"Success time" for orchids?

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Fishkeeper

 
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"Success time" for orchids?

by Fishkeeper » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:45 am

In the reef-keeping hobby, there are a few different filter-feeding invertebrates that, for various reasons, are doomed to starve in most aquariums. Invariably, any reef-keepers' forum will have at least one recent post in the Invertebrates section from someone who has one of these critters, has kept it alive for 3 months, and declares it a success. They will immediately be informed that, no, the critters can take up to 8 months to starve to death. They can't be considered successfully kept until they've been alive, healthy, and moving for at least a year.

So, my point is, what's the success time with basic orchids? Is there a period of time after which it's safe to say "okay, I'm not just coasting along, this orchid is happy in these conditions", or do you just have to wait and see if it grows significantly?

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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by Sakaaaaa » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:22 pm

Haha I'm in the in the aquarium hobby too! I have a sea cucumber, I have had it for 8.5 months now, it's pooping all over the tank :lol: It's actually a hitchhiker that the fish store gave me.

My personal success time for plants is 1-2 months, because they cant "starve"
My plants absorb Carbon Dioxide - And bugs!
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Adelaide

 
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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by Adelaide » Fri Feb 03, 2017 1:44 pm

I assume by 'basic orchids' you are talking about phalenopsis. There isn't a specific length of time it takes for them to go from dying to completely dead as you describe, but there are obvious physical indicators that will tell you if it's happy or not. The easiest way to asses a phalenopsis' health and happiness is, (in my opinion) by what its roots look like. If they are fat and green it's happy, if they are thin and stringy and grey or brown it's not getting enough or too much water. Putting down new roots and putting up a flower spike are both signs of good health. Hope this helps.

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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by evenwind » Fri Feb 03, 2017 4:54 pm

Adelaide wrote:I assume by 'basic orchids' you are talking about phalenopsis. There isn't a specific length of time it takes for them to go from dying to completely dead as you describe, but there are obvious physical indicators that will tell you if it's happy or not. The easiest way to asses a phalenopsis' health and happiness is, (in my opinion) by what its roots look like. If they are fat and green it's happy, if they are thin and stringy and grey or brown it's not getting enough or too much water. Putting down new roots and putting up a flower spike are both signs of good health. Hope this helps.

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I agree completely. The only thing I can add is my personal secondary criterion which I think of as "My Flower". "My Flower" is a flower produced from a complete growth cycle while the plant totally was under my care. For a Phal (which is usually bought while in flower) it would be death of the all flower spikes, new growth of roots and/or leaves, inception of new spike and successful re-blooming. So, probably a year of a happy Phal.
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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by bijillon » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:09 pm

You need to fertilize, not miracle gro, and hull know if they are happy they will put out another leaf, I have never had an orchid die on me. Depot out of moss and into a bark mix asap.


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Adelaide

 
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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by Adelaide » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:18 pm

I prefer moss to bark.

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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by Adelaide » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:22 pm

Image
ImageImage

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“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you--the rose that belongs to me.”

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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by Adelaide » Fri Feb 03, 2017 11:33 pm

Non-draining tray, two inch pebble layer, moss, sit orchids on top and roots grow into moss. I water the tray probably about once a month. Bark dries out to quickly for my level of laziness. xD This is the way I do it, but it's not the only way. I try to find the way of doing things successfully with as little maintenance as possible. I'm sure some orchid enthusiasts would have a heart attack if they saw how my oncidium is potted, but it's perfectly happy and flowers for me.

Oncidium potted in straight peat in non draining pretzel container, healthy roots and plenty of new growth and divisions.

ImageImageImage

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“You are beautiful, but you are empty,” he went on. “One could not die for you. To be sure, an ordinary passerby would think that my rose looked just like you--the rose that belongs to me.”

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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by bijillon » Sat Feb 04, 2017 12:06 am

I find that moss casual too much root rot for me and they are supposed to stay fairly dry as they are an epiphytic species, they need good air around the root, I also would look into Full water culture, definitely don't let them sit in water.


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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by Fishkeeper » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:21 am

Thanks for the info!

Anyone have any suggestions on what sort of fertilizer to use? I've only ever been told "orchid fertilizer" when I ask about how to feed epiphytes, and I don't know which brand and/or variety is best.

Image

This is how I have them right now. One Home Depot cattleya, one H-E-B mini moth. They were both pretty dehydrated from being on an unsuccessful mount, but they've both plumped up since I repotted them. Both have cores of bark in the center of the root area, with moss all around the outsides. I'm hoping that'll keep the roots from smothering while still providing constant moisture.
The broken pots are my solution to the "mounts are too dry, pots are too wet" problem, a compromise between the two. So far, it seems to be working- they don't have any signs of rot, they've both visibly rehydrated, and the cattleya (which I'm keeping damper) is unfurling a new leaf that was just a tiny bud when I got it.
Their light source is a South-facing window, and they're offset so it's indirect light. That photo was taken at night with the dimmer switch active, they normally get much more light.

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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by evenwind » Sat Feb 04, 2017 6:29 pm

They look good. Just keep in mind that the standard instructions for Catts is that the medium must dry between waterings to prevent root rot.

Have you seen this AOS guide? http://www.aos.org/orchids/additional-r ... art-1.aspx
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Re: "Success time" for orchids?

by FLTropical » Sat Feb 04, 2017 8:13 pm

Cats generally need to be dryer than phals.


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