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  #1  
Old 11-29-2021, 02:35 PM
Burgos Burgos is offline
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Default Young orchids care

Good evening everyone! It's been a long time without posting.

I have experience in orchids culture. However I've just purchased a set of temperature tolerant orchids (laelia, D. Speciosum, sarcochilus) whose needs seem to suit my climate, and I'm not completely sure of how I should treat them.

My main concern is that they're young plants and I'm not completely sure whether I should treat them as I would with mature plants (facing normal conditions of cold, heat, light...) or if I should be more careful with temps and exposure.

Any experience is welcome. Thanks!
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Old 11-29-2021, 03:35 PM
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In general young plants are less tolerant of any extremes than are older plants. They may stay in continuous growth if conditions are good, rather than the more seasonal growth pattern of adults.

Don't let them dry out completely.

Provide bright light but no direct hot sun.

The Laelia and Dendrobium will tolerate quite warm temperatures but also standard room temperatures. The Sarcochilus will be fine with standard room temperatures.

Use weak dilutions of general plant fertilizer frequently. For example, if you have a standard 20-20-20 fertilizer with micronutrients, use 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water at most waterings.

Be sure you also give calcium, whether in your tap water or a supplement. These three types are fine with most tap water. Save the reverse osmosis water for more delicate species.
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Last edited by estación seca; 11-29-2021 at 03:38 PM..
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  #3  
Old 11-29-2021, 03:38 PM
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hi burgos thats a good question. For me heat is a luxury so if I can get away without heating then it's a bonus.

I've got some cold tolerant odontoglossum seedlings in the cold at the moment but I think I will move them, they are still small so won't take up much space.

All I can add is that having seedlings in the warm in absolutely fine in winter for the cold growing ones. They might just grow a bit more instead of slowing down in winter but that is not a bad thing.

I have several sedirea japonica seedlings because I heard they were so adaptable. I have some in the cold, some get heated during the day and some I keep heated day and night but I've only just started doing that on some I felt were struggling a bit. Heating them day and night is making them grow more. I feel like in winter they should be able to tolerate what they experience in nature but at the same time the worst that happens is it just carries on growing instead of going dormant to get ready to flower for example if keeping them warm.

The cold temps should only be experienced at night anyway, I have some absolute miniature seedlings that can handle that just fine but if I had more room I'd give them better conditions I think.

To finish it off I will say that I have had enough seedlings die from cold, don't think any have died from getting moved to the warm in winter.

It's not necessarily that the cold kills them but it puts added pressure on the orchid and just like they can't handle as much light they can't handle the cold if they are already stressed sometimes.

Even keeping an adult orchid warm one winter after buying it makes sense to help it overcome the initial adjustment stress.

I've done it with a few cattleya hybrids but with hybrids they should be able to flower under many conditions.

I'd say if the seedlings were super healthy then they can handle the cold, if not it could be the end of them and giving them warmth is always safe.
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Old 11-29-2021, 04:23 PM
Burgos Burgos is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by estación seca View Post
In general young plants are less tolerant of any extremes than are older plants. They may stay in continuous growth if conditions are good, rather than the more seasonal growth pattern of adults.
Well I had no idea about the continuous growth. Well I intended to keep them indoors for the time being since it's quite cold now (5-10°C outdoors). In my house temperature shouldn't drop below 10-12°C even when I'm away for holidays. Do you think that would be enough? Summers are quite cool here. We rarely go beyond 25°C.

I had thought of watering them with mineral water since on the coast chlorine and calcium are a little harsh. Do I need a special fertilizer for these young ones or the typical all purpose one works? The one I have is not so balanced. I've got a geranium fertilizer. Thanks!

---------- Post added at 09:23 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:19 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadeflower View Post
hi burgos thats a good question. For me heat is a luxury so if I can get away without heating then it's a bonus.
Haha I try to save on heating too, but I do turn it on to 18-20°C if I'm home. It's too cold to sleep otherwise.
So, I'm quite surprised and dubious about keeping temps up for the young plants because I fear they will exhaust themselves without a proper rest that's typical in mature plants of their species in nature.

It would be helpful if I could see those seedlings of yours to see if they're the same size as the plants I've purchased.

Thanks!!
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Old 11-29-2021, 04:47 PM
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I think that the lowest temperatures in the house should be fine for all of those. When I get plants in the fall and winter that should be fine outside, I do protect them through the first winter, put them out in the spring and then they will be well-acclimated by the time that the next year's cool weather arrives.
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Old 11-30-2021, 12:23 AM
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can I ask about care for young Catt and Lacaste here? I have lovely seedings of Lacaste and Catt all two years from maturity size. Would love to keep them growing....
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Old 11-30-2021, 12:42 AM
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Most Catt seedlings will keep growing if you keep them quite warm - summer weather - and very brightly lit. They won't take full San Diego sun, not even in winter.

Many Lycaste have strict winter dormancy when they drop their leaves. I don't grow any because they don't like my heat.
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Old 11-30-2021, 12:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoseSD View Post
can I ask about care for young Catt and Lacaste here? I have lovely seedings of Lacaste and Catt all two years from maturity size. Would love to keep them growing....
It would help to know which Catts and which Lycastes. Different species (and their hybrids) have different needs. Also, how long have you had them? Under what conditions have you been growing them? If you got them recently, what do you know about the growing conditions in the vendor's nursery? This is not a good time of year for drastic changes. (I would treat a plant from a local grower who grows outside routinely differently than I would treat one from Hawaii or Thailand, especially heading into winter no matter what it's long-term growing conditions might be)
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