Are these orchids suitable for a beginner?
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Old 05-12-2020, 02:39 AM
alex_santi alex_santi is offline
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Are these orchids suitable for a beginner?
Default Are these orchids suitable for a beginner?

I got into plants about five years ago. Mostly tropicals but never any orchids until now. I have three dendrobium (unknown variety). They seem to be doing fine. I am considering buying more orchids from a local nursery. These are the ones I like based on photos. I was wondering if they are suitable for a beginner? They range from $20 to $40. I'm worried about spending too much too quickly without knowing what I'm doing. I don't want to lose any. Thanks for your help!

- Phal. Mituo Golden 'Mituo Golden 'Mituo#1'
- Phal. Mituo King 'Big Pink'
- Phal. Chienlung Little Orange 'Nan'
- Gomesa Sarcodes
- Dendrobium Hamana Lake 'Dream'
- Maxillaria Variabilis
- Sinningia Muscicola
- Dischidia Rafflesiana
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Old 05-12-2020, 07:42 AM
KingKong KingKong is offline

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Are these orchids suitable for a beginner?

Some of those will be a bit more demanding than denrobium nobiles but apart from the last 2 (which I don't know about) you should be fine.

One of the first things I do is see what minimum night time temperature it needs to bloom (you don't just want an orchid that doesn't bloom for years)

So for the maxillaria variabilis you would need a spot that goes down to 8 degrees C at night but not lower and no higher than 19 degrees in summer which I think might be tricky without a basement in certain places.
As far as I'me aware Gomesa Sarcodes needs the exact same conditions

the phals will do well in a wide range between 18C and 29C

Then light requirements is important but not as important as light can always be provided cheaply with artificial lighting.

I know nothing about Sinningia Muscicola but it seems to be extremely tolerant of any conditions so yes great beginner plant

Is the last one Dischidia Rafflesiana even an orchid? I don't think so...
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Old 05-12-2020, 08:34 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Are these orchids suitable for a beginner? Male

Neither the sinningia nor the dischidia are orchids.

It is not possible to accurately describe any plant as being “good or bad” for beginners, and it is the individual’s growing conditions and watering habits, plus the choice of potting medium, that determine if the plant will grow well.

In other words, what might be “ideal” for me might be “impossible” for you. I’ve been growing orchids for over 45 years, yet I still struggle with sarcochilus, which some here have rated as “easy to grow”.
Ray Barkalow, Orchid Iconoclast
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Old 05-12-2020, 09:06 AM
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WaterWitchin WaterWitchin is offline
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Welcome to Orchid Board Alex!

You've asked a question that isn't easily answered. But it's very wise to ask first, instead of purchasing and then having an uh-oh moment. Growing "orchids" isn't quite like growing tropical houseplants, because of the huge variety of different cultural requirements depending on the particular genus or even within genus.

You say you're a "beginner" at growing orchids. The easiest way to approach it is research each orchid you want to purchase that matches your present particular environment and culture to see if it can be grown in what you already provide for your plants.

Are you willing to provide a different environment and culture for different orchids? If so, you need to research each orchid and see what it's needs are, and whether you are capable or willing to provide them.

You have three dendrobium that appear to be doing well. Are they nobile or hard cane? Dendrobium is a huge genus and you have to know which particular Dendrobium you're growing to provide for its cultural requirements.

The three Phals you shouldn't have much issue with. They're all hybrids, and fairly easy to grow in most normal household conditions. Just research general phaleonopsis care.

The Gomesa Sarcodes is a relatively newer species found in early 2000's. You'll have to research it in one way or another. It's a hot to warm grower and requires a higher light, but I won't get into specifics as I haven't grown it.

Maxillaria variabilis is another species, and is one that's tolerant of extremes. Anywhere from 45F to 98F, but it likes it on the warm side better. Temps provided by KingKong don't appear to be accurate at all, unless my centigrade to fahrenheit converter isn't working.

Sinninga is a gesneriad, relatives of African violets, gloxinia, etc. It isn't an orchid though. That one I've grown in a terrarium with success.

I'd never heard of Dischidia Rafflesiana, and I took a quick look on google search. Interesting plant. Epiphyte, but not an orchid. Sounds like it involves ants? Hmmm, not interested. I have trouble keeping them out of my house as it is.

---------- Post added at 08:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:03 AM ----------

To make a long story short, after researching, choose a few with similar requirements and learn how to grow them, THEN branch out to something different once you have a good grasp of the first ones you choose. You'll save a lot of time and money that way.
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:10 AM
alex_santi alex_santi is offline
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Are these orchids suitable for a beginner?

Extremely helpful. Thank you, everyone. I will eventually post back with my progress.
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Old 05-13-2020, 01:34 AM
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SouthPark SouthPark is offline
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Are these orchids suitable for a beginner? Male

Originally Posted by alex_santi View Post
Mostly tropicals but never any orchids until now.
That's awesomoe alex. You're most likely going to like orchids. Some orchid growing books can offer great base foundation information - even online starter guides - maybe from AOS (american orchid society) etc.

Selected youtube videos can be very helpful too. But don't pay attention too much about the 'fusarium' scaremongering thing (if you ever encountered it), and don't follow the 'add ice' thing.

Welcome to orchidboard Alex. And have fun with orchids. It's likely going to be permanent fun.
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Old 05-13-2020, 02:46 AM
BrassavolaStars BrassavolaStars is offline
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Are these orchids suitable for a beginner? Male

Welcome Alex,

I also will agree with the consensus that picking plants based on your conditions and reading up on individual culture sheets is a good plan.

I have a Dendrobium Hamana lake and it grew fairly well both inside my GH and in my house. It also blooms readily, is floriferous, and is nicely fragrant. If you are fine with the other dendrobiums (assuming they nobile types) then that one should be a piece of cake.

Phalaenopsis were a bit of a problem for me when I first started my collection.

They can be a bit issue prone as mistakes with monopodial orchids (leaves emanating from a central point rather than canes on a rhizome) are not easily remedied in my experience.

That said, I tend to have a bias against them as that is the genera I’ve had the most trouble with myself.

The biggest piece of advice I have for you if you do get any Phalaenopsis is to never let water get into the crown (top where the leaves meet) or spaces between the leaves as this will sometimes cause a usually fatal rot. Think of it like the opposite of a bromeliad.

These orchids normally grow “upside down” which is why they don’t rot in nature in addition to having high amounts of air circulation outside.

The other plants you mentioned I don’t know much about.

If your vendor has Cymbidiums orchids and you have a very sunny space, they might be worth taking a look at in the future as I find they behave the most like a regular tropical plant. They do get large though but I heard there are some nice miniature types.
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