Neglected orchids - advice and identification needed (tons of linked images)
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Old 05-24-2009, 07:34 AM
Diamond Maverick Diamond Maverick is offline
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Neglected orchids - advice and identification needed (tons of linked images)
Default Neglected orchids - advice and identification needed (tons of linked images)

My uncle's late landlord had a 'greenhouse' full of orchids and then some. However, over the last several years, the entire lot of orchids has fallen into neglect, as the landlady is quite elderly and slightly senile (she twice mistook some orchids for weeds and hacked away at them with a scythe). Anyway, my uncle wants to save the greenhouse and all the other orchids his late landlord has. There are some I'm pretty sure how to replant, but there are others that I have no idea where to start - I can guess, but I need advice. They pretty much all need identification, though only a handful actually have flowers at this time.

Bunch 1 - Cattleyas??

Bunch 1: Identification?
Bunch 1: Right-hand side (growing nicely, but needs replanting)
Bunch 1: Middle-right
Bunch 1: Middle-left (front)
Bunch 1: Odd one out - Identification?
Bunch 1: Far left
Bunch 1: Far Left Flower - Possible Identification? (couldn't get a better shot)

Need advice on how to replant those; they're currently planted on tree fern trunk that's pretty decomposed. Some of the roots are all in there. Do I try to break the things apart and stick them on another? Or something else? Those guys get full mid-day sun; not so much in the morning and later afternoon.

Bunch 2 - Epis?

Bunch 2
Bunch 2: Flower 1 - Identification?
Bunch 2: Flower 2
Bunch 2: Flower 2 - Identification?

Those also get the mid-day sun. The medium is pretty decomposed in the Bunch 2 Flower 1 plant. The others... I kind of don't even know where to start.

Popcorn Orchids

Failing Popcorn Row (left side)
Failing Popcorn Row (middle)
Failing Popcorn Row (right side)
Large popcorn(?)
Large popcorn(?) closeup of base

I don't know much about Popcorn Orchids. My grandmother has all of one popcorn orchid, and it's not planted in anything, rather just sitting on an inverted pot - so this is new to me. These popcorns were once very much green, and very much blooming. However, no one's been watering them or anything, so they've been dying. What do you plant popcorns in - a medium of bark/charcoal/ceramic bits? Or something else? Smaller pots when we repot them?

Various Orchids in various stages of neglect

Plant 1
Plant 1 (side view)
Do I rip those apart and plant separately? Keep them just like that and tie the whole thing to another tree fern? Basket-pot them? These and the following are in the 'greenhouse' by the way.

Plant 2 - I don't know if you can do an identification on dying/dead flowers
Do I discard the middle stem? I don't know the rooting situation below the tree fern blocks, but the leaves are very green.

Plant 3
That one's growing mostly from below the pot...

Plant 4
Plant 5
Plant 6
What are those spots on Plant 6? Anything to worry about?

Plant 7
Cut off the totally yellow stems?

Plant 8
Would you say this one's doing ok? Perhaps put it in a smaller pot? Or leave it? Or.... ?

Plant 9
These seem to be planted in rocks of some sort. Should I realign them (straighten them up) or leave it be?

Plant 10
Suggestions for repotting? Would I pry the roots from the wooden basket... or perhaps leave it and hang the whole basket?

Plants 11
The yellow parts are extremely dead and very brittle; it's planted in rocks, do I replant it in the same, or change medium?

Plants 12
Plants 12 closeup - Identification?
Plant 13
Can we use the yellow stems on Plants 13 and 14 to make new plants? Or is there a point at which you can't make a new plant out of an old stem - if it's shriveled?

Plant 15
What are those holes on the leaves? What is it caused by? It's the only orchid in the 'greenhouse' that looks tattered like that, and one of my grandmother's orchids also looks like that. Is something eating them?

Plant 16
Looks like it'll bloom! I know the ideal time to repot is when you see green shoots... but how am I supposed to tell on plants like these whose roots are inside the pot and not growing out of it? Probably more ideal to wait until after a bloom, right?

Plant 17
If the green plant turns out to be a keiki, it can go into a pot on its own, correct? (I don't have the pictures up at the moment, only going by these smaller images) Because the rest of the plant looks kind of dead (correct me if I'm wrong).

Plant 18 - type identification?
Is it a Vanda of some sort? Popcorn-type? What is it?

Hanging Orchids

Hanging 1
Hanging 1 (side view) - tree fern is decomposed to the point that it's only a hollow shell
Hanging 2 (low side view)
Hanging 2 (from inside 'greenhouse')
Hanging 3
Hanging 3 closeup - Identification?
Hanging 4 (backside)
Hanging 4 (top orchid, frontside)
Hanging 4 (bottom orchid, frontside)
Hanging 5
Hanging 5 (opposite side with view of roots/medium)

Now, with hanging orchids... how do you replant them??? Advice for both orchids grown on fern and grown in baskets are very much welcome.

"Sun Bloomers"
Sun Bloomers
Sun Bloomers (closeup of one)
Sun Bloomers, 3/4 top view

These appear to be the same kind of orchid as Bunch 1. However, these are exposed to more morning sun and are on the north side (outside) of the 'greenhouse'. These are beautiful; we'd like to preserve the 'bunches' (like in the closeup). Again, how do you replant an orchid that's in a basket?? Problem with these is that the baskets are so close together that the roots may have taken hold on two (or more) baskets. Do we hack at the roots? Replant the whole thing in something massively bigger? Lots of bunches would be nice.

Possibly vandas?
More of them
Whatever they are, I don't see any new roots (or any roots at all) near the green growths, so I haven't the foggiest clue where to cut it if I were to cut it at all.

Assuming Vanda
Vanda 2
Vanda 3 (has new roots)
Vanda 3 (side view)
I like the third Vanda, because it has new roots - where would I cut it? AND when is the best time? I've heard that Vandas are fussy about being repotted and things like that. So I definitely need advice on Vandas - I don't have any and am very uneducated about them.

Vanda in Bloom 1
Vanda in Bloom closeup - Identification?
Vanda in Bloom 2
Vanda in Bloom 2 closeup - Identification?
The flowers seem to be different; the second's petals seem thinner, and the flowers more reddish, whereas the first one seems more lavender.

Please identify this beauty!
Gold bunch
Gold Bunch: weird ... supports?
Gold Bunch: Overgrown it's weird supports
Overgrown supports closeup
Gold bunch: flower closeup - Identification?

These, like the 'Sun Bloomers', sit on the north side of the 'greenhouse' in the morning/mid-day sun. The stalks all seem to be a golden color. They sit in large bonsai-type cement pots. It would be nice to ID these guys, because they're gorgeous and I wouldn't mind adding them to my collection! These guys seem to be doing well, despite the decaying media and all that - dunno if we should just leave these guys alone.

When you're replying or giving advice, please state the title of the link to the plant (or plants) you are referring to.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:50 AM
Blueszz Blueszz is offline
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Oh my, what a huge but sad collection! I hope people can help you to identify these plants.
Don't you have an orchid society near by? I think members might be glad to help you out with identifying and repotting/remounting etc.

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Old 05-24-2009, 09:38 AM
Diamond Maverick Diamond Maverick is offline
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Neglected orchids - advice and identification needed (tons of linked images)

Aye, the 'greenhouse' was once full of beautiful plants... now they're all kind of just...there. Along with a couple GIANT weeds - though we think the biggest one might be a bleeding heart plant - though I haven't found any images that match it.

I actually hadn't thought of the orchid society! I will look into them; I know there are a few, considering I bought my last couple orchids at an orchid show. Thanks for that bit of advice!
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:55 AM
shadec shadec is offline

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Neglected orchids - advice and identification needed (tons of linked images)


most of these seem to be dendrobiums of some sort...

bunch 1, are softcane dendrobiums, i cant give a positive ID, but thats what they are.

Bunch 2 are called crucifix orchids ad are indeed epis.

i have never heard of popcorn orchids, but they look kinda like coelegynes.

Plant 1 seems to be again a softcane dendrobium

plant 2 i think might be a softcane, not sure

plant 3 looks like maybe a laelia?

6. im not sure what it is, but the spots are where a droplet of water has been left there while the sun hit it

12 i would say maybe den. biggibum var alba, but there is another it looks closer to, whose name i cant remember

17 seems like it might be a vanda, hard to tell from that angle


hanging 1 is the same as one of the other ones, before
the orchid in the background of hanging (side) picture seems to be dendrobium monophyllum (maybe)

Sun bloomers
i think these are nobile-type softcane dendrobiums

'Possibly vandas' picture, i would say are vandas.
all the photos labelled vanda seem to be vandae

Gold bunch is another nobile-type softcane dendrobium hybrid

hope this helps

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Old 05-24-2009, 03:06 PM
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King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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From what I've seen, there are a lot of Dendrobiums in the collection.

All the pics under the Cattleya heading are not Cattleyas, they're Dendrobiums. "Bunch 1" could be Den. findleyanum, not sure, but it's under the section nobile.

The white ones are probably Den. cretaceum.

I can't tell what the purple ones are, but they look like Den. anosmum, Den. parishii, Den. sulawesiense, or Den crepidatum.

Bunch 2 are two different kinds of orchids. Flower 1 is a reed stem Epidendrum hybrid. Flower 2 are either Coel. or Miltonia.

The "Sun Bloomers" are also Dendrobiums. Den cretaceum?

The "Gold Bunches" are also Dendrobiums probably Den. fimbriatum.

The ones under the Vanda heading are definitely Vandas. Many of them are most likely hybrids. Especially the one with the flowering pic, this looks to be a primary cross between V. coerulea and Euanthe sanderiana (aka V. sanderiana).

Under the "popcorn orchid" section there could be some Coelogyne ("failing popcorn") and definitely Cymbidium ("large popcorn").

These are commonly grown orchids, just look up Dendrobium, Coelogyne, Cymbidium, Vanda, and Miltonia culture.
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Old 05-24-2009, 10:45 PM
Shirley Shirley is offline
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Wow! You really have your work cut out for you, Diamond, but exciting to inherit such a vast collection. Best of luck!

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Old 05-24-2009, 11:06 PM
natasha natasha is offline
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i agree with blueszz. you should try to find an orchid society nearby or anyone that love orchids. i think it would be better to repot the orchids. as this will allow you to inspect the plant's health. best of luck in saving the orchids.
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Old 05-25-2009, 02:25 AM
phearamedusa phearamedusa is offline
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Default possibly Dendrobium bensoniae possibly Dendrobium gratiosissimum or crepidatum possibly Dendrobium gratiosissimum or crepidatum possibly Dendrobium nobile var. nobile possibly dendrobium anosmum or parishii or even lituiflorum
bunch 2 flower 1 is an epi, i don't know what 2 is. The large popcorn is most likely a Cymbidium. possibly anosmum, parishii, or lituiflorum hard to say for sure, i'm going more by the shape and color of flower, and the fact you mostly likely have these already. possibly dendrobium phalaenopsis you have some new growth here at the base possibly two spikes.
plant 15 has some damage caused by my guess is bugs.
plant 17 looks like new growth from the angled cane that's still sort of green.
hanging 1,2 look like possibly Dendrobium anosmum. Is the edge of the lip frilly/hairy?
hanging 3 could be bigibbum or phalaenopsis or anosmum even hard to say for sure. It may even be hybrid of these.
hanging 4 same as 1, 2, & 3.
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:21 AM
Diamond Maverick Diamond Maverick is offline
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Neglected orchids - advice and identification needed (tons of linked images)

Thanks for the various ID's everyone! I'm a newbie at orchid identification, and have realized that I'm terrible at distinguishing between cattleyas and dendrobiums. But I'm learning not to rely solely on the flower for ID.

Shirley: Thanks!

natasha: I fully intend on repotting. The potted (dendrobium) orchids aren't so bad, but I need advice on repotting the hanging/mounted orchids, popcorns, and vandas. And a bit of advice whether I should or should not make cuttings of some of them (like plant 14).

phearamedusa: Plant 15 - any idea what kind? Because it's only that particular orchid and not a bunch. I'd love to get rid of the bugs if that's what's causing it. Hanging 1 - I think it was only slightly frilly (not heavily frilled).

Another question would be: How important is it to know the exact species of the orchid (i.e. Dendrobium Bensoniae)? I mean I don't think I'm ever going to know exactly what these orchids are... just that this one or that one's a Den, while that one over there's an Epi, and the other one over there's a Vanda of some sort...

On Orchid Society: The nearest orchid society meets 'on even months, fourth weds of the month' or some such... so the next gathering isn't until the end of next month... and they don't really have any other information.

Also... a lot of information found online deals with caring for orchids that aren't in such neglected conditions (which is why I decided to post about them), so if anyone has dealings with such orchids, I'd love your advice!
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Old 05-26-2009, 01:57 AM
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King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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My advice would be to establish them first before you divide anything.

I wouldn't complicate matters before you sort everything out. You've got plenty to deal with anyways.

Organize your growing area and plants, repot (many of the Dendrobiums need it), and grow your plants so that they become established. That's the order I would start with.

Trust me this is enough of a project for you already. You don't need more work than you can handle right now.

As far as how to grow the Dendrobiums. You have inherited quite a few Dendrobiums that require a winter rest. Which means no water and no fertilization for somewhere around 1 to 2 months during winter. If you do water, a few things can happen:

1. They will not be affected vegetatively, but will not bloom for you.

2. You will rot them out completely.

3. The plants may continue to grow but somewhere down the line, some of the developing canes will show signs of distress.

4. New growths may be stunted.

Which translates to...if you still own the plants, you will have to re-establish the winter dormancy.

If you choose to grow Dendrobiums using pot culture, they must be grown potbound. Overpotting can easily damage their root systems. The suggested medium are small grade wood chips.

Mounting them onto cork will work as well. I would caution against using a bunch of moss to cover the roots.

I've seen people use wood slat baskets, but I don't know how that works.

Reed stem Epidendrums are pretty easy to grow in pot culture. You can use the old standby of small grade wood chips.

The Vandas are the only ones out of the bunch that don't appear to be in a state of disaster so I'd leave them alone.
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