new to orchids..advice please

prayerrock(zone 5)March 21, 2010

Hi everyone:)

I am brand new to orchids, just got my first one couple days ago. I love it but know nothing about orchids. So can some one give me some advice as a beginer on what good care is for an orchid..also could some one tell me what a nice variety of mini orchid would be for a beginer..I wold love to get a couple more orchids but i need minis because of space. If some one experinced has one for trade and could walk me through care tips I would love that. Thank you for all the help.


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Hi, welcome to the addiction known as orchiditis!!! We would need to know what orchid you have first...phal? dend? catt? It is worth reading up on all types you can on the internet to know what you are handling.

I keep all of mine in bark mix, and water only when the mix starts to dry out. If it is a phalaenopsis...the ones you see most commonly...they like indirect light (they dislike full sun). They like to dry out a little before rewatering but not by too much. Give it an orchid fertilizer, or a regular one at one quarter strength.

The flowers will fade and fall off. When they do, cut the stalk they are growing on (called the spike) about half an inch from the base of the plant. Get rid of it, give the orchid some time, and it will rebloom for you a few months later given the right conditions.

Could you post a pic of it? It may be worth putting on a gravel tray to increase the humidity.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 2:38PM
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prayerrock(zone 5)

Hi, thank you so much for the fast reply.

I was told it is a cymbidium orchid. I made a mix of miracle grow potting soil, orchid bark and perilite for it and i have been misting it twice a day..I watered it when I potted it. It is a well draining mix.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 2:44PM
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I have not grown this type of orchid before, but I would never use potting soil for any orchid at all. But this type may be different - I would look into it if I were you.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 3:23PM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Find some complete Cymbidium cultivation notes on the net that relate to growing Cymbidiums in Zone 5.

They are "cold tolerant" down to Zero Centigrade but need special care in zone 5 as to when to take it inside or outside.

A name would be handy too because some of the "warmth tolerant" ones might be easier to grow inside all year. "warmth tolerant" in respect of the summer night temperatures needed to get the plant to flower in season, sometime in Autumn/Winter/Spring.

The potting mix sounds fine but i have a thing about misting. Certainly most of the garden plants (Cymbidiums) growing around this city (Sydney, Australia) did not get misted yesterday on a hot. horrible day. But that is here, find some notes applicable to zone 5 and go from there.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2010 at 3:45PM
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Mary, you live pretty close to the land of Cymweediums! The west coast climate makes for great growing for some Cymbidium hybrids that they just grow like...weeds!

Did your plant come with a name? That will help all here figure out what its needs are.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 9:32AM
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prayerrock(zone 5)

I live in northeastern Oregon...very harsh freezing winters and scorching hot summers. They would never make it outside here. On the coast yes but not were I live.

Unfortunatly my plant is a noid.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2010 at 4:55PM
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Actually NOID's are great. Those are the kind you learn from before investing hard earned $$. They're also the ones you keep around once you start investing. You use them to try out new pesticides, fertilizers, and potting mixes.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2010 at 11:55PM
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prayerrock(zone 5)

I had not thought of that but that sounds like a great way to learn more about the orchids without risking more expensive named types.


    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:23AM
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arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

What is scorching hot? Not all that hot for most Cymbidiums. You need some advice from the locals as to when to take it outside for summer and when to bring inside for blooming.

Cannot advise, because it never gets below freezing here and the few i have spend all year outside.

Extreme temperature range for the year 1 to 40+C. They are tough!. Just place them outside in a spot protected from the worst of the afternoon sun.

The "expert" Cymbidium growers have them under shade-cloth so that they can get maximum filtered sunlight hours.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:40AM
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prayerrock(zone 5)

By scortching hot I mean up over 100 for a big portion of the months of july and august. We had a high of 111 last summer.

Winters can go well below zero here but average in the teens and 20 good part of the winter.

I will likely keep my orchids in the house.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:48AM
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