Brought my first two babies home today.
Happy day. They are adorable small Cattleyas (as recommended here, thank you).
I have repotted them to slightly larger 'baskets' (the wooden ones. Based on what I had read here I expected them to be potted in all the wrong ways with potentially soggy roots, but they were in a nice mix of styrofoam on the bottom, what appeared to be some charcoal, and lots of nice bark.
So I supplemented the bottom of the new basket with a very thin (as in a millimeter or two) layer of sphagnum mass followed by an orchid bark mix I purchased already bagged (pre soaked for about an hour).
They took to the new baskets easily without the need for additional staking or tying down and look much better with a little more room to grow. Both have lots of healthy looking roots and plenty of sturdy gorgeous leaves.
I initially intended to hang them from the canopy of sea grapes in my back yard but since they are in bloom right now I have them hanging from my covered lanai. They get bright extremely indirect light all afternoon. I hesitate to put them in the canopy straight away because at the nursery they didn't appear to be getting direct light, they were under shade cloth. Not sure if that is prudent and I'm open to education on that matter.
As far as watering, we're still in drought conditions here so I will need to supplement them when they do get out into the canopy, how many times a week would you water them ? I've read 2 x per week with orchid food mixed into the water with occasional flushes of pure water. Advice on how often to flush ?
Also, at what temperature would you recommend they be brought into the house from the great outdoors. We had a few awfully cold nights here last winter so I'm sure they cannot be left in the canopy all year ?
Thank you so very much.