Off Topic - Ludi's Orchids - Heavy on the Pictures
Hello Hosta Friends,
Going back through the recent posts, I noticed that some of you were very kind with your comments concerning my 'teaser' orchid picture. I thought I might elaborate a bit on my collection since it seemed to glean some interest. I am aware this is a hosta forum and I risk Ken's wrath by posting this. I'm also aware that there is a designated forum for orchids on Gardenweb, but I have been snooping over there recently and hadn't noticed much in the way of activity (well at least not when compared to the Hosta forum). In addition, you all have become somewhat of a virtual circle of friends for me and who doesn't love to share with friends ?
I live in Philadelphia. To grow orchids year round outside, like most successful hobbyists, would require me to move WAY down south. Seeing as I am about to set some 130+ hosta into the ground over the next 5 years, moving is not an option. In addition, I'm not sure I could handle the high humidity in the dead of summer (God Bless ya Mocc, Paula, Bkay - not sure how you do it).
I grow all of my orchids and other exotics under T12 and T8 fluorescent lights. I have two 6 foot tall by 4 foot wide shelving racks that are set up in an un-finished room in our attic (you will see the heater in some pics) and then two 6 foot long by 3 foot wide tables next to each other with more lights overhead.
For watering, I take them all in to the bathtub and set them on cookie drying racks (basically an elevated grate) so the water runs through and down the drain. I have a hand-held shower head so I can move it over the medium as I please.
Here are Deloris and Helen getting their bath.
They got those 'pet' names from me since their 'proper' name is:
Trader Joe's NOID $15.00 Special
Truth be told, they have been some of my best growers. The purple is Delores and the white is Helen. The names came to me one day . . . don't ask . . . cuz even I'm not entirely sure. :)
My collection is about 3 years old and was MUCH bigger when I started. But time and my initial inexperience killed some off. I currently have 49(ish) individually potted orchids. At my peak it was closer to 70, but eventually you hit a water wall and my over zealous collection balanced itself out to my real life schedule.
Side note: The quote that I cited for the alphabet (thank you for using it Paula) was told to me by a fellow orchid enthusiast one day while I was perusing here collection for possible trades. She hated purple flowers and I don't care much for yellow so we would swap on occasion. We were carrying on about a couple of hers not performing so well and I asked 'what would be better growing conditions' and that's when she responded 'The only way to know how to grow a plant properly is to have killed it a few times'.
That was hand's down the BEST piece of botanical information I have received to this day. :)
But I digress, as usual. Some people say that orchids are 'hard' to grow and you almost always hear someone say 'oh I've killed a few of those in my time'.
But really, at the end of the day, they are just highly specialized plants with a different set of rules. I'll admit, there is definitely some fundamental knowledge that needs to be present for success. But honestly, if Ludi can do it, you definitely can. :)
As for the specifics of growing orchids, I will leave that to the orchid forum . . . you all can enjoy the fruits of my labor. :p
The next two pictures are of Phrag. 'Lucy Robins' (that is her official name . . . NOT one of my NOID names). This is the first year she has ever bloomed for me in the 2 years I have had her. It was wellllll worth the wait.
The picture right below is Phal. Norman's Jade 'Green Apple' . . . I put it right after the true/all white Phal. (above) so you can see the difference in hues. Norman's Jade in person is the softest shade of green . . . it is such a special Phal. I can never get the lighting right though in pictures for others to see how 'green' it really is.
This post was edited by Ludisia on Sat, Dec 7, 13 at 9:29