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  #1  
Old 05-10-2018, 06:36 AM
edv edv is offline
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Orchid ID plus care recommendations
Default Orchid ID plus care recommendations

Hi folks -

I got this Orchid from a neighbor that moved away almost 2 years ago. I've never known what type it was.

I also could use some guidance on its care. It has done _okay_ but never flourished. As you an see, it has dropped some large leaves lately and some of the pseudobulbs are a bit shriveled. It has new growth, but the new growth is very small, and the leaves look wrinkly, which I've read is a sign that its not getting enough water. I've tried various things to increase the water content, including putting it in an orchid pot that allows for water to sit below it. My hunch is that maybe the potting material is not correct for this type of plant. FYI I water this orchid from below - I submerse it in a water bath approximately once a week.

Also, I wanted some feedback on the small plant that you can see in the second photo. It is only barely attached to the main plant at this point. Since it now has quite a few air roots of its own, can I cut this off and plant it separately? If so, any recommendations on potting material?

Lastly - I _think_ that the location of this plant in the house is quite ideal. Its in a shower with an east facing window so it gets decent humidity and good (but not too intense) light. We are in Germany, FYI.

Thanks in advance for your advice!

Ed
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2018, 09:10 AM
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Ray Ray is offline
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Looks like an oncidium intergeneric hybrid of some sort, and one that needs repotting. (The pleating of the leaves on the new growth suggests the roots are not great...)

Do not separate the growths; as a "colony" the plant shares resources among the individual growths, so will be much hardier.

It is difficult to recommend specific potting media, as that varies with local supply, and what to choose depends a great deal upon your growing conditions.

That said, those plants do quite well when grown in semi-hydroponics, and I know lightweight expanded clay aggregate (LECA) is a popular growing medium in Europe, so if you want to go that way, see if you can get something with 8-16 mm particles (I prefer a coarser 10-16 cut, but it's not critical), and unpot that, cleaning off all organic matter and dead roots.

For simplicity, and ordinary flower pot with drainage holes in the bottom, when placed in a tray to hold a few cm of water, is fine. Assuming it has a hole in the bottom, the outer pot it is in now would be fine, or maybe go 2-3 cm larger diameter.
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Old 05-11-2018, 01:28 PM
edv edv is offline
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Dear Ray, thanks so much for the very helpful advice! I was able to find some LECA here and am repotting.

The outer pot it is in now (which does not have any holes) is designed to let an inner pot "hover" a few cm above the bottom and hold water below it. I think I will transfer to a slightly wider inner (plastic) pot and leave it in this outer pot. My understanding is that what's important is that there be water evaporation from below ... not that the medium actually sits in water ... correct?

Best,
Ed
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Old 05-12-2018, 03:05 PM
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Welcome to the Orchid Board!

Oncidiums are epiphytic, meaning they grow on trees. Roots are exposed to air at all times. Some epiphytic orchids have times of dry weather. This kind does not, and the roots should stay moist. Potting in LECA and standing in some water should allow air and moisture to the roots.

It is likely the old medium was rotting, and there was not enough air to the roots. This can kill roots. Oncidiums usually make new roots only around the time of new growths, and only from new growths. Without enough water developing leaves have wrinkles. This can be from not enough roots, or not enough water.

These plants are survivors. It is likely your plant, now repotted, will resume growing and recover. Normal home temperatures are good for them. They like bright light, but don't need direct sun.
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