Winter orchids

Gina_WFebruary 12, 2007

I finally got these phals to bloom perfectly aligned like in the stores. They're in the remodeled kitchen for the winter, and the light in there is diffused all around. So they "sprayed" perfectly:

This purple one is a monster bloomer - it just finished blooming on 3 spikes for over 6 months when a new spike started.

This white one is pretty generic but I don't care as long as it blooms.

Also, 2 big cymbidiums are just finishing blooming since before Christmas. I have 2 that I bought at Trader Joes 6 years ago that bloom every winter. All the orchids will go back outside when the blooms drop. Crickets chewed the heck out of the phal leaves last summer. Sigh.

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canarybird01

Gina they are absolutely beautiful! You're doing very well to keep them alive for 6 years!
I've not grown any of these but I imagine they need tender care year round.

I hope to go and visit the Orchid Garden here again on Friday when I'm planning to get together with some girlfriends and one of their mothers who's visiting from England, and go there for a light lunch. The orchids are kept in a shady bower but there are tables and a small cafeteria on the grounds nearby.

SharonCb

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 8:37AM
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jessyf

Oooooh did you post on the Orchid forum too?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 8:52AM
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lindac

I have a phalanopsis on the tea table in the living room....but it's only been there 2 months....but it has another bud on the stalk.
I'm bad....they get so ugly when they aren't blooming, I lose patience and toss them....
I have a pretty ideal sopt for winter orchids....but it gets too much sun in the summer and they bake outside.
Yours are lovely!!
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 10:16AM
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compumom

What orchid food are you using, those are stunning!
I imagine they like your damper weather better than our dry clime but those are gorgeous! Do you want my rejects?

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 12:56PM
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Gina_W

I didn't post on the orchid forum - you guys are funner!

Sharon, your climate is perfect for a wide variety of orchids. As long as you get ones that do well in your climate, you can't go wrong. They don't need any babying. It's the ones that need a different climate that people try to coax with lights, fertilizers, humidifiers, etc. that give others the idea that orchids are difficult.

They are quite difficult to kill! I even have one that Odo pulled out of the pot and carried around the house when he was a baby.

Ellen, I think the white one was a friend's reject. I accept plants from people who can't get theirs to bloom. I don't use orchid food anymore. I just water once a week or spray every day outside in the summer. In early Spring I do housecleaning - dividing and/or repotting them that need it. And in September I put Epsom salts in their water as a bloom booster.

Maybe I'll go buy some new plants for myself for Valentine's Day.

Here's the link to the slideshow from the Fascination of Orchids 2004 show I made.

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 1:52PM
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annie1992

Gina, those are gorgeous, I especially like the first one.

Sam's Club had a whole table full of orchids in full bloom for $9.95 each. Amanda asked if I wanted one and I told her I'd kill it within a week. I can grow anything outside, but a houseplant hasn't a chance.

Yours are beautiful, though, thanks for sharing them.

Annie

    Bookmark   February 13, 2007 at 4:09PM
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doucanoe

Gina, your orchids are beautiful! I tried growing one once....nuff said.

Linda

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 11:17AM
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chancesmom

gina, please share some secrets!! I have two, one a plain phal, bloomed once, i let it sit in too much H2o, killed the blooms. But the plant is doing well, just has not bloomed in 2 years.
The other is a smaller on I got at a show...Hampshire Raven...again lots of leaves keep coming but not blooms. Water each week, use fert every month or 6 weeks. Any ideas? tell me more about epsom salts.

Janet

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 12:53PM
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Gina_W

I learned about epsom salts on the orchid forum a long time ago. It's good for other plants and household stuff too: Epsom Salts garden benefits.

Generally, phals like indirect sunlight and like all plants - some moving air. All my orchids are potted in plain clay pots, in bark. I found clay pots are good because they "breathe" - it's hard to overwater, which is one of the quickest ways to kill a plant. Bark has to be replaced every few years, depending on the deterioration.

I put mine outside on a west-facing patio in shade most of the year. They come in when it gets too cold. If you have a phal that seems healthy but is not blooming - most likely the light isn't right. Usually too little. If indoors, put them near a window you can open for fresh air. Stale air promotes mold, pests and disease.

If all else fails, ship them to me!

    Bookmark   February 14, 2007 at 5:49PM
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chancesmom

Thanks for the primer, I learn way better from someone who knows that wading thru all the info to get to the heart of it.

Have you ever had the sun "burn" a hole in your leaves? I am struggling with the sunlight amount, but am going to try moving them right now.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2007 at 4:08PM
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lindac

You plant in bark? Like that small chips of pine bark I use for mulch in my garden?
And I was given this latest Phalanopsis for Christmas...how do I know when I should feed it?
Maybe we should start a whole new thread on orchid care.
Linda C

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 11:14AM
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Gina_W

Yup - that's the main difference between orchids and other potted plants - they shouldn't be potted in soil. The bark is just for the roots to hold onto so they stay in the pot. You can also grow them mounted on pieces of wood or even on a tree branch.

Here's a site showing mounted orchids and supplies (I have never ordered from them - just found it to illustrate this).

I have some plants mounted on pieces of wood and hung on a trellis on my patio. But it's not a convenient way to display them indoors.

Do read the orchid forum if you are interested in keeping these plants. I figure for the money it's better than buying cut flowers, for me anyway since I can get them to bloom regularly.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2007 at 6:35PM
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publickman

I have all my orchids planted in bark also, and I need to repot some of them. Yours are lovely, Gina - I haven't had such luck with Phals, but a friend in San Francisco grows tons of them and sells them. I have much better luck with cimbidiums.

Lars

    Bookmark   February 20, 2007 at 5:56PM
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centralcacyclist

I haven't had any luck with orchids. I'm like Annie, outside plants do well. These are gorgeous! I do have a lucky bamboo that I haven't killed yet!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2007 at 12:27AM
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