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  #11  
Old 08-30-2019, 03:19 PM
D_novice D_novice is offline
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Dennis Olivas, a famous Bay Area grower with, I think, 10s of thousands of orchids, has said "I treat all my plants the same. I don't have time to figure out individual needs." I'm sure that's an exageration, and that he does group plants by light / temp / watering / dry winter needs to some degree or another. He doesn't have to deal with extreme conditions, by and large, which helps. I do know he tells the story that when he was in Half Moon Bay, at some point he looked at his heating bills and said "screw it" and turned off all the heaters, and kept what lived.

I think to some degree, we probably all figure out what can live in the conditions we can provide, and stop trying to grow phalaenopsis species outdoors in winter ;-)
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:25 PM
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I noticed, in wandering through Andy's Orchids shadehouses, that the "dry winter rest" thing is mostly ignored - there are plenty of deciduous Dendrobiums mixed in with everything else, and so they get watered all year, to no ill effect. They get winter chill - these are in open shade houses. And they are mounted, so dry out very quickly. So even the "winter rest" factor can be significantly mitigated by choice of medium (none) and diurnal temperature variation (comes with the territory).
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  #13  
Old 08-30-2019, 03:35 PM
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I use the Baker culture sheets and have observed that some plants that supposedly need a hard dry winter rest don't get that in nature. L anceps and D kingianum, for instance. And, the large cymbidiums that figure largely in the parentage of the most popular hybrids: lowianum, tracyanum, insigne - have, in nature, a HARD dry rest for SIX MONTHs out of the year (according to the Bakers). And, people who water them year round, or hardly ever, get great results! Orchids are tolerant and want to grow.

I've taken to watering once/month in winter for the hard dry rest plants, and every two weeks for oncidiums and others; and weekly for mounted oncidiums and epi/catt/enc family.

I used to want a low maintenance orchid collection, but what's happened instead is I am a slave to them.
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Old 08-30-2019, 03:55 PM
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The only things I have encountered that really do need a dry winter are the Catasetinae, and those are easier because they aren't outside in the winter, needing more warmth. So either a dry corner of the greenhouse (near the electronics) or in the house where they are really easy to ignore. Den nobiles get moved to an area that is a little protected and not hit by the sprinklers, but still get watered every couple of weeks (in nature they may not get rain, but they get dew, and also don't get single-digit humidity with high temperatures, which my house occasionally does). Early "career" I killed some nobile-type Dens by taking to heart the "no water from Halloween to Valentine's Day" dictum. So that is one more bit of baloney that gets bandied about to new growers, who then have to learn the hard way that it ain't so.
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  #15  
Old 08-30-2019, 06:22 PM
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Good discussion.

Last edited by Leucadian; 08-30-2019 at 06:29 PM..
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  #16  
Old 09-21-2019, 10:12 PM
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Default I still haven't figured out an answer to this

Probably because I'm lazy. Which, I think I'll probably just go with Dennis Olivas' method - treat most of my plants mostly the same.

I may do some color coding on tags or popsicle sticks though.

I have cool and intermediate.
I have very bright, bright, and shade. (Except for shady plants, I try to give them all as much light as they can take without burning. Which tends to mean I move then after they get some burning)
I have very dry winter rest (water once/month in winter); dry winter rest (water every two weeks); and water regularly (mounted, Onc wyattianum)

That's a lot of categories. Since I give my orchids enough time and energy as it is, I'm going to throw up my hands for now and continue to wing it.
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  #17  
Old 09-22-2019, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_novice View Post
Dennis Olivas, a famous Bay Area grower with, I think, 10s of thousands of orchids, has said "I treat all my plants the same. I don't have time to figure out individual needs." I'm sure that's an exaggeration, and that he does group plants by light / temp / watering / dry winter needs to some degree or another. He doesn't have to deal with extreme conditions, by and large, which helps.
It could well be an exaggeration.

But maybe he just means - in general.

We know that particular kinds of plants will grow optimally under particular conditions.

You're right about not having to deal with extreme conditions. In my part of Australia, I'm pretty sure that a lot of us orchid growers here in this region are fortunate to have good general growing conditions. No extreme conditions - no frost, no extreme heat, no extreme temperatures, reasonably good humidity --- not too high, not too low.

I can understand the challenges faced in other parts of the world --- especially in snow countries or relatively cold winters. And people living in apartments of certain types.

Regardless of where the orchids are grown, it naturally becomes a case of providing conditions needed for the orchid to grow well. Practical constraints may require compromises to be made. Sometimes - there can be no compromises.

In general though - if the orchid grower follows some basic golden rules associated with orchid growing, and has a fair understanding of what most orchids need in terms of staying healthy ----- then that's usually enough to keep most mainstream orchids alive and healthy.

It certainly does help to know the natural habitat of some kinds of orchids ----- just as it is to know the same sort of information about other plants that require particular sorts of conditions (temperature etc) to grow.

For example, tulips don't grow well, or at all in my part of the world -- northern australia. We can't grow peach trees or cherry trees well here. So ----- not surprising that certain kinds of orchids might not do well here - even though lots of orchids (tropical type) do really well here.

Last edited by SouthPark; 09-22-2019 at 06:46 AM..
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