Are Phals good beginner orchids?
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  #11  
Old 06-22-2021, 08:37 AM
Mountaineer370 Mountaineer370 is offline
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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
The smart grower - new or experienced - will learn of the needs of the plant beforehand, analyze their ability to provide those conditions, and then acquire the appropriate plant.
I do agree in principle, but many of us (I was one) were gifted our first orchid, without actually asking for one. In my case, it was sent to my hospital room by a friend when I was having surgery. When I was released, I took it home rather than leave it there, as many would have done, I'm sure. That was the middle of summer, and it was in bloom. When it put out a new spike in late fall and bloomed in early winter, I was hooked. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that many new Phal owners who seek help here were in a similar situation. Maybe they got one for Mother's Day or their birthday and decided to see if they could indeed keep it alive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roberta View Post
The difference between an "easy orchid" and a "difficult orchid" is how closely the needs of the plant match what can be provided without a lot of trouble and expense - and that's different for different people in different environments.
Yes, this! It is indeed different for everyone. I learned quickly that some orchids needed more light or different temps or more humidity than I was able to provide. There are others I would like to have that I will never be able to because I know realistically that I cannot provide for their needs, or I simply do not have the space.

So after a few years of trying catts, oncidiums, and one or two others, I settled on Phals because they seem quite happy in my conditions. I will admit they could probably do better with a few improvements that I am, unfortunately, unable to provide. I don't get an abundance of lush leaf growth, and my novelty Phals, the summer-blooming ones, seem a bit finicky about blooming.

My complex hybrid Phals, and yes that includes a few retail store bought ones, do the best, and I'm fortunate to get blooms on a regular basis, though I'm sure not as many flowers as they might put out in somebody else's house or greenhouse.

Phals seem the most forgiving of the ones I've tried. I'm comfortable with the care regimen I've settled on. I've only lost two of them in six years of growing.

So for me personally, Phals are the perfect beginner orchid. If it hadn't been for getting one as a gift, though, I still wouldn't have any and would be thinking that orchids are too difficult and complicated to grow.
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  #12  
Old 06-22-2021, 05:47 PM
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I think Phal as a whole aren't a good choice for beginners, but supermarket Phal are; for a simple reason: genetics.

When you buy a species, unless you're willing to search far and wide for a plant from selected, awarded parents in a documented breeding program, chances are you won't end up with that one-in-a-million top performer.

Supermarket hybrids on the other hand, are marvels of engineering. They are made to grow fast, resist diseases and pests, bloom big and on command, withstand being sent all over the world without dropping a bud.

Couple that with the natural toughness of species used for breeding (e.g., Phal stuartiana can thrive in low or Cattleya levels of light, can store lots of water in succulent-like leaves for periods of reduced rains, or adapt nicely to lower temperatures), and you get an average clone that obliterates the average "friendly local greenhouse" species.

If someone can't get those hardy hybrids to grow, I'd say their chances of being successful with other Phal aren't extremely high. Hence they're good for starters, to assess conditions and techniques before moving on to finickier plants.

But then again, growing different genera requires different skills, so if someone has interest in Phrag or rupicolous Cattleya, Phal won't be super relevant.
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  #13  
Old 06-22-2021, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray View Post
The smart grower - new or experienced - will learn of the needs of the plant beforehand, analyze their ability to provide those conditions, and then acquire the appropriate plant.

Then there's the rest of us...
But.... How do we learn if is not mistaking?. I admit that I miss interpretated a lot of information (I still am actually )

---------- Post added at 01:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:07 AM ----------

I think comercial orchids (Phals) give you happiness and genus orchids or species give you challenges

I can get Phals to bloom yes or yes, but I have some fussy Cats, they bloom only when they want
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Last edited by SADE2020; 06-22-2021 at 08:49 PM..
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Old 06-22-2021, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by SADE2020 View Post
But.... How do you learn that if is mistaking?. I admit that I miss interpretated a lot of information (I still am actually )

---------- Post added at 01:18 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:07 AM ----------

I think comercial orchids (Phals) give you happiness and genus orchids or species give you challenges

I can get Phals to bloom yes or yes, but I have some fussy Cats, they bloom only when they want
SADE2020, Ray was being sarcastic/humourous.
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  #15  
Old 06-22-2021, 08:30 PM
Jeff214 Jeff214 is offline
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To many people's point, I generally recommend a few types (grocery store phals, Den nobile hybrids, intergenric Oncs) that do reasonably well in many indoor environments. Asking basic questions like 'do you tend to under or over water' go a long way in helping a friend pick a plant that may do well under his or her environment and care habits.

It is interesting to hear other people's experiences with grocery store phals. They've been an enigma for me. I'm up to 300 orchids of various genera, tried growing indoors and outdoors in CA, GA, OH, IN, PA, and maybe killed a dozen orchids? Most were grocery store phals... I have tried semi-hydroponic, sphag, bark. I haven't tried mounting... anyway, If someone had told me that phals were the easy beginner orchid, my orchid growing would have ended there along with a mountain of dead phals. I'm glad I didn't stop there!

Last edited by Jeff214; 06-22-2021 at 08:33 PM..
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  #16  
Old 06-22-2021, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Dollythehun View Post
SADE2020, Ray was being sarcastic/humourous.
He got me

I was pretty sure he was but then again, everyone were so poetics
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