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  #1  
Old 11-06-2019, 12:19 AM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is online now
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Inconsistent information on the internet. Where do you trust?
Default Inconsistent information on the internet. Where do you trust?

I am not insulting anyone. I am not promoting anyone. I wanted to be clear

I recently got a new orchid. A dendrobium bracteosum var. tanii red. I went on zee d googles and opened a few sites Iíve visited in the past that came up when I searched this specific plant. The difference in the culture and care across three sites was as if it was three different plants entirely.

Sooooo where do you look when you need advice? Do you look everywhere and then sort. Do you trust anecdotal advice from other collectors?

I am not naming the sites bc that isnít the point of my post and I donít know which of the three is right
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:28 AM
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Being internet veterans, we know in advance that we can't trust everything we see on the internet. Same as - can't trust strangers. On the other hand, it is often possible to have some kind of feeling about which people could possibly be trusted.

Also, it will become clear (if not already) that culture/care in the orchid community is a mixed bag. The solution space for successful growth of most orchids is relatively wide. This is like - various ways to get a job done. Or various methods to achieve a particular goal - similar final result, but various ways/roads/paths for getting there.

If in doubt - you can always try to find out what region the plant comes from, to get an idea of climate etc. Or, if no information available, just fall back on the basics --- golden rules of orchid growing --- ie. light level, air circulation, temperature, avoiding stagnation of water around roots.

Societies like AOS could certainly help.

Last edited by SouthPark; 11-06-2019 at 01:33 AM..
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:31 AM
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In one sense, species are easier than hybrids to determine culture for, since you can look up habitat. Go back to first principles... For species, my go-to source is Internet Orchid Species Photo Encyclopedia There, ignore the icons, they are not accurate. Go to the species description, where you will find a paragraph about its habitat location. (In this case, "...found in Papua and New Guinea, the Bismarck archipelago and the Moluccas at elevations of 0 to 700 [1150] meters, and is an epiphyte of forest trees and mangroves in rainforests often along rivers and coastlines.") So it is from a tropical region at relatively low elevation. Warm, humid, lots of rain. It's an epiphyte so it needs to dry out between waterings but moist, no rest period.

For hybrids it can be a bit tougher (I swear by Orchidwiz, which calculates rough cultural requirements by the percentages of the different species making up the hybrid. The Baker culture sheets that it contains have really detailed information about habitat, and good culture notes)

Orchids can be very adaptable so you can "stretch" the conditions on the temperature range, but it all goes back to the origin. If you can determine that, you can then work on how to come as close as possible to what the plant has been expecting for millions of years.
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Old 11-06-2019, 01:42 AM
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SaraJean SaraJean is offline
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A couple of reasons that there might be some contradicting info
1. You have to take into account that some advice might be given with out any context. An individualís growing conditions and set up will play a MAJOR factor in the orchids care. Example: I can go months without watering the majority of my resting Dendrobiums. But my winter humidity is, like, 95%... The canes wonít even start to shrivel. Iím not sure you would want to do that if you were living in Arizona or growing in a cool spot indoors. What itís potted in (bark size, type of media, clay or plastic pot, ect..) will also play a big role.

2. Sometimes an orchid will still grow and bloom despite poor care. It might grow and bloom better if it was given proper care but the grower might not know any better. They think itís doing fine. That just goes to show how hardy some orchids can be.

As far as taking advice from others, yes I do trust certain anecdotal advice. Especially if they provide some context. I want to achieve the same thing as someone growing the same orchid in Canada, but I am obviously going to need to make some adjustments to the care recommendations. There are a million different ways to do the same thing and get the same results.

If itís a species, I try to look up as much info on its native habit that I can. ISOPE and Travaldo blog spot can be good places to start, Bakers culture sheets are awesome. For Dens in particular, Iíll start with what section it falls under to get a general idea of what itís culture should be. Then I just think about the best/easiest way for me to duplicate that in my conditions.

This is such a great Den, by the way
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Last edited by SaraJean; 11-06-2019 at 01:44 AM..
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  #5  
Old 11-06-2019, 08:19 AM
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Great advice gang! Thanks.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:54 AM
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First we must recognize that an individual's advice is his or her individual experience and interpretation of the facts as they know it.

A great example (thanks, Roberta) is her statement that "It's and epiphyte so it must dry out between waterings...". Yes, that is a perfectly valid way to treat the plant, and in some media it's a necessity, but going by the plant origin she documented, I'd say the plant is used to being almost constantly wet in its natural environment, so might consider something like semi-hydroponics for it. Don't forget that keeping the roots airy is more important than whether they remain wet or periodically dry out. Which is "right"? The answer is "both", but each answer has to be qualified.

As you gain more experience and more exposure to individuals on these forums, you'll naturally come to trust the input of some individual's more than others, but that doesn't mean you have to take everything they say as "gospel".
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  #7  
Old 11-06-2019, 02:10 PM
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I also believe that consistently wet roots is fine for orchids when water in the media and around the roots does not stagnate (which also includes harmful organisms not being allowed to grow on or around the roots or in the media).

Hence there are certain methods or possible safeguards used ----- the possible origins of the occasional 'dry-out' method. How often somebody applies the dry-out varies.

For techniques like semi-hydro, it is a proven and workable and great method. Like any method - you have to get this particular method working properly in order to keep things reliably under control.

With any method used - it's a matter of understanding as much as possible what issues can be encountered - and the work/effort will be to either cut down on those issues, prevent those issues as much as possible. Obviously - the goal is to eliminate the most pressing issues.

For the Dendrobium bracteosum var. tanii red --- I have never grown one of these before. But in my part of the world - due to being fortunate to live in quite an orchid friendly environment - I believe I could pop this tropical plant in scoria - in a plastic pot - and place it under a shrub in the garden - and it will likely grow pretty much forever, along with my other dendrobiums (devonianum, and moschatum, and discolor).

I can even see a pink flower bracteosum currently being sold on ebay Australia. But only relatively small seedling plants. Lots of them available. Not the var. tanii red though.

We can also purchase several (if possible) and grow them using different techniques - if time, space, etc permits. Having more than one orchid plant of the same kind (spreading eggs out in different baskets) is often a good thing. It's like data back-up. If something goes wrong with one (unexpected virus, disease etc) - then at least there's a backup or a few backups available.

Whatever method you choose to use for growing this particular orchid - the usual thing to do is to watch it like a hawk for a while - eg. a few weeks or more. If it stays looking healthy for long enough, then we know that the growing conditions are at least suitable for the plant.

Last edited by SouthPark; 11-06-2019 at 02:58 PM..
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Old 11-06-2019, 03:20 PM
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Example... mine doesn't get a real dry-out period, but it is in small-medium bark in a clay pot, so the roots still get a lot of air.(Semi-hydro also gives roots lots of humid air... anything that accomplishes that gets to the goal) In northern Australia it would grow outside beautifully, with a somewhat tropical climate. I have to grow mine in the greenhouse, because winter nights are chilly. (I get away with growing lots of things outside, but this isn't one of them, at least in winter)
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Old 11-06-2019, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DirtyCoconuts View Post
I wanted to be clear

The difference in the culture and care across three sites was as if it was three different plants entirely.
In order to be clear, it's necessary to first define everything clearly, and provide details of the situation clearly.

The thread title is "inconsistent information on the internet". So without really presenting the details in order to establish the meaning of 'inconsistent information', then discussions leading from this can become open-ended.

The recommendation of one method from one person, and recommendation of a different method from another person doesn't necessarily equate to 'inconsistent information'. It could be just variations in methods. But - in order to know for sure the situation, it's necessary to know all the details - to make sure that the meaning of 'inconsistent information' is exactly that.

---------- Post added at 07:50 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:39 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
I have to grow mine in the greenhouse, because winter nights are chilly. (I get away with growing lots of things outside, but this isn't one of them, at least in winter)
You have some conditions that I would love to have sometimes! Colder winter nights, which we don't have too much over here, or just cooler temperatures in some parts of the year in general, where the cooler temperatures can bring out some extra impressive colour features in some orchid flowers (Catts etc). Colour features that I would love to see, but I won't be able to achieve easily (or at all) in the tropics.

Last edited by SouthPark; 11-06-2019 at 05:43 PM..
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Old 11-06-2019, 06:01 PM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is online now
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I didnít want to blast any site. But what i saw was one site said 10,000-20,000 lumens and the other said 1,500-3,500.....
Thatís like a phal. vs a catt. and it just made me wonder where you all go for your first initial info on new orchids

I love to observe and I consider 75% of my plants to be ďexperimentsĒ so I am always trying to learn from them and what they are experiencing in my environment

Cheers all. Thanks
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