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  #1  
Old 11-09-2019, 11:02 PM
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SouthPark SouthPark is online now
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My first Phalaenopsis Male
Default My first Phalaenopsis

After all these years, I've finally purchased my first Phalaenopsis. I had been thinking of growing one for a while now.

It's a mini phal, currently being sold at a hardware store (called Bunnings, maybe equivalent of Home Depot).

Despite a lot of orchid abuse or neglect being noticed and seen at this chain of stores, I saw this particular kind of mini phal - and made my choice to buy it.

The tag just says 'Phalaenopsis sp.', which I assume doesn't mean a great deal in terms of its history.

I like this mini phal. There were a whole bunch of clones just like it on the bench. What I like about it is it doesn't have the upside down 'fangs' on the end of the lip. I prefer the 'fangless' look. Most (or maybe all) regular size phals I see have fangs of some sort, small or large ...... or some might see them as a pair of tendrils on the end of the lip.

They sold this mini phal in a square shaped glass jar (no drainage holes in it at all, which seems kind of ridiculous) with bark media. I'm going to be repotting into a small black plastic pot (with decent size drainage holes) using 5 mm (average diameter) scoria.

[update] - it turned out that this Bunnings mini phal was potted in tightly packed spaghnum, with small sized bark surrounding this spaghnum ball. But the glass jar had no draining holes - so maybe still a bit ridiculous (ie. no drainage holes). I have now potted it in scoria.

My first Phalaenopsis-phalaenopsis1-jpg

My first Phalaenopsis-phalaenopsis2-jpg
Above: photo taken with flash on

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Last edited by SouthPark; 11-10-2019 at 05:32 AM..
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Old 11-09-2019, 11:19 PM
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fishmom fishmom is offline
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Definitely a pretty one!. I had to laugh at your "no fangs" , so I went to look at mine. I only have 3 in bloom at the moment--Phal. fasciata (no fangs), a hybrid of equestris and venosa (no fangs) and Phal. Sogo Grape, not sure of the background of this one but also no fangs. I think the amabilis hybrids have very prominent fangs. I will have to pay more attention to this detail.!

Last edited by fishmom; 11-09-2019 at 11:26 PM..
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Old 11-10-2019, 12:25 AM
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Originally Posted by fishmom View Post
Definitely a pretty one!. I had to laugh at your "no fangs" , so I went to look at mine. I only have 3 in bloom at the moment--Phal. fasciata (no fangs), a hybrid of equestris and venosa (no fangs) and Phal. Sogo Grape, not sure of the background of this one but also no fangs. I think the amabilis hybrids have very prominent fangs. I will have to pay more attention to this detail.!
Wow !! fishmom ..... I just searched those names you mentioned on the internet - fasciata and Sogo. Very nice choices indeed! Actually - excellent choices. I definitely like those ones. More than just like!

I just searched amabilis too. That one looks dangerous hahaha! It's flower on the whole has a really amazing form. Very nice indeed.

Last edited by SouthPark; 11-10-2019 at 12:29 AM..
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Old 11-10-2019, 02:31 AM
ArronOB ArronOB is offline
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I love the fangs.

However if you look up ‘Phalaenopsis world class’ you’ll see a completely different style of labellum. World class, or similar lookers, are often for sale in Bunnings.

I agree that we shouldn’t overlook phalaenopsis. I ignored them for years just because anything you can buy in Bunnings or Coles just doesn’t seem ‘exotic’ enough. Anyway, a couple of years ago I was given a few post-flowering plants by neighbours and friends, and I’ve bought a couple at greatly reduced prices since (post-flowering). They’ve grown well and flowered prodigiously since - in fact of those 6 plants there is always at least one in flower, and in spring all 6 were in flower. One big white one has flowers 135mm across - pretty amazing although at that size the petals look rather unbalanced against the column/labellum (which tends not to get enlargened in sync with the petals/sepals). Another specimen I have I trimmed the spike after flowering and the old spike produced three new spikes - with 14 giant red flowers on two branches and the other branch not ripe yet. When I consider how much I struggle on with the other orchids I grow and how little flowering I am rewarded with I sometimes think I should just grow phals. No pests, no diseases, free flowering, unfussy, showy, long lasting - what’s not to like.

Well, not to like I guess is that I haven’t found a scented one yet. And I should add that I never really placed value in the ephemerality of flowers until I encountered phals.

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Arron

—————————
Edit
Ps. Just reread this. I’m talking complex hybrids, of course. I’ve never grown species or primary crosses - as we don’t have the conditions here.

Last edited by ArronOB; 11-10-2019 at 02:43 AM..
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:23 AM
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One big white one has flowers 135mm across - pretty amazing although at that size the petals look rather unbalanced against the column/labellum (which tends not to get enlargened in sync with the petals/sepals). Another specimen I have I trimmed the spike after flowering and the old spike produced three new spikes - with 14 giant red flowers on two branches and the other branch not ripe yet. When I consider how much I struggle on with the other orchids I grow and how little flowering I am rewarded with I sometimes think I should just grow phals. No pests, no diseases, free flowering, unfussy, showy, long lasting - what’s not to like.
ArronOB ...... thanks for posting about your fantastic experiences with phals!

135 mm!! That's awesome actually. I didn't even know that phal flowers could get that large. Definitely gobsmacked when I read that in your post!!

The prolific flowering one with the 14 big red flowers on two branches sounds awesome as well. I will definitely get some more phals to grow in the future.

Another thing that prompted me was recently, about 2 weeks ago, I saw a dark velvet purple phal - regular sized phal - not mini, which got my attention at a Woolworths store. Saw it on a Saturday, and was thinking about purchasing that one. That 'would' have been my first phal! The deep purple and velvet look was quite outstanding. Good shape too. I regret not buying it ---- because, on the Monday (2 days later), I purposely drove out to the same Woolworths store hoping it was still there. Very unfortunately, none of the phals were there anymore!!! I believe I lost out big-time. At least I think I was lucky to have encountered it (seen it).

On the bright side ... sounds like phals are going to be a pleasant experience in terms of growing - judging by your experiences and good comments.

The orchids that have been getting me - or at least I have to spend time watching over - are the catasetum types. They get bombed by spider mites every once in a while. The rest of the orchids (my catts, dends, vanda, paphs, and phrags) have no problems at all up here in NQ. I have never seen any attack (rot, fungus, or anything) for my collection.

Although, I have had to deal with one case of fungal attack from a catt that came through the mail - a Rlc. Village Chief North 'Green Genius', which already had black spots on the leaves in online photos. These became larger when the plant was received (by me). So that required some time to sort out - with systematic fungicide. But, for my own plants here ----- the growing conditions appear to be very good. No snails, no fungal attack, no insect attacks, or anything. My media is quincan gravel, and I get excellent airing from the semi-outdoor and outdoor conditions.

Unfortunately, the spider mites go for the catasetums. Not much I can do about that. Although - I did recently purchase a product (via ebay stores) that Ray was mentioning on another thread about spider mites. A product called Azamax, which is in transit at this time. Coming from the U.S. Hopefully that will help ward off the spider mites.

Definitely take some digi-pics of the red flower one to show us! Looking forward to seeing the full array, once ripe!

I will remember to begin smelling some flowers of phals next time I head down to Bunnings ----- will be very interested to see if any has fragrance!!

Last edited by SouthPark; 11-10-2019 at 05:25 AM..
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:15 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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SouthPark, that's a nice Phalaenopsis. I like the lovely soft coloring. I think that may fall under what's called "art shade"? Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong. Also, it's hard for me to tell for sure from the photos, but it may be putting out more buds at the end of the inflorecence?

Anyway, I'm someone who now grows only Phals. After almost five years in orchids, and numerous sad experiences with other genera, I have found that Phals are what do best in my conditions. And I guess it's just fortunate that I happen to really like them. They come in so many different sizes, shapes, and appearances that I enjoy. I went from having nothing in bloom, ever, to having the majority of my small collection either in bloom or in spike almost all the time.

Fangs! Yes, some of mine have them, some don't. I've got a nice hybrid in bloom now that has what reminds me of the long upward-curving canine teeth on a wart hog, LOL. No fangs on my bellinas.

As far as fragrance, I've never noticed any of the mass-produced Phals I see in the big stores around here to have any. I don't know what your situation is where you live, but you may have better luck at an orchid show or orchid greenhouse if there are any near you, or if you're brave enough, ordering one through the mail from a reputable vendor. Bellinas are supposed to be fragrant, but that is my one disappointment with them. I only have three in bloom, but so far, I have to almost touch them with my nose to notice the very faint fragrance.

Good luck with your Phal. I hope you have a very good experience with it, and if so, maybe you'll end up with many of them, like I did.

P.S. We used to have Woolworth's stores here when I was a kid. I didn't know they still existed anywhere!
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:25 AM
rbarata rbarata is offline
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Congratulations on your first Phal, SP.
You'll find them easy to grow...in my environment I never had any worries about mine. They just grow.

Just anote on potting in scoria...I don't know how is your climate but scoria might need more frequent waterings.
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Old 11-10-2019, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mountaineer370 View Post
Also, it's hard for me to tell for sure from the photos, but it may be putting out more buds at the end of the inflorecence?
Thanks Mountaineer! I will keep an eye on that section. That part caught my eye yesterday (when I was taking photos), and had assumed that it was due to somebody knocking the top buds off (while on display at the store) hahaha. I will have to look at that part more closely to see what's going on there.

As for the fragrance --- thanks for letting us know that at least some phals have traces of scent. Quite an interesting topic too - about fragrances/scents in orchids.

About Woolworths ----- I can say - about 1 minute ago, I was taken by surprise to find this on the internet:

"Accordingly, Woolworths Ltd in Australia has no connection with the F.W. Woolworth Company in the United States, nor the Woolworths Group of UK. It also has no connection to the Woolworths Group in South Africa."

I had no idea about that!!! That was a total blindside on me.

---------- Post added at 07:35 AM ---------- Previous post was at 07:14 AM ----------

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Just anote on potting in scoria...I don't know how is your climate but scoria might need more frequent waterings.
Thanks very much rbarata!! I think you are right about the frequency of watering. I usually water each morning (for the paphs and phrags - saturating the scoria with enough water from the watering wand nozzle). I had no issues with getting the water close to the stems of those orchids. But ---- just in case ----- I often purposely aim a relatively short distance out away from the stem ----- watering the media in general. One day, I will get a clear pot to watch how the water disperses as it runs through the scoria media when I water the media like this. The paphs and phrags are growing really well.

There was a time when I assumed that these sorts of plants wouldn't handle scoria well. But a suitable watering frequency definitely works. Not just works, but can work excellently. The other thing I noticed is that, dry-out of the media doesn't appear to harm these plants - despite what I have read about dry-out. I'm thinking that a sustained dry-out will likely harm the plant. But temporary dry-out (sometimes) is ok, and could probably be even beneficial. I don't know this for sure.

Thanks again rbarata! Definitely happy to join you and everybody in growing phals now!
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Old 11-10-2019, 06:05 PM
ArronOB ArronOB is offline
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In the early days of retailing the big overseas brand names were up for grabs - and had value because they already had some brand recognition. Same with Target and same with Kmart - unrelated.

In Target’s case they even stole the logo, more or less.

I have read that the few box-store ones with fragrance are the yellow ones. I haven’t found one myself.
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Old 11-10-2019, 09:03 PM
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Arron, I forgot to mention - the 'World Class' variety you mentioned have some really nice flowers! Thanks for that lead!

I'm still disappointed over not having purchased the one I saw at Woolies last Saturday (not recent Saturday). Sometimes these things can happen hahaha. It's sometimes necessary to hold back and put a limit, otherwise it can develop into orchid hoarding ..... which isn't necessarily a bad thing haha.

Hopefully I get lucky and encounter one just like it if I look around for long enough. Fingers crossed!
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