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  #1  
Old 07-04-2018, 05:27 PM
Chlorophile Chlorophile is offline
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I am now the proud owner of 4 orchids! I got a package in the mail and discovered two orchids a Clo. Melana's Daughter and a Fdk. New Hybrid (Mo. Painted Desert 'SVO' HCC/AOS x Ctsm. Karen Armstrong 'SVO'). The gift giver is anonymous so I don't even know who to thank.

They look pretty good as far as I can tell. One was fairly dry and the other was so dry that the sphagnum had the consistency of Styrofoam. I watered both and placed them in a Western facing window at my office.

As I understand it, I should be watering them when the moss just begins to feel dry and should expect that will drink quite a lot. They should flower in Fall and then their leaves fall off and I basically ignore them until new growth starts in the Spring. Correct?

My questions are (as usual) many. How much should I be fertilizing, as in, what PPM of nitrogen to shoot for and how often? Currently my Maxillaria in S/H gets 25 ppm every single time I water. Sounds like Catasetum type orchids are very heavy feeders but I'm not quite sure what this means.

Second, when talking about, or writing about orchids, what is proper when naming them? Can I just say Clo. Melana's Daughter, or do I include the ( Cl. Rebecca Northern 'Grapefruit Pink' x Ctsm. Melana Davison 'Bombshell')?

Finally, any tips or other things I should know?
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2018, 05:52 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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Clo. (Clowesetum) Melana's Daughter is the name , the rest, in parentheses, lists the parents.

You can be generous on watering these at this time of year when they are growing rapidly, and they will also benefit from more fertilizer than most orchids want (for the same reason... they grow more like a tomato plant than an orchid during the summer months) A really good reference for all of the plants in this group is Sunset Valley Orchids - Catasetinae Culture - Fred Clarke, the owner of Sunset Valley Orchids, probably knows as much about this group as anybody on the planet. I strongly suspect that these plants came from SVO, directly or indirectly. A terrific source!

The blooming time can vary... Clo. Melana's Daughter has Clowesia Rebecca Northen as one of its parents, and that one blooms very early, while the plant is still dormant (like March or earlier). The other parent, Catasetum Melana Davison, blooms later in the season. So the plant could favor one parent or the other, or split the difference. Enjoy whenever it happens.
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Last edited by Roberta; 07-04-2018 at 05:59 PM..
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Old 07-04-2018, 07:34 PM
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Right, you should not start restricting water until you are nearing winter-- now is the middle of summer. They need to Drink, Drink, and Drink some more. I think you should
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Old 07-05-2018, 01:59 AM
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Grow in moderately bright indirect to bright indirect light.

Bloom times vary from species to species/hybrid to hybrid. They don't all conform to the same blooming seasons.

Water from mid-spring to late fall. Stop watering in winter.

Grow intermediate to warm (60 F - 90 F).

Leaves go fully deciduous by winter.

I wouldn't ignore them for months, watch them from time-to-time. Check in and see if they're really doing ok.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:32 AM
Chlorophile Chlorophile is offline
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What is "more" fertilizer? More often at the same concentration as the others or a higher % of fertilizer per watering, is there a specific number I should be aiming for?
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chlorophile View Post
What is "more" fertilizer? More often at the same concentration as the others or a higher % of fertilizer per watering, is there a specific number I should be aiming for?
In the notes from Sunset Valley Orchids, Fred Clarke refers to "full strength" fertilizer. That's going from the reference point that most orchids want 1/2 to 1/4 of the dilution indicated on the bottle. So, for most orchids, if the instructions say 1 teaspoon per gallon, one would use 1/2 teaspoon to 1/4 teaspoon routinely. In the case of Catasetinae in their growth phase, he's recommending, then, 1 tsp per gallon (what is actually written on the bottle) From talks that I have heard Fred give, he suggests starting with the equivalent of 1/2 tsp per gallon when one starts watering (leaves and roots well developed), kicking it up to 1 tsp per gallon during the summer, and dropping back to the 1/2 teaspoon level in the fall, until cutting it out completely as the leaves yellow and drop.

You can use a balanced fertilizer (like 20-20-20) if you are using hard water. If using rain water/RO/DI, a formulation like MSU (Michigan StateUniversity) formulation for pure water. With a small collection, use whatever you have, differences in fertilizers are small - save the fine points for later when you have a lot more orchids.
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Last edited by Roberta; 07-05-2018 at 11:43 AM..
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Old 07-05-2018, 06:23 PM
Chlorophile Chlorophile is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
In the notes from Sunset Valley Orchids, Fred Clarke refers to "full strength" fertilizer. That's going from the reference point that most orchids want 1/2 to 1/4 of the dilution indicated on the bottle.
Ah, thank you. I saw the full strength part but didn't know what that meant. I didn't realize "normal" use was 1/2 of what the bottle said.
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