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  #1  
Old 08-31-2018, 11:27 AM
Dejinah Dejinah is offline
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Need help balancing sun &amp; water in outdoor orchid orchard Female
Question Need help balancing sun & water in outdoor orchid orchard

Please help the clueless...

Question #1. I'm in zone 9B (West Central Florida). I have thirty or so orchids living in a cluster of trees outside (only option). No one gets full scorching mid-day sun but everyone gets some level of direct dappled light. Some get it during prime time but most get it when the sun is low in the sky early or late in the day. If it's windy, everything is fubar.v shot below was 7:30 am.

My current victims are mostly phals, vanda's, dendrobiums, oncidiums, a few cats, plus a paph, a miltassa, a zigonesia, 1 brassidium, 1 maxillaria tenluifolia, a zingo, a cynoches, a vanilla planifora & a few mysteries. As a true beginner, don't know what they need. I have no idea who needs what kind of light, or how to manage them in this location. Or better said, no idea about anything. Can you help?

Question #2: We get monsoon-level rains periodically. They go on for weeks. I just repotted all of them into slotted, mesh hydro or slat baskets. I used a bark mix & threw as many semi-hydro sees in as I could afford to buy. But I'm still freaking because currently they're getting flooded almost daily, sometimes several times a day. Again, keeping them outdoors in an environment that I can't control is my only option. Please advise how can I deal with these conundrums? Thanks bazillions!
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  #2  
Old 08-31-2018, 12:03 PM
plantzzzzz plantzzzzz is online now
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Mount the catts, dens and oncidiums.

The vandas should be bare root in a basket, or with spanish moss hanging off the roots, so they will be fine.

As for the others, I have no idea.

Last edited by plantzzzzz; 08-31-2018 at 12:13 PM..
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  #3  
Old 08-31-2018, 05:02 PM
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Roberta Roberta is offline
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As long as they drain well, the water should be OK, especially since it is warm... after all, that's what they get in nature. You do need to think ahead to winter, though. The Cycnoches needs to be completely dry in winter (but also doesn't need much light or any other care...) Bring it into the house once night temperatures are below about 55 deg F (12-13 deg C), and start watering when the new growth and new roots are 3-4 inches (7-9 cm), not before. Phals, maybe the Vandas, and some of the others may also need to come in for the winter (9b implies some significant frost) Need to take a good look at what you have, to decide how much winter pampering they will need. Many orchids can tolerate more cold than they would prefer if kept dry.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:35 PM
Dejinah Dejinah is offline
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I thought I was in 9B. I'm just north of Sarasota & run the a/c at Christmas. Haven't seen frost in decades.

Never thought about temperature unless we have the rare freeze warning. Florida weather is beyond fickle. I've been fretting water & light. I had no idea orchids were that complicated. I think I need a mentor & someone to move a couple of 50-pound oncidiums.
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Old 08-31-2018, 07:50 PM
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If you don't get frost, then not to worry... If you get an occasional chill, you can protect orchids by tossing a bed sheet over them... a few strings of incandescent Christmas lights can also give a few degrees of warmth, enough to "save the crop." Small plants like Phals could just be brought inside, but the bed sheet trick should work for those big Oncidiums. My area is considered USDA Zone 10a along the coast (where frost is extremely rare) and I think 9b more inland (where there are a few days each winter that gets down to freezing). As long as you stay above freezing,nearly everything will tolerate a few hours of chill, especially if dry. The Cycnoches situation is a bit different, in that they really need that dry period in the winter. But then, since they lose their leaves in the fall, and sit there as bare pseudobulbs for 4 months or more, they don't take up much space. (So don't panic when it loses leaves... it is supposed to, if it doesn't you might have to push it by drying out, around the end of December)

Orchids aren't all that complicated, but the different types do have different needs... if you know what those are, you can find a compromise between what the plant really desires and what you can provide. They can put up with a lot if they can acclimate naturally outside. (I am a mostly-outdoors "What can I get away with?" grower in coastal southern California)
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:36 PM
Dejinah Dejinah is offline
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Thank you so much for the advice and reassurance. My small collection was so enjoyable that my family gave me an orchid birthday. I don't know what most of what I got is and worst, I didn't know anything about what I started with. All I know is that people stop their cars to look when all the Phals pop at once. They're hung in a waterfall arrangement and they all go at once with 4-5 spikes. To I thought all orchids were that easy. Not.

Where do I start to learn?
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Old 09-01-2018, 05:58 AM
ArronOB ArronOB is offline
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I canít help much with the orchids but I can say you must have very honest people in your neighbourhood.

Cheers
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:16 AM
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Welcome to the OB.
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:51 AM
rbarata rbarata is online now
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Welcome ot the OB.

Quote:
Where do I start to learn?
The first step you've taken already: Join the OB.

Next...keep doing what you're doing and, when in doubt, ask here.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:08 AM
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Do some reading, and get to understand what each of your plants needs. Orchids are "niche plants" with very specific cultural requirements, and your collection is varied enough that you will not be successful treating them all the same.
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