I'm curious to know the life expectancy of orchids in captivity. How old is your oldest orchid and what kind is it? Thanks :-)
They are eternal. Here is Den.speciosum 'Doug' owned by my late father in law, given to by son over 20 years ago. Every so often i chop it in half and sell one half and keep the remainder. Orchid Society members in the picture (not me).
Heaven knows when it was first collected from the wild.
Have 2 Catts and 2 Phals which were given to me by a neighbor when they moved in 81. Still going. She had then for at least 10 years before that.
There supposedly was an Encyclia that was put on a tree in the old "orchid Jungle " in 1887. have no idea if still there . They moved after hurricane Andrew gary
I have a BLC Daffodil that's at least 35 years old which does not make it old at all, as Arthur says, they are eternal. What is remarkable about that one is that it is in a 6" pot and has not been repotted for 24 years. The bark is probably a little deteriorated.
The previous owner got it in 1980 and last repotted it in 1987 as is duly recorded on the tag. In 1990 he bought a boat and lost interest in orchids. Being an electric engineer/contracter his greenhouse is totally automated. Despite complete neglect for 10 years, most of his plants did quite well.
In 2011 he sold the boat and renewed his interest ion orchids. He trimmed a lot of plants and offered me a box full of cuttings. At the same time he asked if I would take this overgrown BLC. He said it's in desperate need of repotting as the bark is 14 years old and he could not get it out of it's pot.
I did not repot it nor have any intention of ever doing so. The hanging plant is 2' x 1' x 1' and doing just great, 90% of it is outside the pot. I'm sure it does not care what's inside the pot which is not visible being totally surrounded by the plant. It covers itself with flowers every spring but has occasional blooms all year long.
So, 35 years old, last repotted 24 years ago.
Great information, thanks. Hope my new BLC lives indefinitely.
A phal, 16 years old
Stanhopea originally acquired via an estate sale in 1968.
My Rhyncholaelia digbyana 'Laura' was awarded an AM/AOS in 1962.
I didn't start collecting orchids until April 1999, but I still have the two that I started with... C. Nancy Off and Lc. Everett Dirksen. I have divided them several times to share with friends.
Me = a Bifrenaria tyrianthina 25+ years, but it looks its age. When I was doing some conservation work in the Mata Atlantica we came across a Bulbophyllum with over a thousand pseudobulbs. As it was growing more or less vertically we were able to estimate its age as at least 100 years. However, as old pseudobulbs eventually die and rot away it may have been a lot older. No way of telling! - Ian.