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Old 10-01-2010, 10:09 PM
starsnrockets81 starsnrockets81 is offline
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 2
Red Spider Orchid
Default Red Spider Orchid

Hello everyone,

This is my first post so please be gentle

I received a Red Spider Orchid in mid June of this year. The picture I've attached isn't mine, but it looks EXACTLY like mine.

I don't have much knowledge of how to care for this plant but I've been watering it once a week and letting that water drain so the plant doesn't sit in water. I keep it sitting near an east-facing window that gets some good sun, I live near Boston, MA though so it doesn't get too hot here year round. When I received the plant, it had several full blooms and a few stems of unopened flowers; the stems have since all opened and dried up. I snipped the dried up stems as far down as I could. I've also noticed the plant, which is currently potted in a green plastic pot (about 4-5" across) that sits inside a ceramic planter, is very rootbound. Some of the roots are coming out of the holes in the bottom of the pot.

So, my questions - should I repot this plant? If so, what should I plant it in? Should I be fertilizing this orchid as well? Any other care I should be giving it or anything I'm doing wrong? What can I do to encourage new blooms? I've read a lot of orchid care tips, but a lot of them are conflicting. Thank you!
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:37 PM
Zoi2 Zoi2 is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2009
Zone: 5a
Member of:OSGKC
Location: Kansas City, MO
Age: 62
Posts: 4,773

Hello and welcome to the OB.
Here is a link that provides basic Brassia care, it might be helpful to you: Brassia Care Instructions
Care tips can be conflicting, a lot of it depends on where you are located, and what type of conditions you grow in.
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Old 10-01-2010, 10:40 PM
Melody Melody is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Zone: 7b
Location: South Carolina
Age: 36
Posts: 117

Don't worry, everyone around here is pretty friendly and very knowledgeable.

I have never grown this species so others will have to tell you about specific care. But I can tell you that all orchids need good consistent fertilizing.

There can be conflicting information out there, but most of that is we all grow in different environments and have to find out what works best for us.

You didn't mention what the potting medium is currently. This info will help others determine if it may need re potting. Most orchids like their roots to be snuggly in their pots so I wouldn't think that is much of a problem, but a photo may be helpful as well.

Last edited by Melody; 10-01-2010 at 10:43 PM..
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Old 10-01-2010, 11:14 PM
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WhiteRabbit WhiteRabbit is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Zone: 9a
Location: Nor Cal
Posts: 26,634

the pic posted looks like a Miltassia (Miltonia x Brassia) - so yours might be that, or Brassia.

It would probably be a good idea to repot yours. You don't know how old the media is. A fine fir bark mix for orchids will work. Just make sure it isn't super fine, but small chunks of bark. Don't use miracle-gro orchid mix - I have read many times it is just way to heavy (fine).

There are other media that can be used, of course, but a pre-made mix for orchids is probably the easiest to find.

I don't have any Brassias, but Miltassia I don't allow media to dry completely between waterings.
Indoors a west or east facing window is good.

Where ever you go, there you are ...
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Old 10-02-2010, 04:43 AM
Jennyfleur Jennyfleur is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Mersea Island, Essex
Posts: 1,323
Red Spider Orchid Female

Hello and Welcome to OB

The info sheet that Zoi2 gave you the link for is pretty good advice. My Brassia (chieftain) seems to enjoy life in a nice warm bright spot (never direct sun though) which, in my case, is in a south facing room. Being in the UK, and near the sea, temps don't get too high for him there but he does like regular misting due to the copious amount of aerial roots he throws out!

He's in medium fir bark for good drainage, which seems to be working fine. Usually, I water once a week with rain water mixed with (roughly) half strength fertiliser (the type depending on the growth season), although, when it's warmer, I water twice a week depending on how the pot feels etc and mist more often. Once a month a flush the pot with just rain water and no fertiliser.

Umm, I think that's it off the top of my head!

Oh, and here's a link to the Burnham site for some more info: Further Orchid Culture

Last edited by Jennyfleur; 10-02-2010 at 04:48 AM..
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Old 10-02-2010, 06:26 AM
CTB CTB is offline
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Join Date: May 2010
Zone: 10b
Location: Vero Beach, FL
Posts: 1,840

Welcome to the Orchid Board, you have come to the right place with over 15,000 members someone can usually help. Hope you make lots of posts. Enjoy!
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:23 AM
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orchidsamore orchidsamore is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Zone: 9a
Location: Fort myers Florida
Posts: 555
Red Spider Orchid Male

Your orchid is from a group breed with Mtssa. Olmec as a parent.

This is a very popular line of spider orchids since they are some of the easiest to grow.

I have one off spring, Mtssa. Shelob, that has a clonal name 'The Weed'. That should give you an idea how easy it is to grow. Fortunately the flowers are not weed looking.

I grow these with my Vanda getting heavy water every day and high sunlight. I also grow them with my Cattleya with lower light and watering once or twice a week. And I occasionally let them dry completely. They accept almost anything as long as you let them adapt to the light and not change it too quick.

They flower best in the highest light you can give them without burning the leaves.

As for re-potting, it probably does not need to be re-potted. All the orchids in the Oncidium group grow roots slowly. They live mostly off the very large pseudobulb. (that big growth under the leaves)

I have had plants reach sixteen inches wide while still in a 4 inch plastic pot.

The roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot because of the way commercial nurseries water their plants. They are kept in grower trays that retain some water just under the pot. The roots grow into this area for the water.

You will not be giving them water in the same manner so these roots will die off and the plant will grow roots toward wherever the water is. Roots grow and die in the natural order of life of a plant so do not be concerned.

As a general rule orchids should be grown in the smallest pot in which they can fit. Too large a pot and you run the danger of water not drying in the medium between waterings and this develops fungal problems.

Too large a pot also encourages the plant to grow more roots (but I mentioned this is very slow on Oncidium) and while growing roots the plant may not flower.

I usually do not re-pot my personal Oncidium until they are falling over from being to large. Commercially we usually divide rather than re-pot.

All orchids should be fertilized. Everything alive needs food. Orchids do not need a lot so fertilize lightly. The expression 'Weakly Weekly' applies. Use a Weak dilution (1/4 to 1/3 the amount recommended for tropical plants) once a week.

The fertilizers marked Orchid Food are the same as Tropical plant food but the instructions recommend a higher dilution. You do not need to reduce the amount further.

Last edited by orchidsamore; 10-02-2010 at 07:30 AM..
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