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  #21  
Old 08-18-2013, 10:35 PM
mattryan mattryan is offline
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I can tell you one thing I've only been growing orchids for 3-4 yrs now. But I really try not to dwell on the losses, but the knowledge that I have now from that loss. What worked, what didn't.Sometimes an orchid no matter what you do or try does not succeed. We've all had those losses and they really stink esp if it is a favorite. I've lost maybe 10 phals (noids thank heavens) 1 noid onc. Now I do have a Bllr. Peggy Ruth Carpenter that is NOT doing well (any help apprieciated) and a Degamora Jay Yamada in the same sad shape help also needed. I am trying my hand at paphs a Sedenii and randy McDonald so I might be crying in my glass of vino right along with TOMMYMIAMI, but I am praying I won't be!

Cheers Tommy buy another orchid I say!!

Cheryl
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  #22  
Old 08-18-2013, 11:15 PM
The Orchid Boy The Orchid Boy is offline
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I've been growing orchids for 3 years now and have killed 2 noid cattleyas and 1 teeny, tiny runt Paph. liemianum Flasklings died, it was the size of my pinky nail. My first orchid, a noid phal is just recovering from my mistakes. After my 4th orchid (Paph. delenatii) I found Orchid Board and SlipperTalk. My orchids did better and I discovered rarer orchids. I deflasked for the first time this winter and got 40 plants from the flask, 39 still alive. Now I'm addicted to flasks, I want more! But I have to remember that just like puppies, flasklings don't stay small forever.

Sometimes orchids die at the hands of professional growers because they have so many and can't perfect conditions for them all or forget about that one way back there on the bench.
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  #23  
Old 08-18-2013, 11:17 PM
TOMMYMIAMI TOMMYMIAMI is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattryan View Post
I can tell you one thing I've only been growing orchids for 3-4 yrs now. But I really try not to dwell on the losses, but the knowledge that I have now from that loss. What worked, what didn't.Sometimes an orchid no matter what you do or try does not succeed. We've all had those losses and they really stink esp if it is a favorite. I've lost maybe 10 phals (noids thank heavens) 1 noid onc. Now I do have a Bllr. Peggy Ruth Carpenter that is NOT doing well (any help apprieciated) and a Degamora Jay Yamada in the same sad shape help also needed. I am trying my hand at paphs a Sedenii and randy McDonald so I might be crying in my glass of vino right along with TOMMYMIAMI, but I am praying I won't be!

Cheers Tommy buy another orchid I say!!

Cheryl
:-)
Oh Cheryl, if only you knew. Since last week in June I got some extremely serious orchid fever, and for past 7 weeks there is probably around 3-10 orchids a week coming to my house. I did went nuts, buying ones I have never had before, buying the ones I like very much, the ones I want to challenge to grow. So these few looses really does not hurt me in regards of my numbers, it is more sad think and kinda aggravation that i did it again. but after starting this thread and sharing with others I truly do feel much better. You know what, years ago when some started t go down the hill i did nothing, just watched them die slowly, but nowadays, with this amazing board and google and books and communication with my Florida growers I am actually fighting and making great progress. I truly believe that this year I saved at least 5 from definite death they would face if it was me 2 years ago! and it is good, learning is good, even when learning on the dead ones:-) AND I LOVE YOUR WINE IDEA, to SALUTE to those who died for better of the future ones!!!!

Last edited by TOMMYMIAMI; 08-18-2013 at 11:47 PM..
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  #24  
Old 08-19-2013, 06:35 AM
CambriaWhat's Avatar
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What a great thread. I've killed a few grocery store phalaenopsis and one cattleya hybrid that I never saw bloom. Definitely makes me feel better!

"Orchids are not difficult to grow" is the phrase that really grinds my gears. It is a bold-faced lie!

Philodendrons are not difficult. Chinese evergreens are not difficult. Peace lilies are not difficult. Dracaenas and Zamioculcas are near impossible to kill.

Orchids are in fact difficult to grow! They require a very strange mix of attention and neglect and they really hold a grudge when you piss them off!

A relationship with an orchid is a real emotional investment and I get so attached to my plants, if they're not doing well it's absolutely maddening!
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  #25  
Old 08-19-2013, 08:03 AM
nikkik nikkik is offline
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How many did you kill? - Sad but make us feel better thread! Female
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Three years ago, I moved from North Carolina back to Michigan. My husband had a better job offer and I was pregnant with my first child; we jumped at the opportunity, but had to stay with my parents because we couldn't find a place that would rent to someone with a mastiff, Great Dane and two cats while we were looking for a house!!! Lol!! My husband towed his jeep back to Michigan and the entire contents in it were orchids!!

We ended up being with my parents longer then expected because we had a hard time finding a decent house (too many foreclosures in bad shape and not enough "good" houses to go around). I had my daughter and winter rolled in, as the weather changed and without sufficient lighting and airflow, they got a bacterial infection that moved so quickly through the collection that I lost most of it in a very short amount of time. I was left with 11 plants! In hindsight, I should have sold my collection when I moved, we had no idea that we would be living in less then an orchid friendly environment for so long!!!

I knew I had found the perfect house when it had a solarium, a sky light in the master bath and windows everywhere! Lol! I now have a full collection again! I did lost some this year to a storm that knocked down my tree that had my orchids in it! And I'm still nursing some from the storm. Bad luck in that case!!

If you love it, it's worth it! I can't think of one thing in life that I love that does not require a certin amount of work or frustration, but it's all a journey that allows you to learn and grow on your way through it! Good luck with your orchids!

Last edited by nikkik; 08-19-2013 at 12:52 PM..
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  #26  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:17 AM
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King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DweamGoiL View Post
OK, I'll bite. I killed 1 in the early 90's and decided against ever even looking at an orchid again. And then recently, I killed a beautiful Phal. I am an overwaterer and I fight that impulse with every ounce of my being every single day so I won't kill any more.
Then you need an orchid that can withstand that kind of watering regimen!

Have you ever considered orchids that are in the super-genus Pleurothallis?

They love water.

---------- Post added at 06:59 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:52 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by CambriaWhat View Post
"Orchids are not difficult to grow" is the phrase that really grinds my gears. It is a bold-faced lie!
Not all orchids are easy to grow. If a beginner said, "I want to grow a Dendrophylax lindenii (aka Ghost Orchid)." I'd tell them to start with a different orchid species.

You most likely started growing Phals just like the huge majority of us - yes, that includes me. And like I've said many times before, Phals, in my opinion do not make great introductions to people beginning in the hobby.

If you really want a better suggestion of better beginner's orchids, you can let me know what kind of growing area you plan to grow in and what the conditions of that intended growing area is, and we'll see if there's an orchid that fits that perfectly. When you get one, you might change your mind about orchids.

The problem with orchids is that they span the entire world, except Antarctica, (there are no orchids in Antarctica). You gotta know what you're getting yourself into when you get one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CambriaWhat View Post
Orchids are in fact difficult to grow! They require a very strange mix of attention and neglect and they really hold a grudge when you piss them off!

A relationship with an orchid is a real emotional investment and I get so attached to my plants, if they're not doing well it's absolutely maddening!
Not when you start off with the right orchid!

There are quite a few orchids that are very easy to grow. It was just that you weren't told which ones they were when you first started out.

A lot of people assume that Phals are the beginner's choice because they are so readily available.

As an experienced home grower and a person who was trained in nursery growing for the crop plant Phalaenopsis, I can tell you right now, in my honest opinion, Phalaenopsis are perhaps one of the worst orchids for a beginner to start with.

---------- Post added at 07:03 AM ---------- Previous post was at 06:59 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Orchid Boy View Post
I've been growing orchids for 3 years now and have killed 2 noid cattleyas and 1 teeny, tiny runt Paph. liemianum Flasklings died, it was the size of my pinky nail. My first orchid, a noid phal is just recovering from my mistakes. After my 4th orchid (Paph. delenatii) I found Orchid Board and SlipperTalk. My orchids did better and I discovered rarer orchids. I deflasked for the first time this winter and got 40 plants from the flask, 39 still alive. Now I'm addicted to flasks, I want more! But I have to remember that just like puppies, flasklings don't stay small forever.
Nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Orchid Boy View Post
Sometimes orchids die at the hands of professional growers because they have so many and can't perfect conditions for them all or forget about that one way back there on the bench.


How true you are! That's exactly what I observed.

---------- Post added at 07:06 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:03 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattryan View Post
I can tell you one thing I've only been growing orchids for 3-4 yrs now. But I really try not to dwell on the losses, but the knowledge that I have now from that loss. What worked, what didn't.Sometimes an orchid no matter what you do or try does not succeed. We've all had those losses and they really stink esp if it is a favorite. I've lost maybe 10 phals (noids thank heavens) 1 noid onc. Now I do have a Bllr. Peggy Ruth Carpenter that is NOT doing well (any help apprieciated) and a Degamora Jay Yamada in the same sad shape help also needed. I am trying my hand at paphs a Sedenii and randy McDonald so I might be crying in my glass of vino right along with TOMMYMIAMI, but I am praying I won't be!

Cheers Tommy buy another orchid I say!!

Cheryl
I was going to say a very similar thing, actually.

I have lost lots of far rarer orchids. I can't beat myself up forever!

I must learn from those mistakes and move on.

I'm also very certain that there will be other individuals of those same species floating around somewhere to be available for purchase some time down the line.

When I make a list of orchids I have, I separate out the dead ones from the living ones, and I'll ultimately see, that in the end, I grow far more beautiful orchids than I have had perish.

---------- Post added at 07:17 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:06 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by jesscorine View Post
I finally gave up on a rescue phal...I just cracked the bloom spike and tossed it in the trash. The roots were black, leaves were wrinkly, and I had enough others that were doing better. Now I'm watching my Den Spectabile...I have no clue what's going on. It's shriveled and yellowing in spots but the leaves are still smooth. I have a feeling it might kick the bucket, but I'm not ready to toss it yet. I've actually unintentionally nursed two phals back to life that I had given up on. They both have new leaves and roots so I'm just watching them. The last in question is a phal with great thick, green roots but persistent black rot on the leaves/base. It's so hard to give up on anything!
You ever check the roots?

What seems like "unexplainable ill health" is usually not "unexplainable". If you can't see what's going on with the stems and the leaves, then there's the roots.

Dendrobium spectabile is an intermediate to warm grower (55 F - 95 F).

It grows in moderately bright to bright indirect light, about the same as you would give a Cattleya.

Be careful not to over pot.

They are not too fond of root damage and root disturbance. In general, I've found many Section Latouria Dendrobiums to not like root disturbance.

Section Latouria Dens, also like humidity. About 70% - 80% humidity is what they like.

Moderate air flow is preferred.
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  #27  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:26 AM
Kevin_PR Kevin_PR is offline
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How many did you kill? - Sad but make us feel better thread! Male
Default This is actually my third collection

I have been growing for the last 11 years now , but I started my collection 3 times. Frist time was in NY Right outta High school and growing in an extra room I had. Everything was going great but I got overwhelmed with college then I started to work and I just did not have the time. I saw my collection dwindle to almost nothing. From about 40 plants I went down to 3 a Den. speciosum, a Den nobile, and a Laelia anceps.

Those orchids dwindled on for a couple years till I bought a house in NY and started again. Probably had 100 in this collection. By this time I got my act together and everything was going great, when I decided to move to Puerto Rico. I had shipped my plants ahead of me and asked my sister to care for them. She has a dairy farm or a couple hundred acres with lots of trees and wild orchids on her property so I thought great they should practically take care of themselves there. WRONG I lost nearly 50% of them GRRR. When I got to PR I started setting up my Restaurant, no time yet for chids . When I finally got around to retrieving my plants from her house I was in shock to see them bone dry. Her dogs had chewed on some and pulled them from the pots, some were just on the floor. I had placed them where they would get the right amount of sun so all she needed to do was water!!!! I had a nice Epi ilense and a Epi longipetalum that died. I have not been able to get another longipetalum yet. My remaining 3 plants from the first collection kicked the bucket too.

Now Everything is great. I don't think any plants are S.O.S. now I just need to let them mature now. I got alotta NBS plants or immature BS
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  #28  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:34 AM
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King_of_orchid_growing:) King_of_orchid_growing:) is offline
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Originally Posted by Joseia View Post
There is one less Paph in the world because of me. I can't even look at a Paph when I go to my local grower without the poor things trying to grow legs and run away. Almost killed the first two phals I owned, but they finally pulled through - in fact, one has a 12" flower spike growing.
Do you know why?

I'm not the greatest Paph grower either, (plus, I'm pretty selective about which Paphs I want to grow), but I've made adjustments every time I tried a new Paph out. I'm growing one rather successfully now.

What a lot of people don't know about Paphs is that many of them grow on limestone cliffs, outcrops, or hills. There are many photos of them growing in the wild available on the web now, I highly recommend you check them out.

A few Paphs are true epiphytes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joseia View Post
A Neostylis Lou Sneary Bluebird got close enough to death to see the Pearly Gates and hear the choir singing. Neostylis - easy plant, they said; forgiving plant for beginners, they said; so easy you can just stick it on a windowsill, they said. Yeah, right! Almost killed that one three times. It's finally doing well in an aquarium under the MH light and I think it has a new baby fan starting. But who knows, Ole Bluebird could still end up being Deader Number Two and start pining for the fjords any day now.
Again...

How are you growing this orchid? What are the specific parameters of your growing area?

Neostylis Lou Sneary was part of the first batch of healthy orchids that I was able to succeed with very easily, with very little effort.

They grow in brighter light than Vanda (Neofinetia) falcata does because of the Rhynchostylis coelestis in their heritage.

Rhynchostylis coelestis grows just as bright as many of the bigger Vandas do. I'm not surprised you have to put Neostylis Lou Sneary 'Bluebird' under MH lighting if you're growing indoors. When I grew mine, I grew it pretty bright.

When I used to have one, it kept pushing out roots and put out 2 spikes without even trying hard.

Neostylis is temperature tolerant and can handle temperatures down to 36 F and up to 110 F, with no problems. Make sure that if the temperatures do get above 100 F, that they receive good air flow.
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  #29  
Old 08-19-2013, 10:35 AM
Kevin_PR Kevin_PR is offline
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How many did you kill? - Sad but make us feel better thread! Male
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CambriaWhat View Post
What a great thread. I've killed a few grocery store phalaenopsis and one cattleya hybrid that I never saw bloom. Definitely makes me feel better!

"Orchids are not difficult to grow" is the phrase that really grinds my gears. It is a bold-faced lie!

Philodendrons are not difficult. Chinese evergreens are not difficult. Peace lilies are not difficult. Dracaenas and Zamioculcas are near impossible to kill.

Orchids are in fact difficult to grow! They require a very strange mix of attention and neglect and they really hold a grudge when you piss them off!

A relationship with an orchid is a real emotional investment and I get so attached to my plants, if they're not doing well it's absolutely maddening!
I think in time we all learn to accept that we can lose a plant. Sometimes it happens so randomly and even on healthy large plants. I almost lost my Den loddigesi this year from die back. I removed it from the basket and changed the medium, in the end my plant is 1/3 smaller but making a comeback.
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  #30  
Old 08-19-2013, 12:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TOMMYMIAMI View Post

Ok, I am pretty sure we all did it. My friends did it, my orchid sellers did it, gardener that takes care of some houses with hundreds of orchids told me he did it. BUT, it is always sad, and in some way upsetting for all of us to LOOSE one of our orchid babies, especially if it is due to our mistakes! I DID KILL 2 THIS YEAR, and one is handing by a thread right now. Oncidium that was going down for quite some time just gave up in March, and my newly purchased gorgeous big Cattleya did not stand our Florida 3 week rain stream as well:-((( Both of these were MY FAULT, did not catch over watering on time I have unfortunately another baby pretty bad sick now, my Dendrobium Heterocarpum, also purchased not even a month ago, and yet over watered again! This one is still fighting though, so I am hopeful and thinking positive thoughts! OK, TO MAKE ME FEEL BETTER, I know there are members here with a few orchids, as well as members with a few hundreds (or maybe even thousands???) - Please, can you share, on average, HOW MANY ORCHIDS did you kill, in your lifetime, in a year, or recently? Just though this will make US, still beginners in the process of learning, feel just a little bit better, to know that IT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE! Thanks for sharing.
Don't be too hard on yourself.

Like you already know, it's a learning process.

Another suggestion would be to maybe not purchase leafless orchids from the get go as a beginner.

Try something like an Encyclia tampensis or an Epidendrum nocturnum instead. Both these species are native to FL, btw. They're, imo, far easier for you to grow than Dendrophylax funalis.

FYI, if you really want to know, I've grown Epidendrum nocturnum for almost a decade and I even got the sucker to bloom for the first time in 2012, (apparently when I first got it, it was nowhere near blooming sized). This one's got nice big flowers that are about the size of my entire hand.

When growing orchids that are more for experienced growers gets you down, set yourself up for success, and buy yourself 5 super easy orchids to grow. That'll cheer you up quick!

If you like the way the flowers of Dendrophylax funalis look, but want to be referred to an orchid that is far easier to grow:

Here's a genus of orchid that has flowers that look like Dendrophylax funalis and Dendrophylax fawcettii - Sobennikoffia.

Orchids in the genus Sobennikoffia are Angraecoids, just like how Dendrophylax funalis and Dendrophylax fawcettii are Angraecoids, (that's why the flower shape is so similar looking).

Sobennikoffia has leaves and are not quite as demanding in care as Dendrophylax funalis.

Sobennikoffia robusta is currently for sale at Oak Hill Gardens:

Oak Hill Gardens

Here's a photo of the flower and some basic info:

IOSPE PHOTOS

---------- Post added at 09:15 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:58 AM ----------

I'm gonna add one more food for thought...

Not all orchids may be easy to grow, but I'll argue vehemently for the fact that many of them are incredibly resilient. How else would they have been able to survive for millions of years on an ever changing planet and spread throughout the world?
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