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  #1  
Old 09-01-2021, 12:08 PM
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Mr.Fakename Mr.Fakename is offline
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Default Re-growing old plants and going full circle

I stumbled upon that pic recently:




This Phalaenopsis javanica is, if I remember correctly, the second Phal species I bought.

I do not recall how that plant died; but a vivid memory is of loving those unusual, cupped flowers. For years, I've searched high and low to get an alba form, I became obsessed by their fantastic looking blooms. Unfortunately, it used to be an incredibly rare and sought after orchid, immediately selling for hundreds of euros.


If the date is to be believed, it was 8 years ago that I bloomed this species for the first time.
Today, I own an alba javanica, and I feel that blooming this plant is an accomplishment, a victory over my former self, who killed that species.


I most definitely wouldn't have gotten to where I am now without the precious help and tips of more experienced growers; and I am grateful for (almost) every story, every enriching discussion, whether in real life or on the Internet.


I'd be very interested in knowing what plants y'all have struggled with, until you improved and tamed them, and what you changed to achieve success!
What victory made you realize you were a much better grower than you used to be?
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2021, 02:37 PM
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"I'd be very interested in knowing what plants y'all have struggled with..."

You mentioned "plants" in your post, so I hope you don't mind if I go into another tangent. I've been unsuccessful flowering Tillandsia tectorum indoors under artificial lighting.

My original (mother) plants were collected from 2 different locales - Ecuador and Peru. I grew the original mother plants outdoors in a greenhouse. Was successful with flowering these and they produced several offsets. Have been growing 5 of those offsets indoors. under artificial lighting for 14 years.

Tried to mimic the successful conditions in the greenhouse by incorporating those conditions indoors. The exception has been natural sunlight vs. artificial lighting. No problems with flowering other tillies within the Tillandsia tectorum complex (indoors under artificial lighting). I guess failure is part of success, so I keep trying and am hoping to be successful.

Photo below (they don't do justice showing the true size of these guys: about 12" high and 10" across).




I really enjoy Bulbophyllum orchids and currently grow several species indoors under artificial lighting. Have been successful with all but one ~ B. frostii. I should clarify: successful with growing it, but it's been a challenge flowering. I think this is more of a "having patience" thing (and I'm going to let this guy do it's thing). Bill Thom sent me this one some time ago when he was living in Florida, before retiring and moving to North Carolina. He had a note saying: this is a clone I've been working with that you can experiment with. I have the uppermost respect for Bill and his knowledge & experience with Bulbophyllum.

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Old 09-01-2021, 03:57 PM
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This is a guess about your Tillandsia tectorum.

As you observed, they are higher-elevation plants often dwelling on exposed rock faces (or even roofs, hence tectorum.) They experience intense sun but cooler temperatures, and wide day-night temperature swings. It is hard outside in most of the US to give enough sun without cooking them.

The temperature swings are wider than most places would see in the US, and certainly any indoor growing space. The temperature swings may be as important to flowering as intense light.

My mother has had a steadily-increasing clump in near-coastal Orange County, California, for over 20 years. It has never flowered. It is growing in dappled shade. In more sun it quickly burns. The day-night temperature swings are substantial, but not as much as in the higher-elevation tropics.
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Old 09-01-2021, 04:23 PM
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Very, very, good point about the wide temperature swings. Tough to accomplish for me indoors (without an investment from my frugal budget) trying to accomplish that goal. But, you may have hit it on the nail head! Appreciate you chiming in.
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Old 09-03-2021, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Fakename View Post
This Phalaenopsis javanica is, if I remember correctly, the second Phal species I bought.

I do not recall how that plant died; but a vivid memory is of loving those unusual, cupped flowers. For years, I've searched high and low to get an alba form, I became obsessed by their fantastic looking blooms. Unfortunately, it used to be an incredibly rare and sought after orchid, immediately selling for hundreds of euros.


If the date is to be believed, it was 8 years ago that I bloomed this species for the first time.
Today, I own an alba javanica, and I feel that blooming this plant is an accomplishment, a victory over my former self, who killed that species.


I most definitely wouldn't have gotten to where I am now without the precious help and tips of more experienced growers; and I am grateful for (almost) every story, every enriching discussion, whether in real life or on the Internet.


I'd be very interested in knowing what plants y'all have struggled with, until you improved and tamed them, and what you changed to achieve success!
What victory made you realize you were a much better grower than you used to be?
That is so well said!!
I completely feel you and was getting kinda emotional reading this. Your lines brought back so many memories..
I basically miss ALL of my previously owned orchids that < i had to face it > i let die because i wasn't present to care for them (Had to move, they were in a florarium that i couldn't take with me, then came a spidermite infestation and a fungal rot and all of them were gone within a few weeks...) I had almost all of the phal species and a bunch of very expensive, popular and rare hybrids like a couple of JSCs (a decade ago they were quite the investment...). I'm never gonna be able to forgive myself..
But answering your question, there were quite a number of them that made me proud. E.g. Phal. Tzu Chiang Sapphire was quite hard for me because i kept it together with the summer blooming ones. When i changed my mind and let it have a cooler break in the winter it finally bloomed. That was quite a victory....
I loved my corningiana it had such a beautiful bloom. You can see quite strange ones nowadays, but mine was perfect, big, vivid coloured, and gigantic. Bloomed for me all the time and i just didn't know why all the others thought it was finicky.
And to best relate to your post, I'm with you regarding javanica! IT.IS.PERFECTION.! I am IN LOVE with its tiny flowers, the cupped shape of them, the colour intensity, it was never a question that i would own one. In fact i had great success with it from the first moment, it was also in bloom all the time. And it was also one of the first plants I ordered when starting over this June - that precious but mean little treasure of mine just made me get back in the orchid game whether i like it or not, i just HAD TO, for her

Now i have this pale one but i still like it


I'll link some other pics of my old collection later if you're interested, and i'll definately remember other stories as well. Will have to search the hard drive for it - both my mind and my computer

---------- Post added at 03:52 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:47 PM ----------

Oooooh, and one other!! I just remembered viridis! It was so heartbreaking! The plant was not at all in good shape when i got it, it flowered for me basically as a last resort. Had no roots at all and i didn't know back then how to make it grow some, so it showed me its perfect flower and then died.
I never got over it...
So it was also in my first order his June
Literally cannot wait for it to bloom!!!!
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