As Borat would say: "Great Sucess"

orchidnickMay 5, 2014

Utilizing the services of a warm green house, a cold greenhouse, RO water, MSU fertilizer, humidifiers and every trick know to orchidom, I managed to produce one bloom on a Miltoniopsis. Actually it's an over whelming spike with one more flower coming.

Miltoniopsis Dr Ruth Ors 'Volcano E'yes' x Hawaiian Waters 'Light Speed' (even the name is difficult, takes a minute to type) not only survived but actually bloomed. I usually kill every Miltoniopsis I have ever tried. The last 4 however have actually survived for 2 years. Every one is smaller than when they were bought but at least they are making new growths. Most had from 6 to 10 flower spikes on them when they were bought.

Last year they survived but there were no blooms. This year I get to taste the fruits of my labor because one of them actually has ONE (that's 1 with NO zeros behind it) flower spike with 2 buds, one of them now actually open. The other 3 plants are giving me the finger.

Why are these suckers so difficult? I read up on them, try to do what is suggested but nothing seems to work. Trader Joe has them with 10 spikes, nothing easier than that it would seem.



Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The plant. I feel like tossing all 4 of them but will keep trying, maybe next year will be the year.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 5:58PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Nick I'm working on these myself. I used to have them just waste away and get smaller and smaller. Last year, I bought a few noids at Trader Joes (only a couple of spikes). This year I bought a few more as they are so beautiful. Still noids from Trader Joes. The ones in the greenhouse have grown but no spikes. That is until just a short time ago I saw one with a spike. Then I saw the same plant with a second spike and yesterday I saw it with a third spike. The other 3 from last year have done nothing. These are grouped together but this one may have gotten more light as it's on the end. Next year I may give them more light and see if that work.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 6:44PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

The major change I made which seemed to have a positive effect is to keep them in the warm greenhouse in the winter and move them into the cold greenhouse in the summer. Therese Hill from Hillsview Gardens who specialize in these things, Paphs and others, told me that the best way is to try to keep them at the same temperature all year long,around 60F that is. They are not cold growers nor are they warm growers. Warm in the winter and cold in the summer makes them 'I don't know what' growers

Since I started doing that I have been able to keep them alive, as far as getting beautiful flowers, well, that's another matter. Maybe in the future.


    Bookmark   May 5, 2014 at 8:13PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
arthurm(Sydney, NSW AUST)

Doesn't look all that great but maybe Mr. Borat is not a good judge.
Why struggle with the ungrowable when there are Genera that are easy such as Coelogyne.
I'll relate the story of two vendors at an "orchid fair" here. They had masses of the lovely temptresses for sale.
Vendor1 to Vendor2 (after several hours of Business)
"I haven't sold any, How many have you sold?"
" 1"

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 3:10AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I agree with you 100%. I actively seek any and all Coelogyne I can get hold off. Andy lists about 10 on his site. I phoned him and asked him how many more he had under the bench. 'About 40' was the answer. He mailed me a list out of which I culled 15 visited him and went home with 12 that are not on his site.

Miltoniopsis, on the other hand, find me. Right now, my internist's office girls are growing 2 of them. Medium sized plants with many spikes. As soon as they are out of bloom, I'll end up with them. Even though I have not had 'Great Success' with them at all, I cannot resist to keep trying and will do so. I won't buy any but they keep finding me.

I agree it does not look good, the point of my thread. It does look 100% better than most of the previous ones that have died in my care. It still has a pulse.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 9:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

Thanks Nick for your report. Been there and done that. I have a few that eventually die.

But this makes me feel good. Its like golf onTV and they hit a bad shot like me. So even you Nick, an excellent grower of a very interesting and large collection, have your issues.

Your rare problems lets me know that even the best of us has failures or challenges.

An old friend, with a pedigree in botany, told me that "if you do not kill any orchids you are not trying hard enough". Meaning you are not taking chances and never play outside of the box.

Thanks Nick

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 11:22AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Attended my OS meeting last night. Speaker mentioned a Milt he's had sitting in his bathroom for 6 years. Gets good East sun. Lots of humidity. Its alive, never flowered. He's giving it one more year.

Not me. I've tried them over and over and they slowly died off. Was like watching the life sucked out of them. Growths got smaller and smaller. No flowers or maybe one or two that wasn't great.

I wouldn't think of going back.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 12:39PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I appreciate your comments, only some of which are deserved. I think there are 2 main factors that make for success. One is growing skill, no doubt about that, but probably even more important is location. Living in Hawaii, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Miami all comes with sure fire success in some genera and difficulty in others.

I know people in San Francisco who grow Dend cuthbersonii like I grow dandelions. The lobbies of Hawaiian hotels are overflowing with hard cane Dendrobiums, I think Vandas are the natural for Florida.

When I give 'Orchids 101' lectures at our spring show, I borrow a beautiful, fully in bloom, nobile Dendrobium and a stunning Miltoniopsis from one of the vendors. I also bring a blooming Australian Dendrobium from home. I tell them that if they buy the first 2, make sure to take a lot of pictures, love them a lot, spend a lot of time with them because neither one of them will ever bloom for them again. Then I show them the Au Dend and tell them that they can toss it in the backyard and without any further care it will turn into a huge plant in due time. Full sun, full shade, dry, wet, nothing matters, you can't kill these in our climate.

Members from my club marvel at how healthy my plants look. Only part of this is due to growing skill. With the Miltoniopsis being the notable exception, I generally don't bother with plants that don't like me. There are so many to choose from, why bang your head against a wall with genera that don't like your conditions. If a plant lingers, it won't be long before it's on the silent auction table, my visitors never see the lingerers because they don't last.

Recently i bought some Lepanthes thinking that with a cold greenhouse and all i might be successful with them. Not so, one out of 10 lived for a year, i won't get any more.. By selectively choosing genera which thrive in your environment you give the impression of being a very successful grower. The guy in SF who grows cuthbersonii like weeds is not a genius, he gets a little help from the fog and cool, moist air that prevails. He is a good grower, no doubt but location is all important.

I will grab some of the praise though as a little research helps. One of our members tried Cypripedium acaule (native to the NE of America) and promptly killed them. Mine are doing fine. Difference is a little vinegar as they like to be watered with Ph of 4.5 to 5 solution. I titrate a watering can to that Ph and they love it. He took note and will try again next spring.


    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 1:14PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
shavedmonkey (Harvey in South Fl.)Z10b

Climate really does matter. Vandas grow nicely here but if you want the most the plant can do, they need to be heated in the winter. They will survive but not flourish. Unless you heat. 10 to 15 days in the winter.

If us humans showed up a million years later, the brassavolas would be natural species in the southern half of Florida. They are the easiest along with brassavola hybrids to grow here.

If you maintain orchids that like the climate, there is a good chance people will think you know everything there is to know about ALL plants. I got a lot of people fooled...

There are some new hybrid peach trees that are for Florida. Why bother. Get one of the many different fruit trees that grow well here. Avocados, mangos, bananas on and on.

Yes, make it easy on yourself, not harder...

And Nick you deserve more credit than you say...How many climate zones do you have? And I appreciate your modesty.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 4:04PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
James AKA lumpy_j

Living where the winters are below zero and the summers above 100 means growing anything takes some work, but it's part of what I enjoy about the hobby.

I have one Milt that has almost made it to the 2 year mark. It has a few spikes with buds but a quick polar vortex blast a few weeks ago made all of the buds that were close to the window turn brown at the tips. Now the buds opened 3/4 of the way and just stopped for about a week. I was hoping to post a picture but the half open half burnt flowers look kinda fugly.

I put mine close to the AC in summer and close to the heater in winter. Does anyone else notice a slight scent to the roots? The last 2 I had gave off a weird kind of sweetish scent from the potting mix.

    Bookmark   May 6, 2014 at 7:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
westoh Z6

That's where us in the middle of the country really have to work at it. Like Lumpy said, -30 in the winter, 100+ in the summers, makes growing anything (cool, intermediate or warm) more challenging. Just today it started with lows in the upper 40's and this afternoon highs in the mid-80's. Large swing for a single day.

If space weren't such an issue, I'd try my 7th or 8th one again to see if I can make it maintain longer than 1-1.5 years :-) For now, I'll choose to stay away from this one until I have more room with which to play.


This post was edited by westoh on Thu, May 8, 14 at 6:46

    Bookmark   May 7, 2014 at 7:01AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gyr_falcon(Sunset 23 USDA 9)

edited out

This post was edited by Gyr_Falcon on Thu, May 8, 14 at 2:58

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 2:21AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

There is a ray of hope, Borat would be ecstatic. I guess I have 5 Miltoniopsis not 4. One of them got lost amongst the Odontoglossums and treated with benign neglect. It has bloomed with normal Milt sized flowers and has 2 spikes. That's better than the first one and resembles what it should do. The basic problem still persists as I bought this plant 3 years ago with 4 pbulbs and new growth and 4 to 5 spikes. Now it has 3 pbulbs and a new growth and 2 spikes each with 3 flowers. It is a move in the right direction, maybe I'll try some more and park them with the Odonts.


    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 8:52PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Orchid ID Please...
A friend gave this to me last summer (no blooms) and...
Newly potted bear root Brassia orchid spiking
Hi everyone, I bought this Brassia orchid bear root...
velleta tardiel
is orcid doomed? (is it doomed by over watering?
I have a Phalaenopsis orcid and I live in eastern Iowa...
Katie Parker
Dem kingianum flower spikes turning brown early
I purchased a dem kingianum recently at an orchid show...
Creative Soapstone LLC
Dendrobium Seed Pods
Believe me, I do not have a green thumb for orchids....
bilabongbong Z11b
Sponsored Products
Rustic Octagon Mirror
$189.99 | Dot & Bo
Varaluz | Occasion Mini Pendant Light
$209.00 | YLighting
Real Carriage Timeline Z-Brace Barn Door - BDK-MW-3681-Z
$920.00 | Hayneedle
Eglo Posts 59 in. Black LED Tree Post Light Blacks 75031A
Home Depot
Black Granite Stone Bathroom Sink 16"x16 - BORNEO SHADOW
Verdigris Rooster Weathervane
23" Black Granite Bathroom Vessel Sink - PEGASUS SHADOW
SteamSpa Saunas & Steam Units Royal 10.5kW Steam Bath Generator Package in
Home Depot
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™