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  #1  
Old 11-25-2019, 06:16 PM
master_photog master_photog is offline
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&quot;Phal abuse ends here&quot; follow up ?
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In post #42 of "The Phal Abuse Ends Here" thread, Philip offers an opinion on a beginner's orchid choice..........

"In my opinion, in general, I don't think that Phals are the best beginner's orchids. Again, that's my personal opinion. Other people may differ in thoughts."

Does anyone know if there was a follow up to this as to what is recommended? If not, what is a good choice for a beginner with the following intentions.

Using a smaller (4 to 5 inch clear pot) Occasionally placing in a decorative clay pot.

Placed indoors with several hours of indirect light in a window sill. Artificial LED lighting is an option and available.

Temperature will vary from 69-72 Deg F.

There are many hydroponic retailers in my area, so bark and moss medium will likely be used as my "soil".

Thank you
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Old 11-25-2019, 07:54 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Sounds like good Phalaenopsis conditions to me. (I do suggest the artificial light supplement, Phals don't want intense light, but they do need good duration of light). The best orchid for a beginner is one that grows under the conditions that you have without a lot of extra work and expense. In your case, Phalaenopsis sounds good - and they are readily available for modest money. Whether you use use sphagnum moss or bark depends on your watering practice. If you like to water (I do) bark is better, since Phals need to dry out somewhat between waterings (they really want "humid air" more that "wet", and sphagnum tends to stay wet longer. ) If you travel and can only water twice a week, sphagnum is better because it tends to stay wet longer... you get the picture.

Where I live, Phalaonpsis is one "gateway drug", the other being Cymbidium (outdoors in frost-free area with good day-night temperature variation in the fall)... easy because the natural conditions are what it wants. In other places, they can be challenging. In south Florida, Vandas are easy, where I live one has to go to some effort to make them happy. So the answer to the "best beginner orchid" question is not the same for every person.
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2019, 08:32 PM
master_photog master_photog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
If you like to water (I do) bark is better, since Phals need to dry out somewhat between waterings (they really want "humid air" more that "wet", and sphagnum tends to stay wet longer. ) If you travel and can only water twice a week, sphagnum is better because it tends to stay wet longer... you get the picture.
Roberta, I do indeed like to water, as I don't find it to be a chore rather a duty.

Due to my inclination to water, I've been viewing some interesting videos on the semi-hydroponic LECA method. This is appealing to me.
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Old 11-25-2019, 08:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by master_photog View Post
Roberta, I do indeed like to water, as I don't find it to be a chore rather a duty.

Due to my inclination to water, I've been viewing some interesting videos on the semi-hydroponic LECA method. This is appealing to me.
A lot of members of the Board use this technique. Ray, a frequent contributor to the Board, developed the technique and coined the term many years ago. Check out his notes here Semi-Hydroponics™ >> First Rays LLC . And note that there is a Semi-hydroponics forum down the home page a bit, that is full of discussions on the topic.
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  #5  
Old 11-26-2019, 01:04 AM
DirtyCoconuts DirtyCoconuts is online now
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Phalaenopsis are great beginner orchids. Your conditions sound a touch cold for them but Iíd still give one a try, maybe you get a heat mat.
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  #6  
Old 11-26-2019, 07:30 AM
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Phalaenopsis are great beginner orchids. Your conditio tgens sound a touch cold for them but Iíd still give o.ne a try, maybe you get a heat mat.
The OP doesn't say where they're located. My phals frequently reach 63-64f at night. However, I run them on the dry side. Wet and cold would be a killer.
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Old 11-26-2019, 08:57 AM
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About beginner's orchids ----- I think that to give the orchid the best chance, beginners should start with no orchid (to begin with).

They should start with getting an induction or rundown on some golden rules of growing orchids, followed by checking to see if they have a suitable growing environment having good air circulation/air-movement, and adequate lighting conditions, and comfortable temperatures (for the orchids).

If those suitable growing conditions can be provided, then that could be followed by getting set up with a good beginner's growing media (eg. scoria), and getting some recommended orchid fertiliser, plus some cal-mag, plus an assortment of systematic fungicides, and orchid-safe soap liquid. Also - plastic pots with good drainage. Also - if the orchid pot is going to be sitting on a table or on a home-floor, then a water-catching dish with drainage grate (or equivalent apparatus) can be used, so a watering wand with a spray nozzle can be used to water the growing media (eg. scoria). The drainage grate keeps the pot above the water level of water that drains into the dish.

A lot of orchids can be beginner's orchids. But the beginner should ideally be pre-equipped with basic golden rules of orchid growing, and pre-equipped with growing accessories, and very importantly must make sure they have a good orchid-growing environment - preferrably not a still-air environment, and not a relatively low-light environment.

If orchid abuse is to be cut down significantly, then the first step is to learn about basic golden rules of orchid growing. The beginner's journey should ideally start there. No orchid until suitable growing conditions are providable, and adequate orchid growing accessories are obtained before acquiring a first orchid.

Obviously, there will be cases where somebody gets an orchid through a gift from somebody else that also doesn't grow orchids (purchasing orchid from a store to provide as a gift). Nothing can be done about that - which possibly can contribute towards orchid or plant abuse. But the main thing is to try to get beginners to understand a few things to start with - whenever possible - before getting a first orchid.

The attached image shows a pretty good beginner's setup. Scoria of suitable size, in plastic pot having good size and number of drainage holes, sitting on a drainage grate in a dish. Watering is done by watering wand with adjustable spray nozzle. Spray the media surface in various regions until water begins to trickle out the pot into the dish. The water won't gush out. It would just trickle out. The water in the catching dish/tray is not expected to come up very far at all. Whatever is in the dish will evaporate and eventually disappear by the time it gets to the next watering time.

Also attached is a photo of my first ever phal, now growing nicely in scoria - and in a black coloured plastic pot with very good drainage at the bottom of the pot.

Watering once a day - spraying adequate amounts of water on the media on either side of the plant is enough. It's very hassle free growing - not much to think about. In the photo - I only placed the plant on the ledge for the photo. Normally it just grows in medium light conditions (no direct sun onto it - or at least not for the moment anyway until I attempt to sun-harden it in the future). This phal shares a plastic drain grate and water-catching dish with a catasetum type orchid (namely a Fdk. plant) ...... and that catasetum plant is also growing in 100 percent scoria --- 5 mm average diameter scoria, and doing very well.

One extra photo shows some Paphiopedilum and Phragmipedium orchids growing (and doing extremely well) in scoria. Relatively small sized scoria for relatively small plants. Bigger size pieces for relatively large plants.


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Last edited by SouthPark; 12-06-2019 at 12:55 PM..
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  #8  
Old 11-26-2019, 09:25 AM
master_photog master_photog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
The OP doesn't say where they're located. My phals frequently reach 63-64f at night. However, I run them on the dry side. Wet and cold would be a killer.
The orchid(s) would be located inside.

I grow chili peppers from seedlings from my matured pepper plants. I start the seeds with net pots and heat mats to get them germinating. I then move them to my grow light and DC fan area and repot and repot and repot again as they grow.

I mention this just to give a brief background on my plant care and hardware.

We have moved recently from acreage to a small lot sized neighborhood. I have less room outside for chilis and more room inside for a different type of plant. Iíve settled on the beautiful orchids, based on their diverse amount of flowering buds as well as the vast amount of information in caring for them.

The semi-H is more and more appealing, the more I research about it.

I do like the idea of starting with no plant.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:43 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Welcome to the OB, master photog! First, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the member you quoted from the Phal Abuse thread, but I am one of those people who would have a different opinion. Of course, which type of orchid is best for someone depends on the conditions they can provide, but from what you describe, I think Phalaenopsis might work very well for you.

I now grow Phals only, after trying and not having much success with Paphiopedilums, Cattleyas, and Oncidium types. I would love to grow Cymbidiums, Vandas, and a few others, but I know I don't have the proper conditions for any of those. Keep in mind that some orchids grow quickly in both height and breadth, so the space you have available should be a factor, too.

It sounds like your conditions are similar to mine. I grow only indoors, in a window that gets good light exposure, including some direct sun (but I have the ability to close sheer curtains if necessary). I also recently started supplementing with a few lights, which has made a huge difference in blooming.

My home stays between about 68F - 74F, year-round. I keep all of my Phals in clear, slotted plastic pots, but I do have the occasional one that needs to go into a decorative (usually clay) pot for more stability.

Mine are all in Orchiata bark or a mix containing bark, charcoal, and perlite. These are fast-drying mixes, so I'm watering each plant two to three times a week. The smaller plants in the three-inch pots dry out the fastest and get the most watering. My house is very dry in the winter, with the forced-air heating, so I probably actually water a little more in winter than in summer. I'm also generous with misting the aerial roots, both when I water and in between waterings, if it's especially dry. I'm not comfortable with moss, but I know others here use it and like it. Again, it's a matter of your own preference. You may try one thing but end up switching to something else.

So, if you like Phals, go for it! If you are attracted to other types, do your homework and see if they are likely to work in your conditions, and if so, give them a try. Most of us who are new to orchids will end up trying several different types before settling on the one(s) we like best and that do best in our particular growing conditions.
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Old 11-26-2019, 09:37 PM
aliceinwl aliceinwl is offline
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Your conditions sound like my indoor growing conditions too. I have a few novelty types that donít seem to like drafty windows but the vast majority of mine do great.

I even have a bunch that I keep outside and only bring in at night when temperatures get into the low 40s. Iíve lost a few doing this, but the group I have now has been dealing fine for 3 years running.

The novelty hybrids in the box stores are super tough for the most part. Iíve expanded beyond Phalaenopsis (my gateway drug), but my Phals are definitely among my easiest keepers.
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