulated environments for super humid to fairly dry. I work from home, so I tend to them throughout the day. I never soak any of my orchids. I have two different kinds of spray bottles. One with heavier droplets that I use to simulate a 'light rain' every morning, and one with fine mist that I use throughout the day every day - for the orchids that need higher humidity. If anything, I have to stop myself from tending to them TOO much as I love to give them attention. (If I could play with orchids all day, I'd be in heaven!)

    This is why I thought I might be able to mount my Laelia, because I'm more than willing to spray or mist it throughout the day - or whatever I need to do. Mostly I thought about it because it seems 'unhappy' in the pot, but also, I wanted to learn how to grow these orchids in other ways.

    So, outside of keeping it super wet, is there anything else you'd advise? Lots of sunlight (not direct) or less light? Temp I'll need to maintain? Anything you may think of would be super appreciated!
     
  5. Marni

    Marni Well-Known Member Staff Member Supporting Member

    Messages:
    13,833
    Likes Received:
    3,627
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Welcome to the forum! You have mentioned it 2 posts that you never soak your orchids. I'm wondering why not. Good culture for most orchids includes watering thoroughly when they get watered and then drying or approaching dryness before watering again. If you just mist the surface or pour little bits of water at a time, you don't wet the bark completely so roots in one part of the pot are bone dry while others are constantly wet. You don't say anything about fertilizing your plants.
     
  6. MoonjaTao

    MoonjaTao New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Hello!

    I have two types of water bottles. One is for lightly misting (some of) them throughout the day, but the other has heavier droplets and I use that to 'rain' on them every morning. I check down into the bark to make sure everything is wet all the way down. I was told by a professional orchid grower that the best thing for them is to duplicate their natural habitat. Since most of these are not used to torrential downpours and are used to damp rains, I try to imitate that. Some I 'rain' on more than others, depending on their specific environmental needs. I was also told (by a different person) that they don't like to be moved around that much. So am trying to avoid having to move them to the sink to douse them.

    I have spent quite a bit of time in Hawaiin rainforests and have seen live orchids there - so I try to duplicate the moisture and rains that I experienced there. This is why my original post was asking for advice about mounting a couple of them - which is how these particular varieties live in nature.

    I haven't gotten into the details of my fertilization regimen as I fertilize each differently and with different timing - and this will change depending on the time of year/dormancy period of each. It would take far too long to go into all of that!
     
  7. Ray

    Ray Orchid Iconoclast Supporting Member

    Messages:
    1,854
    Likes Received:
    617
    Location:
    Oak Island NC
    If it would be that difficult to explain, I'd say you're putting in a great deal of effort for little to no benefit. Feeding is one of the least important aspects of orchid culture, so I suggest that you simplify that and spend your time "tuning" the other aspects.

    A friend who is a horticulture professor showed me the mass balance for chemical reactions needed to affix carbon (growth). For any plant to gain one pound of mass, it must absorb and chemically process about 200 pounds (~91 kg) of water but only 5 grams of NPK. For corn or a hybrid tomato, that might be a couple of weeks in mid-summer, but it's more like 2 years for a fast-growing cattleya, 4 or 5 for a phalaenopsis, and who-knows-how-long for a tiny pleurothallis.

    Add to that the fact that we know so little about the retention capacity of our variable media, the uptake dynamics of the plants and the relatively limited root volume, that we have essentially no idea what the plant gets from what we apply.

    I have found that if I reliably apply a 100 ppm N solution to all my plant on a weekly basis, they all do really well. Bigger plants = bigger pots = more food. For mounted plants that get watered daily, I use a 25 ppm N solution.
     
  8. Arne

    Arne Active Member

    Messages:
    211
    Likes Received:
    173
    Location:
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Welcome to the forum.
    I think you should think of misting/spraying as secondary. Instead water them really thoroughly as Marni pointed out. Then learn how long it takes for each plant to get dry. Then you have your baseline for watering intervals, which you can fine tune for each individual plant.