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  #1  
Old 09-30-2019, 06:51 AM
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monivik monivik is offline
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Went to a nursery for the first time
Default Went to a nursery for the first time

I am so excited because I just went to an orchid nursery for the first time. Well I'd been to another one before but not to be compared, the other one is a huge indoor tropical garden thing with butterflies and even monkeys in the trees and fish in the water, it's very commercialized. You pay an entrance fee, you can spend the whole day there, there are restaurants... You can also walk through the "nursery", but at the end of the whole thing there's a shop where you can buy orchids but also other plants. It's just like a huge flower shop.

This one I went to last Saturday I discovered by coincidence as I was looking at online orchid shops, and I discovered that this one is really near to my place. Just a 20 minute ride. They are only open the last Saturday of the month and that's it. The rest of the time it's an online shop.

It was located at someone's farm and I would say small. Not that big (compared to the commercialized thing I mentioned earlier). I just saw rows of plants and it was really narrow. They explained to me that you can push the rows to make pathways so that you can walk in between the rows, and look at the different orchids.

Wow I was amazed how small they were! I had never seem such small Phalaenopsis for example for sale... I was like: Are you sure you're selling these? I've never bought anything so small before. My Phals come from Ikea or the local gardening store and are big in comparison. They even had super tiny versions, in plastic containers and then the ones a little bigger in these big containers that hold a number of them (OK so these ones were not for sale) all I saying is I think these were like "babies" very very young orchids.

The truth is, they didn't have anything that I would find at the local gardening store or Ikea... I was really amazed at this experience. I also pointed out that I'm scared of getting a new type of orchid that I'm not familiar with, I wouldn't know what care to give. After all I'm just getting started, just wanting to learn, after being a notorious "plant killer" in the past.

In the end I got talked into buying something I had never imagined I would have.

The guy told assured me this one is not too difficult to care for as long as I never let it dry out completely.

OK, so here it is.... my new beauty: A Macodes Petola, Jewel Orchid.

Ok, so I really hope I won't kill this one. It is stunningly beautiful in my opinion.

Just a question: I was told that when it grows bigger I should repot it in spaghnum moss. However, the stuff it's in now is really dark green and slimy to the touch. The truth is every single one they had in the nursery was laying in the dark green stuff. I didn't think much of it until now that I'm suddenly reading about it online about algae growing on spaghnum and that it's not supposed to be that good. So should I repot it? Put new spaghnum moss in it?
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  #2  
Old 09-30-2019, 02:10 PM
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I totally understand your enthusiasm! The first orchid nursery I went to was Orchideengarten Karge in Germany, which is only about half an hour from where I grew up. If you ever get a chance to go - it's quite amazing, you can walk through all the greenhouses, they have all kinds of orchids. When I went the owner was there to answer my questions, really felt like VIP treatment
And you know what, I was eyeing the exact same orchid that you bought now when was there. I decided against it and regret it now!
It's kinda hard to see in the photo, but all I see is wet sphagnum, I don't spot any algae? I suppose it was well watered when you bought it, sphagnum retains moisture really well. Personally I wouldn't repot something that I had just brought home (unless absolutely necessary) - it's stressful on the plant anyway to be moved to new environments, I wouldn't want to stress it more by repotting.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:25 PM
Cym Ladye Cym Ladye is offline
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That looks like a very happy plant which has been grown well in the humidity and light it wants. If you can give it the same conditions, it will continue to thrive. That type of green on spagnum is pretty normal for cool, humid, low light growing on the top of plant media.
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Old 09-30-2019, 02:37 PM
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I agree, happy plant. In fact, I have found that I have much better success growing these Jewel orchids in the low-light, even temperature environment of my house than in the greenhouse. Macodes petola is really special - if you hold it in sunlight (don't grow it that way but you can bring it into strong light for a short time to enjoy it) it sparkles like gold dust. The flowers are nothing special (a spike with tiny, salmon-colored, slightly fuzzy flowers widely spaced), it's the leaves that are wonderful. (A bonus, most orchids are rather ugly out of bloom, this one is beautiful all the time)

Since it is a terrestrial plant, it is happy in that wet moss (think "forest floor"). As the plant gets larger (and it will) when you repot, fresh sphagnum is good - but don't be aggressive about removing the old medium that is stuck to roots - leave it and just add more.
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Old 09-30-2019, 06:28 PM
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Congratulation on your new plant. I think there is a discussion thread on them somewhere. I m glad you posted this, I got a baby macodes recently, just a tiny piece with 2 tiny leaves and 1 little root, I would appreciate any advice or any info on how to grow them from infancy.

It is in spagnum right now but in a different "house". I used a container from some cherry tomatoes. A new leaf is starting to grow so maybe im doing something right.

Last edited by Veksa; 09-30-2019 at 06:32 PM..
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Old 09-30-2019, 07:38 PM
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It looks happy. I got my Macodes (and a couple of other "jewels") that were a little bigger but not much, and I just grew them in the original sphagnum, no extra effort to "confine" them to raise humidity. The damp sphagnum (which I never let get dry) seemes to be adequate. They don't get drafts where they're growing, The extra humidity from the "dome" may help if you have very low humidity due to winter heating, otherwise I suspect that it doesn't need that. When these are imported, they usually are in a container with a lid, since they really do need to stay moist, and with many days in a shipping box they need that extra protection. Once you get them home and they can get attention (like water)as they need it, the "humidity dome" is not so important. These also seem to want good water (I have had much better success since switching to RO water than I did using my not-bad-but-not-wonderful tap water)
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:00 PM
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Thanks, Roberta, I have been reading what i can find about them in different topics here, most people seem to have them in terrariums and the like. I do air it a lot, eventually want to get rid of the dome. We do not have our heater on yet, but i will monitor humididty. As to RO we are not planning to get it. What about distilled water?
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Old 09-30-2019, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Veksa View Post
s to RO we are not planning to get it. What about distilled water?
My jewel orchids are just on a shelf with a Pothos that I have had for years and years... they get whatever my ambient humidity happens to be. Most of the time it is over 35-40%, but there are occasions when it goes down to single digits for a few days and I have had no problems - and have had the plants in that location for at least two years. The air movement is just whatever is in the house... when I walk past them maybe I create a breeze, but no special setup.


Distilled water is fine - even more pure than RO. When you fertilize, do it very lightly - like whatever it says on the bottle, use about 1/4 as much and you'll be fine. If you have a fertilizer (like the MSU pure water formula) it probably has a bit of calcium and magnesium in it. Other Forum members will have to advise how to address that if you're using "generic" fertilizer... it doesn't need much of anything, but it does need a few minerals (this is a long-term thing, no need to rush out do anything immediately)

Some locations have such good city water that it works fine (New York City and San Francisco come to mind) So how much effort you need to go to for pure water depends on what comes out of your tap. Another approach to getting a little calcium and magnesium into a pure-water (like distilled) mix, is to just mix in a little tap water now and then. Really cheap and easy.
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  #9  
Old 09-30-2019, 10:53 PM
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I do live in NYC. Thanks for the tip about mixing dist water with tap. I do tend underfertilize (forgeting to do it mostly), so no extra work is wonderful. I m starting to get optimistic about keeping it alive. It was sitting for the whole month in the condition it came in, and now I see a new leaf coming.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:07 AM
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Monivik- First of all, my congratulations and admiration for not succumbing to temptation at the nursery. A sure sign of intelligence that - even after 45 years of growing - I still struggle to grasp whenever I go too one.

Take some time to study about the needs of various types of orchids and you'll be much better prepared for more visits. Even starting with the old AOS Culture Sheets can help and point you to which plants you should learn more about, as they'll fit better into your growing conditions.

To me, it looks as if you have a green moss growing on top of the sphagnum, and not an algae issue. This is far preferable.
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